A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 2 years 2 months
BELLINGHAM -- A month-long search for a 79-year old Bellingham woman ended Saturday when the body of Verene Raaf was found in a pasture near the South Dakota border. Raaf hadn't been seen since about 10 p.m. on Dec. 19, when she left the Madison hospital after receiving a blood transfusion.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty's State of the State address received mixed reviews from local legislators. Sen. Gary Kubly said Pawlenty's speech was nothing more than "words that sound good." But the Granite Falls DFL'er said the governor has a poor history of making good on what he says. "He's got the opportunity to lead, and the guy has some skills to do that," said Kubly. "But he tends to say so many things that he really has no intention of following through on." By contrast, Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar, was impressed with the "broad plan" Pawlenty laid out.
WILLMAR -- Jay Kieft of Spicer was named the new director of Kandiyohi County Family Services, following a unanimous vote Tuesday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. Kieft will take over the 100-person department March 5. He replaces Larry Kleindl who has been hired as the Kandiyohi County administrator. The county received 17 applications for the job.
WILLMAR -- After negotiating for 15 months and having a court date on the calendar, the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to grant a conditional use permit for Jay Morrell Building Investments LLC to operate a demolition landfill in Roseville Township. The commissioners had denied the request on Oct.
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Commissioners will close a portion of their meeting today to discuss settlement options in a lawsuit brought against the county by Jay Morrell Building Investments LLC. The lawsuit was initiated after the commissioners denied the company's request for a conditional use permit in October of 2005 for a private demolition landfill at a site in northern Kandiyohi County. The company has corporate headquarters in Monticello and operates concrete plants in New London, Alexandria, Morris, Wadena and Hutchinson as well as a roll-off business that collects, transports
WILLMAR -- Elaine Boyd's 23-year-old son, Zachary, will be coming home from Iraq this summer, about four months later than expected. The Willmar woman gave a heavy sigh when asked about news that 3,000 Minnesota National Guard troops, including her son, were having their deployments extended. "It's been a blow," said Boyd, who was quick to add that she and her husband, Kent, are "very proud" of their son. Boyd was one of about 100 people who attended a 2½-hour seminar on Monday at Roosevelt Elementery School in Willmar.
NEW LONDON -- Ever since Norman Peterson was 12 years old and stocked shelves and candled eggs at the Big Store, he has spent nearly every hour of his 55-year working career at the New London grocery store. Other than a few months he spent working at a competing grocery store in Willmar during his early years, Peterson has either worked at or co-owned the Big Store. He is one of just a handful of people who have owned the town's only grocery store during its 140-year history. "This has been my life," said Peterson. That changed on Jan.
WILLMAR -- Permits for burning brush piles or fields in Kandiyohi County will now last one calendar year. In the past, the permits for burning piled materials were issued for a 30-day period and permits for "running fires" lasted for two weeks. At a meeting Monday with the county's fire chiefs, law enforcement and Department of Natural Resources, it was agreed to change the permit length for both types of fires to one calendar year. That means all permits, no matter when they are obtained, will expire Dec. 31.
WILLMAR -- Having a burning permit that lasts until the end of the year doesn't give landowners a carte blanche to burn whatever, whenever or wherever. There are rules that go along with the permit, said Jim Steffen, DNR conservation officer for Kandiyohi County. A dose of common sense when it comes to burning also helps, he said. A person is required to have their permit with them while they conduct a burn.
SPICER -- There will be no ice castle in Spicer for next week's annual WinterFest. Members of the Spicer Commercial Club and owners of the Wee Kut Ice Company decided on Thursday to cancel plans to build an ice castle, said Lori Campbell, administrative assistant for the club, which sponsors the event. This weekend was the last chance to build an ice castle out of Green Lake ice for the festival, which beings on Friday, said Campbell. A long stretch of warm weather resulted in thin ice and left planners with no chance to build the structure, which has been a popular feature of the annual Sp