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 months
WILLMAR -- After struggling with a drastic reduction in federal grants and the embezzlement of funds from its longtime director, the PACT 4 Families Collaborative finally got some good news. The four-county organization, which focuses on children's mental health, was notified Friday it will receive a $1.8 million state education grant that will be used to help eight area school districts fund after-school and summer school programs over the next three years. The participating districts all have at least 40 percent low-income students.
WILLMAR -- A report designed to give Kandiyohi County Commissioners new environmental information about two proposed gravel pits was criticized Tuesday by residents and state agencies for being incomplete, poorly written and of limited value. Several people asked that a new report be done or that the existing one be improved to provide the "hard look" at the cumulative environmental impact that the Minnesota Supreme Court had instructed the county to take. Oral comments on the report were made to the commissioners during a public meeting Tuesday.
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County residents can dispose of old tires for free on April 21 at the county landfill. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to conduct a one-day tire collection and pay the bill for disposing of them. The only other time the county did this was in 1999 when 15,000 tires were collected in one day.
WILLMAR -- Although Gov.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Fire Department responded to three residential fires in a 32-hour period Friday and Saturday. Considering that the department was called to fewer than 20 house fires in all of 2006, the flurry of activity made for a busy weekend. "It was quite a few fires in a short period of time," said Willmar Fire Chief Marv Calvin, who praised his firefighters for quickly responding and preventing worse damage. "The guys are top shelf. They don't come any better," said Calvin. None of the fires was suspicious.
WILLMAR -- The monitored weekend exchange of children between custodial and non-custodial parents that the Harmony Visitation Center coordinates is like a dance of avoidance through revolving doors. The exchanges take place at the YMCA's day-care facility at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building, after the day care has closed for business. The non-custodial parent arrives at 6:45 p.m., parks on one side of the facility and enters through a specific door and waits in a room for the children to arrive. The custodial parent arrives at 7 p.m., parks in a different area and bri
WILLMAR -- It's not uncommon on Friday nights to see kids with a suitcase and a favorite blanket in a fast-food restaurant parking lot. Toddlers and teens can be seen climbing out of the car of a custodial parent and going into the car of a non-custodial parent for a weekend visit. It's also not uncommon, unfortunately, to see those parents in the parking lot locked in verbal warfare as the children cower in the backseat. The scenario is repeated on Sunday nights when the children are returned. Michelle Tejeda recalls one family that tried to make these weekend "exchanges" of children work
WILLMAR -- The absence of a taxi service in Willmar is making it more difficult for Rice Memorial Hospital to make lab and pharmacy pickups and get people home from the hospital. As a result, the hospital is using the ambulance as an occasional courier. Not having the taxi service has "left a need," said Pat Berg, director of outreach and community relations at Rice. The frequent use of the ambulance "shows how much we used the taxi services in the past," Berg said. The privately owned Willmar Taxi Service stopped operating in Willmar in the fall.
GROVE CITY -- An in-depth study will examine the finances, administrative staffing, student enrollment and school buildings in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District. The information will help guide the school board on future decisions for operating the district, which is currently in statutory operating debt, meaning the district has been deficit spending beyond levels allowed by the state Department of Education. At its meeting Monday, the ACGC School Board agreed to hire the Center for Educational Leadership, which is part of Minnesota State University-Mankato, to conduct the study
WILLMAR -- As mothers of young sons who struggle to maintain good mental health, Linda Hocum and Linda Nelson know the importance of speaking up for their children so that they get the help they need. The women are vital voices for children -- theirs and others -- through their participation in the Kandiyohi County Children's Mental Health Local Advisory Council. But Hocum and Nelson are becoming lone voices. Included in 1987 legislation as a way to make sure the spirit of the state's mental health system is preserved, local advisory councils were established to be a voice for people with f