A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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It's 11 below zero at 6:15 a.m., and Steve and Amy Combs are just finishing milking their 100-head Holstein dairy herd. As the cows file in and out of the old-style dairy barn on the family farm west of New London, the farm report on the radio delivers a string of futures markets for milk that are not good. Since last fall, when milk prices peaked at $20 a hundredweight, the price Combs and other dairy farmers now receive for their product has been nearly cut in half. It's one of the biggest swings Combs has seen in his 30 years of milking. "It's going to be a struggle just to break even t
WILLMAR -- Appointing, rather than electing the county surveyor, recorder and auditor/treasurer will be discussed Tuesday when the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners meets. The current system of electing those three officials is working fine and the county has "great people" in the positions, said County Administrator Larry Kleindl. But he's proposing that the commissioners consider the pros and cons of appointing those individuals instead. "We're not unhappy with the way things are," Kleindl said.
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County has won a civil lawsuit filed by New London Township residents concerning a permit for an asphalt hot-mix plant. In a court ruling filed Jan. 7, District Judge Michael Thompson sided with the county in the case. "I'm glad the court found in our favor," said County Administrator Larry Kleindl, with a note of wariness. "But it's not a victory you stand up and cheer about," he said.
WILLMAR -- In days that begin at 7:30 a.m.
GROVE CITY -- With a room full of young women looking on, the case was made Monday to make dance line an official winter sport in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District. The board did not take action on the request but will take it up at a later date. Since it began four years ago, the junior varsity and varsity program has grown from a dozen members to 21 team members.
WILLMAR -- Willmar's new downtown bus shelter could eventually serve as a community billboard. Electronic message boards that operate on three sides of the Becker Bus Station, located at Becker Avenue and Fourth Street Southwest, will be available to advertise community functions, according to a preliminary policy reviewed Tuesday by the Kandiyohi Area Transit's operations board. Board member Kevin Halliday said the board may establish a "pecking order" for who would have priority to claim space and time on the message board, which runs along the top of the new brick and glass bus shelter.
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County Auditor Sam Modderman didn't realize Tuesday that he is on Al Franken's list of potential witnesses in the Senate recount trial. Thursday he gave a deposition to the Franken campaign. "I thought that might've taken care of it," said Modderman.
WILLMAR -- Starting today, military veterans from Kandiyohi County will be riding a little more comfortably when they make the trek to Veterans Affairs hospitals in St.
WILLMAR -- The economic slump has hit the recycling market, with lower prices being paid for products like cardboard, newspaper and aluminum. The bottom dropped out of the market in October following months of high demand and high revenues for recycling programs, like the one operated by Kandiyohi County. "It's tough.
Dressed in an overcoat and hat drenched in gasoline, "Tom" sits on a pile of newspapers making flowers for his deceased mother, whom he misses dearly and to whom he is talking in a rambling mumble. "I know, mom. I know. I'm coming." There are cigarette lighters beside him. "I'm going home to my mom," Tom tells a police officer who has been called to the scene. "Stop, Tom. Put down the lighter, Tom," said Aaron Berry, from the Hutchinson Police Department, as Tom gets increasingly agitated. "Stop, Tom.