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 -- When it comes to juveniles committing crimes, what goes around comes around. The same can be true when it comes to justice that's handed out by a circle of community members who are volunteers in a restorative justice program. Teresa Menk of Canby said she's thankful for what came around to her teenaged son. For 18 months the youth participated in the Yellow Medicine County circle-sentencing group, meeting twice a month with volunteers who kept him on the right track to turn his life around. Meeting with the group and being held to its high standards was the boy's sentence for a
WILLMAR -- Dave Dorsey is a retired Ridgewater College instructor who has spent two nights of every month for the last five years sitting in a circle in Willmar watching kids slowly change. "It's a slow process. It's not a quick fix," said Dorsey, who is a volunteer member of the Kandiyohi County community circle-sentencing group that emphasizes restoring justice between juvenile offenders and their victims and community. Dorsey said the time he spends in the circle is "not a burden.
WILLMAR -- A bill in the Minnesota Legislature that's designed to curtail government's use of eminent domain for private economic development could have unexpected consequences for city and county governments. Kandiyohi County Attorney Boyd Beccue told the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that a provision in the proposed bill could drastically increase the cost of right of way that local units of government pay for public projects, like roads. The bill was introduced to prevent private land from being taken and given to another private individual or entity for economic deve
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County has one of the highest teen birth rates in Minnesota. The latest data for 2002-04 puts Kandiyohi County in third place among the state's 87 counties -- tied with Beltrami and Nobles counties -- for births to young women in the 15- to 19-year-old age group. "I wish I had good news," said Mary Holstad, county social worker. "But I don't have good news." The county ranks fourth for the pregnancy rate -- which includes fetal deaths or abortions in addition to live births -- for that age group, also tied with Beltrami County.
REDWOOD FALLS -- A 26-year-old Sacred Heart man was charged in Redwood County District Court Monday in the Sunday shooting of a man in rural Belview. Ivan Morales was charged with one felony count of first-degree assault, one felony count of second-degree assault and one count of reckless discharge of a firearm. Nathan Lee Kramer, 21, of Mankato was shot in his left ankle early Sunday morning after an argument with Morales at a party in rural Belview, according to the criminal complaint filed in Redwood County District Court. Kramer was brought to the Redwood Area Hospital and was later tre
WILLMAR -- Delegates at the 7th District Republican Convention Saturday in Willmar heard from a string of candidates who will be seeking Republican endorsement at the state convention in June, including Mark Kennedy, John Uldrich and Harold Shudlick, who are all vying for the Mark Dayton's seat in the U.S. Senate. Kennedy was the obvious favorite among the 7th district delegates and office holders, like Sen.
WILLMAR -- Fifty resolutions were addressed by delegates during the Republican 7th District convention Saturday in Willmar. Most resolutions were passed quickly, unanimously and with little or no debate. A resolution on praying "in Jesus' name" did get a fair amount of debate, with some delegates objecting to the lack of inclusiveness. The resolution said "We advocate freedom, including praying in Jesus' name, be allowed and unrestricted by local, state, and national government. All U.S.
WILLMAR -- From "Roseau to Redwood Falls" illegal immigration is the top issue on voters minds throughout the 35 counties of Minnesota's 7th Congressional District, according to Michael Barrett. The Long Prairie pharmacist was endorsed Saturday as the Republican congressional candidate on a unanimous ballot at the 7th District Republican Congressional Convention in Willmar.
WILLMAR - Long Prairie pharmacist Michael Barrett was endorsed on a unanimous ballot Saturday at Minnesota's 7th District Republican Congressional Convention in Willmar. Barrett, the only Republican seeking the seat, will challenge long-time DFL incumbent Collin Peterson of Detroit Lakes in the November election, who was endorsed last weekend. Illegal immigration was cited by Barrett as the top issue on voters mind in the 35 counties of the 7th District. "Everyday in America should be a day without illegal immigrants," Barrett said. Peterson "cares more about illegal immigrants" than he
LITCHFIELD -- An early-morning explosion that was heard nearly four miles away ripped apart a Litchfield home Friday, leaving two people homeless. The cause of the incident is still under investigation, but a fire marshal said it "mimicked" an explosion caused by liquid propane. Larry and Barbara Ann McMains were asleep when their home was torn apart in a loud blast around 4 a.m., according to the Meeker County Sheriff's Department. The couple was able to escape without injury. The home, located at 60219 245th Street in Litchfield, is a total loss. The McMains flagged down a deputy who wa