A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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In 1906, when Theodore Roosevelt was president and San Francisco was reeling from a devastating earthquake, members of the Crow River Lutheran Church of rural Belgrade made the decision to commission the construction of a grand pipe organ. The church's Aurora Young Peoples Society and the Ladies Aid agreed to raise the necessary $1,465. A year later, when business failures triggered the nationwide economic panic of 1907 and what was known as "Indian Territory" became the state of Oklahoma, the organ was installed.
WILLMAR -- It cost Kandiyohi County $1.2 million to install independent heating and hot-water services to seven county-owned buildings on the Willmar Regional Treatment Center campus. The county will receive reimbursement from the state for a majority of the cost. The new infrastructure was necessary after most of the campus, and the power plant that provided heat and hot water to all the campus buildings, was sold to MinnWest Technology, a private company that's developing a technology campus. Kandiyohi County bought seven buildings and leases five of those to the state for human services
WILLMAR -- A mother and father with two young children may seem like the perfect family. But add poverty, drug addiction, homelessness, no running water and emotionally and physically abused parents to the mix, and the results are more than troubling. But with the help of Kandiyohi County social workers and supporting community programs, families like the one described can be helped. "We're asking for a whole life change for this family," said Julie Nelson, a county social worker. During a report presented Tuesday to the Kandiyohi County Commissioners, Nelson and other case workers talked
NEW LONDON -- The tire collection Saturday at the Kandiyohi County Landfill will be anything but free for Kandiyohi County. The number of tires generated during the free, one-day collection far exceeded expectations -- and so will the final bill, which could be around $100,000. Nevertheless, the collection was called a success. "It met the goal of removing tires from people's property. We're excited about it being successful," said County Administrator Larry Kleindl. The event was held during Earth Week.
WILLMAR -- With an extra nickel a pound as an incentive, people flooded the Kandiyohi County Recycling Center last week to cash in their aluminum cans. The special Earth Week event generated 32,031 pounds of aluminum, or about 1 million cans. It was the most aluminum ever redeemed during a single week at the center, said Terry Rice, recycling operations manager for West Central Industries. "I don't know where they all come from." At least one person brought in more than 400 pounds of cans. "We had a great, great week.
WILLMAR - It's amazing how many sounds there are when it's quiet. Under a cool, gray sky Wednesday outside the Willmar Civic Center, sounds of grief, honor and respect rolled across the grounds as family, friends, military personnel, political leaders and community members arrived and departed the funeral of Army Sgt. Joshua Schmit. The 26-year-old Willmar High School graduate was killed by a roadside bomb April 14 in Iraq, just 10 days before his tour was to have ended. As birds began their early morning songs, Trudie Guptill and T.C.
WILLMAR -- During the month of May, Willmar senior citizens can get a free ride to go eat lunch at the Senior Citizens Center. The Kandiyohi Area Transit operations board agreed Tuesday to offer the rides for one month to encourage seniors to use the new bus route. KAT started the special senior dining route April 16, but so far it's generated no riders. It's hoped that seniors who take advantage of the free transportation will make it a habit.
WILLMAR - More than two hours before a hearse carried the body of Sgt. Joshua Schmit down 19th Avenue Monday afternoon, Kent Boyd was standing on the boulevard, holding his new flag and looking solemnly down the street. The Willmar man joined hundreds of veterans, current military personnel, people on lunch break, toddlers, school children and American Legion Auxiliary members who came to pay their respects to Schmit.
WILLMAR -- If new roads are to be built and existing roads are to be repaired in Kandiyohi County, then Minnesota needs to increase its gas tax. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners is officially on record supporting a gas tax increase, as well as other options, like indexing the gas tax and implementing a wheelage tax, for increasing revenue for the county road and bridge fund. The commissioners unanimously approved a resolution last week calling for the Minnesota Legislature to approve a comprehensive road and transit funding package this year. Kandiyohi County Board Chairman Harla
WILLMAR -- Gravel that's mined in Kandiyohi County could be taxed by the beginning of 2008. The estimated $100,000 in new revenue would be used to maintain county, township and city roads that are used by gravel trucks. Members of the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners said they all agree it's time to consider a gravel tax, which would be paid by the haulers or pit operators, but gave no guarantee it would receive final approval. "I know we will be taking that topic up shortly," said Commissioner Dennis Peterson, adding that Kandiyohi County is one of the few counties in the region tha