Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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ST. PAUL -- On a 6 to 2 vote, the citizens board for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency instructed agency staff to research the possibility of requiring an environmental impact statement for a proposed industrial asphalt transfer and storage facility north of Granite Falls. The action Tuesday by the citizens board on does not mean the MPCA will require an environmental impact statement, but it opens the possibility that it could, according to information from the MPCA's public affairs office.
WATSON -- Voters in the small Chippewa County community of Watson voted Tuesday for a change in their city governance structure. In a special election, voters cast 72 "yes" to 17 "no" ballots for a measure that will make the city clerk and treasurer positions a single, appointed position. Currently, the city clerk is elected to that position and is a voting member of the Watson City Council. The treasurer is also elected currently, but does not have a vote. Loisjean Fossen is city clerk and Marcie Radtke is treasurer.
GLENWOOD -- Two different accounts have been told in secret to as many grand juries as to how Nichole Riley-Lemcke, 26, was fatally shot in the living room of her Appleton home on the morning of Sept. 12, 2004. Now, both versions are being told publicly to the Pope County jury which will decide whether her husband, Andrew Lemcke, 35, is guilty of murder in her death, or if the shooting was accidental as he claims. Attorneys outlined their cases Monday afternoon as the trial began in Glenwood.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota House and Senate negotiators early today rejected Gov. Tim Pawlenty's major request for a public works funding bill - $89 million to expand a Moose Lake sex offender treatment facility. Negotiators on the House-Senate conference committee that made the sex offender decision approved borrowing and spending $999.9 million for projects ranging from fixing college roofs to expanding the state trail system.
SPICER -- A trip up the climbing wall at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center won't quite melt the soles off your tennis shoes, but it's no place for the ancient Greek Icarus and his wings of wax. By 8 a.m., the temperature at the 32-foot peak is more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, soon it will hit the 100-degree mark. Outside, the air temperature hovers just above zero. All of that heat inside on a cold February morning is captured by solar panels. Best of all, it doesn't take a rocket scientist or a federal grant to take advantage of it. All it takes is someone like John Duevel, who
MONTEVIDEO -- A newly issued forecast raises the potential for flood problems along the Minnesota River in Montevideo and Granite Falls this spring. In a word, the new forecast issued by the National Weather Service in Chanhassen "increases'' the risk for flooding from the season's first forecast issued three weeks earlier, according to hydrologist Diane Cooper. The new forecast shows an 80 percent probability that flood waters would reach the 18 foot level in Montevideo, the point at which waters could affect the sanitary sewer system and lead city officials to urge some residents in the Sm
Doctors could offer little hope, but Don and Ann Orth of Olivia were determined. They were going to do all they could to help their son Tim fight his cancer. Along with traditional treatment, they traveled overseas to pursue alternative therapies not covered by insurance. Bills mounted, but Don Orth said friend and banker Kent Kircher told him not to worry. Write the check and pay him back later. With Tim's death on Feb.
When life puts him down, he lifts a pen and crafts short poems that make people laugh. They are whimsical, humorous poems that are often revised versions of jokes and banter he's heard. Don Orth describes them this way: "Hopefully by the end of the poem you have a little smirk on your face.'' There are lots of smirks evident in Renville County these days, where the Olivia banker's newly-released book "Xtreme Laughter, People of Renville County'' is enjoying brisk sales.
APPLETON -- Sen. Gary Kubly will be introducing a bill to expand the sex offender facility at Moose Lake by refurbishing the attached, but separate, Moose Lake Correctional Facility which now holds 1,028 inmates. Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, said his proposal could save the state money while bringing jobs back to western Minnesota. He's hoping that the recently closed Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton could hold the inmates displaced by the refurbishing work at Moose Lake. Kubly said it would probably take 18 months or longer to refurbish the Moose Lake Correctional Facility.
If you think you've never seen so many icicles sparkling in the sun as you have lately, you're probably right. This is the time of year when conditions are best for icicle formation and the problem they often reveal: Ice dams. Unfortunately, this has been a banner winter for both, according to Richard Stone, an educator with University of Minnesota Extension. We've got lots of snow on our roofs, and frigid, night-time temperatures. February is prime time for ice dam problems. The sun is strong enough to start the thawing process during the day.