Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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WILLMAR -- Lovise and Rune Holmedal and their daughter Kaia left their home on the west coast of Norway for a holiday in America, taking in sites from Chicago to the Grand Canyon. They stopped Sunday at the Guri Endresen historic cabin on Lake Solomon north of Willmar to check out some of the family stories about the ancestor who had left Norway for America, only to lose her husband and a son when attacked during the U.S. Dakota Conflict of 1862. The Holmedal's Norwegian accent was a giveaway to Kim and Debbie Larson of rural Willmar.
GRANITE FALLS -- Speak up for your needs, be headstrong and trust in God. That's the advice Marv and Diane Patten offer up for flood victims in Duluth, having been through the same in April 1997. "People could easily give up, they easily could,'' said Diane Patten of the struggles ahead. "We're fighters and survivors, but not everyone is.'' The Pattens own and operate Granite Greenhouse and Floral in Granite Falls.
GRANITE FALLS -- At last count there were 198 disc golf courses in the state of Minnesota, making them easier to find than the restaurant with the Golden Arches. Yet travel west of Willmar, and disc golf courses become very hard to find. Compared to other parts of Minnesota, west central Minnesota is lacking in courses for what is one of the fastest-growing outdoor activities in the state, according to Derek Tonn, communications director with the Minnesota Frisbee Association. That's about to change, and fast.
MONTEVIDEO -- Plans to remove the 54-year-old dam on the Chippewa River in Montevideo are on track and under budget. The Montevideo City Council met Monday but did not have a quorum to take action.
GRANITE FALLS -- City Council members in Granite Falls have approved a special use permit to allow a vacant commercial property along U.S. Highway 212 to be converted for use as a church. The council action on Monday allows the Rock Haven Church to convert the former Rittmiller Motors property on the west side of the city for use as a church. The congregation is negotiating for the purchase of the property from the Citizens Alliance Bank.
GRANITE FALLS -- A judgment in a taxpayers' lawsuit against the Yellow Medicine East School District spares it the costly and complicated task of unraveling more than $2.8 million worth of facilities improvements found to have been improperly funded. But the judgment issued June 14 by District Judge Randall Slieter still leaves the district with difficult financial decisions. The judgment prohibits the district from issuing the remaining $1.25 million in alternative facilities bonds. The district has more than $800,000 in unpaid expenses associated with the improvement project. The greates
GRANITE FALLS -- While this weekend's airshow is expected to bring thousands of visitors to the Granite Falls Municipal Airport, it's likely only the beginning in terms of people making this site a destination. The Fagen Fighters WWII Museum will open this fall to permanently remember and honor those who served. The museum is sure to attract thousands of visitors in the years ahead. The museum will include two hangars, a WWII Quonset hut and WWII control tower. The new, 15,000 square foot hanger will be a brick, tornado proof structure.
MONTEVIDEO -- Thomas the Train has nothing on the replica steam locomotive that will be making its inaugural run in Montevideo's Fiesta Day parade at 1 p.m. on Sunday. "I've had people darn near drive up the curb when they see me giving rides in the parking lot,'' laughed Jim Ruether, president of the Milwaukee Road Heritage Center in Montevideo. He's also the chief designer for what will soon be the Center's new icon, a road ready replica of a steam locomotive built on a 1995 Ford Ranger, extended cab pickup. "Old No.
WATSON -- Watson City Council members voted 3-2 Tuesday evening to contract with the city of Montevideo for fire protection. With a packed house watching, many of them members of the Watson Community Fire Department, the tie-breaking vote fell to council member Tina Buseman. Her vote came after council members rejected an offer by the attorney for the Watson Community Fire Department to negotiate a contract yet that evening. Council member Mike Huntley, formerly the town's mayor, and current Mayor Joe Rongstad offered the motion to contract with Montevideo.
OLIVIA -- Matthew James Wrobleski, 38, of Willmar, knows he is going to prison, but he will have to wait another month to learn for just how long. Parties involved in his case in Renville County agreed Tuesday during private discussions in the court chambers in Olivia to postpone his sentencing. District Judge Randall Slieter told the defendant and others present for the sentencing that the parties have issues to resolve involving a complicated plea agreement reached on April 23. Wrobleski had pleaded guilty to felony charges of illegal possession of a firearm and motor vehicle theft, accor