Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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The Fagen Fighters World War II Museum will host its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. There is no admission fee, and visitors are welcome to tour the museum at their leisure. No formal ceremony is planned, but First Officer Jeffrey Skiles of the "Miracle on the Hudson'' fame is among the guests expected to attend the grand opening and share a few words. There will also be fly-overs and, in the afternoon, World War II-era music by New London's Mill Pond Jazz Combo and three high school-age singers will perform the songs of the Andrew Sisters.
To appreciate how prized this collection of World War II aircraft is, know this: The new, 15,000-square-foot brick-faced hangar that holds them is built to be tornado proof. Yet despite its strength and the firepower on display in it, the signature exhibit of the Fagen Fighters World War II Museum makes weak-kneed the strongest of warriors. A sculpture by acclaimed artist Fred Hoppe Jr.
WILLMAR -- An independent task force will be charged with recommending whether or not there is a future for the Minnesota River Board. Members of the joint powers group representing the 37 counties in the Minnesota River basin agreed during a meeting Monday in Willmar to allocate up to $9,000 for a task force. Board members said they want an independent review and will look outside of the board to agencies such as Soil and Water Conservation Districts, farm and conservation groups, and watershed groups for its members. The task force will recommend whether a basin-wide, Minnesota River Boar
WILLMAR -- Never before have so many projects come before the ditch authorities in Minnesota's agricultural counties seeking to improve drainage systems, redetermine benefits, add new laterals or make other expansions. And never before has the process taken so long to accomplish, according to Kurt Deter, an attorney specializing in drainage law with the Rinke Noonan Law firm. The Minnesota River Board agreed Monday at its meeting in Willmar to work with the attorney to develop a request for proposals in hopes of finding an independent contractor willing to provide the "viewer" services the l
OLIVIA -- Several years of planning for a joint recycling facility to serve Renville and Redwood counties has paid off with the announcement Thursday by Gov. Mark Dayton that the counties will receive a $1,898,750 grant from the state of Minnesota. "We're finally going to get some wheels under the project and we're ready to go,'' said Jon Mitchell, environmental director for Redwood County. His enthusiasm was shared by Marlin Larson, public works director in Renville County. "They're one of the best, shining stars in the state as far as recycling goes,'' he said of Redwood County.
WOOD LAKE BATTLEFIELD -- Since 1910, a one-acre site with a monument has been all that marked the final battle of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, and it is in the wrong location. The fenced site is located where Col. Henry Sibley camped, but not where the Battle of Wood Lake took place on Sept. 23, 1862. State officials will join the Wood Lake Battlefield Preservation Association at the actual battlefield site at 1:30 p.m. on Sept.
OLIVIA -- The Renville County Food Shelf in Olivia will reopen on Wednesday, just 10 days after an arson-caused fire destroyed its contents. The food shelf will open its doors at 10 a.m. Wednesday at 108 South Ninth Street in Olivia, or about one block north of its former location in downtown Olivia. The new location is in the Dirk's Home Theatre building, and offers both ample space and the convenience of a downtown location. Volunteers started erecting shelving in the new location on Friday, and have refrigerators and freezers ready as well.
GRANITE FALLS -- After scrapping plans to build a new addition to the courthouse, Yellow Medicine County found its answer to space needs by buying used. The county board of commissioners approved an agreement Tuesday to purchase the former Yellow Medicine County Bank on Eighth Avenue in Granite Falls.
OLIVIA -- Renville County's net levy would rise by 3.85 percent if a preliminary budget adopted Tuesday by the board of commissioners receives final approval. The county commissioners approved a preliminary levy of $12,727,151 for next year. The net levy reflects an increase of $472,726 as compared to 2012. More than one-half of the increase is attributed to a decision to set aside $250,000 toward an expanded road and bridge program being developed by the County Board. The county also needed to increase its levy due to an anticipated increase by $60,000 in mandates placed by the state on t