A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 5 years 11 months
LITCHFIELD — Jonathan Michael Christianson, 30, who is listed as homeless but had recently lived in Litchfield, was sentenced Monday to five years in prison after pleading guilty to a felony charge of a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition. As part of a plea agreement, four other drug- and domestic assault-related charges were dismissed. Judge Stephanie Beckman sentenced Christianson to 60 months in prison. He was given credit for 29 days served.
NEW LONDON — The inaugural theater performance Thursday night in the New London-Spicer School District's Performing Arts Center concluded with a standing ovation for the cast and crew of "The Wizard of Oz" — and news that a new arts endowment fund was being launched to help student arts programming well into the future. The fund is getting a big boost with a gift of up to $100,000 from the Pierce Family Foundation. Depending on the community response between now and May, the NLS Community Endowment for the Arts could have a perpetual fund of $200,000.
WILLMAR — A 45-year-old woman who was arrested Monday in New London for allegedly possessing more than 66 grams of methamphetamine made a first court appearance Wednesday in Kandiyohi County District Court. Jennifer Rebecca Wendt, of Willmar, is being held in the Kandiyohi County Jail on $175,000 unconditional bail and $75,000 conditional bail. Wendt was arrested following a search warrant executed Monday night at a home in the 300 block of Fourth Avenue Southeast in New London by the CEE-VI Drug and Gang Task Force.
WILLMAR — In an effort to diversify their farming operation, the Hultgren family planted 40 acres of organic industrial hemp this year on their land in northern Kandiyohi County. After making adjustments on the combine to prevent the rope-like stems from wrapping around the equipment, the hemp seeds were harvested and cleaned in September. "I thought it went OK," said Noah Hultgren, who farms with his brother, Nate, and parents Duane and Nancy Hultgren.
WILLMAR – In a packed Kandiyohi County courtroom Thursday morning, two suspects were arraigned in connection with the homicide of David Medellin Jr., 24, of Willmar. Caleb Aaron Blue, 35, of Willmar, was charged with one count of second degree murder – with intent– not premeditated. He is being held in the Kandiyohi County Jail on $2 million unconditional bail and $1 million conditional bail.
WILLMAR — With another win under under his belt and the House of Representatives flipping to Democratic control, DFL Congressman Collin Peterson is set to take over as chairman of the Ag Committee next year. The key leadership job puts Peterson in the position to shape ag policy that could affect Minnesota's farm economy. Peterson, 74, of Detroit Lakes, defeated GOP challenger Dave Hughes, 43, Karlstad, by a nearly 12,000-vote margin in the conservative-leaning district that encompasses western Minnesota.
WILLMAR – Early election results in for the race in Minnesota’s Seventh District had DFL Congressman Collin Peterson running neck-and-neck with Republican challenger Dave Hughes.
NEW LONDON — Ten candidates, including one incumbent, were on the ballot for the New London-Spicer School Board. The top vote-getters were Nancy Wehseler, Mark Peterson, Gary Danielson and Cherrish Holland, who was the only incumbent. The decision by three incumbents not to run for re-election, and the upcoming retirement of Superintendent Paul Carlson, were factors in the high number of candidates running for the board. The other candidates who ran included Del Brouwer, Josue Gamez, Larry Nelson, Kristina Reuss, Walton Smith III and Jeff Vetsch.
WILLMAR — A Willmar man pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge of manslaughter in the second degree for selling fentanyl that led to the death of a Blomkest man. Richard Michael Carl Houske, 30, had originally been charged with murder in the third degree in connection with the drug overdose death last year of John Schlegel, a 24-year-old U.S. Army veteran. The case had been scheduled for a jury trial next week in Kandiyohi County District Court.
WILLMAR — Second-degree murder charges are pending against two individuals who were arrested late Monday afternoon in the homicide death of David Medellin Jr. The body of the 24-year-old Willmar man was found Wednesday in a plowed field near Willmar and on Friday law enforcement said Medellin's death was being investigated as a homicide.