Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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OLIVIA -- Clad in a red polo shirt and black pants, Brian Kohout said he could see the disappointment when he told the boy answering the door that he wasn't there to deliver pizza. He was door-knocking as the Republican-endorsed candidate for the House District 20B seat. Political rivals will do well to recognize that there is much more behind the 21-year-old candidate than a youthful appearance and enthusiasm. While he didn't decide to run until persuaded on the last day to file, he hit the ground running.
CLARA CITY -- It's not as if there's never been a political discussion when the Koenen family gets together. Lyle Koenen's father, Kenneth, serves as a Chippewa County commissioner and his brother, Kurt, was mayor of Clara City, and is running again. But Lyle Koenen insists it's not the politics that he enjoys as a state legislator, but the nitty-gritty task of fighting and plowing through various budget, tax law and policy issues on behalf of the rural needs of House District 20B. Koenen, a four-term incumbent and DFL-endorsed candidate, attributes his political involvement to his farm bac
WATSON -- A Watson woman is rallying support to spare a landmark tree from the ax. Kylene Olson, former mayor of Watson, is attempting to save the Mile Tree along Minnesota Highway 7/U.S. Highway 59 south of Watson. She believes the cottonwood could be 150 years old. It is slated to be felled as part of a project to build a sanitary sewer line from Watson to Montevideo. Olson said Monday that U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., has offered to write a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development in support of sparing the tree.
BIRD ISLAND -- Eleven year-old McKaia Ryberg handled her brush with fame without missing a note and it may only be the start. A video featuring the sixth grader from St. Mary's Elementary in Bird Island singing the national anthem for President Barak Obama's visit Saturday to Minneapolis has been posted on You Tube. Its potential audience could rival that present at the University of Minnesota for the president's campaign stop. "She was so not nervous I could not believe it,'' said her mother, Sandy Ryberg, of her daughter's performance in Minneapolis. The family received VIP treatment.
HECTOR -- Gregg Kulberg is making his first bid for elected office but is going at it with the confidence of an incumbent. Perhaps it's because he is on familiar ground when it comes to taking on new challenges. The Republican candidate for the Minnesota Senate seat representing District 20 started his working career as a loan officer with Production Credit Association in Redwood Falls. He jumped to a Lakeville-based company known as National Electric and helped it grow as an environmental firm serving utility companies.
GRANITE FALLS -- This may not be one of the virtues Gary Kubly has preached from the pulpit, but his wife Pat's summation of his drive tells volumes. "She tells me I'm too stubborn to give up,'' said Kubly, chuckling. Kubly, 66, said there is much that needs to be accomplished, and the time is now to do it. "I don't want to leave when things are such a mess,'' he said, in reference to the budget deficit facing the state. Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, is seeking his second term as state senator for District 20. The district is in far western Minnesota, comprised of Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui
WILLMAR -- You can't help but notice that there are fewer young people chasing wild game these days. There's lots of discussion about getting young people involved in hunting and what the future might hold for hunting.
WILLMAR -- Fishing greats like Ted Takasaki and Ron and Al Lindner were among the first to offer their voices in support of Let's Go Fishing with Seniors. These days, some of the equally compelling endorsements are coming from people whose skills with a fishing pole are not quite so legendary. They include Linda Dilley, activities director for Bethesda Pleasant View Nursing Home in Willmar. She's been so moved by how the program has benefited residents there that she considers one of her proudest moments an incident at a care conference.
BUFFALO LAKE -- An 11-year-old, sixth-grade student at St. Mary's Elementary School in Bird Island has been invited to sing the national anthem Saturday when President Barack Obama makes a campaign visit to Minneapolis. McKaia Ryberg was "discovered'' by gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton when she sang the national anthem for the Tim Orth Foundation benefit held last March, according to her mother Sandy Ryberg.