Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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WILLMAR -- Willmar began burning coal in 1895 to produce electricity. More than a century later, one certainty exists: The price of coal will continue to climb. At some point in the not too distant future the cost of producing electricity from coal is projected to rise above the cost for producing it from wind, according to Jon Folkedahl, engineering consultant for the Willmar Municipal Utilities wind project. Willmar's wind towers are living up to expectations, Folkedahl told attendees at the Utility-Scale wind energy forum held Nov. 23 in Olivia.
NEW LONDON -- Vern 'Bub' Coss hasn't changed a thing about the way he carves his decoys for spear fishing or waterfowl hunting, but every year it gets harder to get them to the water. "I make working decoys," said Coss, "but some people just want to hang them up." That includes curators at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.
WILLMAR -- Ice-glazed roadways were to blame for a rash of accidents Sunday and Monday in the Willmar area. Willmar Police Department officers responded to reports of three hit-and-run accidents, seven accidents with property damage only and two personal-injury accidents from the start of the freezing mist at 9 p.m.
OLIVIA -- An Olivia man believed to be at the center of a deer poaching ring pleaded guilty Friday to two charges for shining deer, but investigators are still hoping the public can offer information that could lead to charges against other possible accomplices. To date, charges have been filed against nine people in Renville and Brown counties for roles in the alleged ring, which operated during September, October and November of 2009. Chuck Lee Baumgartner, 33, of Olivia, pleaded guilty Friday in District Court in Olivia to two gross misdemeanor charges of using artificial lights to take w
MONTEVIDEO -- "I'd rather be lucky than good," says Darren Augeson of Montevideo. Augeson had both luck and some good, old-fashioned preseason scouting on his side when he harvested an 18-point buck north of Montevideo on Nov. 9. "It was one of those that grew instead of shrunk when you got to him," said Augeson, who was surprised at how many tines he counted on his biggest buck ever. Augeson had seen the buck on two occasions prior to the season, and so had others.
WILLMAR -- Weather forecasters are advising that snow and bitter cold appear to be on their way just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. The National Weather Service in Chanhassen reports that current computer models hint at the possibility of a couple inches of snow in Minnesota on Wednesday as the holiday travel beings. There is a possibility for a greater snow event in eastern Great Lakes and Eastern seaboard on Thanksgiving, according to early forecasts. Minnesota will likely experience its coldest Thanksgiving in 20 years, with highs projected only in the teens.
Back in the day when Bing Crosby began crooning, the Lone Ranger began galloping, and Whoopee John began oompahing, it was all radio. Radio was where the stars launched their careers, and where Depression-era households tuned in for the only entertainment they could afford. "Radio really took hold in a big way in the 1930s,'' said Prudence Johnson.
GRANITE FALLS -- A citizens' group is saving a historic downtown building from the wrecking ball in Granite Falls. As members of Granite Falls River Front Revitalization watched Monday, Granite Falls City Council members approved a proposal by the group to save the 1924-built K.K. Berge building. The decision was made at the regular council meeting Monday. City Manager Bill Lavin said the city will transfer ownership of the building to the group.
MONTEVIDEO -- Orders to repair and improve manufactured homes -- or demolish those not meeting safety and building codes -- will be presented to the owners of multiple units in the Northdale Community park in Montevideo. Montevideo City Council members approved resolutions directing the improvements after reviewing inspection reports by the city building inspector. The report identified improvements needed on 20 different units. City Manager Steve Jones said the inspections listed a substantial number of improvements that are needed. In some cases the repairs needed are relatively minor.