Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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From the comfort of coffee shops, his home in Olivia and an office with its own baby grand piano, Don Orth has edited and produced eight books telling the stories of the greater Renville County community. For the ninth, he did much of the work from the bedside of his dying spouse.
WILLMAR — The 55th annual Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count in the Willmar area will be held Saturday, Dec. 17. Those wishing to participate in the annual count should be at Randy Frederickson's classroom (#104) in the Willmar Middle School at 7:30 a.m. on that day. Enter the east of the two doors directly off the south parking lot (next to the tennis courts). Dress appropriately as a part of the day will be spent outdoors.
CLARKFIELD — While politicians talk about bringing American jobs back, this small-town manufacturer has successfully fought to keep them against the odds. Clarkfield Outdoors continues to produce apparel for outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing, but has also redefined itself to survive in an industry that long ago fled to countries with low labor costs. The American Apparel and Footwear Association reported in 2014 that 97 percent of all clothes sold in the United States are imported.
CLARKFIELD — There are lots of ways to measure the changes of the past 100 years, but ask those who have witnessed them and you will learn that what matters most hasn't really changed. The Clarkfield Care Center held a party Wednesday in honor of four centenarians who make their home there, a day that also happened to be the birthdays for two of them: Angie Lee, 110, and Eunice Anderson, 105. Sharing the spotlight as family and friends gathered were Elise Husby, 101, and Grace Larson, 100.
In his search for ghosts, Adrian Lee has ventured into the depths of a Lake Superior freighter on a three-dog night, sloshed through knee-deep water and oil in an abandoned factory and, in another, walked under stalactites of fat from the dogs that were once boiled and made into soap. Yet the most difficult environment he ever investigated, Lee told his audience recently, was the former Morton school building located just a couple of blocks from where he was speaking.
WATSON — Recent rains and high water levels have led the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue to increase flows from Lac qui Parle Dam. The dam is located on the Minnesota River in west central Minnesota near Watson. The region received nearly an inch of rain over the weekend and that, coupled with snow melt, resulted in a significant increase of flows into the reservoir, necessitating the need to increase discharges through the dam, said a news release from the Corps' St. Paul District.
COSMOS — Five years after the death of Robert 'Bob' Verdon, his family remains committed to finding the answers to what happened and who may have killed their loved one. And always, they remain united. "It really sounds surprising, but we never have any discord,'' said Verdon's mother, Betty Colberg of Cosmos. Whatever differences that may exist are put aside when the family joins, be it for the holidays or the Cosmos Space Festival, when the family traditionally holds a summer camp out.
Thefts RAYMOND - A rural Raymond woman discovered Thanksgiving morning that someone had entered her parked vehicle overnight and emptied her wallet of its cash and a variety of credit cards. The victim reported Thursday morning that over $300 in cash, some intended as birthday gifts, had been taken from the vehicle parked at the residence on the 11000 block of 105th Avenue Southwest. Taken also were a social security card, driver's license, and bank and credit cards and discount cards issued by retail stores.
GRANITE FALLS - He’s taken lots of good-natured ribbing about being the first to attempt the proposed whitewater park in Granite Falls, but don’t buy any of it. DuWayne Koenen...
WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County is definitely not the place you want to be in the days before Thanksgiving if you are a turkey. Unless, that is, you are a colorful bird and happen to make your roost on Kornell Erickson's farm a few miles south of Willmar. His 40 turkeys are all heritage birds. They are safe from the fate that awaits other turkeys in the county that raises and processes more of these birds than any other in the nation. "I just really enjoy having 'em around,'' said Erickson, age 78. "I never feel I am alone.''