Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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OLIVIA -- Farmers in Renville County installed what may be a record amount of sub-surface tile lines to improve cropland drainage in the last year. Back-to-back "wet''' years and the rapid growth in private tiling is straining the public drainage systems that ultimately carry that water to the Minnesota River and Crow River. The growth of farm drainage to improve productivity became the focus as ProAg of Renville County hosted a forum on water quality as part of its annual meeting Tuesday in Olivia. Contractors installed roughly 8 million feet of drain tile, or roughly 1,500 miles, in Renvi
OLIVIA -- A dispute between neighboring landowners over drainage may push Renville County closer to launching a systematic redetermination of ditch benefits. Members of the Renville County Board of Commissioners indicated at their work session Tuesday in Olivia that they will host a public meeting on the county's ditch systems at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Renville County Office Building, Olivia. The discussion came as one the state's leading attorneys for drainage law, Kurt Deters of St.
OLIVIA -- The city of Bird Island wants to contract with the Renville County Sheriff's Office for law enforcement services, Sheriff Scott Hable on Tuesday told the County Board of Commissioners. The decision follows months of discussions within the city over whether to eliminate its police department and contract for services. The city would like to begin contracting for services as early as May 1. Hable said a July 1 start-up date is more likely.
SOLOMON LAKE -- Workers with Donnie Hanson's Auto & Truck of New London hooked the big one Wednesday, but it will take them another day to land it.
SOLOMON LAKE -- Workers with Donnie Hanson's Auto and Truck and Towing of New London hooked the big one this afternoon, but it will take them another day to land it. A scuba diver attached a cable to a 2007 Ford Ranger pickup truck that had gone through the ice on Solomon Lake north of Willmar during the snow and sleet storm on Monday evening. Kris Ryks of Willmar and passengers Jason Mackey and Jarrod Gates had safely bailed out of the truck as it nose dived in about 10-feet of water, located 1.4 miles from the public access on Kandiyohi County Road 5.
It's hard to miss the development of renewable energy at the University of Minnesota campus in Morris. There are now two, 1.6-megawatt wind generators towering over the prairie and cranking out enough kilowatts to provide 60 percent of the electrical needs on campus.
SPICER -- The first step toward energy independence was taken by the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in 2004, when it added a corn-burning stove to the lobby of its education building. The stove still warms the lobby, but it burns wood pellets in place of the corn that originally could be purchased for less than $2 a bushel. There have been a lot of other changes in the last eight years too.
BENSON -- You can measure the commitment by Paden Strutz to his favorite sport in miles. The senior on the Morris-Benson Area Storm hockey team makes an 80-mile, round trip five days a week from his home in Granite Falls to attend practices. He pays for all of his gas by working and saving during the off-season, according to his mother, Anne Brown. It's the commitment that makes hockey special to fellow Storm senior Luke Schwarz of Benson as well. "It takes so much more commitment than any other sport, because of the cost and the hard work. Every practice is a work out no matter how light.
CLINTON -- While plans for a quarry in Big Stone County have some concerned about the environmental impact, the developer says it is committed to mitigating any damage. Strata Corporation of Grand Forks, N.D., is proposing to develop a 104-acre quarry on a 478-acre property on the edge of the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. That area of western Minnesota is already home to two large quarry operations. The Cold Spring quarry opened originally as a dimensional stone quarry but now crushes granite for aggregate. The larger, L.G.
Western Minnesota has its own version of the mining debate taking shape on the edge of the Boundary Waters. Can we allow mining and still protect what remains of a unique and endangered natural environment? This debate is taking place on the edge of the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge between Ortonville and Odessa.