Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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GRANITE FALLS -- Xcel Energy remains on track to remove the 107-year-old Minnesota Falls dam yet this year. A contractor is lined up for the project, but Xcel Energy is waiting for a final permit now under review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before work can begin. If the permit is approved as expected, the dam could be removed by the end of November, Jim Bodensteiner, Xcel senior environmental analyst and scientist, told more than 80 people who toured the site Thursday night. The tour and a discussion about the project were sponsored by Clean Up our River Environment.
MONTEVIDEO -- Uruguay is lauded as the most democratic nation in South America, and its people pride themselves on their involvement in politics in peaceful and respectful ways. That's from Mariel Doyenhart, who arrived in Montevideo, Minn., from her home in Montevideo, Uruguay, exactly as the U.S. presidential campaign began to heat up and grainy, political attack ads began to take over our television sets. Her only surprise has been how tame the campaigning seems to be, in particular on the local level.
GRANITE FALLS -- Yellow Medicine County Administrator Ryan Krosch is one of three finalists for the administrator position in Nicollet County. Krosch said he enjoys working for Yellow Medicine County but considers the Nicollet County position a great opportunity to advance his career.
For 80 years the Johannessen family has made no secret of the Benson Bakery's most important recipe. Its recipe for business success is on always on display in the very front of its downtown store.
GRANITE FALLS -- Citing concerns about security and maintaining the integrity of the judicial process, Eighth Judicial District staff urged the Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday to make major improvements to the court services area of the courthouse in Granite Falls. "If you look at the facilities now, it's not adequate,'' Yellow Medicine County Attorney Keith Helgeson told the commissioners Tuesday during their meeting in Granite Falls.
UPPER SIOUX COMMUNITY -- Harry Running Walker's great-grandfather was among the chiefs who signed the 1851 treaty that ceded most of the Dakota land in Minnesota to the U.S. government for about 12 cents an acre. In 1862, his great-grandfather, Chief Mazomani, was fatally wounded while carrying a white flag during the Battle of Wood Lake. These many years later, Harry Running Walker carries a far different torch. Running Walker, 87, is among four remaining fluent Dakota speakers in the Upper Sioux Community.
DAWSON -- Dawson's role as an agricultural processing center in western Minnesota got a big boost Thursday, when city, state and federal officials joined to celebrate a $1.2 million federal grant that will be used to expand its industrial park. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as state and local officials, were at the Dawson City Hall to present the Economic Development Administration grant during a congratulatory visit and tour. The city had been working on the grant application for two years and was notified late last week of the grant award.