Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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OLIVIA — Renville County is seeking special legislation to make the county recorder position an appointed, rather than elected, position. State Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, has authored legislation that would authorize the Renville County Board of Commissioners to appoint the recorder. It is believed that 38 counties in the state currently have the authority to appoint the recorder position, according to discussion Tuesday at the Renville County Board meeting in Olivia.
OLIVIA — After finding lackluster interest, the Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District increased the amount of cost-share funds it would offer per acre to assist with installing buffers along public ditches. It also took to the airwaves to promote the new cost-share rates. "We were just swamped last week with applicants,'' Holly Hatlewick, Renville County SWCD manager, told the Renville County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.
ST. PAUL — A federal indictment charges a former bookkeeper of the Farm Mercantile hardware store in Fairfax with embezzling approximately $535,000. A grand jury returned an indictment Tuesday charging Theresa Ernestine Linsmeier, 58, with wire fraud and filing false tax returns. The charges allege that she transferred money to her personal credit cards directly from the accounts of the company and an unidentified individual from 2011 through 2016. She used the money to gamble online.
CLARA CITY — MACCRAY School Board members will likely be starting a new search for a superintendent. Board members decided not to offer a contract to two finalists from an initial list of 11 candidates. Board members on Monday interviewed finalists Dennis Goodwin, superintendent, Camp Verde, Arizona, and Lynnelle Dirksen, principal, Moorhead. Following the interviews, board members decided they would not offer a contract to either candidate, according to Chairman Lane Schwitters.
WILLMAR - Schools throughout the area have cancelled classes as a winter storm moves into the area this morning. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Kandiyohi and neighboring counties as a wintry mix of sleet and rain coats roads. The precipitation will be turning into snow around 10 a.m. The Weather Service is forecasting accumulations of 5 to 7 inches, with ice accumulations of a light glaze.
MONTEVIDEO - Koreen Drexler Thompson isn't looking to change the world. She wants only to provide children with an education that can help them become the thoughtful, committed citizens who can. She opened the Wildwood Montessori School in Montevideo just over two years ago. It serves preschool-age children from four families. She is currently fundraising to expand it to include more and older children. "It's very purposeful,'' said Drexler Thompson of the Montessori education model. "Every material has a specific purpose.''
OLIVIA — Twenty years after a $2.2 million project to upgrade and reroute Renville County Ditch 66, an estimated $704,000 worth of new repairs are needed to it. The Renville County Board of Commissioners, acting as the ditch authority, approved a motion for ISG of Mankato to prepare bid specifications for the repairs. The action followed a public hearing Tuesday at which landowners in the drainage area between Bird Island and Olivia voiced their support for a repair project, rather than a less costly cleaning project.
OLIVIA — Fifty cents buys you a cup of coffee and a seat at the roundtable in Olivia Drug, where the issues of the day have been the source of steady banter since the early 1990s. "I think Washington could learn a few things if they came here and listened. They could solve a few problems,'' said Gary Lohmeyer, who along with his wife, Jane, have made this all possible in Olivia.
WILLMAR — Authorities have seized a second cache of explosive devices, machine guns, sawed-off shotguns and other weapons they allege belong to former businessman Chad Lee Monson, 47, of Willmar. Handcuffed and shackled and wearing Kandiyohi County Jail clothing, Monson appeared Monday in Willmar before District Judge Stephanie Beckman to face 16 new charges, 15 of them felonies, for the arsenal authorities seized Feb. 21 from a large shed on property he used for his excavating business.
WILLMAR — For those who think that walleye are the star of the show when the Willmar Lakes Area hosts the 2018 Governor's Fishing Opener, try again. It's really an opportunity to showcase all of the attractions the area offers, and let people know why this is a great place to visit or call home.