Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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HAWICK -- There are two different kinds of people who craft their own cedar strip canoes, according to David "Duke" Hassinger. "Some people like to have the ones they can hang on the garage wall to show to their neighbors and friends,'' said Hassinger. "I want it to be pretty too, but I want it for utilitarian purposes. I love to paddle.'' At age 80, paddle and craft he does. A tandem canoe designed to carry paddlers and gear for an extended wilderness trek is taking shape in his shop on the south shore of Long Lake near Hawick today.
WILLMAR -- As faithfully as purple martins gather to roost prior to their migration each fall, so too will birding enthusiasts join near Willmar to learn all about these and other songbirds. Dick Doll's home and purple martin nesting colony near King Lake north of Willmar will be the site for the ninth annual Minnesota MartinFest! from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
MONTEVIDEO -- Montevideo City Council members on Monday approved the acquisition of a parcel alongside U.S. Highway 212 as part of the upcoming levee improvement project. The parcel is among 40 separate properties the city is acquiring as part of the right of way needed for the levee improvement along Highway 212, according to City Manager Steve Jones. He said the acquisition process is moving along and he is hopeful of seeing all the needed properties acquired soon. That will allow the U.S.
OLIVIA -- While a number of counties are discontinuing their practice of issuing passports, Renville County has committed to continue the service. The County Board of Commissioners informally agreed Tuesday to set a $10 fee for passport photographs.
OLIVIA -- Under increasing scrutiny for past environmental violations, the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative reported Tuesday that it completed the 2010-11 beet slicing campaign with a much improved record. Louis Knieper, environmental manager of the cooperative, told the Renville County Board of Commissioners that many of the issues that had troubled its operations one year earlier have been successfully managed. That's despite facing many of the same challenges.
CHOKIO -- Two rural telephone cooperatives are asking their patrons for a second time to approve their merger. Patrons with the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company of Bellingham and Federated Telephone of Chokio will cast ballots Thursday on whether or not to create a merged cooperative known as Advanced Communications in Rural America. The two cooperatives primarily serve farm customers in an area of western Minnesota that covers 1,100 square miles, including portions of Lac qui Parle, Chippewa, Swift and Stevens counties. Federated offers service in Morris, where Qwest is the incumbent provi
News accounts of the tornado that ravaged Joplin, Missouri, were so jarring that Catherine Miller felt compelled to do something immediately. "I can't be sitting here watching this, I have to go,'' said Miller.
WILLMAR -- The next bike outing of the North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 11. Participants will ride from Freeport to Sauk Centre and back along the Lake Wobegon Trail, about 30 miles, with stops for birds and wildflowers. For information about trailheads and times, as well as to receive notification in case of inclement weather, contact Kay Slama at 320-796-5871 or email@example.com . The Lake Wobegon Trail runs past lakes and through prairies, marshes, and woodlands, so participants will see a variety of birds and seasonal wildflowers.
WILLMAR -- A harsh winter has taken its toll on the Glacial Lakes State Trail, making it a bumpy ride for the many bicyclists who ply the scenic route that follows an abandoned railbed from Willmar to Paynesville. Tight budgets are making it difficult too for those who want to see more trails developed and existing routes improved. None the matter: Interest in discovering and enjoying the outdoors via human propulsion only continues to grow. "There's lots of energy for trails,'' said Gregg Soupir, natural resource supervisor with parks and trails for the Minnesota Department of Natural Reso
NEW LONDON - Once common, the oak savanna is now among the most endangered ecosystems in the world. It is also the defining characteristic of Sibley State Park, located west of New London on the glacial moraine topography of west central Minnesota. And now, the state park has the opportunity to inform visitors about this environment as never before. "This is what this is all about, understanding the natural resources in the park,'' said Dick Clayton, park naturalist. He spoke while leading the way into the newly developed oak savanna exhibit.