Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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MONTEVIDEO — The former administrator of the Luther Haven nursing home in Montevideo faces a charge of felony theft. Tamara Noel Borstad, 46, of Appleton, is accused of using the nursing home's credit card and taking cash from its safe to use for gambling. The nursing home calculates it lost $38,812.58 in money taken and not paid back, including fees and charges, according to a criminal complaint filed Sept. 19 in Chippewa County District Court.
MONTEVIDEO — A monument that four siblings placed on their mother's gravesite, only to have it removed by their father and older brother and replaced by another with a fire and brimstone Biblical passage aimed at them, must be returned.
GRANITE FALLS — A defendant has lost his appeal and will have to serve consecutive prison sentences for assaults against two officers booking him into the Yellow Medicine County Jail. In an opinion issued Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by Lance Martin Odegard, 43. The Yellow Medicine County District Court ordered him to serve consecutive sentences of 36 and 39 months for felony fifth-degree assault convictions, each the maximum possible for a defendant with his criminal record.
NEW LONDON — Improved accessibility is the goal as work gets underway to renovate the Lake Andrew beach area at Sibley State Park, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced late last week. The renovations are in conjunction with the park's 100th birthday. While construction is underway, the swimming area, fishing pier, mooring docks, bathrooms and beach store will all be closed. Work started on Sept. 10 and is expected to be completed by spring 2019, when the park will celebrate its centennial.
BENSON — The driver of a vehicle involved in a one-vehicle rollover on the evening of Sept 15 in Swift County faces gross misdemeanor charges of criminal vehicular operation, driving while impaired, and child neglect or endangerment. Holly Ruth Erickson, 28, of Benson, made her first appearance Sept. 17 in Swift County District Court in Benson. Bail was set at $12,000 unconditional or on her own personal recognizance with conditions including that she abstain from alcohol or drugs.
CLARA CITY — A man who allegedly struck a sheriff's deputy who was attempting to subdue him faces a felony charge of fourth-degree assault. Wayne Thomas Popp, 41, of Clara City, made his first appearance on the charge Sept. 17 in Chippewa County District Court in Montevideo.
WATSON — A century before MapQuest or Google Maps were invented, motorists using one of the country's first coast-to-coast highways followed the "Yellowstone Trail" by watching for chrome yellow markers with an arrow pointing the way to Yellowstone National Park. Two artists are looking to bring those markers back. They started in the small town of Watson, in Chippewa County, with hopes that someday, a new rendition of these markers will return to a route that originally ran from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound.
CLARA CITY – A two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Minnesota Highway 7 and Chippewa County Road 1 sent three to the emergency room at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar for non-life threatening injuries at 9:41 a.m. Thursday.
WILLMAR — A 21-year-old Willmar man made his first appearance Monday for allegedly taking two strangers on a wild, drunken ride and, after they escaped, attempting to run over them and chasing them on foot. Carlos Javier Miranda-Martinez faces five felony charges: two counts of second-degree assault, one count of fourth-degree assault, and two counts of false imprisonment. He also faces misdemeanor charges that include driving while impaired.
OLIVIA — A project to provide broadband service to underserved areas in Renville County is on track for a June 2019 completion. Work should be getting underway this week to install an underground, fiber-optic cable along a leg of the network near Sacred Heart, Ben Ranft, general manager of Renville Sibley Fiber/Hiawatha Broadband Communications, told the Renville County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.