Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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MONTEVIDEO -- A $10 price was placed on the head of coyotes in Chippewa County starting Dec. 1, and some bounty hunters are answering the call. One week after the start of the bounty program, Chippewa County had paid out $10 bounties for eight coyotes. All of the coyote bounties were claimed by hunters who pursued the animals with firearms, and none by trappers, according to Chippewa County Sheriff Stacy Tufto.
You might think that a life change such as moving from the Hawaiian island of Maui to a Renville County farm place would be all it takes to explain what happened. But no, that is not what mattered at all for June Kramin. It was the day she stepped into the barn to feed the pony and was startled by an opossum. It was as if flint had struck metal and the sparks landed on dry tinder. "It just popped,'' said Kramin.
MONTEVIDEO -- City Council members in Montevideo have opened the way for a new auto parts store in the community. The council Monday also OK'd new salaries for non-union employees and reviewed next year's proposed budget. Council members approved the sale of a city-owned lot to O'Reilly Auto Parts and easements to allow access to the site from both Minnesota Highway 7 and Washington Avenue. The action will allow O'Reilly Auto Parts to construct a new store at the location, according to City Manager Steve Jones. The site includes two lots.
GRANITE FALLS -- City Council members in Granite Falls have certified the final assessments for more than $2.4 million in sanitary sewer improvements. Council members at their meeting Monday certified assessments totaling $258,492.30 to property owners as their share of the costs. The assessments are lower than earlier estimates due to competitive bids for the project. Quam Construction of Willmar was the primary contractor for the project.
NEW LONDON -- There's still time to reserve camping sites and lodging in Minnesota State Parks before the reservation system is taken down for an upgrade. The system will be temporarily unavailable from Dec. 27 to Feb. 29, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced this week. The reservation system will be upgraded as part of a transition to a new provider, US eDirect. It is possible to reserve campsite, camper cabins and teepees in state parks one year in advance. The temporary shutdown of the reservation system is not likely to affect camper plans at Sibley State Park.
OLIVIA -- Just as they had everything lined up and ready to go, world financial markets erupted in turmoil with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. Although nearly 1,500 miles separate them from Wall Street, brothers Tom Revier and Dave Revier were forced to put plans on hold to expand their cattle feedlot in Renville County into one of the state's largest. Saying "whoa'' at the time was one of the best things that could have happened, Tom Revier told visitors from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Agriculture last week.
OLIVIA -- Its responsibilities may be growing, but not its staff. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has seen its staffing drop from a high of around 1,200 in 2007 to 900 today. It will likely shrink to 850 to 875 positions after federal cuts are felt over the next 18 months, the commissioner of the MPCA told reporters during an informal luncheon Dec. 1 in Olivia. Paul Aasen, appointed to lead the agency by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2011, was in Olivia as part of a tour of large agricultural operations in the area.
OLIVIA -- A former Danube city council member will serve five years of probation and time on home arrest, but will be able to avoid time in prison if she repays the city's economic development agency the money she stole. Sharon Lothert, 59, now of Hector, apologized for her actions shortly before being sentenced Friday for a felony theft charge and gross misdemeanor misconduct charge by a public official in Renville County district court in Olivia. "I am really sorry for the problems I caused for the City of Danube and for my family," Lothert told District Court Judge Randall Slieter. The j
OLIVIA -- A former Danube City Council member will serve five years of probation and time on home arrest, but will be able to avoid time in prison if she repays the city's economic development agency the money she stole. Sharon Lothert, 59, now of Hector, apologized for her actions shortly before being sentenced today for a felony theft charge and gross misdemeanor misconduct charge by a public official in Renville County District Court in Olivia.
WATSON -- Part two in a new era in goose hunting at the Lac qui Parle wildlife refuge gets underway today. Goose hunting will continue to be allowed in the state blinds for only the second December in the more than 40-year history of the controlled goose hunt at the refuge.