A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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Sitting around a table with friends in the back of the Northern Grounds Coffee House in downtown Willmar, Nathan Walker waited for his turn at the microphone. An experienced performer with Carpenter's Tools International, the dark-haired 21-year-old from Buffalo was eager for a chance to sing his own songs -- with lyrics and music he'd written. Off to one side of the coffeehouse, three 12-year-old girls giggled as they got the cue to begin singing their song. Off to the other side, Charlyn Day settled into a coffeehouse chair with a spiral notebook of the songs she'd written and was prepare
WILLMAR -- Even though there are stories of homes being on the market for months before they're sold, with the selling price below the asking price, the estimated market values and taxable property values of homes in Kandiyohi County are still strong. The healthy market is especially holding true for lakeshore homes, said Kandiyohi County Assessor Tim Falkum. During the annual meeting Monday of the Kandiyohi County Board of Equalization, two residents who have lake homes asked to have their values reduced. The board unanimously denied one request and approved the other on a 3-2 vote. Dean
WILLMAR -- Conditional use permits for three home-based businesses were given preliminary approval Monday by the Kandiyohi County Planning Commission. The family-owned enterprises include an animal trap supply business, an individual who refurbishes antique furniture and a woman who gives piano and voice lessons. Because all three businesses will be located in accessory buildings on their home sites, they are classified as level two home occupation businesses and therefore conditional use permits are required. Permits are not required for level one home occupation businesses, which are typi
WILLMAR -- After 30 years of artfully side-stepping the limelight while holding the most powerful unelected post in Kandiyohi County, Wayne Thompson again eluded fanfare on Tuesday when his letter of resignation was officially accepted by the County Board of Commissioners. Anticipating that the event would draw public attention to him, Thompson wasn't at the meeting when his letter of resignation as county administrator was accepted "with high regard and deep regrets" by the commissioners. Instead, Thompson -- an avid angler -- was fishing in Canada.
LAKE LILLIAN -- The Kandiyohi County Commissioners got wined and dined on Tuesday during a tour of the Olde Country Winery in Lake Lillian. It was actually more dining than wining, but the tour brought to light the value of an agricultural crop that's gaining fever pitch in states like Minnesota and Iowa. Irv and Tina Moen operate the winery in the old Lake Lillian elementary school house. They've planted 1,300 grape plants that will begin producing in the next couple of years.
WILLMAR -- A letter of resignation from longtime Kandiyohi County Administrator Wayne Thompson will be formally accepted Tuesday during the meeting of the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. Thompson's retirement is no surprise. He told the commissioners in 2005 that he intended to retire in 2006. That date was then pushed back to June 30 of this year. Thompson has held the job since 1977. In August of 2006, the commissioners officially hired Larry Kleindl, the county family services director, to take over for Thompson.
NEW LONDON -- The fun has been taken out of the last day of school in the New London-Spicer School District. A drawing of a bomb was discovered Thursday in a bathroom in the high school. Today's date -- June 1 -- was scrawled beside the drawing. "After a thorough investigation, it has been determined that there is not an immediate threat," said Superintendent Paul Carlson, in a letter that was sent home with students on Thursday. As a precaution, school staff members were put on alert and the building was searched. "We'll be doing another search this evening when everyone's out of the bui
WILLMAR -- The veto of the omnibus tax bill this week could be likened to throwing the baby out with the bath water. The question is: who did the throwing? Gov.
WILLMAR -- A 16-bed psychiatric hospital to treat adults with acute mental illness is a good facility for the community, but the Willmar site that's been selected to build it is not, according to a handful of residents who attended an informational meeting Wednesday night. Jay Jorgenson, whose home will be about 80 feet from the one-story hospital, expressed sincere support for the facility and understands the need for it. "It's a great building. It looks nice," Jorgenson said kindly.
WILLMAR -- Road reconstruction projects planned for next year in Kandiyohi County will be delayed because a state transportation funding bill was not approved this year. The lack of new state revenue will put the county in a bind for resurfacing 10- to 15-year-old roads that are feeling the stress of heavy agricultural use and rebuilding narrow, dangerous 50-year-old roads, Public Works Director Gary Danielson said. The lack of funding will also stop construction of bridges in several townships in the county and could mean some deteriorating asphalt roads will be turned back to gravel becaus