Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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LITCHFIELD — A Meeker County jury returned guilty verdicts Friday in Litchfield to two charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and a third charge of second-degree criminal conduct against LC Monroe Johnson. District Judge Michael Thompson ordered that Johnson, 32, of Litchfield, immediately be held in jail pending sentencing Oct. 18. Thompson also ordered a presentence investigation and required the defendant to undergo a psychosexual evaluation. Jury selection began Tuesday.
ATWATER — Diamond Lake was host to the 2014 Minnesota State Archery Association Bowfishing Tournament, an event that saw the winners haul in five carp weighing over 158 pounds, one of them a 39-pound behemoth. Those "glory" days are about to end. With the turn of a valve July 20, a long anticipated project aimed at improving water quality in this popular Kandiyohi County recreational lake got underway. Opening the valve started the drawdown of Schultz Lake. Its waters began flowing through a 1,700-foot pipeline buried 33 feet under a corn field.
ST. PAUL — A deer feeding ban goes into effect Monday for all or portions of 11 Minnesota counties, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced. In central Minnesota, the ban includes Stearns, Kandiyohi, Wright, Meeker, McLeod and the portion of Renville County north of U.S. Highway 212.
BIRD ISLAND — Rural grocery stores do not have to go the way of the iconic red barn and disappear one by one from the Main Streets of small towns.
GLENWOOD - Starry stonewort has been confirmed in Lake Minnewaska in Pope County, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported on Monday. This is the second new confirmation of starry stonewort in a Minnesota lake in 2017. It was originally discovered in Lake Koronis in 2015.
MONTEVIDEO — The Chippewa County board of commissioners approved an agreement on Tuesday that opens the way for the development of the county's largest wind farm. The agreement with Palmer's Creek Wind Farm outlines the company's responsibilities for using county and township roads. Some intersections on the delivery route will need to be widened to accommodate the movement of blades and tower components. Roads in the project area will be carrying heavier loads and more traffic as the project is built.
OLIVIA — Renville County has $75,000 dollars available to support landowners in meeting the requirements of Minnesota's buffer law. The funds have been distributed to the Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District and are to be used for cost-sharing contracts with landowners or their authorized agents to implement riparian buffers or alternative practices on public waters and public drainage ditches.
OLIVIA - Rising waters following the recent, heavy rains have led Renville County to close its parks along the Minnesota River. The county announced Friday that it is closing all of the parks in the river corridor, including Anderson Lake, Beaver Falls, Birch Coulee, Mack Lake, Skalbekken and Vicksburg. Lake Allie County Park remains open.
WILLMAR - Residents in west central Minnesota are mopping up wet basements after a low pressure system dumped heavy rains on the area Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning. The heaviest rains fell during the night hours. The system’s bullseye for the rain was an area extending north and south from Willmar to Redwood Falls and east and west from Granite Falls to Morton along the Minnesota River Valley.
MONTEVIDEO - Ten years in the trying, proponents of building a veterans' nursing home in Montevideo remain committed for another attempt to gain state funding support. Marv Garbe, who has led the effort, and members of the veterans' home committee in Montevideo told the Chippewa County board of commissioners on Tuesday that they will return to the state capitol next year to again propose a dual project with Bemidji.