Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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Gruff truck drivers, road-weary travelers from the Twin Cities and South Dakota, moms and dads from town, and lots of Clara City natives home for a visit, all arriving with big smiles. It doesn’t matter. When they open either of two freezer doors at the Cenex C-Store on Minnesota Highway 7 in Clara City, Laurie Woodring instantly knows what they have in common. They all love the flavorful pork raised on the Pastures A Plenty farm north of town by two generations of the VanDerPol family.
Manufacturing is one of the biggest players in our region’s economy, and yet often the most overlooked. It is built largely on the skills of small entrepreneurs who operate small to medium-sized shops that rarely come to our attention.
John Larson discovered his passion for transforming clay into art right at home, growing up on the prairie south of Clarkfield in Yellow Medicine County. There have been no limits on where he would go to pursue its study. He attended Utah State in 2007-08, and studied abroad in South Korea in 2008. He returned on his own to Korea in 2009 to work alongside one of that country’s most respected ceramic artists, Hyang Jong Oh. He moved next to Portland, Oregon, where he worked at Mudshark Studios, a fast-growing cooperative that specializes in custom ceramic manufacturing.
When Ann Thompson opened a store in Milan featuring the works of local artists, there were some who thought she was taking the kind of financial risk more often made on Wall Street than the Main Street of a town of only 369 souls. She felt otherwise. She knew the Upper Minnesota River Valley was home to many talented artists, most with other jobs to support themselves and no time to open retail outlets of their own. And, she believed Milan was building enough of a reputation as an “artsy’’ locale to draw the customers needed.
OLIVIA — A decision on whether to move forward with a proposal to build a new Renville County hospital and clinic facility will likely be made by month’s end. Nathan Blad, interim administrator for the county-owned RC Hospital and Clinics, told the Renville County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that he would be bringing a resolution for consideration to the board’s April 16 work session, with hopes that members would take action at their meeting one week later.
OLIVIA – A decision on whether to move forward with a proposal to build a new Renville County Hospital and Clinics facility will likely be made by month’s end. Nathan Blad, interim administrator for RC Hospital and Clinics, told the Renville County board of commissioners at their meeting this morning that he would be bringing a resolution for consideration at their April 16 work session, with hopes they would take action at their meeting one week later.
BUFFALO LAKE — Buffalo Lake’s famous singer of the national anthem performed for fans at the Minnesota Timberwolves game on March 30. McKaia Ryberg, 14, was absolutely in her glory singing at the start of the game, said her parents, Brian and Sandy Ryberg.
GRANITE FALLS — His country called, and Maurice Turner answered by serving as a radioman with the U.S. Air Force in New Guinea during World War II. He came home counting himself lucky to have done so, but also with a lifelong passion for aeronautics and electronics. Now it was time for others to answer: Staff and volunteers with the Rice Hospice program, Willmar Ambulance, Kandiyohi County Veterans Service Office, and Turner’s family commemorated his contributions in a way that could not have been more fitting.
GRANITE FALLS — For children with challenges ranging from autism to learning disabilities, progress can come ever so slowly, one step at a time. The opportunity to be there when that step is made is what brings Ginny Dambroten to the Lee-Mar Ranch Equine Center along U.S. Highway 212 West in Granite Falls. “To go into that arena and see a small child ride a horse, and the smile on her face,’’ said Dambroten, pausing before adding: “It makes you cry to see that.’’
MONTEVIDEO — The city of Montevideo will receive an engineering analysis of the heating and cooling system in City Hall. An upgrade to the system is among three capital improvement projects under consideration. Council members approved a $2,500 low bid by Duffy Engineering, of St. Cloud, to analyze the City Hall heating and cooling systems, according to City Manager Steve Jones.