Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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St. PAUL - The hopes of local officials that the Highway 23 “gap” between New London and Paynesville and other, area transportation projects in the region would be awarded Corridor of Commerce funds were left unmet. The Minnesota Department of Transportation awarded a total of $417 million to four projects as part of the 2018 Corridors of Commerce program on Tuesday. None of the hoped-for local projects made the cut.
GRANITE FALLS — Paula Kerger has led the Public Broadcasting Service for the past 12 years as its president and chief executive officer amidst much turmoil in the media world. Under Kerger's leadership, PBS has grown from 12th-most-viewed network in the country to the sixth. PBS also continues to lead in the marks its audience gives it for trustworthiness.
GRANITE FALLS — After three years of behind-the-scenes drama that sometimes rivaled what it broadcast on the air, Pioneer Public Television is launching an entirely new sequel.
WILLMAR — Not being the kind of guy who is willing to throw up his hands and say 'there's nothing we can do' about aquatic invasive species, Mark Johnson went back to school. He attended a one-day workshop and completed a self-paced, online course to become an AIS Detector as offered by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center and the University of Minnesota Extension.
MONTEVIDEO — An estimated 110 workers in Montevideo will be seeking new jobs as SL-Montevideo Technology begins a six-month, staged layoff and wind-down process at its 22,000-square-foot facility on the north side of the community. Originally a home-grown company, it has been a part of Montevideo for 50 years. Some of its employees have 20 plus years of experience.
OLIVIA — Renville County is calling for bids to repair County Ditch 66, which was upgraded and rerouted at a cost of $2.2 million in 1998. Acting as the drainage authority, the Renville County Board of Commissioners approved calling for bids following a hearing held Tuesday morning. The commissioners agreed to call for bids that will include two options, one of which is aimed at reducing the estimated $704,000 cost for the project.
OLIVIA — Juvenile offenders will typically get charged, pay a fine, and do it all over again, while virtually nothing is done about problems at home or issues behind the bad behaviors that escalate with time. "By the time we can actually step in to do something significant, we've lost two or three interventions already,'' Laurence Stratton, assistant county attorney, told the Renville County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.
CHICAGO, IL — Minnesota Artist Ashley Hanson was selected by the Obama Foundation to join the inaugural 2018 Fellows class. Selected from more than 20,000 applicants from 191 countries, Hanson will join a two-year, non-residential program that brings together 20 leaders representing 11 countries around the world who are creating transformational change on many of the world's most pressing problems.
ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton voiced skepticism Wednesday about a Republican proposal to tap U.S. Bank Stadium reserve funds to build veterans nursing homes in Montevideo, Bemidji and Preston. The governor referred to the legislation to tap those funds as another example of "legislative meddling in the operations of the executive branch'' when asked by reporters Wednesday for his views on the development.
WILLMAR — The Minnesota Supreme Court has disbarred longtime Willmar attorney George Hulstrand Jr. According to an order released Wednesday, the court determined that disbarment was the appropriate discipline for a series of professional misconduct charges. Hulstrand's misconduct was not an isolated, single incident, the court stated in an opinion accompanying the order. "Rather, he violated 18 different ethics rules in 13 separate client matters over the span of four years.''