Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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APPLETON -- It is a challenge to keep a regional tourism collaborative together. Its member counties and communities sometimes have competing interests and differing ideas of what to do. And right now, all are facing tight budgets and greater demands on their resources. Despite these realities, the Western Minnesota Prairie Waters tourism coalition is moving into 2011 with a sense of optimism.
The Chippewa River was back within its banks but keeping a sprinter's pace when the nine of us slipped two canoes and five kayaks into its current at Lentz's Landing on Minnesota Highway 40 on the afternoon of Easter Sunday. Our plan was to hitch a ride on this conveyor belt to the Watson Lion's Park about eight miles downstream. So much to see on the way: We chased up wood ducks, mallards and plenty of mergansers too, including a pair of hooded.
LAKE JOHANNA TOWNSHIP, POPE COUNTY -- Kurt Nelson has 80 acres of land in the southeast corner of Pope County that are the kind often touted in the classified ads of outdoor publications as "prime hunting acres.'' Last winter he dished out more than 3,000 bushels of corn to pheasants and deer just outside the back door of his home here. "I'm too busy feeding them to hunt them,'' laughed Nelson, a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. This spring he's watching waterfowl splash in the four-acre wetland he restored, and anticipating the green-up.
For more than seven years, Terry Overlander has continued to answer every opportunity to stand before high school students and tell a story that never fails to bring him to the brink of sobbing. He's telling it again today, this time to professionals gathered in Redwood Falls at the request of the Southwest Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths campaign to make roadways safer. "It's about choices,'' Overlander, of Dawson, tells his audiences of all ages. He wants to persuade young people not to make the mistake of drinking and driving or of getting into a vehicle when the driver has been drinking.
OLIVIA -- Matthew Fahey's sentencing for the sexual assault of a 14-year-old newspaper carrier is being postponed until May 27, according to a decision announced Tuesday by the District Court in Renville County. The delay was requested by Matthew Fahey's newly retained defense attorney, Richard Lee Swenson of Chaska.
OLIVIA -- Matthew Fahey's sentencing for the sexual assault of a 14-year-old newspaper carrier in Fairfax is being postponed until May 27, according to a decision announced Tuesday by the district court in Renville County. The delay was requested by Matthew Fahey's new, private defense attorney, Richard Lee Swenson of Chaska. The attorney asked for time to review the case and prepare possible motions. Fahey was scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow, or just prior to the one year anniversary of the May 4, 2010 assault for which he was convicted.
OLIVIA -- The president of Minaqua Fisheries Cooperative, of Renville, has paid the fees for aquatic fish farm licenses and satisfied a court order for a citation he had received for not purchasing the licenses since 2007. Melburn Stocks of Willmar had been cited for a misdemeanor rule violation and appeared April 18 in District Court in Olivia. Court records indicated that he was placed on probation with the single requirement that he pay the annual license fees of $210 and then the matter would be dismissed. Stocks said the court had continued the matter for dismissal provided the license
OLIVIA -- The president of the state's largest fish farm was cited for not having an aquatic fish farm license by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Melburn Stocks of Willmar, president of Minaqua Fisheries Cooperative in Renville, appeared in district court in Olivia on April 18 for the misdemeanor rule violation. Court records indicate that Stocks told the court that he had acquired a fish farm license in 2007. He indicated that he had not been notified subsequently of the need to purchase a license each year. The court placed Stocks on probation.
MONTEVIDEO -- Denny Smith was a table-pounding teacher and coach in the mode of Vince Lombardi while with the Montevideo Schools from 1973 to 1978. "Those who know me from my coaching days say I wasn't always pleasant to be around,'' said Smith, laughing. He still likes to emphasize a point with a fist on the table, but Smith was back in Montevideo this week with a spirited presentation on a topic he would never have raised back in the 1970s.
If Ann Bancroft hasn't settled the matter once and for all, Natalie Warren and Ann Raiho certainly will. The two -- soon-to-be St.