A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 4 years 5 months
WILLMAR -- A 3-1 vote Monday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Adjustment to uphold a decision by the county zoning administrator was not well-received by the nearly 50 residents or three of the Kandiyohi County Commissioners who attended the meeting. After nearly an hour of debate, the Board of Adjustment agreed to confirm Gary Geer's decision that a 1981 permit for an asphalt hot-mix plant in New London Township is still valid today. The board's action denies an appeal made by New London Township residents. Dan Kleven, Suzanne Napgezek and Darrell Vick voted to uphold Geer's decision.
WILLMAR -- Zoning Administrator Gary Geer said he has received no new information that will change his mind about the validity of the conditional use permit for a hot-mix plant between New London and Hawick. "I'm going to just stick with my original staff report," said Geer in an interview Wednesday. In his report, Geer that County Attorney Boyd Beccue determined that Kandiyohi County Board minutes are the official record and the Board of Adjustment has "no authority to second-guess matters a quarter century after the fact." Geer will reintroduce that report to the Board of Adjustment at it
NEW LONDON -- When Rob Moe bought his rural New London home in 2001, he asked the real estate agent about the small gravel pit about 60 feet from his property line. He was told it was only used a couple times a year. "We weren't told about the possibility of a hot-mix plant," said Moe.
Kristina Scholl went to prom this year. On Sunday afternoon she'll graduate from New London-Spicer High School and then take center stage at a graduation open house celebration at her home. Pretty normal activities for a young Minnesota woman, but absolutely astounding for someone who wasn't expected to live -- let alone walk, talk, laugh, dance, hold down a job, receive a high school diploma and go to college next fall. "That's why we call her our miracle child," said Penni Scholl, Kristina's stepmom, when retelling the story of a Sept.
Kristina Scholl was just three days into her junior year at New London-Spicer High School when her car collided with a gravel truck in an accident on state Highway 23 at the entrance to New London. Her head crashed against the car windows, jolting and tearing her brain. "She could be in a wheelchair," said her father, Rick Scholl Jr., during an interview this spring, a year and a half after doctors couldn't guarantee whether his daughter would live or die.
As he leans forward in a deck chair, there is no hesitancy in Jacob Kieft's words as he talks about all the things he's done in the last two years and what he wants to do with the rest of his life. The checklist of accomplishments includes re-learning how to walk and feed himself after being in a coma and undergoing several surgeries to relieve the pressure on his brain following the accident and traumatic brain injury two years ago this month. He recalls the sweat and exertion it took to sit up in bed for the first time.
The ambulance ride from Willmar to the Twin Cities took longer than it should have. A winter storm Dec. 4 made it impossible for a helicopter transport and roads were icy. So Carmen Clementson found herself in the back of an ambulance for about five hours, wondering what was in her future. The 52-year-old mother, with a high-responsibility supervisory job in Kandiyohi County's Family Services Department and a love of biking and running in marathons, really didn't want her life to change.
WILLMAR -- A cool, wet start to the spring has meant late planting, late crop emergence and a delay in cutting alfalfa for hay. The good news is ground moisture is finally adequate after a two- to three-year dry spell. "Concerns about the drought are getting washed away," said Wes Nelson, director of the Farm Service Agency in Kandiyohi County, on Friday, following a dose of heavy rains the day before. "It looks more like a normal June this year," said Nelson.
WILLMAR -- Delaying a one-mile road reconstruction project in Spicer until 2009 will likely increase county costs for an already expensive project. The cost of bituminous for the project increased $100,000 in one month, said Gary Danielson, county public works director, during the Kandiyohi County Board meeting Tuesday. There's concern the price could go even higher next year because of increasing fuel prices. As the lead agency, the city of Spicer had planned to award bids for the $3.6 million Lake Avenue South project this spring, with construction to take place this summer.
WILLMAR -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty has the skills and abilities to make an "excellent vice president," but the likelihood of that happening may be getting less, said Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar. Gimse made the comments Thursday during a legislative update with the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce in response to a question about Pawlenty's chances of being Sen. John McCain's running mate. While the Legislature was in session, Gimse said the odds were four out of five that Pawlenty would be selected.