Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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WILLMAR -- Petrolino Molina, 27, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Thursday in District Court in Willmar to felony charges of fifth-degree possession of drugs, fleeing a police officer, and terroristic threats - reckless disregard of risk. Sentencing will be March 23.
WILLMAR -- A 64-year-old man convicted of sexually abusing a boy and girl multiple times over a three-year period will serve 144 months in prison. Thomas Harold Kremer, of Kandiyohi, was sentenced Friday in District Court in Willmar to serve 144 months -- 12 years -- in prison for a conviction of first-degree criminal sexual conduct; and to 70 months in prison for conviction of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
SPICER -- Why prove your outdoor survival skills during the muggy, buggy days of summer at Many Point Scout Camp when you can do the same close to home and replace the incessant whine of mosquitoes with the absolute silence of a snow cave? That's part of the reasoning that led five Willmar Boy Scouts to build a quinzee at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center and enjoy a winter camp out last Saturday. "We're excited to see what it's like," is the other explanation.
OLIVIA -- Property owners in Olivia got their first look Wednesday at what a proposed $20.8 million investment to rehabilitate aging infrastructure in the city might cost them. An estimated $4.7 million of the total costs would be assessed to approximately 450 different parcels in the project areas. Nearly 90 people gathered at a public hearing Wednesday evening at the Community Center to hear about the projects and view spreadsheets pasted on the walls showing the estimated assessments for their properties.
OLIVIA -- A lawsuit by two taxpayers against the Yellow Medicine East School District is headed to trial, with the potential for what their attorney termed a "train wreck'' should they prevail. The two parties did not reach a settlement Thursday during a conference in District Court in Olivia, but instead set the framework for a trial on the issues in March. At issue is the district's prior action to award nearly $11 million worth of financing for health and safety and other work in the district's school buildings without taxpayer approval. Patrick McCoy and Scott Wintz, both of Clarkfield,
WILLMAR -- The stage is set for spring flooding in the Upper Minnesota River Valley and its tributaries. The National Weather Service in Chanhassen is urging residents in the upper Minnesota River Valley to consider purchasing flood insurance so that it is in effect by the spring melt, and to pay attention to flood outlook advisories as they are posted in the weeks ahead. The next will be issued Jan.
OLIVIA -- Renville County is looking at adopting a social host ordinance to make it more difficult for youths to obtain alcohol. Annie Tepfer, director of the Renville Alliance for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drugs, asked the County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday to consider adopting a social host ordinance. She proposed an ordinance modeled after that approved recently in Yellow Medicine County.
MONTEVIDEO -- Communities along the Minnesota River are keeping their eyes open for the potential of spring flooding as the snowpack continues to grow. The city of Montevideo recently sent letters to residents in the community advising them about the possibility of purchasing flood insurance if their property is in an area subject to flooding.
GRANITE FALLS -- Plans by Granite Falls Energy to expand its ethanol production capacity from 49.9 million to 70 million gallons per year raise no significant environmental issues, according to a recently completed environmental assessment worksheet. No concerns about the project were voiced by people attending a public hearing on the assessment hosted by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Monday evening in Granite Falls. The project remains open to public comment through Jan.
OLIVIA -- Renville County will be ordering the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative to take steps to remove snow and ice in County Ditch 45, and will consider imposing fines for flooding that has already occurred along it. The County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday instructed County Ditch In-spector Larry Zupke to order the cooperative to remove snow and ice due to concerns about flooding in the ditch. The decision at the meeting Tuesday comes amidst general agreement by the commissioners that the sugar cooperative's use of the ditch for its wastewater discharges is "not working.'' C