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 -- If the summer's exceptionally warm and dry weather continues, corn yields in Minnesota will be significantly lowered from the potential yield that was developing, according to Dale Hicks, agronomist with the University of Minnesota Extension Service.
WILLMAR -- A proposal to put two county departments under one umbrella received a tepid response Tuesday from the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. Family Service Director Larry Kleindl had asked the commissioners to form an advisory group and take several months to study the possibility of merging the Family Services and Public Health departments and creating a new Human Services Board to oversee it. Kleindl said a merger could result in better coordination and integration of services while avoiding duplication of expenses, staff and equipment. With a change in leadership in the nex
WILLMAR - Kerrie Reinert hoists buckets of ground corn into the box of a well-used farm truck, slams the tailgate shut, hops into the cab and heads off to feed a pen of Holstein heifers. It's a little past noon and she's finished the 5:30 a.m. milking on the rural Willmar dairy farm where she works as a herdsman. She has a long list of chores to do before she goes back to the barn of 240 cows for the evening milking. With a wide grin and a slight bow to her blond head, Reinert acknowledges she puts in some long days of physically demanding work. She also gets dirty.
WILLMAR -- The poor water quality of Lake Wakanda, located in southern Kandiyohi County, has been studied for at least 15 years and not much has been done yet to make improvements. A draft management plan to improve the water quality could provide the necessary vehicle for action in the near future.
WILLMAR -- A proposal to revamp a 3.5 mile section of Highway 23/71 north of Willmar by building interchanges and closing existing accesses roads drew questions, concerns and suggestions from property owners along the route. During a public meeting Monday in Willmar, residents heard about options the Minnesota Department of Transportation is considering for changing the highway. MnDOT, likewise heard from residents in the first of many public meetings that will be held before construction begins, which will be 2015 at the earliest. MnDOT says the improvements are needed to accommodate proje
BLOMKEST -- Minnesota voters will be using new technology, while still hanging on to the comfort of a paper ballot, when they go to the polls this fall. Both components of Minnesota's new voting system were on display Thursday night in Blomkest during the Kandiyohi County town's annual summer celebration. Set up near the door of the Blomkest Community Center, Ryan Flugaur was demonstrating how the AutoMARK ballot marker and the precinct counter machines work. Flugaur is one of eight people employed by the Minnesota Secretary of State's office that has the task of traveling around the state
WILLMAR -- A long stretch of warm, dry weather that's likely to extend at least another week is putting stress on area crops, especially corn, alfalfa and small grains, like wheat and oats. "Everybody is looking for a good soaker right now," said Wes Nelson, Kandiyohi County Farm Service Agency director. From the road, corn fields look green, tall and in pretty good shape, said Leon Johnson, director from the Chippewa County Farm Service Agency. "But we could use a drink," Johnson said. "We need rain -- and soon." A U.S.
WILLMAR -- The different needs of an apple orchard, an expanding livestock farm and a growing city met at a crossroads Monday during the Kandiyohi County Planning Commission meeting. At issue is a request for a conditional use permit made by Tom and Riley Gustafson. The father and son are seeking a permit to expand their barns and increase the number of dairy heifers they raise for a neighboring dairy farmer. They currently raise the equivalent of 297.5 animal units and intend to increase to 682.5 animal units.
WILLMAR -- A proposal to replace individual septic systems around Diamond Lake with a common collection and treatment system will be discussed with lakeshore owners Saturday morning in Atwater. A similar informational meeting will be held in August with property owners who live on Nest, George and Henderson lakes near Spicer to discuss a sewer proposal for residents there. The meetings follow final approval by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners this spring to link residents on Lake Florida, located west of Spicer, into the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer and Water District system. Constr
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County Administrator Wayne Thompson may consider delaying his retirement from the county's top job for up to a year. Last year Thompson said he intended to retire sometime in 2006 from the job he's held since 1977.