A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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As any fan of the PBS series, "This Old House," knows, renovating an old building has its challenges. Toss historic preservation rules into the mix and the challenges increase exponentially. Owners of the MinnWest Technology Campus have been knee-deep in renovations since they purchased the former Willmar Regional Treatment Center two years ago.
WILLMAR -- Gary Danielson, Kandiyohi County public works director, has been named the 2007 County Engineer of the year. Danielson received the award Tuesday from the Minnesota County Engineers Association, which held its 63rd annual convention this week. Danielson began his career in civil engineering in 1971, when he worked for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, where he spent 10½ years. He worked as the assistant engineer for the city of Willmar before accepting the job of Kandiyohi County Engineer in 1982.
WILLMAR -- Stop signs framed with flashing lights will be installed at an intersection on North Business Highway 71, where numerous ac-cidents have happened. It's hoped the attention-getting signs will warn drivers attempting to cross the four-lane highway to "look again" before driving across lanes of traffic moving at least 55 mph. The short-term response to the problematic intersection will be implemented at the same time that a feasibility study will take place to explore long-term solutions. Options for more permanent solutions include a roundabout, a diamond interchange or installing
WILLMAR -- An elderly couple were injured Thursday morning when their vehicle collided with a 19-passenger Kandiyohi Area Transit bus at an intersection near the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services building. The accident happened at 10:31 a.m.
WILLMAR -- To hear Tom Justin talk, the best thing that ever happened to him as an officer with the St. Cloud Police Department was the day he received a new 800-megahertz radio. That ra-dio was special be-cause it was part of the new Allied Ra-dio Matrix for Emergency Re-sponse system, which allows emergency, law enforcement and public works personnel to communicate with each other over a common radio network. "I'm passionate about the system. I believe it'll save lives," said Justin during an informational meeting Wednesday in Willmar.
WILLMAR -- A wrecked bus and tight state financing is putting a pinch on the Kandiyohi Area Transit system's vehicle fleet. While not a "crisis" situation at this point, Transit Director John Groothuis told the KAT operations board on Tuesday he's concerned about KAT's ability to operate if state funding for a replacement bus is not forthcoming. In September, a KAT bus was totaled in an accident in Willmar.
WILLMAR -- The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce would like to see a 7½-cent gas tax increase approved during the 2008 legislative session. The 52-member board of directors voted Thursday to support a transportation policy statement that includes a 7½-cent gas tax increase, with 2½ cents dedicated to finance debt service on trunk highway bonds. The statement also supports increasing license tab fees to generate additional revenue for transportation and transit projects. Russ Bennett, president of the public policy committee for the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, was one of those direct
ATWATER -- Plans for a new multi-purpose municipal building will be revised to create additional room for the library. Librarian Lynda Behm told the Atwater City Council Wednesday that the drawings for the proposed building don't allow for enough space for the library. The council is considering building a new facility to house the city offices, police department and library. The design has 1,200 square feet designated for the library.
WILLMAR -- Two state senators who toured central Minnesota on Thursday said they want to bring the issue of illegal immigration into an open forum to discuss and resolve such problems as identify theft and fraud. During a briefing in Willmar, Sens.
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Commissioners are considering charging a fee of up to $500 to license and conduct background checks on the county's 103 adult corporate foster care facilities and three child corporate foster care facilities. The services are currently provided by county em-ployees at no charge to the facilities.