Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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MONTEVIDEO -- Two men who allegedly told officers they wanted to "see the ghosts'' pleaded guilty to trespassing into a locked building after allegedly breaking into the Swensson Farmstead, a historic property in Chippewa County. Charles Dean Scheer, 26, of Redwood Falls, and Mathew Scott Tesch, 32, of Granite Falls, entered guilty pleas July 2 in District Court in Montevideo.
OLIVIA -- A special aerobatic show featuring one of the world's most famous stunt planes will highlight the Olivia Lions Flight Breakfast on Sunday. Rob Ator, aviation manager for Fagen's Inc. of Granite Falls, will fly a Pitts S-1S bi-wing. The plane is celebrated for its ability to ''dance in the sky'' and perform snaps, rolls, loops and other gymnastics at break-neck speeds. The airplane dominated world competition in the early 1970's and 1980's. It can zip through the skies at 200 miles per hour in vertical and horizontal flight.
WILLMAR -- A Willmar city worker was treated at Rice Memorial Hospital for a chemical reaction experienced while performing maintenance work Tuesday on the Rice Park wading pool. The man's identity and condition were not released. The pool had been closed for the maintenance work, and no children were endangered, reported Willmar Police Capt. James Felt. Emergency responders were waiting to meet with the worker to learn what chemical or chemicals he was using and apparently spilled in the small maintenance building at the pool site.
WILLMAR -- A Willmar city employee was taken to Rice Hospital Tuesday afternoon after being overcome by fumes he was using to clean the pool shed at the wading pool at Rice Park in southwest Willmar. Police cordoned off the area and evacuated several downwind houses. Ten to 11 people had to leave their homes for about 90 minutes. The pool was closed for maintenance work, so the pool was empty, and no children were involved in the incident.
LITCHFIELD -- Contracts on 60 percent of the land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program in Minnesota will expire in the next five years, and conservationists and hunters are bracing for the inevitable. Rising land and crop values will lead some landowners to return many of those 823,000 acres up for renewal to production. It's also why many are pinning hopes on a new Reinvest in Minnesota Riparian Buffer Easement program.
GRANITE FALLS -- Xcel Energy will be awarding a bid for the demolition of the 1905-built Minnesota Falls dam in August, unless a party unexpectedly steps forward with an interest to purchase it. Jim Bodensteiner, director of environmental affairs for Xcel, said the company is moving down the path toward demolition in the wake of a recent decision by Granite Falls Energy not to seek ownership of the dam. The ethanol company had recently notified the City of Granite Falls and Chippewa and Yellow Medicine counties that it is ending its pursuit of ownership. The City of Granite Falls was the la
GLENWOOD -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is investigating a report that a zebra mussel was found in Lake Minnewaska in Pope County near Glenwood. A citizen reported finding what appears to be an adult zebra mussel. It was attached to the metal portion of a boat seat mount that was submerged in 4 feet of water.
MONTEVIDEO -- The biggest show of the year is now playing in Montevideo, but get there quick as its run will be short. In only eight days, workers with MACC Inc., of Montevideo have removed the Chippewa River dam that has stood since 1958 downstream of Lagoon Park in Montevideo. A steady procession of onlookers has snapped photos and watched as the years of accumulated sediment, and the concrete and rebar that comprised the 21-feet-high-by-120-feet-wide structure was removed. By the end of the day Tuesday the workers had already constructed two of the six rock weirs that will replace the da
MONTEVIDEO -- Montevideo's industrial park in the Smith Addition may be an unusual location to look for the start of a housing recovery, but it's where you can find it. After feeling the effects of the country's housing downturn since 2008, modular home builder Friendship Homes is humming on all cylinders.
OLIVIA -- A compromise will help make possible the acquisition of land for a new wildlife management area in Renville County, but it still leaves open the debate on how to balance conflicting recreational uses on public lands in the Minnesota River Valley. The Renville County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved plans by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to acquire 293 acres of land adjacent to the Vicksburg County Park along the Minnesota River south of Renville. The commissioners also attached an amendment to the resolution stating the county's support for mul