A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR -- With a quick leap, Gov. Tim Pawlenty swung himself onto the steps of a one-of-a-kind self-propelled agricultural sprayer that was made at a Willmar manufacturing company. "The advantage is more torque" Pawlenty said knowingly, while hearing about the latest piece of equipment to roll out of Redball LLC. The company is part of Willmar Fabrication, which also includes Custom Roto-Mold Inc. Pawlenty toured Willmar Fabrication, Relco Unisystems and the MinnWest Technology Campus on Tuesday during a four-hour stay in Willmar.
WILLMAR -- Minnesotans will need to be "razor sharp" to stay competitive in a changing world economy that could put countries such as China and India ahead of the United States. In a speech Tuesday in Willmar to about 200 people who attended a luncheon sponsored by the Willmar Area Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Gov.
WILLMAR -- A conditional use permit for a feedlot that's less than a half-mile from the city limits of Kandiyohi was unanimously approved Monday by the Kandiyohi County Planning Commission. The action was taken after hearing about potential problems when agricultural growth conflicts with urban growth. Kandiyohi city residents said they were concerned that the feedlot could be detrimental to the future of the small town.
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.
SPICER -- An undisclosed financial donation from the Jennie-O Turkey Store has provided the final piece of funding for a $382,000 construction project at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center. The project, which includes a new multipurpose room and a "tree house" education room, is expected to begin at the end of May and be completed over the summer. "We are really pleased," said Dave Pederson, director of the environmental learning facility located west of Spicer near Lake Florida.
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 -- 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 -- 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 -- 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.