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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WILLMAR -- Concerns about spreading diseases, and the threat of forced slaughter of swine after competing at the county fair, has resulted in a statewide change in the process for how identification tags are applied to 4-H hogs. Kandiyohi County 4-H members received letters last week explaining the change, which is being enforced across the state immediately. The new rule applies only to swine. "We're being proactive," said Jodi Bakke, Kandiyohi County 4-H coordinator.
WILLMAR -- After investing endless hours of county staff time to study the environmental effects of two gravel pits and working through a legal challenge that went all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners made the same decision Tuesday that it did nearly four years ago. In a 4-1 vote, the commissioners said there were no potentially significant environmental effects from the two gravel pits located north of Willmar near Eagle Lake.
ATWATER -- Reed Schmidt is a talker. And a waver.
WILLMAR -- Old tires are being dug out of groves and pulled from storage sheds and garages in preparation for Saturday's free tire collection at the Kandiyohi County Landfill. It's estimated that 18,000 tires will be hauled to the landfill during the one-day collection, from 8 a.m.
To say that Karen Wussow successfully pulled herself from her bootstraps would be a serious understatement.
Karen Wussow said she always knew "when to duck." When beer bottles went flying through the living room during the nearly daily brawl between her parents, or when her mother tried to place a blow to the girl's head or yank out a handful of hair, Wussow knew how to evade and avoid much -- but not all -- of the physical abuse that was so much a part of her life. What she didn't know at the time, as a little girl growing up in poverty and neglect in the 1960s and '70s, was the unknown consequences of not living with her abusive, alcoholic parents.
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 partnership between the University of Minnesota and Rice Memorial Hospital to create a dental training site in Willmar will allow both entities to do some amazing things, according to the head of the University's dentist school. The facility, which will be located on the third floor at Rice Memorial Hospital, will serve as a classroom training ground for University dental students who will provide service to low-income and uninsured residents in a 12-county area. Dr.
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.