A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR -- Even at 91, it was a rare day that Earl B. Olson didn't visit the Jennie-O corporate office in Willmar. It was second nature to check out what was new in the turkey business that he launched nearly 60 years ago. "Earl was a regular fixture here in the office on a daily basis," said Mike Tolbert, president of the Jennie-O Turkey Store. "He was always there cheering us on." Olson, who died Monday, had continued to serve on the board of directors at Jennie-O, attended regular meetings and conferences and offered his advice about ways to help the industry grow, said Tolbert.
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit Monday for the expansion of a feedlot located east of Willmar. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will take final action on the permit at their meeting Dec. 19. Tom Gustafson is seeking to expand a feedlot where he raises replacement heifers for a neighboring dairy farmer. Gustafson, who farms with his son, Riley, currently raises 400 dairy heifers and 20 calves, or the equivalent of 284 animal units.
WILLMAR -- During the 2007 session of the Minnesota Legislature, Rep. Al Juhnke will be at the House podium pounding the gavel. Juhnke, DFL-Willmar, was one of four legislators selected this week to serve as speaker pro tempore. The appointment was made by House Speaker-designate Margaret Anderson Kelliher. "We're the people who'll be holding the gavel when the Speaker isn't at her desk," said Juhnke in an interview Friday. "It's a serious position." Reps. Alice Hausman of St.
WILLMAR -- Ever since service by Willmar's lone taxi car and driver was eliminated last month by a St.
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved a $58.7 million budget for 2007. The gross levy was set at $24,843,650, which is a 5.72 percent increase from 2006. The county will receive state aid of $2,043,341, which brings the net levy to $22,800,309. The tax capacity rate for the county will decrease 6.7 percent from 2006.
PRINSBURG -- During a tour Thursday of Prinsco Inc., the Kandiyohi County Commissioners got a firsthand look at how recycled plastic is tested, melted and extruded to create high-density corrugated polyethylene pipes that can be used for storm sewers and agricultural drainage tiles. The information could be useful for the commissioners, who oversee installation of a fair amount of storm sewer and drainage tile lines in the county. Jamie Duininck, vice president of sales for Prinsco, located in Prinsburg and owned by Duininck Inc., said he invited the commissioners on the tour after learning
A former Willmar High School chess champion, who is now a physicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, will be sharing the glory when the Nobel Prize for Physics is handed out Sunday in Stockholm, Sweden. Dale Fixsen, who graduated from Willmar in 1974, was a key member of a team of scientists that studied the early origins of the universe. Fixsen developed the crucial mathematical model for a component of NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer satellite, known as COBE.
WILLMAR -- Construction bids for two new additions at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center are expected to be awarded Thursday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. The project is estimated at more than $400,000.
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will tour Prinsco Inc., a Prinsburg company that makes plastic drainage tiles, as part of its meeting Thursday. The commissioners are scheduled to eat lunch at the Prinsburg Café before visiting the southern Kandiyohi County company. Commissioner Harlan Madsen, who represents that area, arranged the tour. The commissioners will meet Thursday this week, a change from their regular meeting date, in order to attend the annual meeting of the Association of Minnesota Counties. They will meet at 9 a.m.
Peyton Mueske tries to stand as still as a kindergartner can while pretending to be an apple tree. Meanwhile, Samuel Oehrlein buzzes like a bee with strips of paper and cotton balls, which represent nectar and pollen, that he puts into bags that Peyton is holding.