A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 2 years 5 months
WILLMAR -- Minnesota has an annual 10-year transportation funding shortfall of $2.4 billion and is in "such disarray" that counties and cities are taxing property owners to pay for state highway projects. That's why a gas tax increase, as well as other revenue-enhancing methods, is needed, according to Tim Worke, a former Minnesota Department of Transportation employee who is now the director of the transportation and highway division of the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota.
CLARA CITY -- After a train derailment Monday put the town of Clara City into a whirl of emergency activities, including the evacuation of about 400 residents and the closure of roads, it was back to business as usual Tuesday. The highway was open, the bridge was open, the main rail line was open, businesses were open. The Red Cross volunteers had left, local emergency response volunteers were back at their regular jobs and kids were in school. "We're back to normal as a city," said City Administrator Sara Folsted.
CLARA CITY -- When he answered the phone at 4:55 a.m.
WILLMAR -- Sen. Joe Gimse said he'd like to see Minnesota offer worker ID cards to illegal immigrants. Doing so would allow "hard-working" undocumented immigrants who are already living here to get "out of the shadows" and work at businesses that need, and want, them. The Willmar Republican said employer-sponsored identification cards would remove the "criminal aspect" of being here to work.
GROVE CITY -- As volunteers pored over rough drafts of a get-out-the-vote brochure to promote the Nov. 6 levy referendum in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District, they reiterated the need to stay positive. The group, called Kids First, is putting together a flyer that will focus on the successes in the district.
NEW LONDON/SPICER -- Higher education, clean water and transportation will be top priority infrastructure projects when it comes to divvying up bonding money next year. But Alice Hausman, chairwoman of the House capital investment finance committee, said a portion of the money will be used for "the infrastructure for healthy living." During a tour Friday in Kandiyohi County, Hausman, DFL-St.
WILLMAR -- For the last three years, Jim Ostlie has educated Kandiyohi County livestock farmers about environmental regulations pertaining to manure management. And he has enforced those regulations. As the county feedlot officer he has also helped farmers work through the maze of paperwork to properly site new and expanding feedlots. Starting Wednesday, Ostlie will begin a new job with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture as a livestock development specialist.
WILLMAR -- The money available to help families in crisis situations in Kandiyohi County is shrinking while the number of people seeking assistance is increasing. The federal money the county received in 2007 was $61,256. For the next two years that allocation is scheduled to decrease by $10,000.
WILLMAR -- After touring the Kandiyohi County rescue squad building on Tuesday, the Kandiyohi County Commissioners drew the quick conclusion that a new building is needed. It's just a matter of when and where. The building, which had been an old bus barn before it was transformed into a training center for the volunteer rescue squad and a storage facility for rescue vehicles, is cold, drafty and expensive to heat. It has an outdated electrical system, moldy insulation hanging from the ceiling, a leaky roof and a wet floor.
WILLMAR -- A tax on gravel that's mined in Kandiyohi County will get a two-year trial run to see if the revenue that's generated is worth the administrative hassle. The new aggregate material removal tax will be imposed on Jan. 1. It will expire in two years unless the board decides at that time to continue it. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners approved the tax Tuesday on a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Richard Falk cast the lone no vote.