Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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WILLMAR -- A 90-mile flight from Miami, Fla., to Havana, Cuba, brought 36 rural Minnesotans on what seemed like a trip back in time, but left them yearning for what the future might hold. Participants in the fifth Minnesota Agriculture Rural Leadership program -- including several from west central Minnesota -- spent eight days touring the western half of the island nation on Feb. 17-25. If relations between the U.S. and the communist country are normalized, the future could bring trade opportunities for American farmers, they said. U.S.
GRANITE FALLS -- The Minnesota Supreme Court has certified the need to maintain a judge chambered in Yellow Medicine County. Applicants are now being sought for the vacancy in Granite Falls. Applications for the trial court bench served by District Judge Bruce Christopherson will be accepted through May 8, according to information from the Eighth Judicial District. A judicial selection committee will review the applications and forward its recommendations to Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
MONTEVIDEO -- They range in age from 16 to 18, and said goodbye to families living in places as disparate as the grasslands of the famed "Guachos" to the seaside beaches of their nation's capital city, Montevideo, Uruguay. They dropped in on Miami, Fla., toured the sites of Washington D.C., and then settled in for 10 days with host families in Montevideo, Minn. None of it really caught these young Uruguayans by surprise. "Just like the movies,'' laughed the visitors.
WATSON -- A settlement has been reached to end a 2½-year dispute between the city of Watson and a resident using hooped structures to raise vegetables. The agreement announced Friday by the city of Watson calls for the city to drop its legal actions against Aziz Ansari and pay him and his attorney $50,000. It also allows Ansari to continue his vegetable-growing operation on property alongside state Highway 7 in the community.
SPICER -- Green Lake gave up a truckload of trash to volunteer scuba divers who scoured its depths near Saulsbury Beach in Spicer last June. In return, the lake received a truck load of new walleyes. All 800-plus of the new fish arrived at the Joe Brown access near the Olde Mill Inn on Tuesday. The walleye -- each one measuring eight- to 12-inches in length -- were poured into the wind-whipped waters of Green Lake by the bucket load. Joe Holm, president of Let's Go Fishing With Seniors, had the honors of helping Mike Holme and Mark Tanner of West Central Bait, New London, stock the popular
MONTEVIDEO -- Carrying signs, flags and even dressed in red, white and blue, some three to four dozen people joined Montevideo's first-ever public tea party Thursday at the busy intersection of highways 212 and 7. "We want to send a message to Washington that we've had enough," said Lyle Henning, one of the organizers. There were no speakers or political candidates at the event, and pointedly so, according to Henning. "This is the people's tea party." Its purpose was to let office holders and candidates know what the people are thinking, added Barb Ulferts, who helped organize the gatherin
GRANITE FALLS -- A 22-year-old man who last year completed 21 months in prison was sentenced Friday to another 21 months in prison. District Judge Randall Slieter sentenced Gabriel Joseph Ross, 22, of Granite Falls, according to information from the Yellow Medicine County Attorney's office. Ross pleaded guilty Feb. 4 to felony charges of fifth-degree assault and terroristic threats for an incident that occurred Sept.
MONTEVIDEO -- A childhood obesity epidemic has many fearing this generation of children will have a shorter lifespan than their parents or grandparents. A lack of physical activity is one of the causes, but the biggest culprit is a diet high in calories and low in nutrition. A growing number of moms in the region are working to turn things around, both at home and in school cafeterias. They are making some headway, according to Lynn Mader.
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.
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.