Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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OLIVIA — Communities along U.S. Highway 212 in Renville County hosted roughly 100 stranded motorists in community centers and a church as winds created blizzard conditions Monday night. Renville County Sheriff Scott Hable said that four squad cars were kept busy without a break from about 8 p.m. to midnight, responding to calls from about a dozen stranded vehicles. Officers braved near white-out conditions to reach the stranded motorists, and by 11 p.m., snow drifts that stopped all but four-wheel drive vehicles, he noted.
Riding along on Hwy 23 on Tuesday morning.
WILLMAR — He arrived unexpectedly one summer day in 2005 as a ragged looking, dirty and skinny orphan. One week ago, he looked absolutely regal as more than 400 people applauded as a medal proclaiming him a hero was ceremoniously placed around his neck.
MONTEVIDEO — A woman who was charged with breaking into a Montevideo home after offering to shovel snow for cash pleaded guilty Thursday in District Court. Meagan Howard, 18, of Montevideo, pleaded guilty to A felony charge of second-degree burglary of a dwelling. In return, a separate misdemeanor ch-arge of theft for an unrelated incident was dismissed. The court ordered a pre-sentence investigation. Under terms of the agreement, Howard will be required to make full restitution to the victims in both cases, according to Chippewa County Attorney David Gilbertson.
OLIVIA — Billy Eugene Camper, 64, died of natural causes, and not as a result of the fire that destroyed his apartment Feb. 7 in the Westcourt Apartments in Olivia. A preliminary autopsy report by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Anoka County lists natural causes as the probable cause of death.
GRANITE FALLS — Costs and uncertainties appear to be on the rise as the Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners addresses the county’s building needs. The commissioners learned Tuesday that a portion of the roof of a building newly acquired for county office use is leaking. The commissioners took action to make replacement of either portions or all of the roof part of an overall project to remodel the former Yellow Medicine County Bank building for county use.
By Tom Cherveny email@example.com WILLMAR — Wind-whipped snow made travel difficult, closed schools and led to the cancellation of sporting events and other activities, but as Minnesotans say so fondly, it could have been worse.
WILLMAR — Snow plows are continuing to battle strong winds and drifting snow in west central Minnesota, and difficult driving conditions persist. Conditions vary across the region, with the most difficult driving conditions reported in the Madison, Montevideo and Granite Falls areas, according to Denny Marty, maintenance supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Transportation in Willmar. That area received more snow, and the strong winds keep filling in the roads as quickly as the plows can clear them.
OLIVIA — Aspirations to develop a recreational trail to link the Renville County communities of Bird Island and Olivia are being revived. More than two dozen supporters of the idea joined a meeting of the Olivia and Bird Island park boards last week in Olivia to explore the possibility. Most attending responded affirmatively to the question posed at the meeting’s end by Dan Coughlin, city administrator in Olivia: “Who is along for the ride?’’
OLIVIA — One day after an apartment fire took the life of their longtime neighbor and fellow tenant, residents of the Westcourt Apartments in Olivia remained shaken by the fire and loss. Billy Eugene Camper, 64, of Olivia, was identified Friday afternoon as the victim found deceased in his first-floor apartment shortly after 7 a.m. Thursday. The cause of his death is pending the receipt of final laboratory results from the Midwest Medical Examiner’s office in Anoka County, according to Olivia Police Chief Derek Lee.