A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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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.
WILLMAR -- Plans are in the works to improve a 3½-mile stretch of Highway 71/23 north of Willmar by eliminating a half-dozen access points and constructing one to three new interchanges. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has completed a draft scoping document that examines alternatives for improving the common section of road that includes U.S. Highway 71 and state Highway 23.
ATWATER -- The Atwater City Council will meet with Gennessee Township supervisors Aug. 1 to discuss a process for the annexation of township property into the city limits. The city hasn't annexed land since the 1970s and none of the current city council members has gone through an annexation procedure. Alan Latham has requested that 16.5 acres of his land on the south edges of Atwater be annexed into the city for a future housing development. "We just want to have a meeting with the township to get a feeling from them ...
For the sons and daughters of Norwegian immigrants who were living in Minnesota a hundred years ago, summertime meant "sommerskole." For several weeks during the summer, the children would meet, usually at a church, to study Norwegian and English languages, math and the geography and history of Norway. They also learned traditional folk arts and got a good dose of religion. The purpose was to "retain the ties to the homeland," said Gary Erickson of Willmar.
WILLMAR -- After an effort to limit future building of a Long Lake development failed on a 2-2 vote, the final plat for Pleasant Cove was approved Tuesday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. The developers, Willmar Poultry Company, have five lots platted on the narrow strip of land, located on Long Lake in Dovre Township.
WILLMAR -- A computerized system that maps out every inch of Kandiyohi County's land is nearing completion and could be available to the public at their computers within the next couple months. County Surveyor Duane Bonnema gave the county commissioners an update Tuesday on his office's progress in putting together the map that will eventually replace the county's 20-by-30-inch, half-section paper maps that cost about $10 a copy for people requesting the data. "We're bringing a new system to the county," said Bonnema.