Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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GRANITE FALLS — It's hard to know exactly how widespread opiate abuse is in rural Minnesota, but they are part of a large mix of mood-altering chemicals available. "The real danger is in the mixture,'' said Mike Schiks, executive director of Project Turnabout in Granite Falls. The chemical dependency center is treating a growing number of rural residents who have been mixing a variety of drugs; opiates, methamphetamine and alcohol among them.
MONTEVIDEO — Montevideo's Police Department was among the first in Greater Minnesota to make Narcan kits designed to save the lives of opiate overdose victims standard equipment in its squad cars. It's also now among the first in rural Minnesota to record a "life saved" thanks to the kit and accompanying training to use it.
NEW LONDON - Success in the waterfowl blind starts months before the season opens. Just ask Mike Benjamin. He makes a practice of watching and especially, listening to waterfowl as...
GRANITE FALLS—The Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners is looking for community input as the fate of the former Clarkfield school buildings is decided. The commissioners agreed at their meeting Tuesday to appoint a joint task force with the city of Clarkfield and its Economic Development Agency to determine what to do. Some of the buildings appear to be salvageable, but the commissioners believe the majority of the elementary and junior and high school classroom areas will need to be razed.
ST. PAUL—Kirsten Tjosaas, 38, will serve a 78-month sentence in the federal prison system for embezzling over $5.7 million over eight years from her former employer, Fagen Inc. of Granite Falls. U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank sentenced Tjosaas on Tuesday to the maximum sentence as recommended by federal guidelines for her convictions on federal wire fraud and money laundering charges.
MINNEAPOLIS—The Montevideo School District has agreed to pay $50,000 and reclassify the position of a female employee after a federal employment investigation. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced the agreement Thursday.
FAIRFAX -- The golf course at Fort Ridgely State Park remains intact with its closing for the season Sept. 6. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has agreed to routine...
MILAN - Gusty winds bore down the length of Lac qui Parle Lake, chasing up waves like a whitewater run on a wild river. They were no match for an...
WILLMAR - Willmar areas residents remembered one of the country's most tragic of anniversaries by honoring those who put their lives at risk daily in their own community. An estimated 500 people joined at Robbins Island park on Sunday evening for what was billed as "Honor the Badge Day'' to honor law enforcement officers and their families on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. "Humbled,'' said Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt to the crowd. "We appreciate your support in these difficult and trying times.''
WILLMAR—Transportation funding needs will continue to grow as the state attempts to expand public transit services in rural areas and maintain its existing roads, bridges and other infrastructure. The funding gap for state transportation needs is projected to be in the range of $18 billion over the next 20 years, and that's based on a strategy focused on preservation and not expansion, according to information from Mark Nelson, planning director of the transportation system management office with the Minnesota Department of Transportation's central office.