A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR, Minn — The weekend blizzard, which caused church, school and community events to be canceled and kept many people hunkered down Saturday and Sunday, April 14 and 15, dropped record-breaking snow in some parts of the state. This was a "historic storm" for the metro area and some communities south of U.S. Highway 12 — like Montevideo that reported as much as 20.5 inches of snow — said Lisa Schmit, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen, Minn.
MONTEVIDEO, Minn. — A Paynesville man charged in the homicides of his grandparents last month in Stearns County was free on bail at the time from a 2017 case after his grandfather cosigned the bail bond. According to court documents, Thomas Bail Bonds Inc. had issued the $75,000 bond on behalf of Gregory Allen Scheel, who was charged in December with burglary, theft and escape from custody charges in Chippewa County. The company indicated that Scheel's grandfather, Wilbert Scheel, was the sole co-signer of the bond that got his grandson out of jail.
NEW LONDON, Minn. — The New London and Spicer communities are rallying around the family of Tim and Heather Shumaker following a car accident this past week that injured the mother and three of her children, including two who were airlifted to a Twin Cities hospital with one still dealing with life-threatening injuries. Eleven-year-old Nate took the brunt of the impact with the semi and suffered internal injuries and brain trauma and late this week was "fighting" and trying to breath and move. "We gave him to God," said the family.
PAYNESVILLE, Minn. — The grandson of a Paynesville couple found dead Thursday in Kandiyohi County has been arrested for second-degree murder in their deaths. Gregory Allen Scheel, 33, of Paynesville, is currently in custody at the Kandiyohi County Jail in Willmar. Initially held Thursday on a probation violation warrant, he was arrested for second-degree murder Friday, according to a news release from the Stearns County Sheriff's Office and the Paynesville Police Department. He had been living with his grandparents.
WILLMAR, Minn. – An elderly couple that went missing Wednesday was found dead Thursday in their vehicle in Kandiyohi County.
NEW LONDON, Minn.—There's more than just beer brewing at the Goat Ridge Brewing Co. in New London, Minn. After 2½ years in business — and following an expansion last year — Goat Ridge is adding another 1,600 square feet onto the business. The addition will create space for an expanded taproom, a bigger brewhouse and a bigger dance floor for their frequent live music shows, as well as space for a farm-to-table restaurant. "It's a nice fit," said Josh Reed, who owns Goat Ridge with his wife, Christa Otteson.
GRANITE FALLS, Minn. — A former baseball coach was sentenced to 60 days in the Yellow Medicine County Jail after pleading guilty to a 2013 sexual assault of a girl he was coaching at the time. Jose Rodriquez, 22, of Hanley Falls, was also placed on 10 years of supervised probation and ordered to pay fines and fees of $575. The court granted a stay of adjudication, under which no conviction will appear on his criminal record if he successfully completes the terms of his sentence.
SPICER, Minn. — Wearing ice-covered boots and wiping away icicles from beards and noses, a crew of about 40 people were busy Wednesday, Jan. 3, harvesting massive ice blocks from Green Lake near Spicer. Prized for the crystal-clear ice that reflects a blue hue as the sun filters through the bitter cold air, the 573-pound blocks of Green Lake ice will be the jewels used to build a 70-foot-tall ice castle in St. Paul for the Winter Carnival.
BENSON, Minn. — Lack of proper communication by a staff member at a Benson residential facility that provides therapeutic programs for girls — including those who have been sexually exploited — may have contributed to the criminal sexual assault of a 15-year-old program participant who ran away and was found in Iowa three days later. In an amended investigation memorandum issued last week, the Department of Human Services said an unidentified staff member at Heartland Girls Ranch was responsible for "serious" maltreatment of the victim.
RAYMOND, Minn. — After explaining how technology-driven, prescription fertilizer methods make economic and environmental sense because fewer chemicals are applied to farmland, Noah Hultgren invited Matt Dean to climb into the cab of a John Deere combine. Even though there was too much snow to harvest corn and the combine was in a heated shop, Dean got the rundown on how the mammoth machine operates and then followed Hultgren outside to see a grain dryer that was reducing the moisture content of already harvested corn.