Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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APPLETON -- Finding a set of moose antlers worthy of decorating a wall has led many hunters to remote, northern woods. Phyllis Rieppel does most of her hunting for moose antlers at flea markets, garage sales and the occasional auction. Shoot a moose? "I don't think so,'' said Rieppel as she carved away on the palm of a modest-sized moose antler. Rieppel, of Appleton, has turned her new-found love for carving into a rare pursuit.
RENVILLE -- A norovirus outbreak has sickened students in the Renville County West school district. More than 60 students were absent from school on Thursday with symptoms, most of them in the elementary school, according to information from the district office. The school reported 66 students were absent on Friday; 48 of the absentees are in grades K- 4. The virus causes severe diarrhea and vomiting, but most people recover in 24 to 48 hours, according to Jill Bruns, Renville County public health director. She said an investigation by her office and the Minnesota Department of Health has
RENVILLE -- A Norovirus outbreak has sickened students in the Renville County West school district. Over 60 students were absent from school on Thursday with symptoms of the disease, most of them in the elementary school, according to information from the district office. Attendance figures for today were not available this morning.
He walked from the riverbank to the coffee shop in St. Peter wearing rubber boots and the grime that came from days of hard paddling and camping on the Minnesota River. A couple of young men approached him with raised eyebrows and asked: "What's your story?'' He told it a few hours later around a bonfire with his new-found friends, who insisted that he enjoy the comforts of their home before returning to his adventure. It's been that way all along the Minnesota River for Rudy Goldstein, 23, of Hutchinson. "That's something I hadn't been expecting," said Goldstein.
GRANITE FALLS -- Yellow Medicine East school board members on Monday ratified a contract agreement with the district's teachers. According to Superintendent Al Stoeckman, the new contract will provide teachers with an overall increase of 2.6 percent over a two-year period, based on calculations by the Minnesota School Board Association. The contract provides a "soft freeze'' its first year. It provides compensation increases based on steps and lanes in the contract, or a teacher's years of service and educational qualifications. It provides a "hard freeze'' the second year.
MONTEVIDEO -- Drop a baited hook in the Minnesota River and your chances of catching a fish are better than they were 10 years ago. Fish abundance and diversity appear to be on the increase in the river, while turbidity in the river has decreased over the past decade. The level of phosphorus -- the nutrient responsible for summer algae blooms -- is trending downward too. "A decreasing trend is good news,'' said Kimberly Musser, assistant director of the Water and Resource Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
NEW LONDON -- It takes millions and millions of walleye to improve your odds of landing one. It also requires a lot of hard work by the staff with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to nudge Mother Nature along and stock all of those walleye in the state's lakes. Minnesota operates the country's largest walleye stocking program, and some of that work takes place here. The DNR fisheries crew in Spicer is one of nine in the state charged with collecting walleye eggs for the state's 12 warm-water hatcheries. The eggs collected here are raised at the New London hatchery.
OLIVIA -- Maybe his tendency to put big fish back into the water can be tracked back to the time he upset his dad. Marlin Hanson of Olivia remembers that he was very young, and that his father was very particular about anchoring the boat in exactly the right spot. His dad barked the command to drop anchor. Marlin did so, but had neglected to tie it to the boat. "My anchor went right on down," said Hanson, laughing. "He was none too happy." Hanson has had lots of fun ever since, not dropping anchors, but big fish back into the waters.
OLIVIA -- Matthew Thomas Fahey, 25, of Marshall, entered no plea during his arraignment Thursday morning in District Court in Olivia. He faces felony charges of criminal sexual predatory conduct, kidnapping, and two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly abducting and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. District Judge Randall Slieter ordered bail set at $1 million unconditional, and $500,000 conditional. The conditions prohibit him from entering the city limits of Fairfax, where the alleged victim and her family live. Renville County Attorney David Torgelson cited
OLIVIA -- Matthew Thomas Fahey, 25, of Marshall, entered no plea to charges of criminal sexual predatory conduct, kidnapping, and two counts of first degree sexual conduct during his arraignment Thursday morning in District Court in Olivia. District Judge Randall Slieter ordered bail set at $1 million unconditional and $500,000 conditional.