Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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OLIVIA — The Renville County Board of Commissioners will be watching the Legislature to see whether counties will be reimbursed for enforcing the state's new buffer law before the county agrees to take on that responsibility.
MONTEVIDEO — A Chippewa County jury has awarded a total of $10,199,000 in a civil lawsuit brought by a 42-year-old woman who alleged that her father had sexually abused her when she was a child.
NEW LONDON — A New London-Spicer School District teacher credited with inspiring students with her passion for the natural world has been recognized as teacher of the year by the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The Kandiyohi County Soil and Water Conservation District nominated Laura Molenaar for the award she received at the organization's annual conference Dec. 5 in Bloomington.
GRANITE FALLS — Minnesota's Middle School Educator of the Year is a native of Granite Falls. Janet Jans, a 1981 graduate of the Granite Falls High School, was recognized as the Middle Level Educator of the Year by her peers in the the Minnesota Middle School Association. She is only the second teacher in the arts discipline to receive this award. It was presented at the association's convention in Minneapolis earlier this month.
MONTEVIDEO – Unresolved negotiations to continue the services of a longtime surgeon at the Chippewa County-Montevideo Hospital have stirred up anxieties, a challenge to how the public facility is managed, and public disclosure of a $2.4 million settlement with a surgeon formerly with the facility. The publicly owned hospital and chief surgeon Dr. Eleazar Briones have been in negotiations since June over a contract that expires at year’s end.
OLIVIA – Renville County is taking a cautious approach toward implementing the state’s new buffer requirements. At its meeting Tuesday, the Renville County Board of Commissioners instructed the Soil and Water Conservation District to go ahead with plans to send letters notifying landowners with property impacted by the requirement to add 50-foot buffers along public waterways. Landowners must be in compliance with the requirement by Nov, 1, 2017.
MARSHALL — Growing income disparity has created an "opportunity gap'' that is putting the American dream out of reach for many of today's young people, including those who call southwest Minnesota their home. "A social and cultural shift is occurring throughout our region,'' said Robert Thurston, chairman of the Southwest Initiative Foundation board of directors. "It's no longer out of sight, out of mind.''
MADISON — Lac qui Parle County has overhauled how employee work hours in the Sheriff's Office are managed after bringing in an outside investigator to identify weaknesses in the system. Attorney and investigator Michelle Soldo in a report received recently by the West Central Tribune and delivered to a personnel subcommittee of the County Board of Commissioners in April identified seven areas where she recommended action. The issues varied.
CLARA CITY — Winter can come hard to the Minnesota prairie, but never so early that cover crops cannot be used to improve and protect the soil. "We do have the potential here,'' said Holly Hatlewick, district manager with the Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District. "It is not just something that grows further south. We have that potential to have that living root on the landscape.''
CLARA CITY — The Symbionese Liberation Army was bombing squad cars. The Hell's Angels were targeting law officers who interfered with their grip on the drug trade. Not the best of times to be an undercover narcotics officer with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office in Oakland, California, but it's where and when Ralph Bradley devoted over 13 years of his career in law enforcement. He was ambushed, shot at, and attacked by trained dogs.