Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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MONTEVIDEO -- Flood worries in the Upper Minnesota River basin have gone down a notch thanks to cold temperatures that have slowed the snowmelt. An updated flood forecast issued Friday by the National Weather Service predicts the Minnesota River will crest Monday and Tuesday in Montevideo and Granite Falls at levels similar to those experienced last year. In Montevideo, the crest is expected at 18.2 feet Monday night.
CLARA CITY -- A return to sub-freezing temperatures gave area flood fighters a reprieve, but worries remain about the additional moisture held in the 6-12 inches of snow and slush that now blankets the landscape. Volunteers completed additional sandbagging Tuesday but faced no imminent emergencies Wednesday morning. Clara City Administrator Windy Block said Hawk Creek appears to have come down by about 6 inches from Tuesday. Hawk Creek's flow through Maynard remains high, and the community is being forced to bypass some of the inflow at the wastewater treatment plant.
OLIVIA -- Sugar beets could be used as the feedstock to expand ethanol production to areas outside of the Corn Belt. That's the goal of Heartland Renewable Energy of Muscatine, Iowa, and a Fargo, N.D.-based consulting company known as Green Vision Group. Sugar beets can produce almost twice as much ethanol per acre as corn, according to Maynard Helgaas, president of Green Vision Group. He spoke to Renville County ProAg members Monday evening at their annual meeting in Olivia. Helgaas said producing ethanol from sugar beets has a number of advantages.
CLARA CITY -- A return to sub-freezing temperatures is giving flood fighters a reprieve in the area, but worries remain about the additional moisture held in the six- to 12-inches of snow and slush that now blankets the landscape. Clara City volunteers completed additional sandbagging last night, but are not facing any imminent emergencies this morning.
Flood fighting efforts got under way as waters swelled over the banks of tributaries to the Minnesota River on Tuesday afternoon. Volunteers began sandbagging an area on the north side of Clara City, according to City Administrator Windy Block. A crew of 15 to 20 volunteers answered the call. They were able to protect the north residential area as well as the wastewater treatment plant south of the town.
OLIVIA -- Helping young people get started in agriculture and promoting a growing local foods economy in the state are priorities for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture under its new leadership. Matthew Wohlman, a newly appointed assistant commissioner in the department, also emphasized that it will continue to promote conventional agriculture and the adoption of new technologies in the field. "There's a place for all sizes and types of agriculture in Minnesota,'' said Wohlman in a presentation Monday evening at the annual meeting of ProAg in Renville County in Olivia. Wohlman is a Ren
CLARA CITY -- Flood fighting efforts have got underway as waters swelled over the banks of tributaries to the Minnesota River on Tuesday afternoon. Volunteers began sandbagging an area on the north side of Clara City, according to City Administrator Windy Block. A crew of 15 to 20 volunteers answered the call, and the city was prepared to sound the sirens and call for additional help if the waters continued to rise. Downstream in Maynard, the city was struggling to keep ahead of waters threatening to back up the sewer system.
MONTEVIDEO -- Threatened with the loss of its state financial support, the Minnesota River Board agreed Monday to explore different reorganization strategies in hopes of continuing its multi-county approach to cleaning up the Minnesota River. Richard Larson, who represents Kandiyohi County, authored the motion at the board's meeting Monday in Montevideo.
BIRD ISLAND -- To her friends and classmates in sixth grade, Selena Vasquez was fun-loving and full of zest. "Great fun,'' said BOLD sixth-grader Noelia Lopez. Or, as BOLD elementary principal Kip Lynk put it: "She was spirited. She would tell you what she thought. Sassy, in a good kind of way.'' Selena was remembered for all of these attributes on Friday afternoon in Bird Island, just days after the 12-year-old's death. "I can't really accept it," said Lopez. "It really shocked us,'' said Autumn Bloomquist, a sixth-grade friend. Elementary students from the BOLD, St.
OLIVIA -- Three area counties will be considering a resolution asking the state Legislature to put "on hold'' the process that could lead to the removal of the Minnesota Falls dam on the Minnesota River south of Granite Falls. The Renville County Board of Commissioners heard a request at its meeting Tuesday from Granite Falls Energy. The ethanol company would like to see ownership of the dam transferred to the state.