A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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NEW LONDON — Objections from several parents about the content of a book assigned to eighth-grade English students in the New London-Spicer School District could result in the removal of the book from the school's curriculum. Others who praised the book hope to keep it in the classroom. The decision to review the book will be up to the district's advisory committee, but at the very least, the school district will try to better inform parents when their children may be exposed to sensitive material.
WILLMAR—Two men who played key roles at two separate area golf courses made their initial court appearances Wednesday in unrelated cases alleging they stole from their employers. A former assistant golf pro at Willmar's Eagle Creek Golf Course is accused of swindling nearly $90,000 from the business during a seven-month period in 2015. Phillip Andrew Sam, 31, of Coon Rapids, made his first appearance Wednesday before Judge Jennifer Fischer in Kandiyohi County District Court in Willmar on one felony charge of theft by swindle.
DANVERS — A semi hauling liquid fertilizer was struck by a train last night in Danvers. The driver of semi had non-life-threatening injuries and there was minimal spillage of the fertilizer, according to a press release from Swift County Sheriff John Holtz. The accident was reported at 10:15 p.m. when semi, driven by Jonathan Peterson, 31, of Milan, was crossing a train track on 80th Avenue Southwest and failed to yield to the train.
MONTEVIDEO — The former owner of the Montevideo Insurance Center is facing four felony charges of insurance fraud for allegedly accepting insurance premiums from clients but not applying those payments to the policies. Jeremy Lee Olson, 45, of Boyd, is also charged with one count of aggravated forgery and one count of issuance of a dishonored check, which are both felonies. The charges were filed April 27 in Chippewa County District Court. Olson is expected to make his first court appearance May 15.
GRANITE FALLS — A Granite Falls woman was killed early Wednesday morning in a one-vehicle accident in Yellow Medicine County. The name of the woman 48-year-old woman was not released. According to the State Patrol, the accident happened around 12:35 a.m. on state Highway 67 in Minnesota Falls Township when a southbound 2002 Dodge Caravan ran off the road struck an embankment and tree. Road conditions were dry at the time and the driver was not wearing a seatbelt, according to the State Patrol.
NEW LONDON — Three dangerous intersections on state Highway 23 near New London will be studied this summer and recommendations for improvements will be made by this fall. Public input is crucial to the development of those plans, said Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt, public affairs coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Transportation District 8 office in Willmar. An open house will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Peace Lutheran Church, 100 Fourth Ave. S.W., New London, to ask questions about the safety assessment and provide personal input about the intersections.
NEW LONDON — A wing of the GlenOaks long-term care campus in New London will be transformed into a specialized memory care unit. The secure facility will provide suites for 11 residents with various types of dementia and other types of memory issues. Construction — which includes removing a few walls and adding some doors to an existing wing — is expected to begin in early June and will be completed in time for a July 1 opening, said James Ingersoll, administrator and CEO of Grace Living Community of GlenOaks.
WILLMAR — With 4,500 miles of track and a long history that stretches back 150 years, Minnesota is a state that's rich in railroads. It's currently ranked eighth in the state in the number of rail miles. While impressive, it's about half of what it used to be during the glory years prior to World War II, said John Apitz, a lobbyist with the Minnesota Regional Railroads Association, who was in Willmar on Friday to talk about the industry's safety record and impact on the economy. The event was sponsored by the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.
RAYMOND — A home in rural Raymond was destroyed in a fire Wednesday. No one was home at the time of the blaze and there were no injuries. The fire was reported at 3:27 p.m. Wednesday at 14809 45th Ave. S.W., about four miles north of Raymond. The residence, which was a mobile home on a farm site, was "totally engulfed" in fire by the time crews arrived with "flames coming out the windows," said Raymond Fire Chief Kraig Kienitz. The name of the homeowner was not known.
WILLMAR — Scott Aaron Schoenberg, 25, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Wednesday to an amended felony charge of terroristic threats in connection with a case last fall when he ran his ex-girlfriend off the road. Four other charges were dismissed. According to a criminal complaint, Schoenberg's former girlfriend was in the process of moving from her current residence to a new residence with help from friends. She and others were just about to leave Sept. 6 in a Jeep when Schoenberg drove by and then called her using threatening language.