A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR -- A public process was set in motion Tuesday to review the potential environmental effects of two gravel pits near Eagle Lake. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an amendment to an environmental assessment worksheet the county originally approved in 2003. That decision is the first step in a process that will include a new public comment period on the worksheet.
WILLMAR -- A nonprofit agency that provides training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities is purchasing the Home State Bank building in Kandiyohi. The purchase will allow the Kandi Works Developmental Achievement Center to consolidate administrative offices, expand retail sale of products and provide additional room for programs for older clients. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to lend the organization $260,000 to purchase the building, which has been vacant since Jan. 10 when the bank moved its operation to Willmar.
WILLMAR -- A report shows two proposed gravel pits near Eagle Lake would not have cumulative potential effects to the environment. The report, prepared by Willmar engineering company Bolton and Menk Inc., will be presented at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday to the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. The study on the gravel pits was conducted as a result of a Supreme Court decision in 2006.
WILLMAR -- Human services directors from Yellow Medicine and Lac qui Parle counties say they were surprised to learn their counties are on a list of 15 counties in the state that were identified as "struggling" to provide services. Information citing problems with the state's system for delivering human services, such as health care for children and income assistance for vulnerable adults, was included in a legislative auditor's report that was issued Monday. While the report does not name the 15 counties, the information is public and was released to news media.
WILLMAR -- A narrow, privately owned road leading to Swan Lake in Kandiyohi Township will become a public road on Sept. 1. The decision, which was negotiated between neighboring landowners with differing interests, ends a two-year battle over ownership of the road.
WILLMAR -- Recycling wasn't always a part of Cyril Hiltner's daily routine. In the past he put plastic bottles, newspaper and glass in the garbage. But when the Belgrade man started to save and sell aluminum cans, he decided he might as well recycle the other stuff as well. "It's better than throwing it on a dump pile or burying it," said Hiltner, who was unloading his recycling Thursday at the Kandiyohi County Recycling Center. If containers can be reused, it's "stupid" to put them in the garbage, said Hiltner.
By Carolyn Lange firstname.lastname@example.org With an infectious laugh that can either fill the room or stop short and be replaced with a quiet, somber voice, Denise Rode tells stories about her struggles with mental illness and her journey through the community's mental health care facilities. She had been a healthy, active, straight-A student in high school. When she was 23 years old, she was hospitalized at the Willmar Regional Treatment Center -- diagnosed with schizophrenia. She was catatonic. "I felt like I was trapped.
In the last 26 years, Denise Rode figures she has been a client at the Willmar Regional Treatment Center's adult mental health unit at least 15 times. A fair number of those stays lasted for about a year. A "second home" is how Rode, 49, describes the treatment center. "I know that place like the back of my hand." Rode, who has bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, was hospitalized at the treatment center for the first time in 1980, when she was 23 years old. "That state hospital helped me out tremendously," Rode said.
PENNOCK -- For the first time in more than two years, people in Pennock were able to make a pit stop in town on Wednesday to fill up with gas or grab a bag of chips. The city-owned and privately leased and operated convenience store, called the Pit Stop, opened at 6 a.m. Wednesday. Mayor Kevin Crowley was the second customer of the day, buying a cup of coffee around 6:30 a.m. The opening of a gas station and convenience store in the small town, located four miles west of Willmar on U.S. Highway 12, may seem ho-hum.
GROVE CITY -- A new superintendent will be taking over the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove School District July 1. The ACGC School Board voted unanimously Monday to replace current Superintendent Pamela Kyllingstad, possibly with a part-time interim superintendent, at the beginning of the new school year. The board may even consider sharing a superintendent with another district. Because Kyllingstad's three-year contract extends through June 30, 2009, the board agreed to reassign her as principal for the district's elementary schools in Atwater and Cosmos for the last two years of her contract.