Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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BENSON -- Elizabeth Giese was caught off guard by the pain, swelling and growing fatigue that began to afflict her in 2009. The swelling puffed her face so badly that at one point, she could hardly see. Giese, of Benson, said that neither she nor her doctors had any idea of what the cause of her misery was until her diagnosis in the spring of 2009. She is afflicted with a kidney disease known as Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, or FSGS.
MONTEVIDEO -- Soldiers in the 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery will be equipped this year with the Army's new M777 howitzer, and their arrival means changes are coming to area armories. Since the new guns have greater accuracy and fire much faster than the M198 howitzers they replace, the Army has decided to outfit the battalion with four guns instead of the current six, according to Lt. Col.
GRANITE FALLS -- Plans by Xcel Energy to remove a dam of 1905 vintage on the Minnesota River present a costly dilemma for an area ethanol producer. An engineering study estimates it will cost Granite Falls Energy $2 million to modify its water intake system at the site of the Minnesota Falls dam if the dam is removed. The ethanol company relies on the Minnesota River as its primary source of water.
MURDOCK -- The farm fields north of Murdock lie fallow and snow-covered, but the winter scene is anything but quiet. There's a drum beat of hammers at the Falk Seed Farm, where a warehouse and adjoining loading dock are under construction. By spring, the site, which is about the size of a football field, will be stacked with bags of seeds reaching toward a towering rooftop.
BIRD ISLAND -- Having been "discovered'' by Mark Dayton, it is only appropriate. McKaia Ryberg will be singing the National Anthem for Governor Mark Dayton's inauguration at noon today, her family reported. Dayton's office contacted the 11-year-old and her family during the week before Christmas to ask if she would do the honors, her mother, Sandy Ryberg reported. The inauguration will be held at the Landmark Center in St. Paul. The swearing-in ceremony begins at noon and will be broadcast on Channel 9. Ryberg is a sixth-grade student at St. Mary's Elementary School in Bird Island.
MONTEVIDEO -- It could be a year or more yet before it is known for certain whether the 81-pound canine found killed alongside a Chippewa County roadway last March is a wolf, as is believed. The carcass recovered along Minnesota Highway 7 about halfway between Montevideo and Watson had all the characteristics of a wolf, but only genetic tests can confirm it.
OLIVIA -- Bail was set at $2 million Tuesday as Sergio Turrubiates Jr., 20, of Olivia, was arraigned on a charge of murder in the second degree - without intent for the death of 19-month-old Tiana Moore. Moore died on Christmas Eve at the Children's Hospital in St. Paul of traumatic head injuries she allegedly received on Dec. 22 while in Turrubiates' care at her home in Olivia. Turrubiates' first appearance Tuesday in District Court was marked by tension. As he entered the courtroom, a man and woman charged toward him from the spectator benches, the man shouting obscenities.
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
ST. PAUL -- Two managers responsible for some of this area's most highly-regarded and popular resources have left the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as part of a retirement incentive program. Tuesday was the last day on the job for Bruce Gilbertson, who has managed the DNR's fisheries office in Spicer since 1994; and Paul Otto, who has managed Sibley State Park for just a few days shy of 10 years. Otto completes a 35½-years career with the DNR.