A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR -- Five months ago, when Anne Biesenbach's car "blew up" and she couldn't afford to fix a car that "wasn't worth fixing," she knew it was going to be a challenge to get from her home in Danube to her job in Olivia. It's a job she needs to support herself and her 2½-year-old son, Chase. Thankfully, her grandmother stepped in to make the two roundtrips a day since April. Starting today , however, Biesenbach will drive herself to work in a green 1996 Pontiac Bonneville.
WILLMAR -- The process of setting budget markers and project priorities for the next five years for Kandiyohi County's roads and bridges began Tuesday. The County Board of Commissioners got a look at a proposed plan that identifies roads slated for major reconstruction, bridges that need to be replaced and miles of road to be resurfaced. A public hearing on the plan will be held in September or October. The estimated project costs in the plan range from a high of $8.7 million in 2012 to a low of $6.6 million in 2013.
WILLMAR -- A section of road around Green Lake could become a one-way street. A public hearing on the proposal will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 25, tentatively to be held at the Dethlef Center in Spicer. If approved, a nearly mile-long section of County Road 144, also known as Skyline Drive, would be turned into a one-way road, with traffic going from south to north.
Under a warm sun and mild breeze that rustled overhead trees and corn in the nearby field, Erin Reps stood in the cemetery at First Lutheran Church of Norway Lake on July 29 as her mother, Kathy Reps, was buried. Kathy had cancer.
WILLMAR -- Minnesota's tenth, and final, 16-bed Community Behavioral Health Hospital was officially opened Friday in Willmar to high praises from county, city and state officials. "It's a big deal for us," said Cal Ludeman, Commissioner of Minnesota Human Services, one of many who spoke during the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Willmar hospital. Ludeman said the "capstone day" wasn't exciting just because a new, attractive building was completed, but because it was a "celebration of a lot of work by a lot of great people" who were committed to deinstitutionalizing adults with mental illness.
SPICER -- Kids can have a hard time connecting with nature in today's digital world. That sterile separation can create apathy toward nature and little concern for protecting the environment. Not knowing how to enjoy nature can also, according to some child experts, result in greater child obesity and lower grades in school. A workshop to be held Tuesday at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center is designed to teach educators, parents, day-care providers or anyone involved with young children, how to help kids connect with the outdoors. Studies have shown that kids who spend more
GROVE CITY -- Now that its goal of getting an operating levy approved has been met, the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School Board is setting new goals for the district. During a board retreat Monday at the Atwater Community Center, board members did some brainstorming about short-term and long-term goals that can be incorporated into the district's strategic plan for the future. Student achievement -- including improving test scores, updating the curriculum, financial management and improving communications with the public about the district emerged as the priority goals. "It's a work in progr
WILLMAR -- When it comes to roots, people from many different cultures, backgrounds and lifestyles are drawn to Willmar. Those diverse roots, which will be celebrated during the "Willmar Blend" street fair and concert, are what drew legendary folk musician Peter Yarrow to agree to perform at an evening concert Thursday in Willmar as part of a community street fair. Yarrow, a New Yorker who soared to fame in the 1960s with the singing group Peter, Paul and Mary, will perform at 8 p.m.
WILLMAR -- Just off Olena Avenue on Willmar's east side, a new 16-bed acute-care psychiatric hospital is tucked in among a mature stand of trees, a wetland, fresh landscaping that includes more than 100 new trees and a ripe wheat field. With a plum-colored exterior, cream trim and pillars and foundation made of soft-colored stone, the one-story building looks like a hybrid of a modern office building and a homey chalet. "It's gorgeous," said Kevin Bollin, director of the facility, who claims the Willmar hospital is the most attractive and thoughtfully designed building of its kind in the sta
WILLMAR -- Last week the last client was discharged from the adult mental health treatment facility on the campus of the former Willmar Regional Treatment Center, ending a nearly 100 year history in this community. On Friday, an open house will be held for a new 16-bed psychiatric hospital in Willmar with clients expected to start arriving Aug.