Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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NEW LONDON -- A political debate heating up inside the state capitol could have ramifications for state parks in this region for many years to come. An amendment was approved on the House floor on March 15 to a natural resources bill. The amendment removed $4.2 million in Environmental Trust Fund monies that were to be used for land acquisitions. The funds are generated by the Minnesota Lottery. The total includes $2.2 million designated for acquiring private lands within state parks. Rep.
A number of rural homeowners stayed with their homes as rising waters from the Minnesota River surrounded them and forced road closures in the Granite Falls areas on Tuesday, but no serious problems were reported. Floodwaters on the Minnesota River were expected to crest at 893 feet in Granite Falls today, which would be 6.3 feet lower than the record crest of 899.3 feet in 1997. The difference between the crests -- and 13 years of flood mitigation work -- were evident in the community, where the rushing waters of the Minnesota River were the cause of more curiosity than panic. "We keep ask
MONTEVIDEO -- The Minnesota River crested Tuesday morning at 20.13 feet in Montevideo, and the waters are slowly starting to go down, according to City Manager Steve Jones. He said the crest is the fourth highest on record. A record crest of 23.9 feet was recorded April 6, 1997. The U.S. Highway 212 levee had been raised prior to the crest and the city was not experiencing any major problems. "Much better,'' Mayor Jim Curtiss said of the situation. The city found itself in the position of being able to extend help elsewhere, the mayor noted.
MONTEVIDEO -- Montevideo was hoping to breathe a sigh of relief this morning.Flood preparations as of late Monday were on track to meet expectations for a river crest of 20.1 feet Monday night, which would make it the fourth highest flood event on record. It's also the earliest on record, but it is 3.8 feet lower than then record 23.9 feet flood crest on April 6, 1997. City Manager Steve Jones said work may be continued today on upgrading the U.S. Highway 212 levee, but by all estimations the city was staying ahead of the floodwaters.
Rising floodwaters in Montevideo's Smith Addition mean long nights short on sleep and days devoted to lifting goods to higher ground. Yet most of all, it means business as usual. "With a little more stress involved,'' said John Gerdes, owner of the NAPA auto parts store in the Smith Addition. Like other Smith Addition businesses, the NAPA store was conducting business as usual Monday as the waters of the Chippewa River continued to rise.
ATWATER -- Shoppers in Atwater, Cosmos and Grove City are showing their school pride by saying "no'' to disposable plastic bags and carrying their own reusable bags sporting the ACGC Falcon and school colors. The movement is in line with the school district adopting a wide range of energy conservation strategies in its buildings.
MONTEVIDEO -- Work is under way this morning to raise a one-mile stretch of the levee on U.S. Highway 212 in Montevideo. Volunteers are also filling sandbags to have at the ready. These and other advanced measures come in response to expectations that the Minnesota River will reach 19.9 feet in Montevideo this afternoon.
MAYNARD -- Volunteers scrambled to protect the community of Maynard Wednesday evening as the waters of Hawk Creek unexpectedly surged to levels exceeding those experienced during the flood of 1997. It happened in hardly an hour's time. "Unbelievable how rapidly it came up, unbelievable," said Maynard Mayor Richard Groothuis as he and others lined up to stack sandbags at the community's wastewater station around 6 p.m.
GRANITE FALLS -- A unique and historic pedestrian bridge that has survived two major floods may have just survived its biggest test of all. Gov.
WILLMAR -- Minnesota has grown by 200,000 people since Gov. Tim Pawlenty took office, but there are 33,000 fewer people working today. Minnesota has joined Wyoming, South Dakota and rural Louisiana as among the only states allowing four-day school weeks due to a lack of educational funding. No matter where he goes, gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton said he hears from people upset with the state of affairs in Minnesota he described.