Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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WILLMAR -- Efforts to improve water quality in Hawk Creek are showing results, but a solution to one of the more troubling of the problems remains elusive. Ten years of data show a steady trend toward decreasing amounts of sediment and phosphorus in Hawk Creek and Beaver Creek, two important tributaries to the Minnesota River, according to Cory Netland, director of the Hawk Creek Watershed Project. Netland spoke at the watershed project's annual meeting Wednesday in Willmar. "We've definitely made a difference over the last 10 years,'' Netland said. Yet while phosphorus and sediment loads
BENSON -- With a business as important as its movie theatre at stake, Benson has decided to write its own script to make sure the show goes on. The stars of the show couldn't be happier with their roles. "It's time to pay the community back,'' said Larry DeMarce, 74, owner of the town's DeMarce Theatre. "I want to be sure the community has a theatre.'' So do Tim and Susie Kletscher, who will soon become the new owners of the theatre that has been part of the DeMarce family since 1925. It's being made possible in large part through community involvement.
GRANITE FALLS -- It seems a difficult task to save a 105-year-old dam to spare an ethanol company the estimated $2 million cost for revamping its water intake system on the Minnesota River. No apparent solutions were in the offering as company officials with Xcel Energy and Granite Falls Energy on Friday joined representatives of the Chippewa, Renville and Yellow Medicine county boards, the city of Granite Falls, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and citizen groups to discuss the fate of the Minnesota Falls dam. The dam is located on the Minnesota River, a few miles downstream fr
Arctic winds howled through the day and by nightfall, the thermometer was on its slide to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Hardly a night when goose bumps would be in short supply or much less wanted, yet the Chippewa County-Montevideo Library was packed with people who wanted still more. Some 170 people came Jan. 20 to hear Chad Lewis of Eau Claire, Wis., spin stories of the paranormal, including accounts of haunted houses and cemeteries in Montevideo. "Amazing,'' said Library Director Dave Lauritsen.
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!
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