A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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LITCHFIELD -- An early-morning explosion that was heard nearly four miles away ripped apart a Litchfield home Friday, leaving two people homeless. The cause of the incident is still under investigation, but a fire marshal said it "mimicked" an explosion caused by liquid propane. Larry and Barbara Ann McMains were asleep when their home was torn apart in a loud blast around 4 a.m., according to the Meeker County Sheriff's Department. The couple was able to escape without injury. The home, located at 60219 245th Street in Litchfield, is a total loss. The McMains flagged down a deputy who wa
WILLMAR -- Ideas for making the Kandiyohi Area Transit system bigger and better were laid on the table Tuesday during a planning session by the operations committee. "It was a very good session," said Transit Director John Groothuis.
WILLMAR -- On one of the nicest spring planting days of the year, Myron Behm's work on his family farm near Atwater was interrupted for a couple hours on Wednesday. Instead of loading seed corn for customers, he helped plant the seeds for a future partnership between Kandiyohi County and China for renewable resource projects. Apologizing for his denim work shirt and jeans, Behm welcomed a dozen members of the Chinese delegation during a luncheon meeting at Ridgewater College.
WILLMAR -- A long slate of statewide Republican candidates and as many as 268 delegates will be in Willmar this weekend for the 7th District Congressional Republican party convention. The delegates will debate the merits of 50 resolutions, endorse a candidate for Congress and hear from Republican candidates that are seeking election, or reelection to statewide posts. "We're very happy and excited to have the 7th district convention here in Willmar," said Rollie Nissen, co-chair of the Kandiyohi County Republicans.
GROVE CITY -- A request to raise school revenue by increasing taxes will be on the November ballot in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District. The school board agreed Monday to put the issue on the general election ballot this fall instead of holding a special election earlier. It was determined the time frame was too short to hold a special election, Superintendent Pamela Kyllingstad said. There had been concern that the levy question would get overlooked on a full general election ballot.
LITCHFIELD -- A single stab wound to the chest killed Randy David Silbaugh Sunday evening as he and his girlfriend argued at the rural Litchfield home they shared. The girlfriend, identified by the Meeker County Sheriff's Department as Tina Marie Mathews, 39, was arrested and is expected to be charged in Meeker County District Court sometime before noon today. Silbaugh, 46, is listed as having a Coon Rapids address, but Meeker County Sheriff Mike Hirman said Silbaugh and Mathews lived together on and off at 21860 575th Ave.
ATWATER -- The Atwater City Council agreed Wednesday to seek cost estimates for repairing the Hotel Atwater before continuing purchase negotiations with the owner of the building. Sue Meyerson owns the historic building. In an e-mail that was read to the council, Meyerson said she would sell the building to the city for $75,000. Meyerson would also require that the city keep the building for 25 years, according to draft minutes from the meeting. She has also requested that the west half of the nearby lot 10 be deeded to her for landscaping and parking.
WILLMAR -- Before people build a new home in the country, they should know a few things about farming -- like the noise, odors and slow seasonal traffic that's part of doing business in the country. To help increase understanding between longtime rural residents and new country dwellers, a Kandiyohi County ag committee wants information about agriculture to be given to individuals when they apply for permits to build a home in the country. The Agribusiness and Renewable Energy Committee, which is part of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, voted Thursday
WILLMAR -- A change in a state rule handed down by the Department of Human Services is causing headaches for counties and the businesses they contract with to provide services for physically disabled individuals who are under 65 years of age. Kandiyohi County Family Service administrators had been warning the state department since 2002 of the problems the change would cause once it was implemented this year.
WILLMAR -- A trade delegation from China will be in Willmar on Wednesday to explore opportunities for mutually-beneficial renewable energy projects. The group of 10 university and government officials from the Shanghai region is coming here at the invitation of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission's agribusiness and renewable energy committee. A member of that committee went to China as part of Gov.