Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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ST. PAUL -- There has been no shortage of desire when it comes to cleaning up the Minnesota River, but there has also been plenty of disagreement over how best to do it. Now, there is the promise of seeing all the needed technical data collected and modeled in a way to make possible the best decisions on how to achieve the goal. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul district, is launching an integrated watershed study of the Minnesota River.
WILLMAR -- Plans to build the coal-fired Big Stone II power plant have gone down, but there apparently remains interest in seeing upgraded transmission lines going up that were once promised as part of the project. The lines were to have included excess capacity available for carrying wind power. The partners in the Big Stone II project recently filed a notice with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to relinquish their certificate of need for the coal plant.
GRANITE FALLS -- The Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners tabled a proposal Tuesday to study the possibility of joining its family services operations with those of Lincoln, Lyon and Murray counties. The commissioners indicated they wanted to leave open the possibility of exploring this and other options in the future.
DANUBE -- Controversy continues to dog Danube in the wake of criminal charges filed against the city's police chief, Les Schneider Jr. The police chief's father, Les Schneider Sr., has resigned from the Danube City Council, but fired a parting salvo at a fellow council member in the process. In a letter presented to individual City Council members last Wednesday, Schneider said he was resigning from the council. He expressed concerns that a City Council member -- Sharon Lothert said she is the target of the letter -- is getting paid beyond her council salary for work being performed for the
OLIVIA -- Renville County is looking at joining Kandiyohi County among the rural Minnesota counties participating in the Project Lifesaver tracking system. The Renville County Board of Commissioners informally agreed to form a committee with the Sheriff's Department to explore county participation. Chief Deputy Doug Pomplun said he has heard from some parents of autistic children who had learned of the county's possible interest and are encouraging it to join. The nonprofit organization offers a tracking system for finding persons with cognitive disabilities who wander from caregivers.
WILLMAR -- Prospects for the 2009 deer firearm season that opened today can be summed up very easily. "It's going to be a tough one,'' said LeRoy Dahlke, the wildlife manager with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources office located at Sibley State Park near New London. One of the wettest Octobers on record means that fields of corn will remain standing through the entire firearm season no matter how the weather turns. Also, deer numbers are down in the region.
SPICER -- Three times Kevin Fasen has hunted the African continent, but a trio of Midwestern states has made possible the hunting accomplishment that he is most proud. In the last couple of months Fasen has harvested one deer each in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, the latter state producing a 10-point, non-typical buck that field-dressed at over 200 pounds. What made this grand slam so special is that each deer was taken using a 48-pound, traditional recurve bow. A bow hunter for more than 30 years, Fasen, of Spicer, decided about nine years ago to take up the challenge of shooti
MONTEVIDEO -- Montevideo City Council members agreed to make it possible for a church to operate in a downtown building while also preserving the ability to continue issuing liquor licenses in its vicinity. By its actions Monday, the City Council resolved a dilemma posed by a request from the Iglesia Christiana Rayo de Luz church.
GRANITE FALLS -- A wage freeze, reductions in capital expenditures and cuts to services such as spraying for mosquitoes are among the options being considered to trim costs by the city of Granite Falls. City Council members discussed these and other options at the meeting Monday as part of an effort to develop a 2010 budget based on expectations of reduced Local Government Aid payments, according to City Manager Bill Lavin. He said no decisions were made on cuts at this time.
MONTEVIDEO -- Curtis David Quale, 69, of Granite Falls, pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted murder, domestic abuse with a past pattern of domestic abuse.