Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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Kimberly Lohse aspires to be a guitarist in a rock band. But first, the 14-year-old has taken the leading role in a much bigger calling. "She an example of keeping her chin up and facing what's ahead of her,'' said her mother, Marilyn Lohse. Being that sort of example won the ninth-grader at the MACCRAY High School the applause of her classmates following a school lyceum on We-dnesday, and what might be her ticket to be a rock star. As students in grades 7-12 watched, the Make-A-Wish Fo-undation of Minnesota presented Lohse with a Signature Series guitar by ESP carrying the name of her fav
MONTEVIDEO -- Cheyenne Clay Johnson, 42, of Clara City, pleaded guilty Monday to third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Johnson was charged with assaulting a juvenile female Aug. 24 at a residence in Clara City. He allegedly later used a cell phone to report his own crime, triggering a search by law enforcement officers in the Clara City area. According to the criminal complaint, Johnson had said he was on foot along state Highway 23.
GRANITE FALLS -- A new and larger power line could be humming with wind-generated electricity through west central Minnesota in 2015. Permits are in place for the 240-mile-long CAPX 2020 electrical transmission line to run from Brookings, S.D., to the Hampton substation in Scott County. Randy Fordice, representing the CAPX 2020 project, outlined the project's progress to the Yellow Medicine County board of commissioners on Tuesday. The estimated, $700 million to $725 million project calls for upgrading an existing 115-kilovolt line with a larger capacity, 345-kilovolt line.
CLARA CITY -- Citizens State Bank of Clara City is now the Citizens Alliance Bank, but only the name and logo are changed, according to Jeff Berghuis, president. "Our ownership, employees, branch locations and commitment to our customers and communities will not be changing,'' he stated in a news release announcing the name. Letters were sent to all of the bank's customers to notify them of the name change. Founded in 1902, Citizens State Bank of Clara City has expanded to offer its services in Maynard, Granite Falls, Lake Lillian and Echo in recent years.
BLOMKEST -- During his working years, Lennard Erickson ran the Blomkest Auto Body Shop with his brother Ted and never shied from the grime that came with the work. But come Sunday, there wasn't a church service that didn't see Lennard Erickson in the pew with a handsome neck tie to complement his finest apparel. A sharp-looking tie for Sunday service and special occasions was a must for Erickson, who had a tie collection going back to the 1940s. Had is the operative word here, as the woman whose eye he captured with those ties has put them to a new use, and with his blessing. "It's certain
WILLMAR -- The 2010 waterfowl season got off to a "spotty'' start at best, and to no one's surprise. "Odd'' is how Leroy Dahlke, wildlife manager with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources described the opener in Kandiyohi County. Overall, he said waterfowl hunters reported limited shooting and a poor opener. Yet there were some isolated areas where hunters were surprised by the numbers of birds they saw, and more divers than usual for this early in the season. Flooded fields across southern Minnesota had many wondering where the ducks would be on the opener.
DAWSON -- Lac qui Parle County's only park is getting discovered for all the right reasons. "You can come down here any day of the week and there are people,'' said county park board member Bernice Oellien. She is among those who see more users coming to the park to ride or hike its trails, fish or paddle its waters, or enjoy a picnic under a canopy of century-old oak trees. Soon, the growing numbers of park users might have much more to discover.
WILLMAR -- Someday people around the world might know Kandiyohi County for its gorgeous scenery, and three misfits who get tangled up with everything from a gas station robbery to a ruthless and corrupt sheriff who deals drugs. It took hours and hours of filming last autumn to capture it all, and a full year of editing by the film's creator to put it all together. But sometime at the end of this month, film producer Nicholas Engan intends to show a preview of the film he is titling "Kandiyohi'' to a select audience. "You don't go make a film unless you have to make it,'' said Engan, describ
OLIVIA -- An Olivia man faces 17 different misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor charges for allegedly taking four deer by illegal means and registering and transporting the deer using other people's archery licenses procured at his request. Chuck Lee Baumgartner, 33, was released on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty to the charges Monday in District Court in Olivia.
MONTEVIDEO -- Midwestern girl goes to California, waits tables and gets discovered. It makes for a great story in Hollywood, but on Main Street Montevideo, it makes for something much better: Terrific food and an extraordinary place to enjoy it. It took the meeting four decades ago of Eloise (née Sherod) and Gabe Valentino at a chain restaurant in Santa Barbara, Calif., to make possible Valentino's American Restaurant in downtown Montevideo. Since 1997 the downtown restaurant has been treating customers to everything from pies and baked goods to homemade soups, chicken cordon bleu, prime ri