Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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WILLMAR -- Like a stuck accelerator pedal, we've speeded up the delivery of sediment to Lake Pepin so that it will fill up in a mere 300 or so years, instead of the 3,600 years that natural processes would have required. We've pointed the finger of blame largely at farm fields in the Minnesota River basin.
PRINSBURG -- A helping hand from west central Minnesota reaches all the way to the north coast of Haiti, where it is aiding the relief efforts for orphaned children along with victims of the earthquake. Volunteers and staff at the Children of the Promise orphanage near Cap-Haïtien have been keeping a very hectic pace ever since the magnitude 7 earthquake devastated the country's capital, Port-au-Prince, on Jan. 12, according to Jan Bonnema of Prinsburg.
WILLMAR -- Last year's discovery that zebra mussels have infested waters only an hour's drive away has become a rallying call in Kandiyohi County. An estimated 80 or more people attended an open house on a sub-zero night on Jan.
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.
HANLEY FALLS -- A family of 11 is without a home and their possessions after fire raged through their rural farmhouse around 2:39 a.m. Wednesday west of Hanley Falls. Chai Vue, his wife Shoua Kong, a grandmother and eight children, ages infant to 14, safely fled the fire. Only a pile of debris in the basement foundation of the home remains, according to Richard Hagen, Hanley Falls volunteer firefighter and mayor. He said firefighters arrived to find the attached garage of the home engulfed in flames.
GRANITE FALLS -- Uncertainty about what the state may do to local governments led City Council members in Granite Falls to postpone a decision on whether to fill a recently vacated police officer position. City Council members learned at their meeting Monday that police officer Dave Evenson has resigned his position with the city. His departure reduces the department from five full-time officers to four, according to City Manager Bill Lavin.
GRANITE FALLS -- Erich Ryan Blue, 26, of Granite Falls, was arraigned in district court in Granite Falls on Tuesday on charges he stabbed his brother following an argument Sunday at their father's home. Blue is charged with two felony counts of second-degree assault, for causing substantial bodily harm and using a dangerous weapon; and for fifth degree assault against a second person. The victim suffered three knife wounds in the back and was treated overnight at Granite Falls Hospital.
GRANITE FALLS -- A 26-year-old man is scheduled to be arraigned in district court in Granite Falls today after being accused of stabbing his brother on Sunday. Erich Ryan Blue, rural Granite Falls, is charged with two felony counts of assault in the second degree, for causing substantial bodily harm and using a dangerous weapon; and for fifth degree assault against a second person. The victim suffered three knife wounds in the back and was treated overnight at the Granite Falls Hospital for the injuries.
MONTEVIDEO -- Celeste Suter followed the maxim "location is everything'' not in choosing where to open a business, but where she and her husband Mark wanted to raise their children and live. They left the Twin Cities for his hometown of Montevideo nearly two decades ago. Fortunately for her, she is also finding Montevideo to be the right place to start a business. Three years ago, Suter turned her life-long passion for the fiber arts into a business, opening Celestial Designs in downtown Montevideo.
BENSON -- A budget deficit of $1.2 billion, the bonding bill and an expected tug-of-war between the two parties over taxes are sure to be the showstoppers when the Legislature convenes Thursday. But there are plenty of other dicey debates likely to pop up -- everything from whether to help build a new stadium for the Vikings or a racino -- and they're all on their way in the House to the commerce and labor committee headed by Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights. If the town hall meeting he hosted Monday along with Rep.