Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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BENSON -- It remains unknown whether Swift County assessor Ed Pederson will challenge action by the county board of commissioners placing him on paid leave and ending his appointment at year's end. Reached recently at his home, Pederson said he is not able to comment on the matter, including whether or not he plans to challenge the actions taken against him. The county is currently beginning a search for a new assessor. The Swift County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 in a closed session May 15 to immediately place Pederson on paid leave and not renew his appointment as of Dec.
OLIVIA -- U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson is optimistic that Congress will pass a new farm bill before its August recess, but a debate with important consequences for his district looms in the weeks ahead. The House and Senate are in agreement on most aspects of the farm bill, but differ in how they would support production of corn, soybean and other commodities, Peterson told an audience of more than 40 Friday afternoon in Olivia.
WATSON -- Montevideo is willing to provide fire protection services to the City of Watson, which is looking to end a troubled relationship with its independently organized fire department. Representatives from Watson and Montevideo are meeting today to work out an agreement after the city councils in both communities gave the go-ahead to do so.
MONTEVIDEO -- A former Montevideo man accused of rustling 26 Holstein steers will serve jail time and probation, and could face time in prison if he violates his probation. Richard Kenneth Nelson, 41, now of Pine City, was sentenced Tuesday in Montevideo on separate felony convictions for receiving stolen property in Lac qui Parle and Chippewa counties. As part of an earlier agreement, the sentences for each are to be served concurrently, or at the same time. The court sentenced Nelson to one year and one day in prison, but stayed execution of the prison term.
Ground Zero in what many consider Minnesota's most difficult and yet most significant historical era is here at the Lower Sioux Agency Historical Site near Morton. After the killings at Acton, full warfare flared when Dakota warriors attacked and killed traders and government employees on the morning of Aug. 18, 1862. This is also where the retelling of the history has begun as the Minnesota Historical Society prepares to observe the 150th anniversary of the U.S.
OLIVIA -- Glen Jacobsen was early in his law career and serving as a prosecutor for a number of suburban communities in the metro area. The late night call came from the daughter of his associate. The building holding their offices in Oakdale was on fire, she told him, and it was arson. One of the fires had been started on his desk. Jacobsen is now an assistant county attorney for Renville County. He keeps a scorched gavel on his desk in his office in the County Office Building in Olivia.
OLIVIA -- Recreational opportunities in the area of Vicksburg County Park on the Minnesota River could soon be expanded. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has reached a purchase agreement to acquire 293 acres of private land east of the 241-acre Renville County Park, according to information presented Tuesday to the Renville County Board of Commissioners. DNR plans call for developing the land as both a wildlife management area and an aquatic management area, according to Lee Sundmark, fisheries supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Hutchinson, and Jeff
MONTEVIDEO -- Darek Jon Nelson now faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted in the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Vinessa Lozano on Jan.
MONTEVIDEO -- Darek Nelson now faces the possibility of life in prison for the fatal stabbing of Vinessa Lozano, 18, on Jan. 13 in Montevideo. A grand jury returned an indictment this afternoon for first-degree murder - premeditated, to the District Court in Chippewa County, according to Chippewa County Attorney David Gilbertson. The grand jury had been convened on Tuesday. Nelson, 24, was arraigned on the charge this afternoon.
WILLMAR -- A constitutional amendment that would require all voters to present photo identification is a real life version of the Cheshire Cat in "Alice in Wonderland,'' warns Kathy Bonnifield, director of the Citizens for Election Integrity, Minnesota. "We can see its tail, its eyes, but only if this passes will we really know what it means,'' Bonnifield said.