A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR -- Maintenance on Kandiyohi County roads will be trimmed this year to help reduce expenses. During a road and bridge meeting Thursday, the Kandiyohi County Commissioners approved $260,000 in cost-saving measures proposed by Public Works Director Gary Danielson. They shifted an additional $134,000 in maintenance cuts to the construction budget. "We asked how we can cut back without hurting the public," said Danielson.
WILLMAR -- Minnesota counties are not taking kindly to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposal to create 15 regional family service agencies to replace individual county departments. Kandiyohi County Family Services Director Jay Kieft on Tuesday summed up the basic response: "No.
WILLMAR -- Calling it a "very significant event," state Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion praised the collaboration between Kandiyohi and Big Stone counties for sharing dispatch services for law enforcement and other emergency services. "You underestimate what you've achieved here," Campion told the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners as it signed the formal agreement Tuesday to provide dispatch services for Big Stone County.
WILLMAR -- A committee that's studying what kind of sanitary sewer system Diamond Lake should construct said it will bring an answer to the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners by no later than May 5. The commissioners said Tuesday they want to see the project completed by 2010 in order to meet deadlines for fixing septic systems that are out of compliance. The commissioners have offered to extend the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer and Water District lines to Diamond Lake, but residents of the southern Kandiyohi County lake undertook their own studies to consider other options, including a clu
WILLMAR -- Chef Grant Huisinga has 10 years of food preparation experience and is in his third year as a business owner. Not bad for a guy who's only 25. "I knew I wanted to be in the industry," said Huisinga of his early decision to attend culinary school in Minneapolis and spend his days satisfying people's taste buds. Huisinga, a Willmar resident, owns and operates Heglund Catering and also provides weekday noon meals at MinnWest Commons, located on the MinnWest Technology campus. Both parts of his business are based in the spacious kitchen and window-lined cafeteria on the grand, histo
COSMOS -- The Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District is moving ahead with plans to rent out classroom space at the district's elementary school in Cosmos for a regional alternative learning program for students with autism and behavioral disorders. The district has been negotiating with the Southwest/West Central Minnesota Service Cooperative for the past year to house the two-part alternative education program in Cosmos. Last week the ACGC School Board gave preliminary approval to take the process to the next step.
WILLMAR - Many area school districts called it quits early today as a strong winter storm blasts across the region. Some high school sporting competitions and community events have also been postponed. Willmar Schools closed midday. The National Weather Service in Chanhassen said 6-8 inches of snow could fall in the Willmar area before the day is over, making travel very difficult. "It'll come down pretty good," said forecaster James McQuirter. "This is going to be the storm where we'll see almost a half-foot of snow in most areas," he said.
WILLMAR -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he wants the state to take over housing "short-term" prisoners from counties. Doing so would save the state and counties money, said Pawlenty during an interview Tuesday with the West Central Tribune. Since 2004, as a cost-saving move for the state, counties have been required to house felons who have six months or less remaining on their prison term.
WILLMAR -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty told Willmar business leaders Tuesday his budget plan will lower taxes and help businesses survive the economic crisis. He urged them to take that message to legislators. "I need your help," he said. During an early morning talk to the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, Pawlenty said most legislators don't have a background in private sector business and don't know what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Minnesota's high tax ranking doesn't make it a "job friendly state," Pawlenty said.
GROVE CITY -- Options for redesigning administrative positions in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District have been narrowed down, but the school board members agreed Monday they needed more time before making a final decision. The board is looking at a plan that would use existing staff to fill a part-time superintendent position. Sherri Broderius, who is currently the grades 5-12 principal, is being considered to fill the superintendent position.