Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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RENVILLE -- Renville County West got an idea of how students and parents are responding to its initiative to put Apple iPad2 tablet computers in the hands of every student in grades 4 through 12. School can't start soon enough. A standing room crowd of perhaps 300 parents and children filled the Renville Community Center one night last week to hear school officials discuss policy for the new initiative, as well as to give students a chance to test drive some of the new devices. "We need to transform the way we think about teaching and the way we think about learning,'' said K-12 Principal J
A search continued Thursday for a second day in the Minnesota River below Xcel Energy's Minnesota Falls dam for a worker who fell off the dam and is presumed drowned. As of press time, searchers had not yet been able to recover the body of Thomas Stich, 50, a worker who had fallen off a deck on the Minnesota Falls dam located about two miles southeast of Granite Falls on the Minnesota River. Stich fell off the dam around 1 p.m.
MONTEVIDEO -- Gov. Mark Dayton will break new ground by hosting the first Governor's Pheasant Opener, and will be doing so in Montevideo, his office announced on Thursday. "This is going to be a good thing for the community and a great thing for the state,'' said Dennis Larson, Montevideo, who has been working to make the Governor's pheasant season opener in Montevideo a possibility. In announcing the decision, Dayton said he has been a Minnesota pheasant hunter for more than half a century and is excited about holding the first annual Governor's Pheasant Opener in Montevideo.
MONTEVIDEO -- Governor Mark Dayton will break new ground by hosting the first Governor's Pheasant Opener, and will be doing so in Montevideo, his office announced on Thursday. "This is going to be a good thing for the community and a great thing for the state,'' said Dennis Larson, Montevideo, who has been working to make the Montevideo opener a possibility. In announcing the decision, Governor Dayton said he has been a Minnesota pheasant hunter for over half a century and excited about holding the first annual Governor's Opener in Montevideo. The Governor will be in Montevideo October 14-1
GRANITE FALLS -- A search continues in the Minnesota River below Xcel Energy's Minnesota Falls dam for a worker who fell off the dam and is presumed drowned. "We're preparing for the worst,'' said John Stich, of Burnsville, a brother of the worker. He was reached by telephone this morning. A life jacket was found about 100 yards downstream of where Tom Stich, 50, of Rush City is believed to have fallen off the dam and into the churning waters below it. Stich fell off the approximately 17-foot tall dam around 1 p.m.
CLARA CITY -- A local fuel distributor is looking to provide natural gas service in the communities of Clara City, Raymond, Maynard and Prinsburg, as well as possibly a spur area east of Prinsburg. Dooley's Petroleum is making presentations to the city councils in the four communities this week and next.
GRANITE FALLS -- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has rejected the bid of a New York City landlord for a 40-unit apartment building in Granite Falls. The Granite Falls Economic Development Agency learned Monday that HUD rejected the $469,500 bid by Emmanuel Ku for the Riverview Apartments. Doing business as Genghis Khan, LLC, Ku had offered the high bid at a foreclosure sale for the section 8 apartment building. The decision by HUD was met with relief in Granite Falls, according to Mayor Dave Smiglewski.
SPICER -- Like bracing for an uninvited guest to ring the doorbell, zebra mussels seem closer by the day. They've established themselves in the Lake Le Homme Dieu chain of lakes in Douglas County, less than an hour's drive away. They're proliferating rapidly in Lake Minnetonka, which has now been dubbed a "super spreader'' due to the threat that the many boaters using the lake could spread the invasive aquatic species. Yet, for the first time, there's also a sense of optimism and there's a greater resolve then ever, according to Terry Frazee with the Green Lakes Property Owners Association.
NEW LONDON - Without a doubt, tears were shed at Sibley State Park on Friday morning. It's a ritual that goes back a few decades. Since possibly sometime in the 1970s, Sibley State Park's group center has been host to summer camps offered by the Minnesota Farmers Union. The annual camps are an opportunity for young people to build leadership skills, make new friends and enjoy the outdoors. It's the saying goodbye to new-found friends at the end of camp that is the cause of the Friday morning tears, according to Glen Schmidt, education director for the MFU.
WILLMAR -- Rather safe than sorry, members of the Little Crow Ski Team are following two exhausting days of competition with one very long day of hard work. Piece by piece, volunteers with the local team devoted a full day on Monday to power cleaning all of the equipment they used during the Midwest Regional Show Ski Competition on July 30-31 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Ski team members learned that the Cedar River on which they competed could be infested with microscopic veligers, the larvae of zebra mussels, and they want to make absolutely certain they do not introduce the invasive species to