A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR -- Last week the last client was discharged from the adult mental health treatment facility on the campus of the former Willmar Regional Treatment Center, ending a nearly 100 year history in this community. On Friday, an open house will be held for a new 16-bed psychiatric hospital in Willmar with clients expected to start arriving Aug.
PENNOCK -- Well-worn, repairable cars that are no longer needed by some are being repaired and given to others as a vehicle to get out of poverty. In the month and a half since the new four-county car ownership program was launched, six vehicles have been donated and are being "reconditioned" to make sure they're mechanically safe.
WILLMAR -- Just hours before the ribbon was cut and traffic was allowed to travel on it, a new stretch of road on the west side of Willmar was given a new number. During their meeting Tuesday morning in Pennock, the Kandiyohi County Commissioners took action to designate the nearly mile-long road as County Road 5. It had been given a temporary designation as County Road 47 -- the number of the existing section of road on the south end of the project area -- while it was being constructed through the old Willmar Airport site, which is now the location of an expanding Willmar Industrial Park.
PENNOCK -- For a town of 504 people, the folks of Pennock have been busy. Mayor Kevin Crowley on Tuesday gave the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners a list of municipal projects that have been completed in the last few years. The commissioners were in Pennock on Tuesday morning to conduct their regular business meeting as part of a commitment they made this year to travel to different towns in the county. Pennock is located about four miles west of Willmar on U.S.
WILLMAR -- Every day Christie Kurth hears another heart-breaking story. There's the two-parent family burdened with the cost of caring for a child with cancer at a metro hospital, a single mom who receives infrequent child support payments, a teen who was kicked out of his home and an elderly couple on a fixed income who have never before had to ask for anything from anyone. All those individuals have something in common -- they don't have the money to buy food. As director of the Willmar Area Food Shelf, Kurth is seeing a growing number of people requesting assistance. During a report Tue
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County is in the top 10 list again for teen pregnancies. According to the most recent data released this year from the Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Prevention and Parenting, Kandiyohi County ranks fifth of all 87 counties in birth rate for girls in the 15- to 17-year-old age group. The county ranks 10th in the state for its pregnancy rate for the same age range. Birth rate includes live births.
WILLMAR -- A review of public health care plans provided to Kandiyohi County's Medical Assistance recipients was presented Tuesday to the County Board of Commissioners. The pre-paid Medical Assistance programs are currently provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield. Over the last 10 years the company has grown with Kandiyohi County to provide an array of services, said Beth Nelson of Blue Cross Blue Shield. "It's one of the strongest partnerships in the state," Nelson said.
WILLMAR -- For the sake of the safety of children, the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to temporarily pay for attorneys for parents involved in child protection or parental rights termination cases. In a sternly worded resolution, the commissioners said they would provide interim funding for three months and then conduct a review in September to decide whether or not to continue the "voluntary reimbursement of court-appointed attorneys." "I think we have a problem here," said County Administrator Larry Kleindl.
LITCHFIELD -- Dr. Dave Detert of Litchfield has filed for election in House District 18B. The seat is currently held by Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City. This will be the third time Detert, a Democrat, has challenged Urdahl.
WILLMAR -- A last-minute filing Tuesday means there will be a primary election for Kandiyohi County's District 2 commissioner seat. Paul Hoffer, of Willmar, filed late Tuesday afternoon for the position, currently held by Board Chairman Richard Larson, who has filed for re-election. Bill Graves, of Willmar, filed last week. Because there are more than two candidates, a run-off will be held during the primary election on Sept.