Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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ST. PAUL -- Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon smiled all 12,800 feet down from an Army airplane today, becoming the first state executive to parachute onto the Capitol mall. "It is a magnificent view," she said after her feet were firmly planted on the ground. The 66-year-old Duluth woman continued her smiling as she was peppered with questions, saying that she would jump from an airplane again "now that I know what it is like." Prettner Solon made her first skydive, in tandem with Amy Sgt.
HECTOR -- A portable lab for manufacturing methamphetamine, nearly 2 grams of methamphetamine and about 4 pounds of marijuana were seized Sept. 17 from a home in Hector located near a city park and the Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart High School. Justin Andrew Walker, 27, was at the home on the 300 block of Second Street West.
MONTEVIDEO -- Two groups held separate, but simultaneous events on Sunday to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the freeing of hostages at Camp Release at the end of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. "This is vastly different than most commemorations we have been part of," said June Lynne, director of the Chippewa County Historical Society, as she greeted nearly 60 participants to the commemoration hosted by the Chippewa and Lac qui Parle historical societies and Clean Up our River Environment.
The Fagen Fighters World War II Museum will host its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. There is no admission fee, and visitors are welcome to tour the museum at their leisure. No formal ceremony is planned, but First Officer Jeffrey Skiles of the "Miracle on the Hudson'' fame is among the guests expected to attend the grand opening and share a few words. There will also be fly-overs and, in the afternoon, World War II-era music by New London's Mill Pond Jazz Combo and three high school-age singers will perform the songs of the Andrew Sisters.
To appreciate how prized this collection of World War II aircraft is, know this: The new, 15,000-square-foot brick-faced hangar that holds them is built to be tornado proof. Yet despite its strength and the firepower on display in it, the signature exhibit of the Fagen Fighters World War II Museum makes weak-kneed the strongest of warriors. A sculpture by acclaimed artist Fred Hoppe Jr.
WILLMAR -- Never before have so many projects come before the ditch authorities in Minnesota's agricultural counties seeking to improve drainage systems, redetermine benefits, add new laterals or make other expansions. And never before has the process taken so long to accomplish, according to Kurt Deter, an attorney specializing in drainage law with the Rinke Noonan Law firm. The Minnesota River Board agreed Monday at its meeting in Willmar to work with the attorney to develop a request for proposals in hopes of finding an independent contractor willing to provide the "viewer" services the l
WILLMAR -- An independent task force will be charged with recommending whether or not there is a future for the Minnesota River Board. Members of the joint powers group representing the 37 counties in the Minnesota River basin agreed during a meeting Monday in Willmar to allocate up to $9,000 for a task force. Board members said they want an independent review and will look outside of the board to agencies such as Soil and Water Conservation Districts, farm and conservation groups, and watershed groups for its members. The task force will recommend whether a basin-wide, Minnesota River Boar
OLIVIA -- Several years of planning for a joint recycling facility to serve Renville and Redwood counties has paid off with the announcement Thursday by Gov. Mark Dayton that the counties will receive a $1,898,750 grant from the state of Minnesota. "We're finally going to get some wheels under the project and we're ready to go,'' said Jon Mitchell, environmental director for Redwood County. His enthusiasm was shared by Marlin Larson, public works director in Renville County. "They're one of the best, shining stars in the state as far as recycling goes,'' he said of Redwood County.
WOOD LAKE BATTLEFIELD -- Since 1910, a one-acre site with a monument has been all that marked the final battle of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, and it is in the wrong location. The fenced site is located where Col. Henry Sibley camped, but not where the Battle of Wood Lake took place on Sept. 23, 1862. State officials will join the Wood Lake Battlefield Preservation Association at the actual battlefield site at 1:30 p.m. on Sept.