A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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HAWICK — Folks living near Hawick were never pleased that a privately owned commercial demolition landfill has been operating near town for the last decade. But many are now livid that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is considering a permit that would allow new owners to haul an expanded variety of waste there: construction, demolition and industrial waste. About 80 people attended an informational meeting Wednesday night at the Roseville Township town hall to listen to — and question — MPCA officials about the plan.
SPICER — Turning a frozen lake into glistening ice castle that serves as the centerpiece to a royal winter jubilee takes skill, experience, a ton of volunteers and a touch of magic. It's a routine that happens every year in Spicer as the community comes together for Winterfest, a two-week-long series of events that can be seen as either a celebration of winter or a nose-thumbing to winter.
SPICER — Finding a way to enjoy Minnesota winters when there's little-to-no snow — or what snow does exist is a hard, ice-encrusted slippery mess — can be challenging for people who like to cross-country ski or snowshoe. And when your mission is to teach people — especially children — about nature and outdoor activities, Minnesota's recent wimpy winters can be frustrating.
WILLMAR — Last month 5,000 blue and green lights were lit on the "Tree of Hope" at the Jennie-O Turkey Store headquarters in Willmar with the promise the lights would stay on until Jayme Closs was found. Now those lights are shining in celebration that Jayme has been found alive. Three months ago, the 13-year-old girl went missing on the day her parents, James and Denise Closs — who both worked for Jennie-O in Barron, Wisconsin for 25 years — were murdered.
APPLETON – A Wisconsin man escaped injury after his plane crashed Wednesday afternoon while attempting to land at the Appleton Municipal Airport. According to Police Chief Sedrick Borsgard, the pilot, who was only identified as a 42-year-old man from Clear Lake, Wisconsin, was attempting to land a 1973 Cessna Skyhawk around noon Wednesday when the plane slid off the icy runway. The plane attempted to take off again, but was unable to regain speed.
WILLMAR – A Willmar woman was injured Thursday morning when she was struck by a pickup while walking across a street. The incident was reported at 6:46 a.m. in the area of Ninth Street and Litchfield Avenue Southwest. The pedestrian was identified as Tracie Leopold, 46, of Willmar.
NEW LONDON — In a well-churched state like Minnesota it's no surprise that singing in a choir is a celebrated activity. Combine that with the state's growing hometown breweries and it only makes sense, sort of, that "beer choir" has become a thing to do. Its local popularity was evidenced by the large crowd last week at the monthly beer choir session at the Goat Ridge Brewery in New London. When the group held its first beer choir last December, there were about 40 singers in attendance.
WILLMAR — Adam Froehlich is on the edge of his seat in his mom's car, nose pressed against the window on the right before he quickly leans over to the window on the left to get a look at all the colorful, dancing lights in the Celebrate the Light of the World display at Robbins Island. His excitement for seeing the reindeers light up with synchronized music and the red, green, blue and yellow lights twirl around numerous trees is palpable.
WILLMAR — Industrial hemp, which will become legal now that the new federal farm bill has been signed, is the new buzzword in agricultural and processing sectors and a local group is looking for ways to capture that market in west central Minnesota. "I think it'll be moving pretty fast," said Dan Tepfer, chairman of the Ag and Renewable Energy Committee that is part of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission.
WILLMAR — It was the fall of 2014 and Jill Zimmer and her young son, Jordan, were sleeping in a van in the 10-hour parking lot in downtown Willmar. On the coldest night the temperature was a bone-chilling 4-degrees above zero. Wearing snow pants and coats inside their sleeping bags, Zimmer said she'd wake up when it got cold and let the vehicle run for about 20 minutes to warm up the interior so they could sleep a little more.