A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
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ATWATER -- The owner of the Atwater bowling alley was given a warning Wednesday by the Atwater City Council for selling liquor set-ups to customers on Sundays. The council gave Toby Giese, from McPete's II Sports Bar and Lanes, a written warning for the violation. A second violation would generate a $250 fine, he was told. A third violation would result in Giese's Sunday 3.2 beer license getting revoked. Giese has a license to sell hard liquor six days a week.
Despite a state resolution approved in May that said 2005 would be the year the "Minnesota feedlot war ended," and would be replaced instead with an era of "peace, love, harmony and acceptance of diversity" for Minnesota's livestock farmers, the battle is apparently still raging. Sen.
GROVE CITY -- Administrators in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District were told Monday to find at least $250,000 to cut from the 2006-07 budget. The direction was given after the school board officially canvassed the results of the Dec. 1 special election that had asked voters to approve an additional operating levy to generate new revenue for the district. The voters defeated the proposed levy on a vote of 1,253 to 802. "The board acknowledged the proposition had failed," said Superintendent Pamela Kyllingstad.
WILLMAR - When an intoxicated person gets taken to detox to sober up, county taxpayers pay the price. From 2001 to 2004, Kandiyohi County paid a total of $607,824 for detox services, or an average of $151,956 a year. That bill will be higher this year, not because more people are using it, but because the daily cost of operating the local detox facility is increasing. The daily, per-person fee Kandiyohi County is paying to Woodland Centers increased $141 in July of this year, raising the fee to $378.
If Erin Gleeson had missed a required art class on her very first day of college, she wouldn't have seen a slide show that included stark photographs of Cambodians who were imprisoned, tortured and killed at the Tuol Sleng prison in Phenom Penh in the 1970s. The photographs are simple head and shoulder mug shots of Cambodian artists and intellectuals who were victims of the cruel Khemur Rouge ruler Pol Pot. The photos depicted just a handful of the estimated 14,000 killed at the prison. The images were seared into Gleeson's mind.
GROVE CITY -- The defeat of an operating levy Thursday will force the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School Board to dig deep into the budget to get out of statutory operating debt. "It means we have to make some serious cuts. Deeper than we care to," said John Cunningham, chairman of the ACGC School Board. "We're back to looking at all the options." Because 88 percent of ACGC's budget is to pay for staff, reductions in the budget will come in the form of reduced staff and student programs, said Cunningham.
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County is one of just a handful of counties in Minnesota that has adopted a 2006 levy increase that is less than 5 percent. County Administrator Wayne Thompson said seven or eight counties that have approved a levy of 5 percent or less for next year. Some counties have adopted double-digit levy increases this year, with some as high as 22 percent. The gross levy the Kandiyohi County Commissioners adopted Friday was $23,499,350. That's an increase of 4.41 percent from 2005. The county has had single-digit increase for the last five years.
GROVE CITY -- Voters in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District Thursday rejected by a wide margin a school referendum to generate new revenue for the district. The ACGC levy failed on an unofficial count of: No: 1,253 Yes: 802 Residents were asked to vote yes or no on a request to place an additional $450 per pupil unit levy on the school district's property taxes. If approved, the levy would have generated about $438,000 every year for the seven-year life of the levy. Ballot counting on the special school levy was completed at 5:15 a.m.
GROVE CITY -- Ballots for a special school levy were being counted late into the night Thursday and probably well into the early hours of this morning in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District. Residents voted on whether or not to raise school taxes to generate new revenue for the district. The results of the election were not known by press time.
WILLMAR -- A stack of 43 documents that detail the sale of the Willmar Regional Treatment Center to Kandiyohi County and a private Willmar company is now in the hands of the private buyer. "We signed all of our papers three weeks ago," said Kandiyohi County Administrator Wayne Thompson. "We've signed everything," he said. "As far as I know, all the county work is done." Jim Sieben, a spokesman from MinnWest Technology, said Tuesday that the company now has all the documents in their possession. "It's finally in our hands," said Sieben.