Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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LITCHFIELD — Trial dates of July 11 and 12 were set for Timothy John Anderson, 54, of Paynesville, following a hearing in District Court in Litchfield on Monday. Anderson is charged with two felony counts of a felon in possession of firearm ammunition and felony fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.
UPPER SIOUX COMMUNITY — Minnesota faces a serious workforce shortage as baby boomers retire. "We are in the middle of some really big changes,'' said State Demographer Susan Brower. She spoke Thursday at "Thriving by Design, Rural and Urban Together," a three-day conference at the Prairie's Edge Casino Resort co-hosted by OneMn.org and Growth & Justice.
GRANITE FALLS — Al Capone, Eliot Ness and Andrew Volstead are arguably the most-notable names associated with the era of Prohibition, and the story of one of them is about to be told in the town he called home.
OLIVIA — The Renville County Board of Commissioners awarded a $548,271.72 bid Tuesday to repair County Ditch 66. Acting as the ditch authority, the commissioners awarded the project to Groundwater Management Inc., of Brewster, the lone bidder. The ditch was upgraded and rerouted at a cost of $2.2 million in 1998. The new repairs were ordered after project engineers I+S Group of Mankato documented sloughing throughout the open ditch, washed out culverts, and multiple locations where sediment accumulation and vegetation buildup were impeding flow.
MAYNARD — Plans are taking shape to upgrade the MACCRAY School District's facilities at all three campuses, while also expanding the high school campus with the addition of a middle school and 500-seat auditorium. MACCRAY School Board members are introducing the latest plans and asking for public input during meetings being held this week. The project as now proposed is estimated to cost anywhere from $48.2 million to $56.1 million, depending on whether or not voters approve separate amendments to the plans.
REDWOOD FALLS — A former nursing home worker charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of a 100-year-old woman in his care made his initial court appearance Monday in District Court in Redwood Falls. Francisco Javier Ramirez, 29, of Olivia, is charged in Redwood County with felony counts of second-degree manslaughter and criminal neglect, and gross misdemeanor charges of mistreatment of a resident and criminal neglect in the Sept. 17 death of the woman.
WILLMAR — Residents on Foot and Willmar lakes are joining to improve water quality in the Willmar chain of lakes. Approximately three dozen residents gathered Tuesday evening to begin the process of reviving the Willmar/Foot Lakes Association with water quality as the goal. They met also with representatives from the city of Willmar, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Kandiyohi County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Hawk Creek Watershed Project to identify the issues they want to address.
ELY - "Do they get violent in the water?'' my 12-year-old paddler in the bow asked in response to my whispered instructions from the stern to keep paddling. The consternation in Roman Roed's voice was obvious. We had just spotted the mud-colored antlers and head of a bull moose in the river channel, his body entirely submerged. But now he had spotted us too, and he rose like a submarine from the water. Now my novice wilderness trekker could appreciate the full size of his body.
NEW LONDON — When you no longer have faith that you can move the bog, turn the job over to 10 farmhands. With three motor boats, a pontoon boat, and a chainsaw with a three-foot bar, Kevin Lundberg and his crew of 10 farm workers removed a 20- to 30-foot-wide section of the bog that has plugged the channel or pass linking Norway and Games lakes since last summer.
BENSON — After nearly four years of litigation that included trips to the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court, the dispute between the Glacial Plains Cooperative and Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company returns to the courtroom where it all started Friday.