Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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MONTEVIDEO -- Heavy rains kept public works crews on the run throughout the region to keep sanitary sewer systems from backing up into basements, but no major problems were reported. There were some cases of localized flooding, but overall Montevideo did not experience any serious flood problems, according to Greg Schwaegerl, public works director, when reached late Thursday. He said crews kept pumps running and responded to problems. Chippewa County sent its sandbagging machine to Steele County to help emergency crews there. Public works crews in Granite Falls stayed up through the night
WILLMAR -- It's easy to find Cardinal Pride on display at Hoddap Field, but if you have an eye for it like Lee Wierschem, you can find it at rummage sales, auctions and a thrift shop or two. A self-confessed packrat, Wierschem has made collecting Willmar homecoming buttons his latest passion.
MONTEVIDEO -- Minnesota is looking at giving market-based economics a role in cleaning up the state's waters. The Minnesota River Board hopes to help shape the rules for it. Members of the Minnesota River Board agreed Monday in Montevideo to forward a list of suggestions on rules the counties would favor for a proposed conservation market.
GRANITE FALLS -- Xcel Energy intends in 2012 to remove an aged dam that no longer serves any purpose for the company, but upstream water users including a large ethanol plant are voicing concerns about how it will affect them. Xcel Energy decided this summer it will move forward with plans to remove the Minnesota Falls dam on the Minnesota River south of Granite Falls rather than repair it or replace it with man-made rapids, officials with the company and Barr Engineering told about 50 residents Wednesday night in Granite Falls. Constructed in 1905, the concrete masonry structure is at the a
MONTEVIDEO -- Larger class sizes and reduced extra-curricular opportunities were among the topics Monday before the Montevideo School Board. Superintendent Luther Heller said that budget cuts are being felt in the district. One consequence of the fiscal situation was a decision to no longer offer K-12 classes in the Sanford School. Students, their parents and staff are responding well to the changes that has necessitated, Heller said. The Montevideo district has separate high school and middle school buildings and also Ramsey Elementary School.
GRANITE FALLS -- School officials in the Yellow Medicine East district are hopeful of fixing the electrical problem that forced the cancellation of classes today, and resuming normal school activities on Thursday. The district cancelled classes today due to a power outage in the Bert Raney Elementary school in Granite Falls. The district will know sometime this afternoon if the problem can be fixed in time to allow classes to resume as usual on Thursday, according to Superintendent Al Stoeckman.
SACRED HEART -- A Sacred Heart man faces charges including second-degree attempted murder - with intent but not premeditated after he allegedly grabbed a woman by her neck and put a knife toward it while asking her if she wanted to die. Jose Felix Barajas, 45, is currently held in the Renville County Jail awaiting a Nov. 3 court appearance. The court set bail at $200,000 unconditional and $100,000 conditional during his arraignment on Aug.
SPICER -- Transport an invasive species like zebra mussels to Green Lake, and someday you might face a possible penalty of $3,000, one year in jail and the prospect of paying restitution for the harm done. Tougher laws, the possibility of closing public accesses to the lake, and building expensive decontamination stations were among the proposals raised by Green Lake property owners to protect the lake from zebra mussels. There was also a suggestion to require that boats be tagged with color-coded stickers when they leave infested lakes, such as Mille Lacs or Minnetonka.
SPICER -- It only took two years from their initial discovery in waters between Lake Huron and Lake Erie in 1988 for zebra mussels to spread throughout all of the Great Lakes. More recently, the invasive species has been found in the Lake Le Homme Dieu chain of lakes in Douglas County and below the Sartell dam on the Mississippi River near St. Cloud, both locations within an hour's drive of Green Lake in Spicer.