A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR, Minn. — When he looks at the herd of 100 Angus cows and their frisky spring calves grazing in a pasture of belly-high grass, Cullen Fischer still can't believe his lifelong dream of raising cattle is coming true. "It's kind of a pinch-me thing," said the 31-year-old from Lake Lillian about his good fortune of taking over ownership of the well-established cow-calf operation from a retired farmer he met just a few years ago — a man who will continue to be his mentor.
WILLMAR, Minn. — A growing market for industrial hemp as food, fiber and nutraceuticals is gaining ground in west central Minnesota and could find a place in Kandiyohi County. There's at least one field of hemp planted this year in Chippewa County and a food-grade processing facility is being established in Olivia—about 25 miles south of Willmar. Yes. It is legal. And, no, industrial hemp is not intoxicating.
WILLMAR, Minn. — A plane reportedly owned by a Spicer businessman crashed in a residential neighborhood in Florida Tuesday night, Dec. 27, killing both people on board. According to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office in Florida, the 2009 single-engine Epic LT plane crashed in heavy fog just before 6 p.m. in a front yard in the Spruce Creek Fly-In community of Port Orange, Fla. The plane narrowly missed two houses. No one on the ground was injured but two people in the plane were killed.
WILLMAR, Minn. — The driver of a runaway horse-drawn wagon that was carrying passengers as part of a local Christmas light celebration Saturday, Dec. 10, is in critical condition after the wagon crashed in yard. Some of the 15 passengers in the wagon were also transported by ambulance to Rice Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Most were treated and released, according to a news release from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office.
WILLMAR, Minn. -- The snow that hit the state last week led to a deadly weekend on snow-covered, icy Minnesota roads and numerous crashes on city streets and county roads. The Minnesota State Patrol reported Sunday that five people died in crashes over the weekend, including a South Dakota man who was killed Saturday afternoon in a one-vehicle accident on the edge of Willmar. Terry Wiederich, 49, of Gary, S.D., was driving a 2005 Ford F350 pickup north on the Highway 71/23 Bypass at around 3:15 p.m.
WILLMAR, Minn. — Chad Lee Monson, owner of Monson Excavating of Willmar, is awaiting extradition to North Dakota on charges that he stole a payloader. The Class A felony theft charge was filed Dec. 5 in Divide County, in the far northwestern corner of North Dakota. Under North Dakota law, the maximum penalty for a Class A felony is 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. According to the complaint from Divide County, Monson is accused of going to a gravel pit in rural Divide County on Nov.