Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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OLIVIA -- Renville County's Board of Commissioners gave county staff the go-ahead Tuesday to seek grant funds to develop an off-highway vehicle park. The commissioners voted 3-2 at their meeting to authorize the process of applying for federal and state grant funds for the park. Both supporters and opponents of the proposal filled the meeting room Tuesday in Olivia as the commissioners discussed the issue. It will cost an estimated $1.3 million to acquire property and develop the park.
OLIVIA -- Sheriff's Deputy Sam Olson has no hesitation when he's asked what he likes most about his job. "Putting on the uniform,'' said Olson. "I don't like my job, I love my job,'' he said. Olson's enthusiasm for his role as a Renville County sheriff's deputy was recognized on Tuesday, when Sheriff Scott Hable presented him with the first Chris Domeier Community Oriented Policing Award. Sheriff Hable intends to present the award annually to recognize a law officer in the county for practicing community oriented policing, and to remember Domeier. He died June 16, 2010 at age 30.
OLIVIA -- Renville County's board of commissioners approved moving ahead with possibly developing an off highway vehicle park. The commissioners voted three-to-two at their meeting Tuesday morning in Olivia to authorize staff to begin the process of applying for federal and state grant funds for the park. Both supporters and opponents of the proposal filled the meeting room as the commissioners discussed the issue. It will cost an estimated $1.3 million to acquire property and develop the park.
WOOD LAKE -- One of the most important battlefield sites from the 1862 U.S.-Dakota Conflict is being protected as Minnesota prepares to observe the 150th anniversary of the war. The Wood Lake Battlefield Preservation Association announced last week that it has signed a conservation easement with a family owning a significant portion of the area where the Battle of Wood Lake took place on Sept. 23, 1862. It allows the nonprofit organization to develop a 53-acre portion of the battlefield site as a memorial to the Dakota warriors and U.S.
Coming home for Christmas is all about starting anew for Sarah and Aaron Minnick and their five children. On Thursday they moved back to Ninth Street Southeast in Willmar, to a newly built home on the very foundation where their former home stood. "We can start to enjoy life again,'' said Aaron Minnick, describing their new home as the nicest gift they could receive for Christmas. Their journey home was as much one of the heart as it was of the travails that come with rebuilding. Arsonists destroyed the home that had stood on this site as the family slept. It was sometime after 3 a.m.
FAIRBANKS, ALASKA -- A Yellow Medicine County native who lives in a remote and roadless area north of Fairbanks, Alaska, turned to social media when his wife continued to suffer debilitating pain. It may have saved her life. The Fairbanks News Miner newspaper reported Thursday that Rena Ose, 68, was doing well at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital with her husband, Duane, 69, at her side. According to News Miner Reporter Reba Lean, the Oses live at Ose Mountain, one of the last homesteads created by the federal Homestead Act.
BENSON -- An energy savings project undertaken by the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company in Benson is cutting the company's natural gas costs by about $700,000 annually. The Benson ethanol plant is among 36 facilities in Minnesota realizing ongoing energy savings thanks to one-time energy upgrade grants administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources. The grants, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, were targeted to make energy efficiency improvements to commercial, industrial and nonprofit facilities across Minnesota.
WILLMAR -- A brown Christmas means that snow blowers and snow shovels aren't exactly flying off store shelves, to the dismay of merchants. It also means that snowplow operators with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and many area counties will be home on Christmas Day for the first time in two years. With the possible exception of a narrow swath of snow expected in a small section of south central Minnesota, the National Weather Service in Chanhassen is predicting that most of southern Minnesota will see a brown Christmas. Sunny skies and a high of 37 are predicted for the Willmar
WOOD LAKE -- One of the most important battlefield sites from the 1862 US Dakota Conflict is being protected as Minnesota prepares to observe the 150th anniversary of the war. The Wood Lake Battlefield Preservation Association announced this week that it has signed a conservation easement with a family owning a critical portion of the area where the Battle of Wood Lake took place on Sept. 23, 1862. It allows the non-profit organization to develop a 53-acre portion of the battlefield site as a memorial to the Dakota warriors and U.S.
OLIVIA -- Buffalo Lake has made steady progress toward removing those properties that were damaged by the tornadoes that swept through town in June of 2003 and left blighted and neglected in their wake. Some of the last properties to be cleared may prove to be the most costly. Joyce Nyhus, mayor of Buffalo Lake, asked the Renville County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday to consider forgiving roughly $17,000 in back taxes owed by four properties acquired and cleared by the city. The city persuaded their owners to give the properties - which are the site of three, blighted homes - to the cit