Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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SPICER -- As certain as a fish taking the bait, Bruce Gilbertson was destined to make fisheries management his career. He basically grew up in a fishing boat. His grandfather was a commercial fisherman on Lake Superior. His father was an avid fisherman, and brought his sons along to fish the lakes and streams near their home in Duluth.
NEW LONDON -- A career of more than 35 years with the Minnesota state parks system hasn't made it any easier to answer the question that has made Paul Otto's work so rewarding. Otto retired from his career with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday as the manager of Sibley State Park. Asked what he's enjoyed the most, Otto said it comes down to two things that are hard to rank one over the other. He said he's always enjoyed the role of helping people who come to have fun, make memories and enjoy the outdoors. By the same token, he's always enjoyed making these outdoors h
GRANITE FALLS -- It will cost an estimated $2.8 million to correct deficiencies in Granite Falls' aging sanitary sewer system. City Council members are committed to moving forward with the work, said City Manager Bill Lavin, but must now decide issues ranging from how to fund and assess the improvements, and whether to take on all the projects at once. Dozens of basements in the community were flooded when sanitary sewer lines backed up last summer during large rain events.
An annual choir of bell ringers began making music weeks ago in Kandiyohi County, the steady tinkle of their bells bringing the jingle of coins dropped into Salvation Army kettles at 11 different locations. The bells stop ringing at noon today, but the crescendo will be heard Christmas morning in homes throughout Kandiyohi County. That's when more than 1,000 children will be opening presents made possible by those who donated to kettles watched over by the bell ringers. "How I'd like to peek in the windows,'' said Capt.
WATSON -- Hunting geese in December takes some adjustment and, as we discovered, some cooperation from Mother Nature. For the first time ever, there's a December goose hunting season at the Lac qui Parle refuge, but successive winter blasts have deflated more than the Metrodome roof.
WILLMAR -- Fire destroyed a garage and its contents, including a work shop and two vehicles late Friday afternoon in Willmar. The fire was reported around 4:30 p.m. at a detached garage at 920 Southeast Second Street. The garage is separated by approximately 5 to 10 feet from a home. The homeowner had returned home and started a wood stove in the garage, according to Willmar Fire Chief Marv Calvin. The man went into his home and about one-half hour later saw a large amount of smoke when he looked out a window.
ROCK VALLE -- A matter of faith is splitting the congregations of some Lutheran churches affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Ch-urch in America. Just over two years ago, the ELCA voted to open the ministry of the church to gay and lesbian pastors in committed relationships. Some congregation members have found the decision irreconcilable with their faith, and pressed for disaffiliation votes in their churches. Nowhere are the stakes greater than in some of the area's rural parishes.
WILLMAR -- Difficult driving conditions continue to be reported as snowfall amounts accumulate in the region. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reports difficult conditions on roadways in Swift, Pope, Stevens, Big Stone and Douglas counties, as well as fair to difficult conditions on roads in Kandiyohi, Meeker, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Renville and Yellow Medicine counties. As much as 8 inches have been unofficially recorded in the Willmar area. The conditions led these area schools to cancel classes today: ACGC, BLHS, BOLD, CMCS, KMS, MACCRAY, NL-S, RCW and Willmar.
OLIVIA -- A Sacred Heart man has pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and domestic assault-strangulation. Jose Felix Barajas, 45, entered guilty pleas during a hearing Monday in Olivia. Under terms of a plea agreement, a charge of attempted murder in the second degree was dismissed. The court approved a stay of adjudication on the assault and domestic abuse charges.
WILLMAR -- A passion for hunting has led John Coulter from his classroom as a teacher in Tracy to the mountains of the western states, wilds of Alaska and even the African bush. It may bring him next to the hallways of the nation's capitol. Coulter, 62, now retired from teaching, is the Midwest representative for Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife.