A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 1 year 8 months
Yellow ribbons and parades have been common fare as troops have gradually returned from duty in Iraq. But for many, what comes after the welcome-home party can leave them feeling isolated, alienated and out of step with the community they left behind. It's not that hometown residents are doing anything bad or wrong, said Minnesota National Guard Chaplain John Morris.
WILLMAR -- Robert Auch worked for more than a year in the intensive care unit at a military hospital in Germany helping troops who were "torn up pretty bad" in combat in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa. After 14 months on duty, Auch arrived home to Benson in March. The next day he was back at work at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar. Auch, a registered nurse, is a former Minnesota National Guard member and a current member of the Army Reserve. He has had a fairly smooth transition home after completing his wartime duty. And it's getting smoother every day.
WILLMAR -- Budget reserves will be used to pay for higher-than-expected construction costs of county road projects this year. During a special meeting Thursday morning, the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners agreed to use the entire undesignated road and bridge reserve fund of $2.3 million, rather than delay two or three projects, including the final 1½-inch layer of bituminous on Willmar Avenue, which is also called County Road 23. "We're not in the red, but we're close," said Public Works Director Gary Danielson.
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County Administrator Wayne Thompson is recovering from a concussion following an accident over the weekend at his home on Norway Lake. In casual conversation Tuesday with County Commissioners, Thompson said he fell from a slippery dock Friday evening and struck his head on rocks in a shallow part of the lake. He was home alone at the time and a neighbor called rescue personnel. Thompson was taken to Rice Memorial Hospital by the Sunburg ambulance. He praised the local rescue squad and ambulance personnel for their assistance.
ATWATER - For the first time in 30 years the geographical boundaries of Atwater could be growing. At their meeting Wednesday the Atwater City Council accepted a petition from Allen Latham from Spicer Homes Inc. to annex two parcels of land -- totaling 16.5 acres -- to the southern edge of town. Latham intends to plat the land for residential development. The council action starts the process of annexation, which must also include approval from Gennessee Township and the state. The council was excited about the potential for extending the city limits.
WILLMAR -- A course of action for dealing with complicated proposals that need environmental review was established Tuesday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. The board agreed that when such cases arise, the county will hire an outside expert who can help the county's Environmental Services and Planning and Zoning departments analyze potential environmental impacts. The bold step was taken as a result of firm direction from the Minnesota Supreme Court in a lawsuit involving the county's environmental review of two gravel pits. The court told the county to conduct further review
WILLMAR -- The final step for installing a sanitary sewer system around Lake Florida was taken Tuesday when the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners approved bids for the $4.2 million project. When completed, sewage from about 200 homes on Lake Florida will be transported more than 12 miles to the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer and Water District treatment plant north of Green Lake. Supporters said the system is necessary to preserve and improve the quality of Lake Florida, located in Lake Andrew Township. GM Contracting Inc.
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi Area Transit is one of 700 organizations that now support a proposed constitutional amendment to dedicate motor vehicle sales tax revenue for transportation purposes. The KAT joint powers board approved a resolution Friday supporting the measure. Supporting the amendment "only makes sense," said Kandiyohi County Commissioner and KAT board member Dean Shuck. Voters will have the final say.
WILLMAR -- The final cost of a proposed sanitary sewer project around Lake Florida is being put through the grinder -- literally. The Kandiyohi County Commissioners heard presentations Friday about the technical differences between two different brands of sewage grinder pumps that will be installed at homes around Lake Florida as part of the $4.9 million project. The county will be purchasing the pumps, but the cost will be passed directly to the 185 homeowners around the lake. A $1,300 price difference between the two pumps is making the decision challenging for the county commissioners.
WILLMAR -- An expansion at the Kandiyohi County jail could mean up to 300 additional state prisoners being housed here. It could also mean additional jobs for jailers and chemical dependency counselors who would treat the inmates. Such an expansion could be possible as a result of legislation approved by the House and Senate. The legislation is expected to be signed by Gov.