A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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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.
NEW LONDON—Since Oct. 4, 2010, Rick and Tracy Clark have been on a journey that every parent of every military service member hopes they don't have to take. That's the day their 22-year-old son, Ryane, was killed by enemy fire while serving with Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Knowing that other Gold Star families have also walked in their shoes, the New London couple will lead a three-day, 44-mile walk this weekend on the Glacial Lakes Trail to honor the 109 Minnesota service members killed in action since 9/11.
SPICER, Minn. — Artwork for a new speciality Minnesota license plate honoring law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty was created by Spicer artist Michele Steffen. The new plate will be available soon through state Driver and Vehicle Services offices. Money raised through the additional license plate fees will help support families of Minnesota's fallen officers.
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.