A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
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WILLMAR -- With the stipulation that the budget would get another close review in December before final approval, the Kandiyohi County Commissioners certified a $60 million budget and a 6.8 percent levy increase on Tuesday. "This is not my favorite budget," said Commissioner Richard Falk. He agreed to vote for the increase with the understanding that the board would "take a hard look at it again in December." Trimming the numbers down to a 6.8 percent increase was "quite a challenge," said Administrator Larry Kleindl. He told the Commissioners the county needed a 7 percent levy increase bu
The arched brick entrance and granite pillars of the Hotel Atwater casts an historic shadow of the building's former grandeur on Atwater's Atlantic Avenue. Step through the doors, however, and that past grandeur is a little more difficult to imagine.
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 -- A draft budget and levy were pared down Tuesday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners during the second day of a working session.
WILLMAR -- When the economy is tight, people buy less and throw away less, which means less revenue at the county landfill. Jeff Bredberg, director of Kandiyohi County's environmental services, told the County Board of Commissioners this week during a budget meeting that he expects revenues to continue to decrease for municipal solid waste at the landfill. He attributed it directly to the economy. A $200,000-per-year contract with Stevens County is also ending this year. At the same time revenues are decreasing, there will be new expenses at the landfill next year. A new 2½-acre lined cel
GROVE CITY -- Duties have been divvied up to help the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School Board meet new goals for the district. At the meeting Monday, the board reviewed the three major objectives they established earlier this month during a board retreat: student achievement, school communications and financial management. The board assigned school administrators to oversee each area. With the passage this spring of an operating levy, after four failed attempts, Superintendent Roger Rueckert said the "cloud has lifted" from the district and staff can "get back to work" on meeting goals that
WILLMAR -- A line-by-line review of a preliminary 2009 Kandiyohi County budget includes minimal increases, some decreases and quite a few status quos for everything from the sheriff's department to county parks. But even with efforts to keep a conservative budget, the county's levy would increase 9.8 percent next year under the scenario presented Monday to the County Board of Commissioners. The board's response was to cut more. "We need to look at different organizations to cut down on our expenses," said Chairman Richard Larson. "It's a cruel world.
ATWATER -- About five months after his longtime, trusted, laid-back, know-how-to-get-the-job-done K-9 partner, Max, died, Atwater Police Chief Reed Schmidt is getting used to the one-year-old energy of a happy dog that is just so darn excited to go to work he could just spin in circles and lick your face clean. "He gets so excited about doing this," said Schmidt of his new partner, a yellow Labrador retriever named Dakota, who now sits in the back seat of Schmidt's squad car as another member of the small town's police force.
While doing their day jobs, Danny Shonerd and Sean Shonerd wield brooms and brushes to clean the school hallways in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District. During evening and weekend hours, however, the father and son team have been using fine-tipped brushes, brilliant acrylic paints and a hefty dose of imagination to brighten up an otherwise long, drab hallway in one of those school buildings. For the last eight months the Shonerds have been carefully creating a 9- by 40-foot mystical masterpiece on the block wall hallway that leads ACGC North Elementary students to the lunchroom. "
WILLMAR -- Through communication and common goals that put the welfare of children first, Kandiyohi County's Family Services Department has cultivated good relationships with partner agencies that have led to positive outcomes when it comes to out-of-home placements. Providing programs that can prevent children from needing to be placed in foster care or detention facilities is the first step in managing placements, said Jay Kieft, Kandiyohi County Family Services director. During a report Tuesday to the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners, Kieft said intervention programs, like the Chil