A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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The 22nd annual Pioneer Christmas celebration was held Saturday at the Forest City Stockade. Warm weather drew a large crowd to the event, which featured horse-drawn wagon rides, tours of the historic buildings, demonstrations of blacksmithing and candle-making, Christmas music, homemade food served outdoors, and visits with Santa Clause.
SPICER — It took Jared Johnson just a few minutes to program the cash registers at Bonnema Hardware in Spicer to reflect the one-half percent local option sales tax that's now collected in the Spicer city limits. After that small adjustment, he said, there have been no problems and no complaints about the added tax, which went into effect Oct. 1.
WILLMAR — Mild weather over the Thanksgiving weekend helped Minnesota farmers finish the 2017 harvest. "It's pretty much wrapped up," said Todd Stanghelle, office manager at Allied Grain in Blomkest. "It's nice to see it end. Everybody's ready for a breather," Stanghelle said. "They're virtually to the point of putting everything away and shining it up for planting next year," said Tom Anderson, director of the Swift County Farm Service Agency.
NEW LONDON — It's about 10 minutes before the big meal is served and volunteers are in the kitchen at the Evangelical Covenant Church in New London, whipping up another batch of mashed potatoes and stirring mixed vegetables. One group of volunteers stands at a long, well-laden table at the front of the fellowship hall, ready to serve up plates of hot food to the guests while another group is in the back assigned to fill up take-out plates.
LITCHFIELD – Four people were injured in a two-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon just east of Litchfield. According to the State Patrol, a 2016 Chevrolet Equinox driven by Mitchell Ray Magnuson, 28, of Litchfield, was going east on U.S. Highway 12 and was attempting to turn left onto Johnson Drive when it collided with a 2003 Ford pickup that was going west on Highway 12.
WILLMAR — Dr. Saad Gharaibeh grew up on his father's large chicken farm in Jordan, the Arab nation that borders Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel and Syria. Those early years of taking care of thousands of chickens helped shape Gharaibeh's career path that led him to Willmar, where he is the first full-time pathologist to staff the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory.
WILLMAR — Although the sun is shining, the temperature is in the teens and it's hard to even look at Chad Koosman's bare hands as he holds a segment of the five miles — yes, five miles — of extension cords that criss-cross his rural Willmar yard. When the cords are plugged in, they will bring power to 600,000 bulbs that will light up the dancing trees, leaping arches, shooting stars, sky-high cross, candy canes and reindeer for the annual six-week-long "Celebrate the Light" Christmas Koosman and his wife, Angie, host.
BENSON — A Pennock man was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in the Swift County Jail for sexually assaulting a young girl over a two-year span of time. Nathan Lee Wersinger, 28, was also placed on 10 years supervised probation and ordered to pay fines and fees of $590.
RAYMOND — After explaining how technology-driven, prescription fertilizer methods make economic and environmental sense because fewer chemicals are applied to farmland, Noah Hultgren invited Matt Dean to climb into the cab of a John Deere combine. Even though there was too much snow to harvest corn and the combine was in a heated shop, Dean got the rundown on how the mammoth machine operates and then followed Hultgren outside to see a grain dryer that was reducing the moisture content of already harvested corn.