Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
- Member for
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WILLMAR -- A constitutional amendment that would require all voters to present photo identification is a real life version of the Cheshire Cat in "Alice in Wonderland,'' warns Kathy Bonnifield, director of the Citizens for Election Integrity, Minnesota. "We can see its tail, its eyes, but only if this passes will we really know what it means,'' Bonnifield said.
WILLMAR -- A growing gap between revenues and road maintenance needs has the Minnesota Department of Transportation looking for public input in identifying where to get the most bang for the buck, and warning the public that rough roads are ahead. In the 12 southwestern counties of District 8, the need for re-investment in road pavement and bridge preservation over the next 10 years is calculated at 130 percent of revenues, according to Patrick Weidemann, MnDOT planner with the Willmar office. "A generally deteriorating system,'' said Brian McLafferty, transportation planner in the St.
WILLMAR -- Developing Minnesota Highway 23 into a four-lane link from Willmar to Interstate 94 near St. Cloud has been a priority for the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce for more than two decades now. How the Minnesota Department of Transportation maintains and develops this and other corridors in District 8 for the next two decades is the topic for today. The District 8 MnDOT office is hosting a "corridor investment management strategy meeting'' for the public from 4 to 7 p.m.
MONTEVIDEO -- City Council members in Montevideo agreed not to study the possibility of converting the former Running's building for use as a fire hall and public works garage. The decision at Monday's meeting was made after council members informally agreed the city could not afford the costs for developing a new fire hall or public works building at this point, said City Manager Steve Jones. Council members agree that the city's existing fire hall and public works building are in need of replacement.
GRANITE FALLS -- Concerns from residents about odors and emissions from a seasonal hot mix operation at the Martin Marietta Aggregates quarry has City Council members considering setback requirements for the future. Council members took up discussion on the matter at their meeting on Monday, said City Manager Bill Lavin. He said citizens on the west side of Granite Falls have been raising concerns about the odors and emissions associated with the hot mix operation in the quarry, which is adjacent to a residential area. The operation is located in an area zoned for industrial use, and the c
OLIVIA -- Against all odds, a Mexican army repelled a far larger French force in the 1862 Battle of Pueblo and set the stage for what today is a celebration of Mexican pride known by its anniversary date, Cinco de Mayo. No one knew what the odds against them were when new Spanish instructor Fay Kuznia and her students launched the celebration in the Olivia High School in 1977, but 35 years later the results are known: It's still a hit. Some 670 students in grades K-12 in the BOLD School District joined on the Olivia campus on Friday to smash piñatas, hear live Mexican music, enjoy homemade t
ORTONVILLE -- It's a "blatant misrepresentation of the facts'' to claim that Strata Corporation is kicking Clark Mastel off the land he leases for his refusal to sign a letter presented to him by the company, according to Bill LaFond, project manager and author of the letter. LaFond said Wednesday that the letter was presented to Mastel but that there was no ultimatum. The letter required Mastel to state he made a serious mistake by opposing the quarry project and withdraw his opposition to it. Mastel told the Tribune he could not sign it.
MONTEVIDEO -- Chippewa County Attorney David Gilbertson filed a motion Wednesday with the district court asking that a grand jury be convened in the stabbing death of Vinessa Lozano, 18, of Montevideo. Derek Jon Nelson, 24, of Montevideo, is currently held in the Chippewa County Jail on second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault charges in Lozano's death. Nelson is accused of fatally stabbing Lozano as she left the Pizza Ranch in Montevideo on Jan. 13.
ORTONVILLE -- A rancher who voiced opposition to plans by the Strata Corporation to develop a quarry in Big Stone County will not have the lease renewed for the land where he grazes his cattle. Clark Mastel said he was informed Friday that his lease on a 478-acre property will not be renewed on June 1 after he refused to sign a letter presented to him by the company. Strata Corporation of Grand Forks, N.D., intends to develop a quarry on a portion of the site. The letter he was asked to sign states that he made a "serious mistake'' by opposing the project and that he withdraws his oppositio
ORTONVILLE -- The Big Stone County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a conditional use permit Tuesday for a controversial quarry project on the edge of the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. The vote on Tuesday morning provides a conditional use permit to Strata Corporation of Grand Forks, N.D., to develop a 104-acre quarry on a 478-acre property in Ortonville Township. The property consists of granite outcrops and pasture and is host to nine different species of rare and endangered plants. The township and neighboring citizens have opposed the project.