A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 4 years 10 months
ATWATER - The Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District is now out of statutory operating debt. The announcement was made Monday during the School Board meeting in Atwater. The district was placed in statutory operating debt four years ago when its level of debt exceeded state standards. Getting out of debt involved making deep cuts to the district's staff and education and arts programs. New revenue from an operating levy approved this spring won't come to the district until the 2009-2010 school year. The district is making plans to use the revenue for updating its curriculum and conduct
WILLMAR -- Because Willmar is large enough to have resources and a solid infrastructure, yet small enough to create partnerships and relationships, its health care system has many positive features. That was one of the messages Dr. Sanne Magnan, Minnesota health commissioner, heard Friday during a meeting with the Kandiyohi County Public Health Department and two county commissioners. Magnan said the community needs to use its strengths to find answers to its challenges.
SPICER -- Chad Revier has been tenderly nursing his pumpkins this summer, trickling fish emulsions, seaweed extract and compost tea into the sturdy vines that feed the mammoth gourds in his rural Kandiyohi County pumpkin patch. The results have been stunning. There are three beasts in his garden. One is estimated to weigh 1,500 pounds. Revier, who began experimenting with giant pumpkins a couple years ago, will be taking all three pumpkins to the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth pumpkin contest in Stillwater next weekend.
ATWATER -- A relatively straightforward air-permitting procedure, started in April of 2006 to allow Bushmills Ethanol to expand its production, has turned into a lengthy and expensive venture for the Atwater business. "It's a long, convoluted process," said Erik Osmon, a bit wearily, during a recent interview.
DIAMOND LAKE -- A rain garden that was constructed this summer with the help of taxpayer-funded grants may be able to remain in a ditch on Breezy Point Road near Diamond Lake. Last month the Harrison Township supervisors ordered Becky and DeWayne Ricklefs to remove the rain garden from the right of way and return the ditch to its previous condition by Sept. 26. At their meeting Tuesday night, however, the supervisors reversed their decision -- with some stipulations. Final action on an agreement between the township and the Ricklefses will be taken Oct.
WILLMAR -- A grant agreement between Kandiyohi County and the state will dedicate $136,690 for monitoring water quality and quantity and modeling effects of proposed changes to Grass Lake. Projects approved Tuesday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners are part of a $2.2 million state appropriation to the Board of Water and Soil Resources for the restoration of Grass Lake. Loren Engelby, county drainage inspector, told the commissioners that $63,490 would be used to "establish the validity and effects" of the project by using updated computer models. Another $73,200 would be used t
WILLMAR -- The fall of several large financial institutions and the fear that federal budget problems will trickle down to Minnesota counties has the Kandiyohi County Commissioners saying enough is enough. Counties are "sick and tired" of the state "spending money out of our checkbook," said Chairman Richard Larson. Because of state budget-cutting moves this spring, counties are now paying the bill for court-appointed attorneys for parents in child protection cases.
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County has paid the state about $18,000 every year since 2003 to participate in a merit system that family service departments are required to follow. The system is designed to ensure that the duties, pay scale, hiring and promotion opportunities are equitable across the country.
ATWATER -- The preliminary levy for Atwater will increase 4.83 percent in 2009. At its meeting last week, the City Council approved a $337,427 levy and a general fund budget of $742,006. The council trimmed both the levy and budget during a line-by-line review. The proposed general fund budget was cut by $31,500, including eliminating a $10,000 allocation for a housing redevelopment project that would've allowed the city to purchase and remove dilapidated homes and then sell the property.
WILLMAR -- Richard Larson and Bill Graves were the top two vote-getters in Tuesday's primary race for Kandiyohi County's second district commissioner race. Larson, the incumbent, and Graves, a political newcomer, will face off in the general election Nov.