A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR, Minn. – In a packed Kandiyohi County courtroom Thursday morning, Nov. 8, two suspects were arraigned in connection with the death 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 for allegedly causing the death of Medellin sometime between Oct. 25 and Oct. 31.
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.
WILLMAR, Minn. — Two years ago Dave Hughes — a Republican with very little name recognition and less than $20,000 in campaign money — came surprisingly close to defeating longtime U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson in the sprawling 7th Congressional District. This year — with more money and campaign moxie — Hughes said he's even more confident he'll win. He said if President Trump would visit the district to rally for him, he would win by "double digits" over Peterson.
WILLMAR, Minn. — Heavy rain and days of drizzle that blanketed much of western Minnesota earlier this month created muddy fields that kept most farmers inside doing paperwork instead of field work. That changed this week as sun and wind started to dry out fields, allowing farmers to get equipment moving in corn, soybean and sugar beet fields. Compared to the five-year average, harvest of all three crops is behind schedule. With a stretch of good weather ahead, farmers are hustling to make up for lost time.
ST. CLOUD, Minn. – A Paynesville man was sentenced Thursday, Oct. 4, to two consecutive life sentences for intentionally killing his grandparents this spring at their home in Paynesville. Gregory Allen Scheel, 34, will serve at least 60 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. Scheel was convicted of killing Wilbert Scheel, 93, and Gloria Scheel, 80, on March 21 at the home the three shared in Paynesville. Their bodies were found in a vehicle in northern Kandiyohi County.
ST. CLOUD, Minn. — A Paynesville man pleaded guilty Thursday morning, Aug. 2, in Stearns County District Court to killing his grandparents at the home they shared in Paynesville. According to the Stearns County Attorney's office, Gregory Allen Scheel, 34, pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the first degree for intentionally killing 93-year-old Wilbert Scheel and 80-year-old Gloria Scheel on March 21. Scheel was committed to prison following the plea. He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
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.—Efforts were underway Friday morning, July 6, to move a bog on Norway Lake in northern Kandiyohi County. The bog is currently impeding boat traffic through the channel between Games Lake and Norway Lake, north of Willmar. A floating bog estimated to be the size of a football field had first entered the narrow channel between the two popular recreational lakes in 2016. Last month, a crew led by Kevin Lundberg was able to remove a 20- to 30-foot-wide section of the bog to create an opening wide enough to allow passage by some boats.
WILLMAR, Minn. — Federal weapons charges have been filed against a Willmar man who had been set to face a jury trial on similar charges later this month in Kandiyohi County. Chad Monson, 46, made an initial appearance Tuesday afternoon, June 12, in U.S. District Court in St. Paul on 18 federal charges, including possession of machine guns, possession of machine guns with obliterated serial numbers, possession of unregistered destructive devices described as pipe bombs and possession of unregistered silencers.
SPICER, Minn. — A historic Spicer community landmark that operates as a restaurant and bed and breakfast on the southeast shore of Green Lake is closing and is for sale. The change could bring an end to the 123-year ownership of the Spicer Castle by the family of the man who built the structure and helped found the town that bears his name. "This is the last season the Spicer Castle will be open," said Mary Latham, a fourth-generation member of the John M. Spicer family who has owned the classic old lake home since 1895.