Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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WILLMAR -- Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to start the outboards or find a spot along the shoreline of a back bay. The open-water season is here, and the warming spring temperatures bring the promise of early-season crappie action starting this week. There were a few anglers reporting some success, but this past week the fishing was generally spotty, according to Brad Foshaug at Brad's 71 Bait and Sport, Willmar. A forecast for warmer weather this weekend and the prospect of more consistent, spring weather this coming week should start things up, he said. The crappies begin moving from de
SPICER -- If we're serious about keeping zebra mussels out of the waters of Kandiyohi County, we need to develop power washing decontamination stations for watercraft coming from infested waters, according to Dick Sternberg, a retired fisheries biologist and popular author on all topics fishing. Sternberg will be the featured speaker for a public meeting at 1 p.m. on April 17 at the Dethlefts Center in Spicer.
MONTEVIDEO -- There are a lot of people crying wolf in Chippewa County, and they could be right. An 81-pound canine killed in a collision with a motor vehicle on March 26 might be a timber wolf and is definitely not a coyote. The young male animal certainly looks like a wolf, but only genetic tests can tell if it is a wolf or a wolf-dog hybrid, according to Dave Trauba, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources manager of the Lac qui Parle Wildlife Area. He said it will take some time before the testing is completed and the results known. The motorist struck the wolf on her way to work in
NEW LONDON -- All ears will be perked for the sounds of gobblers come Wednesday and the start of the spring wild turkey season. Hunters taking to the woods and fields for the start of the season have reason for optimism. Wild turkey numbers in the area are good. The early arrival of spring has made the birds active, according to LeRoy Dahlke, wildlife manager with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources office at Sibley State Park. Dahlke said the birds have been spreading out from their winter grounds into their spring and summer haunts.
MADISON -- A Madison foundry has closed its doors after 50 years of business. Municipal Castings Inc., of Madison, ended production at the start of the month, according to Joe Bungarden, president of the family-run business in Lac qui Parle County. The closing puts 17 people out of work.
HANCOCK -- A 35-year-old soldier who grew up in Hancock died in Iraq after returning to the country for his second tour of duty, his father has reported. Army Reserve Sgt. Kurt Kruize died of noncombat-related injuries on Sunday in Baghdad. His body arrived Tuesday night at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. The St.
BUFFALO LAKE -- The Minnesota Energy ethanol plant in Buffalo Lake is closing, putting 20 people out of work. The decision to suspend ethanol production was a difficult and painful one, but necessary, according to Randy Byro, chairman of the board for the farmer-owned ethanol plant and grain handling cooperative. "Margins, margins, margins,'' he said. The operation has been losing money in recent months and its near-term financial prospects continued to look negative, he said.
GRANITE FALLS -- A 29-year-old man with prior domestic assault convictions is headed to prison for an assault in which he choked and head-butted a female victim. District Judge Bruce Christopherson sentenced Steven Everett Tipton of Granite Falls to 36 months in prison Tuesday after he was convicted of a felony count of domestic assault and three felony counts of violating a no contact order. The criminal complaint against Tipton charges he assaulted the 22-year-old victim during an incident Dec.
GRANITE FALLS -- Broadband connectivity is a "must have'' for economic growth. Yet in large swaths of rural west central and western Minnesota, that connectivity remains hard to have, or very expensive. That's changing fast, tower by tower. "We're getting this service to where it isn't,'' said Dan Richter, president of MVTV Wireless in Granite Falls. Since 1999, the nonprofit Minnesota Valley Television Improvement Corporation has been bringing broadband Internet service to western Minnesota via a two-way, wireless network. Currently, it has 58 access points placed atop as many municipal
HAVELOCK TOWNSHIP, CHIPPEWA COUNTY -- Who do you turn to for help if you have an emergency in the middle of the boondocks? Who else but the Boondocks First Responders, who have been responding to calls for help since 1991. These volunteers will come to your aid if you're on the edges of the Boondocks too. The borders of their coverage area are loosely defined, says Lance Knoshal.