A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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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.
NEW LONDON — The 35th annual Prairie Pothole Day drew kids, dogs and hunters to the Stoney Ridge Farm near New London last weekend. The one-day event is used as a vehicle to raise money to improve waterfowl habitat and educate people about the importance of wetlands. "It was a great day and the people there had a really good time," said LeRoy Dahlke, president of Prairie Pothole. Activities included dog jumping and retrieving, a 3-D archery trail, a sporting clay course, black-powder shooting and educational displays about the environment and wildlife.
GROVE CITY — A long list of overdue maintenance projects in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District will be funded with a $1.5 million bond. The school board agreed last month to use a relatively new tool that allows school districts to issue bonds for long-term facilities maintenance revenue without going to the voters for approval.
WILLMAR — About a dozen tow trucks from the area lined North Business 71 in Willmar on Tuesday afternoon to remind motorists to slow down and move over when they see emergency vehicles on the side of the road. Jason Butler, owner of City Line Towing of Willmar, said tow truck drivers are "on the side of the road every day" and putting their lives in danger.
PENNOCK — Ever since he was 12 years old, Ron Dilley's life has been tied to the waters of West Norway Lake and the people who have stayed at his family's third-generation resort. He's just finished his 50th year at Dilley's Resort, which he now owns and operates. "I'm proud to say it's been in the family all these years," Dilley said. Like all Minnesota lake resorts, much has changed at Dilley's over the years.
WILLMAR — Given the go-ahead by building inspectors and the insurance company to repair the lightning- and fire-damaged James House, the director now hopes there's enough money to make it happen. Nate Juhl, executive director of the Christian-based addiction rehabilitation program for men, said he got the "green light" on Sunday that the integrity of the building was good enough to remodel. A lightning strike last month started the roof on fire and forced the displacement of eight men living there.
BROOTEN – A Glenwood teen was injured early Sunday morning near Brooten after falling off the bumper of a vehicle that was hauling a goose blind. According to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department, four boys were attempting to transport a portable goose blind on the roof of a 2000 GMC Yukon on County Road 27, about two miles northeast of Brooten.
WILLMAR – The swimming beach at Robbins Island Park in Willmar is closed until further notice because of high fecal counts. According to a press release from the Willmar Public Works Department, employees are conducting tests and maintenance of the water and beach area. Once the water is safe to re-enter, the city will send out another public notification.
GROVE CITY — As the new superintendent of the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District, Nels Onstad said there isn't much to change here. Praising the district's strong financial standing, academic achievements and position as a "well-respected district," Onstad said his job is "not necessarily to change things at ACGC but to continue to grow the positive success stories at ACGC." Onstad began his new job as superintendent July 1, following the retirement of longtime Superintendent Sherri Broderius.
FAIRFAX – A Renville County man was killed Friday after being trapped under a riding lawn mower. The victim was identified as Dennis M. Blumhoefer, 67, of rural Fairfax. According to the Renville County Sheriff’s Office, Blumhoefer was cutting grass near a road ditch on a farm site about three miles north of Fairfax. At some point he became trapped underneath the mower and wasn’t able to free himself.