A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
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LAKE LILLIAN -- The Kandiyohi County Commissioners got wined and dined on Tuesday during a tour of the Olde Country Winery in Lake Lillian. It was actually more dining than wining, but the tour brought to light the value of an agricultural crop that's gaining fever pitch in states like Minnesota and Iowa. Irv and Tina Moen operate the winery in the old Lake Lillian elementary school house. They've planted 1,300 grape plants that will begin producing in the next couple of years.
WILLMAR -- A letter of resignation from longtime Kandiyohi County Administrator Wayne Thompson will be formally accepted Tuesday during the meeting of the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. Thompson's retirement is no surprise. He told the commissioners in 2005 that he intended to retire in 2006. That date was then pushed back to June 30 of this year. Thompson has held the job since 1977. In August of 2006, the commissioners officially hired Larry Kleindl, the county family services director, to take over for Thompson.
WILLMAR -- The veto of the omnibus tax bill this week could be likened to throwing the baby out with the bath water. The question is: who did the throwing? Gov.
NEW LONDON -- The fun has been taken out of the last day of school in the New London-Spicer School District. A drawing of a bomb was discovered Thursday in a bathroom in the high school. Today's date -- June 1 -- was scrawled beside the drawing. "After a thorough investigation, it has been determined that there is not an immediate threat," said Superintendent Paul Carlson, in a letter that was sent home with students on Thursday. As a precaution, school staff members were put on alert and the building was searched. "We'll be doing another search this evening when everyone's out of the bui
WILLMAR -- A 16-bed psychiatric hospital to treat adults with acute mental illness is a good facility for the community, but the Willmar site that's been selected to build it is not, according to a handful of residents who attended an informational meeting Wednesday night. Jay Jorgenson, whose home will be about 80 feet from the one-story hospital, expressed sincere support for the facility and understands the need for it. "It's a great building. It looks nice," Jorgenson said kindly.
WILLMAR -- Road reconstruction projects planned for next year in Kandiyohi County will be delayed because a state transportation funding bill was not approved this year. The lack of new state revenue will put the county in a bind for resurfacing 10- to 15-year-old roads that are feeling the stress of heavy agricultural use and rebuilding narrow, dangerous 50-year-old roads, Public Works Director Gary Danielson said. The lack of funding will also stop construction of bridges in several townships in the county and could mean some deteriorating asphalt roads will be turned back to gravel becaus
GROVE CITY -- When the senior class of 2007 walks across the stage tonight at the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City school auditorium to get their diplomas, a special member of the class will be walking with them. Brandon Wentzel, an 18-year-old student who has severe disabilities, will walk across the stage just like the kids he's gone to school with since third grade. It's because of the compassion of those kids that Brandon will be taking that walk. "They are a spectacular group of kids," said Christine Wentzel, Brandon's mother.
WILLMAR -- During the last three years, Palmer Sevig has ridden his bicycle to the Willmar Area Senior Citizens Community Center nearly every day for his noon meal. The three-mile bike ride has kept the 80-year-old former Lutheran pastor in good shape. But riding a bike in Minnesota's unpredictable weather, especially in wintertime, can be challenging, he said. It's also a little lonely for the widower, who had been married 45 years. That's why Sevig is a big fan of a new bus route that was recently added to the Kandiyohi Area Transit system. On Monday through Friday, a KAT bus stops at e
WILLMAR -- A new site has been selected for construction of a 16-bed psychiatric hospital in Willmar.
PENNOCK -- Along with a dish to pass for the potluck, the members of the local Blue Star Mothers chapter bring framed pictures of their children to the regular, twice-a-month meetings. It's their chance to talk about where their military family member is at -- Iraq, Afghanistan or stateside -- and how the soldiers are doing while deployed or waiting to be deployed. It's also the women's chance to talk about how they are doing -- frightened, lonely and proud -- while they steadily hold down the fort until their son, daughter or husband comes home. "It's the only people who really understand