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 -- 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 -- 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 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 -- 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
WILLMAR -- The rules for burning garbage -- or not burning garbage -- were discussed Wednesday during the annual meeting of Kandiyohi County's Township Association. Elected members from the townships attended the meeting, which was held at the Health and Human Services Building in Willmar. Shane Delaney, forester for the state Department of Natural Resources, gave a primer on prohibitions on burning barrels and burning garbage in the county.
WILLMAR -- A new policy will require Kandiyohi County vehicles to use a 20 percent blend of biodiesel fuel. Using biodiesel, which is made primarily from soybeans, will benefit the environment and county farmers who raise 5 million bushels of soybeans, said Bruce Ruess, a member of the agribusiness and renewable energy committee that's part of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission. Using biodiesel will also help the county meet its goal of using 20 percent renewable energy by the year 2020. Biodiesel is "a local product" and a "safe product," said Ruess, w
WILLMAR -- The annual financial report of Kandiyohi County's Family Services Department was reviewed Tuesday by the county commissioners. The report showed increases and decreases in revenue and expenditures for client programs, such as Medical Assistance, food support, general assistance and children's services. But Jay Kieft, family services director, said there's more to the report than just numbers. Kieft, who took over as director earlier this month, said the department's mission, guiding principles and core values are the "threads" that run through the department's every decision and