A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR -- Preliminary plans by the Willmar Poultry Company to put five residential lots on a peninsula on Long Lake were approved Monday by the Kandiyohi County Planning Commission. The preliminary plat for Pleasant Cove was approved on a 4-1 vote, with one abstention and one member absent. Besides lots for five homes, the preliminary plat includes construction of an 18-foot wide private road on the narrowest strip of the peninsula. Half-dozen residents spoke out against the plan saying the project would harm wetlands and an already "fragile" lake. They questioned if the land was buildabl
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board meetings will be televised on the local cable access channel starting in April. On a unanimous vote Tuesday the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners agreed to broadcast the meetings on a trial basis, with a review of the venture to take place at the end of the year.
WILLMAR -- The state Department of Human Services may be asked to help find a location, and possibly a provider, to operate a 16-bed psychiatric hospital in Willmar. The 18-county southwest Minnesota mental health consortium is expected to discuss the issue Friday in Olivia. As part of the plan to move the state's mental health programs out of regional treatment centers, small inpatient mental health hospitals are planned to open in nine Minnesota communities, including Willmar. Rice Memorial Hospital had been asked to operate the program in an existing building on the Willmar Regional Trea
WILLMAR -- Whether or not to televise the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners meetings on the local cable channel will be discussed Tuesday by the board members. The decision will be made on the merits of broadcasting the meetings and not on the cost of the venture, said County Administrator Wayne Thompson. It was initially thought the camera equipment in the board room would have to be replaced, at an estimated cost of $25,000.
GROVE CITY -- As part of the district's plan to get out of statutory operating debt, the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School Board at its meeting Monday placed six tenured teachers on unrequested leave of absence. Only one of the six teachers will lose their job in the district next year. The others will have their hours cut or be placed in other positions in the district. The cuts are part of a required plan to get out of statutory operating debt.
ATWATER -- New homes have been found for the Atwater library and senior dining program. In action Wednesday, the Atwater City Council agreed to rent space for the library in half of the old Tom Thumb store on U.S. Highway 12. The city will pay $600 a month for rent and pay utilities.
WILLMAR -- Jeffrey D. McMahan has been hired as the new human resources director for Kandiyohi County. He will begin the job March 20. McMahan, who has 10 years of experience in public and private human resources venues, is currently working for a six-county community mental health agency in Michigan. He has been hired to replace Marilyn Johnson, who is retiring next month. The county received 40 applications for the job and seven individuals were interviewed. The interviews were conducted by a small committee made up of department heads and two county commissioners.
In other action the board: - Directed the highway engineer to gather data for future discussion on implementing a tax on gravel mined within the county. - Accepted a completed environmental assessment worksheet for a proposed gravel pit in Lake Andrew Township.
WILLMAR -- The final plat for a six-lot residential development in Kandiyohi Township was approved Tuesday on a 3-2 vote by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. Opponents to the project, including some neighboring landowners, said they'll decide by March 9 whether to appeal the board's decision to the District Court. If the plat for Swan Lake Estates had been denied by the County Board, the developers would have likely appealed that decision, according to the county commissioners who voted for the plat.
WILLMAR -- A defective ballistic vest that failed to protect a California police officer in 2003 has resulted in new body armor for most of the Willmar police officers. The new vests arrived this week. The vests sell for about $700 each but the shipment of 22 vests didn't cost the city a penny. The city's supplier for the body armor vests, American Body Armor, provided the vests for free as part of an exchange program to replace potentially defective vests with ones that are safer.