Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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GLENWOOD -- The walleye seem to have gotten tight-lipped sooner than usual this ice fishing season, and that has had a predictable outcome on Lake Minnewaska. Equally tight-lipped ice fishermen and women are spending a lot of time in search of the lake's sunfish, even though this has not necessarily been a stellar year for the panfish either, according to Dean Beck, fisheries supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Glenwood. Still, Beck said the lake is drawing lots of anglers this winter, and many are doing well enough to keep coming back.
WILLMAR -- This weather really is not for the birds, but it was quite a bit better when 23 volunteers continued a long-standing tradition in the Willmar area by participating in the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count. The volunteers spotted 48 different species and a total of 3,991 individuals during the Dec.
BUFFALO LAKE -- Rivalries run deep among the schools along U.S. Highway 212 in Renville County. A group of students is hoping to tap those competitive feelings for a cause: They are challenging the students and organizations in the Buffalo Lake-Hector, BOLD and Renville County West school districts to see who can do the most for earthquake victims in Haiti. The students want the schools to set up work crews to raise funds and package Kids Against Hunger/Feeding Children International food packets for shipment to Haiti, according to information from the organizers.
GLENWOOD -- Five years and five months after Nichole Riley-Lemcke, 26, was fatally shot in her Appleton home, the trial for the man accused of her murder is about to start. Attorneys in the first-degree murder trial for Andrew Gordon Lemcke, 35, of Appleton, are appearing today before District Judge John Stafsholt in Glenwood.
SVEA -- A second roof in the area has collapsed under a growing snow load. Workers and family members with Gorans Brothers were able to safely move approximately 12,000 turkeys from a brooder barn northeast of Svea when its roof collapsed around 2 a.m. Tuesday. Late Monday, a roof on a warehouse building at Perkins Lumber in Willmar collapsed. Brian Gorans said they do not know if the recent snowfall was the straw that broke the camel's back and led to the collapse of the turkey barn roof, but it's likely.
MONTEVIDEO -- In answer to the question about ''where will all this snow go?'' -- downstream, and that has communities on the receiving end beginning to plan for the possibility of spring flooding. Officials in Montevideo are meeting Thursday to discuss preparations, while their counterparts in Granite Falls will gather Friday. There is not a sense of alarm. Steps taken since the floods of 1997 have greatly reduced their exposure to flood damage. And, the season's first flood projection by the National Weather Service on Jan.
WATSON -- Voters in Watson will soon have a say in one of the disputes that has divided the community. A special election will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb.
BENSON -- Swift County had a New Hampshire-like feel about it on Saturday night, when the DFL party reaped the benefits of being one of the first to hold its county convention. Six gubernatorial candidates looking for the DFL endorsement attended the Swift County DFL convention for the chance to woo delegates and garner support for their campaigns. Gubernatorial candidates R.T. Rybak, Tom Rukavina, Tom Bakk, John Marty, Matt Entenza, and Paul Thissen made the trek on snow-slickened roads to the Law Enforcement Center in Benson for the evening event.
WILlMAR -- As much as 10 inches of snow could fall in the Willmar area before it's all over on Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Chanhassen is forecasting. The Weather Service issued a winter storm warning on Sunday for west central Minnesota. What it termed a "long duration'' event that began Sunday afternoon will continue to bring snow to the area through Tuesday morning. Strong winds with gusts of up to 25 miles per hour are forecast for Monday evening and night. Travel conditions on Sunday ranged from fair to difficult in the region.
SPICER -- Kandiyohi County has been fortunate in not having the widespread infestations of aquatic invasive species in its lakes as has been experienced in some areas of the state, according to Bruce Gilbertson, fisheries supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Spicer. Nonetheless, invasive species are a problem here and have been so for more than a century.