Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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OLIVIA - Rising waters following the recent, heavy rains have led Renville County to close its parks along the Minnesota River. The county announced Friday that it is closing all of the parks in the river corridor, including Anderson Lake, Beaver Falls, Birch Coulee, Mack Lake, Skalbekken and Vicksburg. Lake Allie County Park remains open.
WILLMAR - Residents in west central Minnesota are mopping up wet basements after a low pressure system dumped heavy rains on the area Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning. The heaviest rains fell during the night hours. The system’s bullseye for the rain was an area extending north and south from Willmar to Redwood Falls and east and west from Granite Falls to Morton along the Minnesota River Valley.
MONTEVIDEO - Ten years in the trying, proponents of building a veterans' nursing home in Montevideo remain committed for another attempt to gain state funding support. Marv Garbe, who has led the effort, and members of the veterans' home committee in Montevideo told the Chippewa County board of commissioners on Tuesday that they will return to the state capitol next year to again propose a dual project with Bemidji.
CLARA CITY — The MACCRAY School District is in the hunt for a new superintendent. Superintendent Brian Koslofsky has accepted the executive director position at the Wright Technical Center in Buffalo. He begins his new role Aug. 28. MACCRAY School Board members accepted Koslofsky's resignation at a special meeting Aug. 10. They were to begin discussing how to search for a new superintendent at their meeting Monday night.
HANLEY FALLS — Irrigation can make economic sense for many corn farmers in Minnesota, but it is not known if a more costly investment in subsurface irrigation can produce the yields to justify the extra cost. Brian Velde aims to find out, thanks to an Innovation Grant from the Minnesota Corn Growers and the help of a University of Minnesota researcher.
GRANITE FALLS — Most of the counties in southwestern Minnesota have seen decades of population decline, leaving employers in a fix today. Since 2010, the job vacancy rate in the region has soared 200 percent. Renville County leads the state in agricultural production, and yet it ranks second from the bottom of the state's 87 counties in terms of its overall population health. To address challenges like this, where does one look for help?
MONTEVIDEO — A 20-year-old Montevideo man was arraigned Wednesday in Chippewa County District Court in Montevideo on felony charges of assault in the second degree — dangerous weapon; terroristic threats; and receiving stolen property, a firearm. Paul Jeffrey Anderson also faces misdemeanor charges for possession of marijuana and underage possession of marijuana. The court set unconditional bail at $50,000, but allowed Anderson to be released on his personal recognizance provided he abide by conditions including no use of alcohol or other drugs.
MILAN — Live music and the movies are coming to the outdoors in Milan. PlaceBase Productions, Greater Milan Initiative, Milan Teen Center and Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership present "Music & Movies in Milan!" in Burns Park in Milan from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday. This free, family friendly event will include an ice cream social, lawn games, photo booth, community sing-along, jam session, live music and an outdoor screening of "Back to the Future!" Everyone is welcome. Rain location will be the the old school at 408 Fourth Street in Milan.
MADISON — A field day for those interested in raising a perennial grain crop known as Kernza will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 10 at the A-Frame Farm owned and operated by Carmen Fernholz near Madison. The field day is an opportunity for growers, processors and others interested in learning more about this new and exciting grain. The University of Minnesota Forever Green Initiative has been engaged in research and development on the intermediate wheatgrass for several years in partnership with The Land Institute in Kansas, where the grain was first developed.
MADISON — Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak needed only a garage to develop Apple computers and change the world forever. Carmen Fernholz is hoping a two-acre parcel of his Lac qui Parle County farmland will be what it takes to launch a change in Minnesota's agricultural landscape for a long time to come as well. At the request of a researcher he's known at the University of Minnesota, Fernholz planted the acres in 2011 with an intermediate wheatgrass grain trademarked as Kernza.