A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 4 years 5 months
ST. PAUL -- Fresh from a five-day trade mission to Cuba, Rep.
Hines/ Page A2 WILLMAR -- The light suit coat that Alexander Hines wore didn't look very heavy. But pinned to that jacket were small squares of paper with words like "taco," "spic," and "poor white trash" written on them. The weight of those labels, Hines said, was heavy indeed. As the director of the inclusion and diversity office at Winona State University, Hines is trying to build "cultural competence" on college campuses. During a presentation Thursday at Ridgwater's Willmar campus as part of the multi-cultural activities, Hines said derogatory labels and jokes are extremely "hurtful"
WILLMAR -- When looking at the statistics, there's both good news and bad news when it comes to child abuse in Kandiyohi County. In 2007, the county's family services department fielded 204 reports of possible child maltreatment. That's up from 179 in 2006 and 169 in 2005. On the other hand, 40 child protection cases were opened for active investigation, down from 45 cases in 2006 and 62 in 2005. The higher number of maltreatment reports could mean there's an "increased concern that children are safe in our community," said Kathy Nelson, Kandiyohi County Family Services supervisor.
ATWATER -- The debate over whether Atwater should spend money to renovate a 104-year old historic building, start from scratch and build a new structure or do nothing at all was debated Wednesday by the City Council. "I love the idea," said Councilman Scott Bjornson of the proposal to renovate the Hotel Atwater for a city hall and library. Preliminary estimates show the renovation could be done for about $215,000. "I don't think it's a viable plan," countered Mayor Bruce Baker, who is in favor of building a new structure for the city hall, library and police department.
WILLMAR -- It has cost at least $51,000 over the last five years to defend Kandiyohi County in litigation involving gravel pits. Last month the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners questioned the cost of the lawsuit and numerous appeals, including a trip to the Minnesota Supreme Court. County Administrator Larry Kleindl said it has cost at least $51,000 to defend Kandiyohi County so far.
WILLMAR -- Nobody likes to be called a loser. But the Minnesota Department of Transportation's District 8 headquarters has 40 losers on staff, and they're proud of it.
ATWATER -- Plans to build a new city hall in Atwater are being set aside while the Atwater City Council explores the possibility of renovating the historic Hotel Atwater for a new home instead. A public meeting is set for 7 p.m. April 15 at the Community Center to hear what option residents would prefer. The alternative option is being considered because the owner of the Hotel Atwater is now offering the building to the city for $1. The council has been researching ways to get a new municipal building for a number of years and had looked several times at the Hotel Atwater in the past.
ATWATER -- The Atwater Police Department has lost one its most beloved members. Max, a 10-year old German Shepherd who worked alongside Police Chief Reed Schmidt for more than eight years in the K-9 unit, died unexpectedly last week. It's believed Max suffered a stroke, possibly the result of internal injuries he received Nov. 14, 2006, during a criminal assault that also injured Schmidt. "It's a hard loss for me," Schmidt said. "He was more than just a K-9, he was my partner and my buddy.
GROVE CITY -- A two-year contract with the teachers has been approved in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District, bringing an end to negotiations that began in August. The ACGC School Board unanimously approved the contract Monday. During voting that took place Thursday, Friday and Monday, certified teaching staff ratified the 2007-09 master agreement on a 54-9 vote, which exceeded the two-thirds majority needed. The contract includes a 0.8 percent salary increase the first year and a 1.2 percent salary increase the second year, which is slightly higher than a contract that was reject
WILLMAR -- Bids to build a bus shelter in downtown Willmar were approved Tuesday by the Kandiyohi Area Transit Operations Board. At a total cost of $112,206, the low bid was $15,000 lower than last year when the project was put on hold to deal with problems in obtaining a deed for the property. The delay may have been a blessing. The lowest bidder this year, Gopher State Contractors of Rice, had a base bid of $80,181. Last year the base bid from the lowest bidder was $92,000. Because of the price break, alternates were added to the bid that will provide an LED display sign on all four sid