A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 2 years 3 weeks
ST. PAUL -- Two Willmar lawmakers were recently appointed to a statewide government agency that addresses issues that pertain to Minnesota's Chicano and Latino population. Rep. Al Juhnke and Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Several local legislators crossed party lines Thursday and voted to name former Sen. Dean Johnson to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. Johnson was one of four elected to six-year terms. Johnson had gone through the lengthy screening process and had been one of 11 finalists for the board but was not on the list of candidates recommended by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County has signed onto an eight-county plan to create a network for enhanced emergency radio communications. Once the network is completed, it will allow different local and state agencies, including fire, ambulance, law enforcement, utilities and schools, to use the same radio frequency to communicate during disasters. The state will build the "backbone" of the new system, said Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog, but counties and cities may need to fund construction of towers to handle the 800-megahertz radio frequency and purchase communication radios for emergency pe
WILLMAR -- Proposed legislation that would allocate new state money for child protection and mental health services needs to be approved this year, according to Kandiyohi County officials. Jay Kieft, director of Kandiyohi County Family Services, said the federal government is reducing funds in the coming year for programs that provide prevention services for children. If those lost funds aren't replaced with state funds, programs may be reduced and more children may be at risk, Kieft said. A proposed "child protection and safety act" that's currently in the Minnesota House would provide $55
WILLMAR -- The public may be willing to pay higher taxes to fund popular projects, like new roads, but don't expect Gov. Tim Pawlenty to approve it. Sen.
LITCHFIELD -- As chief custodian at the Meeker County Courthouse, Larry Jones knows what to do when a winter storm hits. He grabs a flannel blanket and pillow from a storage room and spends the night on the floor in the courthouse. On Thursday, after many employees headed home early to beat the winter weather, Jones fixed an elevator, painted walls until 9:30 p.m. and then slept on the floor for about four hours before getting up at 5 a.m.
WILLMAR -- Jay Kieft will not miss a beat as he ends his job today as executive director with Heartland Community Action Agency and begins his new job Thursday as director of Kandiyohi County Family Services. "I'm excited about this new position," said Kieft during a brief interview Tuesday on his cell phone as he was going from one appointment to the next. With suicide prevention activities scheduled, Kieft has a full day of work planned today on behalf of Heartland, a nonprofit agency that addresses poverty and serves low-income families in four area counties.
GROVE CITY -- A malfunctioning component on a furnace boiler at the elementary school in Cosmos caused fuel oil to escape and enter the town's sanitary sewer system. The incident happened in January. Tom Fordyce, buildings and grounds supervisor for the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District, gave an update on the situation to the school board on Monday. He said it's estimated that 110 gallons of a mixture of fuel oil and water went into the sump pump. He said it's unknown exactly how much entered the municipal sanitary sewer system.
GROVE CITY -- An independent study could examine whether the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District should continue to operate schools in each of the district's three communities. The School Board discussed, but took no formal action on Monday, to hire the Center for Engaged Leadership from Minnesota State University Mankato to provide data on the school facilities for "comprehensive curriculum planning and space utilization." The Center may also provide a "top to bottom" review of the district's financial and management operations. Getting a set of new "eyes" looking at the district, wh
GROVE CITY -- A room full of fathers got the message Thursday that reading to their children can definitely be a guy thing. That message wasn't new to most of the 70 men, who sat cross-legged on the gym floor as children clambered into their laps during a group reading of the book "What Dads Can't Do," but it was a good message to hear while sitting next to a bunch of other guys. Getting men together to hear about the value of reading to their children is part of the plan of the Fathers Reading Every Day, or FRED, program that was held at Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City High School. Sponsored by