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 -- A relationship built on a good track record could mean a new partnership between Kandiyohi County and the Minnesota Department of Corrections. State and county officials met Wednesday morning to discuss the potential to build a model jail facility in Willmar to treat state prisoners for chemical dependency. Talks were described as being in the "very early stage." Before any construction happened, "there would be quite an extensive planning process," said County Administrator Wayne Thompson in a telephone interview. The project could involve expanding the existing Kandiyohi Count
ATWATER -- Atwater Councilman H.
WILLMAR -- An ordinance that sets zoning standards for constructing and operating commercial and non-commercial wind turbines was unanimously approved Monday by the Kandiyohi County Planning Commission. The action was taken after discussion between the planning board and Bob Meyerson, who erected a wind turbine last year near Diamond Lake. "You're breaking new ground," said Meyerson, who complimented the planning board for establishing a set of guidelines for others who may construct energy-producing wind turbines in the future. If the proposed ordinance had been in effect when Meyerson was
COSMOS -- Cosmos Police Chief Brent Schroeder is being credited with saving the life of an elderly Cosmos woman during a smoky house fire late Friday evening. If Schroeder hadn't barged into the home and made his way through thick smoke and carried Edna Roulete out of the Milky Way Avenue house the woman "wouldn't have made it," said Cosmos Fire Chief Jon Fruetel. "She would either have been really sick, or dead," Fruetel said. Smoke from the fire, made worse by smoldering plastics, filled the home and spilled outside making at least three firefighters weak with nausea.
WILLMAR -- Increased interest in developing wind power as an alternative energy source has prompted the Kandiyohi County Planning Commission to develop its first ordinance to deal with where wind turbines can be located in the county. A public hearing on the "wind energy conversion system" ordinance will be held Monday during the planning commission meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.
WILLMAR -- The Minnesota Department of Human Services is pulling plan B out of its pocket for developing a 16-bed psychiatric hospital somewhere in the 18-county area of southwest Minnesota. The action is needed following a decision this week by Rice Memorial Hospital not to participate in a partnership with the state to operate a facility in Willmar. The hospital's board and administration, which had been discussing the proposal for almost two years, cited the financial cost of remodeling a building for the hospital, the financial risk of operating the program and problems with recruiting p
ATWATER -- An orderly annexation plan between the city of Atwater and Gennessee Township is being developed, with the potential to bring 100 acres of township land into the city limits. The action was started when Alan Latham, from Spicer Homes Inc., requested that 16 acres of land he owns be annexed into the city for residential development. On Tuesday the township and city officials met to discuss options for annexing Latham's property, as well as other land on the south side of Atwater. On Wednesday, during the Atwater City Council meeting, more details of the proposed plan were ironed o
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County could lose $718,000 in federal funding next year for child welfare, mental health programs and services for developmentally disabled and vulnerable adults. The cuts could mean raising local taxes to make up the difference. The potential for coming cuts has been known since the federal Deficit Reduction Act was signed this year to cut $99 billion from Medicaid spending from 2006 to 2015. But what hasn't been known is exactly which targeted case programs, if any, will be singled out by the federal government for the reductions in counties. It doesn't look like an
NEW LONDON -- An agreement between New London and Spicer to work together to develop a comprehensive regional bike plan is being coupled with a commitment from the local Department of Natural Resources to help develop a new trail and a promise from local legislators to get funding to build it. At its meeting Wednesday, the New London City Council was informed that legislation passed in the 1970s authorizes the Glacial Lakes Trail to be extended from Green Lake to Sibley State Park and eventually to Pope and Douglas County. It order to get the existing paved trail -- which starts in Willmar a
WILLMAR -- Larry Kleindl was officially appointed Tuesday as Kandiyohi County's future county administrator. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a plan to phase Kleindl into the county's top job during the next 11 months. Under the proposed plan, Kleindl will continue to hold his job as the family services director while at the same time learning the ropes for his new job from longtime Co-unty Administrator Wayne Thompson. Thompson's last day on the job will be June 30, 2007. Kleindl officially takes over July 1, although he will begin some duties now and is sc