A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 3 years 5 months
Minnesota townships have been given a two-year reprieve from a state election mandate that many small townships couldn't afford to meet and were at risk of violating. During the special legislative session this week that dealt with flood relief for southeastern, lawmakers also approved a bill to give townships until 2010 to meet a requirement to use electronic equipment designed for voters with disabilities for their March election of officers. If the bill hadn't been approved it would've cost $1.6 million for townships to hold their elections this March, said Kent Sulem, general counsel for
GROVE CITY -- The Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School Board agreed to take the high road and ask voters to approve a middle of the road operating levy in November. During a special meeting Thursday, the school board reviewed several financial scenarios ranging from $850 to $1,250 before voting unanimously on a proposed operating levy of $1,075 per pupil unit. While saying a higher levy would generate much-needed revenue for the district, which is in statutory operating debt, board members acknowledged there is a financial threshold that voters would accept and agreed to a lower figure. Dr.
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners got a primer Tuesday on bridge inspections. During a tour of county road construction projects that are under way, completed or need to be done in the future, the commissioners spent some time under a New London timber-frame bridge, learning about the checklist of safety items bridges are required to pass to be safe.
WILLMAR -- A four-lane stretch of road that will provide a straight shot across the old Willmar airport and create a faster link between the north and south sides of Willmar is shaping up quickly. Much of the 10-acre storm water retention pond is completed, new 12-inch water mains are being installed and the basic roadbed has been laid down. The utilities will service Willmar's new industrial park that the road will bisect. The nearly mile-long project began this summer and should be completed by next year.
WILLMAR -- For 40 years the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory in Willmar has been quietly monitoring the state's turkeys, chickens and commercially raised upland game birds for diseases that could, if left unchecked, seriously impact the poultry industry and possibly contribute to a worldwide influenza pandemic. Dr. Dale Lauer, veterinarian and director of the lab, suspects not many residents realize the heavy responsibility that is handled every day at the lab. "This lab is our first line of defense for an influenza outbreak," Lauer said.
WILLMAR -- Information, education and preparation are key words as business owners, employees and customers get ready for the state's new indoor smoking regulations to be implemented next month. Minnesota's Freedom to Breathe Act takes effect Oct.
WILLMAR -- In some rural Minnesota communities, the only business in town may be a bar that also sells milk, bread and peanut butter so that residents don't have to drive 20 miles to buy a few groceries. It's businesses and communities like those that Rep. Bud Heidgerken, R-Freeport, is afraid may lose out Oct.
WILLMAR -- A parking lot that should have lasted at least until 2020 is being rebuilt at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services building. The $250,000 project began on Tuesday. It's expected to be completed by Friday. The parking lot was part of the 1995 construction of the county building.
ATWATER -- After doing some budget-cutting at its meeting Wednesday, the Atwater City Council gave preliminary approval to a proposed $321,874 tax levy for 2008, which is a 2.8 percent increase from 2007. The levy is less than the $347,692 that was initially proposed at the start of the meeting. Councilman Dale Tagtow said he wanted to reduce the levy so that the city would not be required to hold a Truth-in-Taxation hearing -- a public hearing at which citizens can voice their opinion about tax increases, levies, budgets, etc.
WILLMAR -- A special legislative session could be held in the next couple weeks, according to area legislators. Or it could not. "We are preparing for a special session," said Rep. Al Juhnke, DFL-Willmar. "There's no question we need a special session ... and it should be done as soon as feasibly possible." Action is needed, said legislators, to deal with emergency funding for flood-stricken communities in southeast Minnesota and to address transportation funding problems, including the collapse of the I-35W bridge. The decision on whether or not to call a special session lies with Gov.