Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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OLIVIA -- An effort to protect some of Minnesota's rarest landscapes is finding support from landowners in the Upper Minnesota River Valley. The interest has proven strong enough that the Soil and Water Conservation Districts in five counties may seek additional funding to enroll more rock outcrops in the unique conservation easement program. Tom Kalahar, Renville County SWCD, told members of the Renville County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that the program has now approved applications to protect 1,481 acres of rock outcrops in Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Redwood, Renville and Yellow Med
MONTEVIDEO -- Curtis David Quale, 69, of Granite Falls, pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted murder, domestic abuse with a past pattern of domestic abuse.
MONTEVIDEO -- Curtis David Quale, 69, of Granite Falls, pleaded guilty to first degree, attempted murder, domestic abuse with a past pattern of domestic abuse in district court in Montevideo on Wednesday. He admitted to stabbing his 47-year-old girlfriend in a drunken fit of rage in their home in Granite Falls on July 16, and leaving her to bleed on the hallway floor over night before calling for help.
APPLETON -- Appleton is celebrating welcome news on the jobs front after learning that one of its homegrown manufacturing operations will soon be doubling its output and increasing employment. Econar's 47 employees in Appleton cheered last week when they learned that the owner of the geothermal heat manufacturer will be closing a production facility in Monroeville, Pa., and transferring its operations to Minnesota. Research Products Corporation of Madison, Wis., will be turning to the Appleton facility to produce a greater share of its energy-efficient, "green'' heating systems. The company
WILLMAR -- Willmar's glory days as a railroad hub may still be ahead. America is on the verge of investing in its rail passenger and freight systems on a level akin to the development of the interstate highway system in the 1950s, Dave Christianson, project manager with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, told an audience in Willmar on Wednesday evening. He is part of a MnDOT team drafting a plan for the Legislature on how Minnesota should make its investment. Willmar is currently on the plan's map as one of the corridors being proposed for passenger service to the Twin Cities.
GRANITE FALLS -- A host of regional initiatives could fall to the budget axe in Yellow Medicine County. The County Board of Commissioners gave its approval Tuesday to a budget cutting option that includes eliminating the county's contributions to the Prairie Waters tourism effort, Arts Meander, Southern Minnesota Tourism Coalition and groups including the Minnesota River Board and Highway 75 Coalition. All told, the contributions amount to just under $30,000 of a $16 million budget. The cuts were part of two options approved by the commissioners on Tuesday.
MILAN -- Women in athletics will be celebrated on Saturday, Nov. 7 in Milan in the school gym. The celebration will feature a noon luncheon with speakers Marian Bemis Johnson and Dorothy E. McIntyre, authors of the book "Daughters of the Game." It tells the story of Minnesota girls basketball from 1891-1942. There will also be a recognition of some of the women's teams from the 1970s and all women athletes.
OLIVIA -- It's a late, muddy and vexing harvest and the conference champion BOLD football Warriors are marching into the playoffs. And yet, the topic that is getting talked up the most in Olivia this week is the newly erected wind turbine. Mayor Bill Miller and City Administrator Daniel Hoffman stopped by Wednesday to see the final steps in the process. Both expressed their surprise at just how much attention the turbine has generated in the community. It's that way elsewhere too, according to Dave Boyles of Avant Energy in Minneapolis.
GRANITE FALLS -- Dare we say it, but the Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners intends to continue to raise a howl of protest over state rules that prevent aggressive action against what the members see as an over population of coyotes. The commissioners reiterated their concerns Tuesday that coyotes are threatening farm livestock and pets, as well as taking a toll on small game and deer populations. They cited their frustrations and failed attempts dating back to 2001 to obtain legislation allowing them to place a bounty on coyotes.
DAWSON -- Fresh fallen apples proved to be the cause of this steer's own down fall. The 1,200-pound Black Angus may have thought he escaped his fate when a mix up occurred as the farmer who raised him backed his trailer up to the Country Butcher meat processing shop in Dawson on Monday morning. Like a football running back, the steer spotted a gap between the trailer and entry to the butcher shop and took it.