Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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GRANITE FALLS -- Xcel Energy will be awarding a bid for the demolition of the 1905-built Minnesota Falls dam in August, unless a party unexpectedly steps forward with an interest to purchase it. Jim Bodensteiner, director of environmental affairs for Xcel, said the company is moving down the path toward demolition in the wake of a recent decision by Granite Falls Energy not to seek ownership of the dam. The ethanol company had recently notified the City of Granite Falls and Chippewa and Yellow Medicine counties that it is ending its pursuit of ownership. The City of Granite Falls was the la
GLENWOOD -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is investigating a report that a zebra mussel was found in Lake Minnewaska in Pope County near Glenwood. A citizen reported finding what appears to be an adult zebra mussel. It was attached to the metal portion of a boat seat mount that was submerged in 4 feet of water.
MONTEVIDEO -- The biggest show of the year is now playing in Montevideo, but get there quick as its run will be short. In only eight days, workers with MACC Inc., of Montevideo have removed the Chippewa River dam that has stood since 1958 downstream of Lagoon Park in Montevideo. A steady procession of onlookers has snapped photos and watched as the years of accumulated sediment, and the concrete and rebar that comprised the 21-feet-high-by-120-feet-wide structure was removed. By the end of the day Tuesday the workers had already constructed two of the six rock weirs that will replace the da
MONTEVIDEO -- Montevideo's industrial park in the Smith Addition may be an unusual location to look for the start of a housing recovery, but it's where you can find it. After feeling the effects of the country's housing downturn since 2008, modular home builder Friendship Homes is humming on all cylinders.
OLIVIA -- A compromise will help make possible the acquisition of land for a new wildlife management area in Renville County, but it still leaves open the debate on how to balance conflicting recreational uses on public lands in the Minnesota River Valley. The Renville County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved plans by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to acquire 293 acres of land adjacent to the Vicksburg County Park along the Minnesota River south of Renville. The commissioners also attached an amendment to the resolution stating the county's support for mul
WILLMAR -- Lovise and Rune Holmedal and their daughter Kaia left their home on the west coast of Norway for a holiday in America, taking in sites from Chicago to the Grand Canyon. They stopped Sunday at the Guri Endresen historic cabin on Lake Solomon north of Willmar to check out some of the family stories about the ancestor who had left Norway for America, only to lose her husband and a son when attacked during the U.S. Dakota Conflict of 1862. The Holmedal's Norwegian accent was a giveaway to Kim and Debbie Larson of rural Willmar.
GRANITE FALLS -- Speak up for your needs, be headstrong and trust in God. That's the advice Marv and Diane Patten offer up for flood victims in Duluth, having been through the same in April 1997. "People could easily give up, they easily could,'' said Diane Patten of the struggles ahead. "We're fighters and survivors, but not everyone is.'' The Pattens own and operate Granite Greenhouse and Floral in Granite Falls.
GRANITE FALLS -- At last count there were 198 disc golf courses in the state of Minnesota, making them easier to find than the restaurant with the Golden Arches. Yet travel west of Willmar, and disc golf courses become very hard to find. Compared to other parts of Minnesota, west central Minnesota is lacking in courses for what is one of the fastest-growing outdoor activities in the state, according to Derek Tonn, communications director with the Minnesota Frisbee Association. That's about to change, and fast.
MONTEVIDEO -- Plans to remove the 54-year-old dam on the Chippewa River in Montevideo are on track and under budget. The Montevideo City Council met Monday but did not have a quorum to take action.
GRANITE FALLS -- City Council members in Granite Falls have approved a special use permit to allow a vacant commercial property along U.S. Highway 212 to be converted for use as a church. The council action on Monday allows the Rock Haven Church to convert the former Rittmiller Motors property on the west side of the city for use as a church. The congregation is negotiating for the purchase of the property from the Citizens Alliance Bank.