Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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OLIVIA -- Matthew Thomas Fahey, 25, pleaded guilty Tuesday to the abduction and sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl during what was to have been the start of his trial on the charges in District Court in Olivia. Now, he is awaiting rulings by the court that could add 10 or more years to the sentence he receives for the May 4 assault on the Fairfax newspaper carrier. Testimony provided by the girl on Tuesday will be considered as District Judge Randal Slieter decides whether there were aggravating factors and heinous elements to the crimes.
OLIVIA -- Matthew Fahey, 25, originally of Fairfax, pleaded guilty today to kidnapping, criminal sexual predatory conduct and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. Testimony will continue in the afternoon on the issue of whether heinous elements were part of the crime. If heinous elements are found to be present, Fahey will likely face a life sentence in prison. Fahey is charged in the abduction and sexual assault of a 14-year-old newspaper carrier in Fairfax last May. Read more on this story Wednesday in the West Central Tribune and Wctrib.com.
OLIVIA -- Matthew Thomas Fahey will admit and takes responsibility for the abduction and sexual assault of a 14-year-old newspaper carrier in Fairfax in Renville County on May 4, his attorney said in the opening arguments of his trial on Monday. But the 25-year-old defendant is not guilty of the "heinous" elements of those cr-imes that could greatly lengthen the prison sentence he faces if found guilty, his defense attorney Joseph Parise told the court. District Judge Randall Slieter is hearing the case, and will be deciding whether Fahey is guilty on four different charges for the alleged a
Trying to solve the state's massive budget deficit, and meeting the needs of his constituents are the challenges that remain front and center in the mind of State Sen. Gary Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls. He's not going to let a recent diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis keep him from doing his job. "I can't just sit around here feeling sorry for myself,'' said Kubly, 67. Known also as Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS is a neurological disease that causes muscles to weaken and eventually leads to paralysis and death. Kubly was diagnosed Dec. 9. He believes the disease was caught early, he said.
It was for a practical reason that architect Andrew Bjur of Engan and Associates in Willmar put in the effort to add "LEED certified" to his list of credentials. It's a competitive market out there. Potential customers value the energy conservation and environmental standards set by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, he explained. Bjur spoke to an audience of high school students Jan. 12 at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center near Spicer. They get it too. Many of them realize their high school experience with the Youth Energy Summit!
WILLMAR -- A 64-year-old man convicted of sexually abusing a boy and girl multiple times over a three-year period will serve 144 months in prison. Thomas Harold Kremer, of Kandiyohi, was sentenced Friday in District Court in Willmar to serve 144 months -- 12 years -- in prison for a conviction of first-degree criminal sexual conduct; and to 70 months in prison for conviction of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
WILLMAR -- Petrolino Molina, 27, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Thursday in District Court in Willmar to felony charges of fifth-degree possession of drugs, fleeing a police officer, and terroristic threats - reckless disregard of risk. Sentencing will be March 23.
PRINSBURG -- Sandy and Chuck Leininger are parents to six children of their own, all of them grown. Their last child, Joshua, now 17, suffered oxygen deprivation and lives with cerebral palsy.
SPICER -- Why prove your outdoor survival skills during the muggy, buggy days of summer at Many Point Scout Camp when you can do the same close to home and replace the incessant whine of mosquitoes with the absolute silence of a snow cave? That's part of the reasoning that led five Willmar Boy Scouts to build a quinzee at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center and enjoy a winter camp out last Saturday. "We're excited to see what it's like," is the other explanation.
NEW LONDON -- Replace the swish, swish, glide of cross country skis with the woosh, woosh, crunch of snowshoes breaking powder, and the world is yours to explore. Snowshoes are the ticket for those who want to leave the beaten trail and explore the woods, wetlands or open fields that are often inaccessible through the warm months of the year. Snowshoes are also the way to go for those who prefer to stay on the beaten path, but are looking for a healthy and fun wintertime activity, according to Dick Clayton, the park naturalist at Sibley State Park. As he has been doing for more than two dec