A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR -- After touring the Kandiyohi County rescue squad building on Tuesday, the Kandiyohi County Commissioners drew the quick conclusion that a new building is needed. It's just a matter of when and where. The building, which had been an old bus barn before it was transformed into a training center for the volunteer rescue squad and a storage facility for rescue vehicles, is cold, drafty and expensive to heat. It has an outdated electrical system, moldy insulation hanging from the ceiling, a leaky roof and a wet floor.
WILLMAR -- A tax on gravel that's mined in Kandiyohi County will get a two-year trial run to see if the revenue that's generated is worth the administrative hassle. The new aggregate material removal tax will be imposed on Jan. 1. It will expire in two years unless the board decides at that time to continue it. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners approved the tax Tuesday on a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Richard Falk cast the lone no vote.
WILLMAR -- A new state law requires pre-adoptive parents -- even stepparents who want to adopt a spouse's child -- to be fingerprinted and undergo a national FBI background check. The legislation, which was approved this spring, also applies to individuals who are seeking a license to be foster parents. The law went into effect July 1 to help the state meet the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which was approved in 2006 as a way to protect children from sexual predators. Adam Walsh was kidnapped and killed in 1981.
PAYNESVILLE -- Money to purchase land for a bypass around Paynesville could be one of 60 projects that will be delayed if the Minnesota Department of Transportation is not allowed to spend an extra $195 million for the I-35W bridge replacement project. MnDOT officials said this week that if a state legislative transportation panel doesn't authorize the additional spending, $137 million worth of road and bridge projects set for 2008 will be delayed for a year. The list includes $2.95 million to purchase land along a 7.38-mile corridor around Paynesville for the state Highway 23 bypass. Brad
BELGRADE -- Owners of flex-fuel vehicles now have even greater flexibility in the type of ethanol fuels they can use. The Cenex Convenience Store in Belgrade is offering customers four different varieties of ethanol blends at the pumps, ranging from E20 to E85. The new pumps were turned on for the first time Friday. The Belgrade store is the first station in central Minnesota to use "blender pumps," and one of two gas stations in Minnesota to use them. The other is located at a Cenex station in Ortonville, which began pumping ethanol blends Oct. 4.
NEW LONDON - A chilly northwest wind was blowing Tuesday as Tim and Julie Rittenhouse medicated and fed some of the 2,000 honeybee colonies they maintain at 65 different locations in Kandiyohi, Stearns and Meeker counties. The cold snap kept the bees inside the hives, which made it easier for the Hawick couple to do their work. But with the spread of the varroa mite creeping into hives and killing entire colonies, there was a harsh edge to their fall work with the bees.
On any given day in Kandiyohi County there are boys and girls who need clothes to wear, a bed to sleep in, books to read and toys to play with.
The following is a resource list of some of the community nonprofit organizations that accept donated items. These organizations put good, usable items that might otherwise end up in the landfill into the hands of people who can use them. Some organizations have established sites where people can drop off goods at any time. Others ask that people call in advance to verify there is a need for their donation and arrange a time and place for drop-off.
WILLMAR - Kandiyohi County is operating one of the state's few municipal solid waste landfills. Considered low on the state's hierarchy of waste management, the number of landfills has been decreasing in Minnesota since 1994, when there were 133 in operation.
The visual conflict of seeing good, usable household items and construction material piling up in a heap at the Kandiyohi County Landfill while there are people in the community going without those things is hard to reconcile. Some people may believe that because they have no use for a certain item anymore, it's junk and of no use to others. Some people aren't adept at making repairs and they throw away and buy new, instead of fixing items.