A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR -- In an era when so many are reluctant to take responsibility for the ills in the world, or even for mistakes in their own lives, it was refreshing to see so many step up to the plate Thursday to bear the blame for the region's predicted snowstorm. "This is my fault," wrote Ron C. of Willmar on the West Central Tribune Online's comment section. "Last Sunday I took the grill out of our shed and I said to my wife, 'Now watch us get a snowstorm.' Sorry." "Naw!" responded Ben. S of Benson. "I will take the blame on this one.
WILLMAR -- When she talks about roses, Shannon Bolter's smile is wide. And with 7,680 roses being brought to Willmar today for Arc's annual rose sale, Bolter will be smiling a lot. "They're beautiful," Bolter said shyly, when asked what she likes about roses. "It's fun," was the 38-year old Willmar woman's response when asked why she likes to sell roses to her friends, church members, employers and caregivers.
WILLMAR -- During a standing-room only meeting Monday night, residents from Diamond Lake questioned a proposal to inspect individual septic systems on the lake. As part of the process to administer a $61,880 Clean Water Legacy grant, Kandiyohi County needs to approve an ordinance spelling out details of the inspection.
ST. PAUL -- Bonding requests for most local projects survived Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto pen Monday. A $2.3 million capital improvement project for Ridgewater College and $800,000 for restoring Grass Lake remained in the bill. The $15 million dedicated to wastewater infrastructure was untouched, which means funding will be available for wastewater projects in Willmar and Litchfield. "I'm very happy our local projects stayed in there," said Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar.
Several hundred poor Iraqi children, with little or nothing to call their own, are now wearing shoes as they run across the debris-strewn streets of their neighborhood because of the efforts of an Atwater soldier. Sgt.
ST. PAUL -- Fresh from a five-day trade mission to Cuba, Rep.
Hines/ Page A2 WILLMAR -- The light suit coat that Alexander Hines wore didn't look very heavy. But pinned to that jacket were small squares of paper with words like "taco," "spic," and "poor white trash" written on them. The weight of those labels, Hines said, was heavy indeed. As the director of the inclusion and diversity office at Winona State University, Hines is trying to build "cultural competence" on college campuses. During a presentation Thursday at Ridgwater's Willmar campus as part of the multi-cultural activities, Hines said derogatory labels and jokes are extremely "hurtful"
WILLMAR -- When looking at the statistics, there's both good news and bad news when it comes to child abuse in Kandiyohi County. In 2007, the county's family services department fielded 204 reports of possible child maltreatment. That's up from 179 in 2006 and 169 in 2005. On the other hand, 40 child protection cases were opened for active investigation, down from 45 cases in 2006 and 62 in 2005. The higher number of maltreatment reports could mean there's an "increased concern that children are safe in our community," said Kathy Nelson, Kandiyohi County Family Services supervisor.
ATWATER -- The debate over whether Atwater should spend money to renovate a 104-year old historic building, start from scratch and build a new structure or do nothing at all was debated Wednesday by the City Council. "I love the idea," said Councilman Scott Bjornson of the proposal to renovate the Hotel Atwater for a city hall and library. Preliminary estimates show the renovation could be done for about $215,000. "I don't think it's a viable plan," countered Mayor Bruce Baker, who is in favor of building a new structure for the city hall, library and police department.
WILLMAR -- It has cost at least $51,000 over the last five years to defend Kandiyohi County in litigation involving gravel pits. Last month the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners questioned the cost of the lawsuit and numerous appeals, including a trip to the Minnesota Supreme Court. County Administrator Larry Kleindl said it has cost at least $51,000 to defend Kandiyohi County so far.