A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR — A Willmar man who, according to court documents, sped his Jeep toward a police car and refused to leave his vehicle even after the officer pointed a rifle at him is being held in the Kandiyohi County Jail on $20,000 bail. Bret Michael Arndt, 25, is charged with a felony count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and two gross misdemeanor charges of driving while impaired.
LITCHFIELD — A Grove City man was sentenced to more than two years in prison for a violent rampage last year at a Grove City residence where he used an ax to smash vehicles and choked and threatened to kill a man who fled to a nearby cornfield. KC Matthew Cline, 26, of Eden Valley, was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in prison for a felony charge of assault in the second degree with a dangerous weapon. As part of an earlier plea agreement, four other felony charges were dismissed.
WILLMAR — As a pharmacist, mother of six and cheerleader for her "dreamer" husband whose goal was to create a family-oriented business that would help farmers succeed, Kami Anez knew about hard work and overcoming challenges. But that resolve has been put to the test ever since her husband, Jared, died unexpectedly six months ago and Kami stepped into the role of president of Anez Consulting.
WILLMAR — The National Weather Service in Chanhassen has confirmed that a series of five tornadoes swept across west central Minnesota last week, damaging numerous farm sites and small-town businesses and uprooting trees. All of the tornadoes were ranked as EF-1, with winds that ranged from 88 mph to 100 mph. According to the weather service report, the storm started brewing just before midnight on Sept. 19 in Chippewa County where a short-lived tornado with winds of 88 mph traveled about two miles across the south side of Montevideo.
WILLMAR — One day after Deb Mickle testified before a legislative subcommittee that met in Willmar to hear concerns about the state's new vehicle licensing and registration system, she had to post a sign at the Kandiyohi County License Bureau that the state's system was down — again. "It's very frustrating for us and our customers," said Mickel on Tuesday afternoon. "There are people who need their car tabs and we simply can't sell them right now."
WILLMAR — Some guy driving a 2015 Chevy Silverado left the Kandiyohi County vehicle licensing bureau a happy man the other day after he paid just $51 to renew his vehicle tabs. "Anybody here who knows anything about cars — or a 2015 Chevy Silverado — knows that guy got a heck of a deal because they are much more than that," said Deb Mickle, Kandiyohi County licensing supervisor, during a hearing Monday in Willmar before the House Subcommittee on Technology and Responsive Government.
LITCHFIELD — The termination of a former Litchfield police sergeant — who was charged last year with DWI while off-duty — has been upheld. In the binding arbitration decision published Sept. 5, it was determined the Litchfield Police Department was justified in firing Bryant Blackwell, a veteran peace officer who had at one time been a finalist for the job of Litchfield police chief. Blackwell was fired from his job as police sergeant in January as a result of the 2016 DWI arrest.
BELGRADE – A strong storm rolled across west central Minnesota early Wednesday morning, uprooting trees, downing power lines and causing structural damage at farm sites and in the Stearns County town of Belgrade. The National Weather Service said meteorologists are on the scene to determine if the damage was caused by straight line winds or a tornado.
NEW LONDON — A dangerous stretch of U.S. Highway 71 north of Willmar, where fatalities have happened at high-traffic intersections in recent years, will be improved with a $6 million project scheduled to begin next spring. Questions about the approximately nine-mile project zone were answered Thursday by Minnesota Department of Transportation officials during an open house. "When it's done, it's a 20-year life pavement," said Alan Setrum, engineering specialist with MnDOT's District 8 office in Willmar. "So it should be a nice roadway when it's done."
WILLMAR — Despite being moved indoors because of the threat of inclement weather, a good crowd attended the 20th annual Celebrate Art! Celebrate Coffee! festival Saturday in Willmar. Visual artists from around the region had their artwork for sale while free music and hands-on arts and crafts activities were offered to people of all ages. Sponsored by the Willmar Area Arts Council, the event featured artwork of nearly 20 artists, including painters, potters, wood carvers, doll makers, photographers and jewelers.