Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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GRANITE FALLS - A 21-year-old Montevideo man will be returning to prison for his second time after pleading guilty on Monday afternoon to felony charges for stabbing three people during a fight and in a separate incident, threatening a witness with his knife. Victor Daniel Medina is expected to be sentenced to 150 months in prison under terms of a plea agreement.
CLARA CITY -- The Hawk Creek Watershed Project will offer incentives for wetland restoration as part of an effort to reduce the phosphorus runoff that plays a role in depleting oxygen levels in the lower reaches of the Minnesota River. Cory Netland, Hawk Creek Watershed Project director, outlined plans at the organization's meeting Friday in Clara City for a basin-wide effort to reduce the nutrient run off that contributes to the low dissolved oxygen problem in the river.
It seemed we had hardly hit the bunks in the remote, north woods cabin when the commotion made me forget how sick I was suddenly feeling. In the dimly-lit cabin I watched one of my fishing companions stagger into a kitchen table, bounce off the wall and land on all fours.
SPICER -- Minnesota State Parks are reporting one of their busiest seasons ever, with an announcement this week that annual permit sales jumped 36 percent and daily sales by 32 percent from one year ago. The final numbers have yet to be tallied, but there's reason to believe that Sibley State Park was among the state parks hosting more visitors. Park Manager Paul Otto said periodic checks throughout the season indicated that permit sales were up, as was park usage in general. Monson Lake State Park saw a 23 percent increase in camping this year.
WILLMAR -- Area hunters are hoping for better days ahead after experiencing disappointing starts to both the waterfowl and pheasant seasons. "Pretty fair at best,'' said Minnesota Conservation Officer Ed Picht, Montevideo area, of the limited hunting success he's witnessed over the past two weeks. His counterpart in Willmar has seen no better, and like everyone else knows why.
LITCHFIELD -- Meeker County's former practice of strip searching and sometimes photographing private body parts of all newly arrested people as they were booked into jail will cost the Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust $1.75 million. The Insurance Trust agreed to pay compensation and legal fees totaling that amount on behalf of Meeker County as part of a class-action settlement recently approved by U.S.
MONTEVIDEO -- They all knew the melody: Rural schools are finding it increasingly difficult to keep quality marching band programs going in the face of tight budgets. What they didn't know was the harmony: Could two high schools combine their marching bands when they've been long-time rivals and prided themselves on their distinct traditions? Or, as Yellow Medicine East music instructor Nicole Boelter laughingly put it: "We did our own things in our own quirky ways.'' Now they do it as the 212 Regiment Marching Band. The Montevideo and YME high schools joined their marching band programs i
REDWOOD FALLS -- Efforts to develop a green corridor in Renville, Redwood and other counties in the Upper Minnesota River watershed are starting to move forward at a trail hiker's pace. Soon, they could be moving with an experienced hiker's sense of direction as well. Members of the Tatanka Bluffs learned at their meeting in Redwood Falls on Oct. 9 that the National Park Service is including its request for comprehensive design and planning assistance in its list of technical assistance grants for 2010.
MONTEVIDEO -- When her two teenage daughters invited a house full of friends over for a slumber party and suggested they carve pumpkins for Halloween, mom balked at the thought of the mess she would face. We'll paint them, Dee Stark said she told the girls. A full 34 years later, she is still painting them. "It just took off,'' said Stark of what has become a Halloween tradition in Montevideo. Each year Stark will paint roughly 200 pumpkins and a few assorted gourds and decorate them with hats and other attire.
MAYNARD -- Next spring the MACCRAY School District will say farewell to 79 graduating seniors and in the autumn, welcome 37 new kindergarten students. In the process, it will also be saying goodbye to nearly $250,000 in state aid, the difference being the aid loss due to a projected decline in overall enrollment. "That's the biggest issue for us right now, that we have a $250,000 deficit facing us right off the bat,'' said Superintendent Greg Schmidt to a sparse gathering Tuesday evening in the MACCRAY West Elementary in Maynard. Schmidt is holding similar conversations around the district