Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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WILLMAR -- Developing Minnesota Highway 23 into a four-lane link from Willmar to Interstate 94 near St. Cloud has been a priority for the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce for more than two decades now. How the Minnesota Department of Transportation maintains and develops this and other corridors in District 8 for the next two decades is the topic for today. The District 8 MnDOT office is hosting a "corridor investment management strategy meeting'' for the public from 4 to 7 p.m.
OLIVIA -- Against all odds, a Mexican army repelled a far larger French force in the 1862 Battle of Pueblo and set the stage for what today is a celebration of Mexican pride known by its anniversary date, Cinco de Mayo. No one knew what the odds against them were when new Spanish instructor Fay Kuznia and her students launched the celebration in the Olivia High School in 1977, but 35 years later the results are known: It's still a hit. Some 670 students in grades K-12 in the BOLD School District joined on the Olivia campus on Friday to smash piñatas, hear live Mexican music, enjoy homemade t
ORTONVILLE -- It's a "blatant misrepresentation of the facts'' to claim that Strata Corporation is kicking Clark Mastel off the land he leases for his refusal to sign a letter presented to him by the company, according to Bill LaFond, project manager and author of the letter. LaFond said Wednesday that the letter was presented to Mastel but that there was no ultimatum. The letter required Mastel to state he made a serious mistake by opposing the quarry project and withdraw his opposition to it. Mastel told the Tribune he could not sign it.
MONTEVIDEO -- Chippewa County Attorney David Gilbertson filed a motion Wednesday with the district court asking that a grand jury be convened in the stabbing death of Vinessa Lozano, 18, of Montevideo. Derek Jon Nelson, 24, of Montevideo, is currently held in the Chippewa County Jail on second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault charges in Lozano's death. Nelson is accused of fatally stabbing Lozano as she left the Pizza Ranch in Montevideo on Jan. 13.
ORTONVILLE -- A rancher who voiced opposition to plans by the Strata Corporation to develop a quarry in Big Stone County will not have the lease renewed for the land where he grazes his cattle. Clark Mastel said he was informed Friday that his lease on a 478-acre property will not be renewed on June 1 after he refused to sign a letter presented to him by the company. Strata Corporation of Grand Forks, N.D., intends to develop a quarry on a portion of the site. The letter he was asked to sign states that he made a "serious mistake'' by opposing the project and that he withdraws his oppositio
ORTONVILLE -- The Big Stone County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a conditional use permit Tuesday for a controversial quarry project on the edge of the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. The vote on Tuesday morning provides a conditional use permit to Strata Corporation of Grand Forks, N.D., to develop a 104-acre quarry on a 478-acre property in Ortonville Township. The property consists of granite outcrops and pasture and is host to nine different species of rare and endangered plants. The township and neighboring citizens have opposed the project.
BROOTEN -- Gov. Mark Dayton's veto of a bill that would have legalized consumer fireworks in Minnesota both "disappointed" and "frustrated" one of the prime advocates for the change. "It's politics at its best or worse, depending on how you look at it,'' said Garry Hanson, owner of Precocious Pyrotechnics and Glacial Ridge Fireworks in rural Bro-oten. Precocious Pyrotechnics is one of the country's largest producers of display fireworks. Glacial Ridge Fireworks is a large wholesale distributor of consumer fireworks.
OLIVIA -- You can lead a child to locally raised broccoli, and they will eat and enjoy it. Just ask food service directors Laurie Milbrandt of the Redwood Area Schools or Margaret Flemming with the BOLD School District. They've been introducing students to a delectable buffet of locally raised foods -- from apples and fresh sweet corn to zucchini -- with good results, they told participants in a Farm to School workshop April 24 in Olivia.
MORTON -- Service with four U.S. Army infantry divisions led Carl Colwell to the Pentagon as a strategic planner. There was always a crisis somewhere. Colwell said he would escape to Arlington National Cemetery when he needed to remind himself why he was doing this difficult work. After the Sept.