Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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UPPER SIOUX AGENCY STATE PARK -- We know our mosquitoes too well in Minnesota, but we know very little about the winged insects that love to dine on them. There may be as many as 140 different dragonfly and damselfly species in Minnesota, according to the Department of Natural Resources. We know little about where the different species can be found, although it would help us a great deal to know. Each species has its own special habitat requirements.
WATSON -- Crawling over permafrost at four to five miles an hour, the train ride from Thompson, Manitoba, Canada, to Churchill on the edge of Hudson Bay is an 18- to 22-hour endurance run in the best of times. It was the worst of times when Dave Trauba boarded. Rumors about water covering the tracks proved true and it eventually took a helicopter and plane ride for Trauba to make it from the halted train to his destination. He arrived at an isolated camp miles outside of Churchill on June 14.
BENSON -- Five years after Nichole Riley-Lemcke, 26, was fatally shot in her Appleton home, her husband will stand trial on charges of first-degree, premeditated and second-degree, intentional murder. In a series of rulings issued recently, District Judge Jon Stafsholt found there was probable cause to proceed with a trial on the indictments issued by a grand jury against Andrew Lemcke, 34, of Appleton. Stafsholt dismissed defense motions that challenged the convening of the grand jury, testimony presented to it and prosecutorial act-ions.
MONTEVIDEO -- Minnesota Highway 7 between Montevideo and Clara City will be available for school buses and trucks hauling sugar beets, but most motorists may need to wait two weeks before the road is officially opened. Paul Rasmussen, regional engineer with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, told the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that an opening in two weeks is his best guess as this point.
OLIVIA -- Renville County will be cracking down on violations by the drivers of all-terrain vehicles in its county parks. The County Board of Commissioners called for an aggressive law enforcement campaign -- even though it will bust the budget for park enforcement -- to curtail a problem they had once thought quashed. The call for an enforcement campaign came after Tom Kalahar, with the Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District, outlined a series of problems to the commissioners on Tuesday.
OLIVIA -- In 16 of the last 17 seasons of football competition, either BOLD or Atwater Cosmos Grove City has claimed the West Central South or Highway 212 conference championship. This year's match-up promises something totally different: Two winners. Not to mention a top-notch fireworks display, a tackle football contest between seventh- and eighth-graders from the two schools against big-time sports teams mascots like the Utah Jazz's "Bear'' and the Timberwolves's "Crunch''; and a visit and flyover by a Black Hawk helicopter. Most important, it will be a time to remember, honor and suppor
OLIVIA -- Danube Police Chief Lester Schneider Jr., 39, and his spouse, Jammie Jean Schneider, 38, both of Danube, made their first appearances Thursday in district court in Renville County. Neither entered pleas. They each face felony and gross misdemeanor charges of theft and theft - indifferent to rights of owner. The chief faces additional charges of misconduct by a public official and receiving unauthorized compensation. District Judge Bruce Christopherson allowed both defendants to remain free on their own recognizance.
OLIVIA -- Danube Police Chief Lester Schneider Jr., 39, and his spouse, Jammie Jean Schneider, 38, both of Danube, made their first appearances today in district court in Renville County. Neither entered pleas. They each face felony and gross misdemeanor charges of theft and theft, indifferent to rights of owner. The chief faces additional charges of misconduct by a public official and receiving unauthorized compensation. District Judge Bruce Christopherson allowed both defendants to remain free on their own recognizance.
OLIVIA -- Nicolle Marie Mercedes Prechel, 31, of Willmar, forfeited her opportunity to challenge whether there was probable cause for felony charges of criminal vehicular homicide. She entered not guilty pleas to felony charges of criminal vehicular homicide during an appearance Monday in district court in Olivia. She is charged with having been intoxicated when she allegedly backed her van over a tent and killed 3½-month-old Whyatt Sander of Redwood Falls on July 5 in Renville County's Beaver Falls park.
WILLMAR -- Not since Willmar Mayor Ole Reynolds and Kandiyohi County board chair Virgil Olson stood before the cameras and supposedly sipped water from a dipper pulled from Foot Lake in 1983 has water quality in the lake gotten this kind of attention. Roughly every two weeks during May through September, Cory Netland and his staff with the Hawk Creek Watershed Project launch a flat-bottomed boat on the lake and submerge probes to collect samples of the water at various depths. They use another device to collect lake sediment, too.