Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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GRANITE FALLS -- State Sen. Gary Kubly packed a walking cane when he headed to St. Paul for the legislative session last year. He had just been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease. Kubly, 68, is returning for his 16th and final session as a state legislator. A walker has replaced the cane. The disease has weakened his vocal chords and respiratory muscles. A microphone he uses to amplify his voice is no longer enough.
MONTEVIDEO -- Every student in South America can identify Montevideo as the capital of Uruguay. The way things are going, every student in the countries of South America will soon be able to identify Montevideo, Minn. as well. It's all thanks to ''Hola Montevideo,'' a You Tube video that celebrates the ties between the Uruguayan capital and its much smaller, North American counterpart. The video is fast on its way to going viral.
MONTEVIDEO -- Roughly one-half of all new businesses fail within the first five years, according to the Small Business Administration. A nonprofit organization that has been helping startup businesses in area communities beat those odds could soon fall victim as well. The Entrepreneur's Assistance Network, based in Montevideo, is looking for support from local governments, agencies and the entrepreneurs it assists as it copes with funding needs.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced plans Friday for a much more aggressive effort to control the spread of aquatic invasive species this year. For the first time in years, the DNR will use roadside check stations to enforce laws aimed at keeping boaters from spreading zebra mussels and other invasive species. It will also be adding 150 new watercraft inspectors, and purchase and install 20 new decontamination units around the state. "It's time to step up and get people's attention," said Col.
SAINT PAUL - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced plans for a much more aggressive effort to control the spread of aquatic invasive species this year. For the first time in years, the DNR will use roadside check stations to enforce laws aimed at keeping boaters from spreading zebra mussels and other invasive species. It will also be adding 150 new watercraft inspectors, and purchase and install 20 decontamination units around the state. "It's time to step up and get people's attention,'' said Col.
Consumers are likely to see the cost of E85 rise at the pump, but the end of the federal blender's credit for ethanol is otherwise not likely to send any major ripples through Minnesota's agriculture economy. "No end-of-the-world scenario here,'' said Erik Osmon, general manager of Bushmills Ethanol near Atwater. With the start of the new year, the federal government ended a 45-cents-per-gallon tax credit it provided refineries for blending ethanol with gasoline.
BENSON -- The Minnesota Court of Appeals has denied the appeal of Andrew Lemcke, 36, and affirmed his conviction for second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of his wife. The court's unpublished opinion was filed Dec. 27. Lemcke is currently serving a 52-month sentence in the St. Cloud Correctional Facility for his March 10, 2010, conviction for the fatal shooting of Nichole Riley-Lemcke. The 26-year-old mother of three died of a single gunshot wound to her head suffered Sept. 12, 2004, in their Appleton home. Lemcke is expected to remain in prison until Dec.
MONTEVIDEO -- The Hollywood Theatre is where Ruth Ann and Jerry Lee first dated, and started their relationship now over 40 years strong. Now the building is Hollywood on Main and Ruth Ann Lee is its new owner. She's looking to launch the former movie theater on a new and stronger relationship with the community as an entertainment center. Ruth Ann Lee purchased the iconic downtown Montevideo theater building this fall.
WILLMAR -- Bystanders rescued a 66-year-old ice fisherman when his three-wheel vehicle went through the ice at 2:53 p.m.
OLIVIA -- Sheriff's Deputy Sam Olson has no hesitation when asked what he likes most about his job. "Putting on the uniform,'' said Olson. "I don't like my job, I love my job,'' he said. Olson's enthusiasm for his role as a Renville County sheriff's deputy was recognized on Tuesday, when Sheriff Scott Hable presented him with the first Chris Domeier Community Oriented Policing Award. Sheriff Hable intends to present the award annually to recognize a law officer in the county for practicing community-oriented policing, and to remember Domeier. He died June 16, 2010, at age 30.