Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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WILLMAR -- Work on the Paynesville bypass project remains on schedule, despite this year's record precipitation. The contactor has been able to develop much of the grade for the new route, thanks to the sandy soils in the area, Jon Huseby, District 8 engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, told members of the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Highway 23 Task Force on Friday. The $42 million, three-year project is one of many being undertaken toward the goal of expanding Minnesota Highway 23 from two to four lanes between Willmar and St.
MONTEVIDEO -- The steady build up of sediment in Lake Pepin and the hypoxia or oxygen-depleted "dead zone'' in the Gulf of Mexico continue to get lots of attention, and are leading to increasing calls for environmental regulations on upstream farming practices. Yet there are plenty of good things being done by farmers in the Minnesota River basin, and reason to believe that continuing to use a carrot in place of a stick can be the best way to keep things on the right track. That's some of the thinking behind a recent "Friendship Tour'' that joined upstream farmers in the basin with downstrea
WILLMAR -- This is the time of year when residents in west central Minnesota make their annual pilgrimage to Mount Tom in Sibley State Park to enjoy one of the state's most spectacular panoramas of fall colors. Don't stop there. We asked for suggestions on other, perhaps lesser known but equally inspiring locations in the region for fall color viewing.
MONTEVIDEO -- Heavy rains kept public works crews on the run throughout the region to keep sanitary sewer systems from backing up into basements, but no major problems were reported. There were some cases of localized flooding, but overall Montevideo did not experience any serious flood problems, according to Greg Schwaegerl, public works director, when reached late Thursday. He said crews kept pumps running and responded to problems. Chippewa County sent its sandbagging machine to Steele County to help emergency crews there. Public works crews in Granite Falls stayed up through the night
WILLMAR -- It's easy to find Cardinal Pride on display at Hoddap Field, but if you have an eye for it like Lee Wierschem, you can find it at rummage sales, auctions and a thrift shop or two. A self-confessed packrat, Wierschem has made collecting Willmar homecoming buttons his latest passion.
MONTEVIDEO -- Minnesota is looking at giving market-based economics a role in cleaning up the state's waters. The Minnesota River Board hopes to help shape the rules for it. Members of the Minnesota River Board agreed Monday in Montevideo to forward a list of suggestions on rules the counties would favor for a proposed conservation market.
GRANITE FALLS -- Xcel Energy intends in 2012 to remove an aged dam that no longer serves any purpose for the company, but upstream water users including a large ethanol plant are voicing concerns about how it will affect them. Xcel Energy decided this summer it will move forward with plans to remove the Minnesota Falls dam on the Minnesota River south of Granite Falls rather than repair it or replace it with man-made rapids, officials with the company and Barr Engineering told about 50 residents Wednesday night in Granite Falls. Constructed in 1905, the concrete masonry structure is at the a
MONTEVIDEO -- Larger class sizes and reduced extra-curricular opportunities were among the topics Monday before the Montevideo School Board. Superintendent Luther Heller said that budget cuts are being felt in the district. One consequence of the fiscal situation was a decision to no longer offer K-12 classes in the Sanford School. Students, their parents and staff are responding well to the changes that has necessitated, Heller said. The Montevideo district has separate high school and middle school buildings and also Ramsey Elementary School.
GRANITE FALLS -- School officials in the Yellow Medicine East district are hopeful of fixing the electrical problem that forced the cancellation of classes today, and resuming normal school activities on Thursday. The district cancelled classes today due to a power outage in the Bert Raney Elementary school in Granite Falls. The district will know sometime this afternoon if the problem can be fixed in time to allow classes to resume as usual on Thursday, according to Superintendent Al Stoeckman.