Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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OLIVIA -- A district judge has ruled that Matthew Fahey's abduction and sexual assault of a young newspaper carrier met the legal standards for "heinous'' and that other, aggravating factors were present in the commission of the crimes. The ruling on Monday by District Judge Randall Slieter means that Fahey, 25, originally of Fairfax and more recently of Marshall, faces a mandatory life sentence in prison. Fahey pleaded guilty Jan. 25 to charges of criminal sexual predatory conduct, kidnapping, and criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.
MONEVIDEO -- Concerns about the potential for spring flooding led Montevideo City Council members to order extra pumps and sandbags. During its meeting Monday, the City Council planned to award a $35,629.83 quote for a Thompson Pump but opted to order three of them instead. The diesel powered pumps are used to de-water areas behind levees. The Thompson Pump was among three models considered. The pump is more expensive but offers a greater working capacity than the other two models considered.
GRANITE FALLS -- Granite Falls City Council members called for a public hearing to consider an estimated $2.8 million in work to correct deficiencies in its sanitary and storm sewer systems. Council members decided at the meeting Monday to set the hearing for March 21, according to City Manger Bill Lavin.
BENSON -- The Minnesota Court of Appeals has decided in favor of the Glacial Plains Cooperative in its dispute with the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company LLC over grain storage obligations at the Glacial Plains handling facility in Benson. In a decision issued Tuesday, the Court of Ap-peals reversed an earlier district court ruling that had favored the ethanol company. The Court of Appeals sided with Glacial Pl-ains in its claim that Chippewa Valley Ethanol must pay storage costs for grain held in excess of 180,000 bushels. The court sent the matter back to district court to determine the com
WILLMAR -- Cold temperatures and deep snow didn't stop volunteers from venturing out for the annual Christmas Bird Count in the Willmar area, but it probably kept some of the birds from showing up. The volunteers spotted 43 species of birds and 3,353 individual birds, slightly above the average but down when compared to years with milder weather, according to the annual report by organizers Joel Halbritter and Joel Schmidt. "The cold weather and deep snow surely affected our count numbers," they wrote in their report on the day. Raptor numbers were down, as were waterfowl, no doubt due to t
WILLMAR -- Two of the three suspects involved in a home burglary last fall where responding Willmar police officers encountered gunfire entered pleas Friday in District Court in Willmar. Arcadio Salinas Jr., 23, of Willmar, offered an Alford plea to a charge of aiding and abetting an attempted robbery in the first degree during a Kandiyohi County District Court appearance in the morning.
MONTEVIDEO -- As surely as bears return to their dens to hibernate each winter, flathead and channel catfish seek out their favorite deep water hideouts in the Minnesota River to wait for the return of warm water. The fish return in large numbers to these deepwater refuges and stack themselves up like cordwood, lying motionless to save energy.
MONTEVIDEO -- For 30 years the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has been electro-fishing the Minnesota River to coax out the secrets of the fish in its murky waters, and the intrigue only gets better. "You never know what you are going to see,'' said Brad Koenen, a Clara City native and fisheries technician with the DNR in Hutchinson. He described the often-times surprising findings to a room full of people as a guest of Clean Up the River Environment on Jan.
WILLMAR -- Arcadio Salinas Jr. 23, of Willmar, offered an Alford plea in district court in Willmar this morning for his role in an incident last fall where shots were fired as Willmar Police officers responded to a burglary. Salinas offered the plea as part of an agreement that reduced the charge against him to first degree, aiding and abetting attempted burglary. He could receive a 10 year sentence with a minimum of 34 months served in prison, based on discussions in the courtroom on Friday.
PENNOCK -- The price of gas was fast approaching 40 cents a gallon when bank president Wally Westrom pitched his job offer to Nancy Stockland. She could join the staff at the State Bank of Pennock and walk half a block from her home to work each day, instead of making the daily commute to her job in Willmar. She's stayed close to home ever since. A good thing too, judging by the crowds of people who made their way to the bank on Thursday.