Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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In the movies the heroes usually swoop in with capes fluttering on their backs or atop trusty steeds galloping at full speed. At the Lac qui Parle Valley High School, they walk over from their classrooms or drive a blue bus powered by used cooking oil. “Some people look at us like we’re crazy,’’ laughed Lesley Heyl, who drove Bettie the Blue Bus.
MILAN — Chuck Waibel and Carol Ford solved one problem. In their 2009 book, “The Northlands Winter Greenhouse Manual,” the Milan couple told the world how to build affordable, passive solar greenhouses to produce fresh greens for winter consumption in northern latitudes. Waibel was in the process of solving the next problem: How to develop a regional network of winter greenhouse producers for the local foods economy. He had been awarded a Bush Fellowship to pursue his goal this year. A few months later he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
OLIVIA - Olivia Mayor Suzanne Hilgert has ordered that all flags flying over public property within Olivia city limits be lowered to half staff from Thursday, October 24th until the evening of Friday, October 25, 2013 in honor of the passing of Mary Page, former Olivia mayor, Renville County commissioner, and University of Minnesota regent. “Our community has suffered a great loss with the passing of Mary Page” Mayor Hilgert
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Corrections reported that Wanda Claudette Butler, 52, was paroled into the community Wednesday and is no longer under constant supervision. Butler has been living at a halfway house after being released from the Iowa Correctional Facility for Women earlier this year. Butler had been sentenced in 1994 for kidnapping and sexually abusing two young women. She had been arrested Sept. 19, 1993, near Granite Falls after a high-speed chase with police officers.
GRANITE FALLS — Project Turnabout broke ground Tuesday on an estimated $6.4 million project to expand its residential, chemical dependency treatment facility on the west edge of Granite Falls. Officials at the ceremony described the need for the expansion as a “good news, bad news” turn of events. “The bad news is we have to do it because of the need,” said Duaine Amundson, a building committee member from Willmar. “The good news is we are in a position to do it, and it fulfills our mission to serve Southwest Minnesota.
GRANITE FALLS — The man charged in the Granite Falls double homicide last month is scheduled for a plea hearing next week, according to court records. Andrew Joseph Dikken, 28, of Renville, has previously filed a petition with Yellow Medicine County District Court stating his intention to plead guilty to the two charges filed against him — second-degree murder, with intent, not premeditated — in the shooting deaths of Kara Monson, 26, of Granite Falls, and Christopher Panitzke, 28, of Redwood Falls. Court records say a plea hearing is set for Oct.
Dana Johnson said goodbye to Los Angeles and London and came home to Willmar and western Minnesota to launch her career in video production. Two years later, she knows how lucky she is to have started here in the first place. “From here everything is a journey, and journeys really build who you are,’’ said Johnson. Her journey recently helped lead Pioneer Public Television to win its first Emmy award issued by the Upper Midwest Academy of Television Arts. Appropriately enough, the award-winning documentary she produced tells the story of a ris
CLARA CITY — The phone call came four years after Owen Schipnewski’s favorite hunting jacket flew out of the back of his pickup truck. The guy who found it called to apologize. Profusely. Trent Jorgenson felt bad that he had never dug through the jacket to discover the wallet tucked away in an inside pocket. But now he had, and learned who owned the jacket.
GRANITE FALLS — Andrew Joseph Dikken is offering to plead guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, according to a motion filed Wednesday with the District Court in Granite Falls. Dikken, 28, of Renville, is charged in Yellow Medicine County with separate counts of second-degree murder, with intent but not premeditated, in the shootings of Kara Monson, 26, of Granite Falls, and Christopher Panitzke, 28, of Redwood Falls. Dikken remains in custody in the Yellow Medicine County Jail in Granite Falls on $3 million bail. The criminal complaint alleges that Dikken entered Monson’s Granite Fa
OLIVIA — Renville County is considering a proposal to allow recreational vehicles to share county roads with cars and trucks.