Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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OLIVIA — Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative faced more environmental challenges in the last year than in the two previous, despite on-going investments to improve its water treatment systems. “The good, bad and the ugly, all in one year” is how Louis Knieper, manager of environmental affairs for the cooperative, summed up the past year in a report to the Renville County board of commissioners on Tuesday.
MONTEVIDEO — No sooner had Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill legalizing medical marijuana in Minnesota than Jeremy Pauling was lining up support to build the first facility to produce it in Montevideo. “I was brought up not to sit on my hands,’’ said Pauling. There’s another reason for his urgency. His seven year-old-daughter Katelyn suffers chronic seizures due to Batten Disease. It’s an inherited and fatal neurological disease. Doctors have given her a life expectancy of possibly 10 to 12 years.
WILLMAR — U.S. Navy Motor Machinist Mate 1st Class John E. Anderson of Willmar fought in the battles of North Africa, Sicily and Italy before giving his life for country at age 24 in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy. Seventy years later, a community and family will remember his sacrifice and that of all those from the area who had served in World War II. The public is welcome to join the memorial service on the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion at 7 p.m.
PENNOCK — One soldier in Afghanistan believes it saved his life. He wore two of the wool caps on a very cold day. He’s convinced the thickness of the caps lifted his helmet just enough. The sniper’s bullet was deflected. Other thank you notes come without dramatic stories like this, but speak directly to their purpose.
SPICER — “Get on, grab a life vest and we’ll see what happens here,’’ said Roger Benson. One-by-one, another group of fourth-graders from Willmar Public Schools boarded a Let’s Go Fishing pontoon on Wednesday and found out what happens here. “I got one,’’ became the mantra for the morning, as the students hoisted sunfish from the sun-splashed waters. The Willmar chapter of Let’s Go Fishing launched its 2014 season in a big way on Tuesday and Wednesday, hosting 350 fourth-graders from the Roosevelt and Kennedy Elementary Schools on Green Lake in Spicer.
GRANITE FALLS — A path is starting to take shape towards building a new facility to replace and raze the 1889 courthouse and a 1970’s addition to it in Yellow Medicine County. The county board of commissioners selected the Contegrity Group Inc. of Little Falls to serve as general contractor for a project. In their action on Tuesday, the commissioners approved a not-to-exceed bid of $320,000 by the firm. They had also considered a $360,800 bid by Fagens Inc.
GRANITE FALLS — Veterans struggling with a return to civilian life could get the housing and training they need for a new career on the campus of a Minnesota West Community and Technical College. That is a proposal the Veteran’s Service officer for Yellow Medicine County is pursuing for the Granite Falls campus of the Minnesota West Community and Technical College. Combining transitional housing with a jobs-focused training program could provide some veterans the type of support they most need, Veterans Service Officer Michelle Gatz told the Yellow Medicine County board of commissioners on T
WOOD LAKE — As the final battle of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 raged about them, soldiers with Minnesota’s 3rd Regiment just returned from fighting the Confederates stood ready in a trench to protect the camp Colonel Henry Sibley had made on the open prairie. Recently, a portion of that defensive trench re-appeared on the prairie. Dr.
RENVILLE — We all know that spring has been slow to arrive, but nobody knows better than the earth science students at Renville County West.
NEW LONDON — Now the work can begin in earnest to develop a five-mile extension of the Glacial Lakes Trail connecting New London and Sibley State Park. The bonding bill recently signed by Gov. Mark Dayton includes a $1,299,000 appropriation to make the trail extension possible. The funding represents a major hurdle in the project, but there remains lots of work ahead, according to Jeremy Losinski, Spicer area supervisor in the Parks and Trails Division of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Losinski said it’s too early to estimate when the trail will be built.