Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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MONTEVIDEO -- When it's 20 below and winter winds howl, Minnesotans turn to Stone Age technology to stay warm. They add more fuel to the fire. There's a better option: Build homes that take advantage of the power of the sun and don't let a calorie of heat escape from the inside, whether that heat is radiated by its occupants or the appliances they use. It's being done in Germany, where passive solar construction has led to homes that can be heated on the coldest of days with about as much electricity as is needed to operate a couple of hand-held hair dryers. Matt Olson's students might be
MONTEVIDEO -- A newly updated flood forecast for the Upper Minnesota River warns that the probability for flooding remains high in Montevideo. Fortunately, the updated forecast released Friday does not increase the likelihood for seeing flood levels as experienced in 1997 or 2001. The National Weather Service is forecasting an 81 percent probability waters will rise four feet above flood stage in Montevideo, which would represent a moderate to major flood level.
MONTEVIDEO -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began its spring drawdown of the Marsh Lake and Lac qui Parle reservoirs on March 1 to prepare for the possibility of spring flooding. Due to the potential for flooding, this season's drawdown calls for lowering the reservoirs the maximum possible, according to Shannon Bauer with the St.
GLENWOOD -- More than five years after she was fatally shot, the official death certificate filed in Swift County for Nichole Riley-Lemcke lists the manner of her death as "undetermined." Dr. Kelly Mills, medical pathologist with Ramsey County, has this opinion on the manner of death: "Homicide." She testified Tuesday in Pope County in the murder trial of Andrew Lemcke, 35. He is charged with first-degree premeditated murder and second-degree intentional murder in the Sept. 12, 2004, shooting of his 26-year-old wife. The defendant maintains the shooting in their home was an accident.
WILLMAR -- Saving energy is smart business. And it has never been easier, thanks to a new law taking effect his year. It requires utilities across the state to save the energy equivalent of roughly 1.5 percent of their retail sales each year. To meet that mandate, utilities are offering rebates and incentives through Conservation Improvement Programs to help customers cut their energy usage. Mark Blaiser makes it all the easier for businesses to take advantage of this opportunity in his role as director of Energy Smart.
The last time "Up with People'' came to Montevideo was in April 1997 and Mayor Jim Curtiss rushed the entire cast to work piling sandbags on the city's main levee during the height of the record flood. A new cast is returning, and the mayor is ready to acquaint them with sandbags as well. Montevideo is facing the prospect of spring flooding again.
MONTEVIDEO -- Living in a winter landscape and taking on the challenge of filling 100,000 sandbags will be among the "firsts'' for many of the young performers coming to Montevideo as part of the "Up with People'' cast. Preparing the way for their visit are two veterans of "Up with People,'' Aude Goudreault and Shelsea Ochoa. Goudreault is a native of Quebec, Canada, and no stranger to either cold or snow. Ochoa is a California native. She and her companion got their chance to experience Minnesota nice and winter at the same time.
MONTEVIDEO -- If fishing for carp and bullheads is your desire, just look for a silt-filled reservoir. These fish dominate in the poor quality habitat created by river dams, according to Chris Domeier, a fisheries biologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Ortonville. If walleye, northern pike or catfish are more to your liking, take a look at the Pomme de Terre River in Appleton or soon, the west branch of the Lac qui Parle River in Dawson. Removing the aged dams in both locations is greatly improving fish habitat in the two rivers, while also reducing the risk of trag
WILLMAR -- We may have weathered the worst of the recession, at least in the eyes of many Minnesota manufacturers. Executives with small-to-medium-sized manufacturing firms in Minnesota are more optimistic about their prospects in the coming year, a newly released survey by Enterprise Minnesota shows. "I really believe there are signs the bottom has been reached and we are bumping along,'' said Bob Kill, president of Enterprise Minnesota.
ST. PAUL -- On a 6 to 2 vote, the citizens board for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency instructed agency staff to research the possibility of requiring an environmental impact statement for a proposed industrial asphalt transfer and storage facility north of Granite Falls. The action Tuesday by the citizens board on does not mean the MPCA will require an environmental impact statement, but it opens the possibility that it could, according to information from the MPCA's public affairs office.