A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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SWIFT FALLS -- Carol Skarsten said she was "oblivious" to pending danger Tuesday afternoon while watching TV news about a storm warning for Swift County. But then her husband, Sanford, came tearing in the house and told her to run to the basement. A screaming tornado appeared to be just a couple hundred yards behind the barn, said Sanford Skarsten on Wednesday morning while standing in the debris that was strewn through the family's rural Swift Falls yard. The couple barely made it to the cellar of their 100-year-old house before the swirling winds hit. "The intensity of that thing," said
SWIFT FALLS -- A park was heavily damaged Tuesday in a tornado that plowed through the southern part of Swift County. As many as 200 trees may have been snapped off or uprooted at the county park, located in Swift Falls.
BENSON -- The first reports of a tornado being sighted in Swift County were made at 4:16 p.m. Tuesday when spotters saw a funnel cloud north of Benson that was heading east. The tornado traveled about 7 to 10 miles and was on the ground for about 10 minutes, Bill McGeary, Swift County emergency management director, said. "It was moving at a pretty darn good clip," he said. Two large turkey barns located in Camp Lake Township and owned by Jennie-O Turkey Store were totally destroyed, said McGeary.
SPICER -- Volunteers are being asked to pitch in with clean-up of the Green Lake Diamond at 3 p.m. today in Spicer. The ball park was damaged yesterday in a tornado that ripped through the south part of town. The storm damaged fences, a small press box, the batting cages at the diamond.
SPICER - Local officials said this morning that the storm that hit Spicer yesterday was a tornado. Kandiyohi County Emergency Management Deputy Director Kim Lindahl said spotters confirmed the presence of a tornado at 4:42 p.m. that started west of County Road 9 in the Twin Lakes area. "It was a confirmed tornado," said Lindahl. It was on the ground for about 16 minutes and traveled about eight miles, she said. It's not known strength the tornado was rated at.
Kandiyohi County has received a two-year grant to implement an initiative to improve the health of residents here.
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WOOD LAKE - An 82-year-old Yellow Medicine County man was injured Sunday when a tractor tipped over on him as he was raking hay south of Wood Lake. Roger Rebers, of rural Cottonwood, was raking hay in a road ditch when he hit a culvert that caused the tractor to roll over. Rebers was pinned under the tractor. Emergency crews rescued Rebers from underneath the tractor and he was taken by ambulance to the Granite Falls Hospital. The accident happened at about 6:30 p.m.
SAUK CENTRE -- A Grey Eagle woman was killed Friday afternoon in a two-vehicle accident near Sauk Centre that involved a Belgrade woman. Linda Arnzen, 54, was a passenger in a 2000 Ford Super Duty pickup that was struck at 2:38 p.m. at the intersection of Stearns County Road 24 and Highway 28. The truck, driven by Joseph Arnzen, 53, of Grey Eagle, was going east on Highway 28 when it was struck broadside by a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Sharon Brunner, 48, of Belgrade.
SAUK CENTRE -- A Belgrade woman was seriously injured in a two-vehicle crash Friday near Sauk Centre. According to the State Patrol, Sharon Brunner, 48, of Belgrade, was heading south on Stearns County Road 24 near Sauk Centre at 2:38 p.m. when the 2005 Chevrolet Silverado she was driving broadsided a 2000 Ford Super Duty pickup driven by Joseph Arnzen, 53, of Grey Eagle. Arnzen was heading east on Highway 28. Both Brunner and Arnzen were seriously injured, but no further details were available. A female passenger in Arnzen's vehicle was killed.