Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
- Member for
- 2 years 3 weeks
RENVILLE -- Tom Jacobs' father started raising sugar beets in Renville County in 1964, and with the exception of a few years in the early '70s, the family has continued that tradition ever since. By all measures, this was the most nerve-wracking harvest that father or son ever experienced, said Tom Jacobs of rural Olivia. "It was literally one rain from disaster,'' said Jacobs.
RENVILLE -- More than 90 percent of this year's sugar beet crop for Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative was planted with RoundUp Ready seeds, as compared to just 15 percent of last year's crop, according to information provided earlier this year by company officials. The switch to RoundUp Ready beets was well received by growers. The plants are genetically modified so that they are tolerant of the herbicide glyphosate, an effective weed killer.
CLARA CITY -- There is sure to be some sticker shock as Kandiyohi County moves forward with a process of taking century-old public drainage values into the reality of the 21st century. Water quality in waterways like Hawk Creek should benefit, Kandiyohi County Ditch Inspector Loren Engelby told members of the Hawk Creek Watershed Project at a meeting Dec. 4 in Clara City. Just over a year ago, the Kandiyohi County board of commissioners committed the county to a process of re-determining the benefits in public drainage systems.
WATSON -- A trend towards an ever later geese migration was evident again at the Lac qui Parle refuge, where the 2009 season ended with only 185 birds taken from state blinds. Refuge Manager Dave Trauba with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said the number is one of the lowest recorded, but does not come as a surprise.
CLARA CITY -- Hawk Creek and the Yellow Medicine River will be keeping no secrets from Bryan Spindler. He will be visiting dozens of sites in both waterways in the summer of 2010 armed with all the gadgetry needed to conduct an intensive assessment of the biological health of both. His upcoming visits are part of an on-going project by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to conduct assessments of the tributaries of the Minnesota River, according to Spindler and his supervisor, Dan Helwig.
While world leaders take center stage at the climate change conference in Copenhagen, students in western Minnesota are quietly finding their own solutions to our concerns about energy and carbon. They are building solar panels, replacing incandescent bulbs with energy saving Light Emitting Diodes, starting compost bins and even hatching plans for planting green roofs of native grasses atop their schools. They are part of the Youth Energy Summit!, an annual competition that introduces students to the science and career opportunities that renewable energy and conservation offer the region. Y
MONTEVIDEO -- Montevideo School Board members adopted a 2010 levy that reflects an overall 0.26 percent decrease from this year's levy. The board members on Monday adopted a total levy of $2,200,869 for the general, community service and general debt service funds in 2010, according to Superintendent Dr. Luther Heller. The total is $5,738.08 less than the 2009 levy. The district is projecting that it will retain its existing fund balance level at the end of the fiscal year. The balance is currently equal to about 6 percent of the budget.
GRANITE FALLS -- School board members adopted on Monday a levy of $1,736,241.36 for the Yellow Medicine East Schools in the coming fiscal year. The new budget represents an increase of $297,735.11 -- or 20.6 percent -- over last year. The biggest factors in the increase are the new funds being levied for integration needs and for other post-employment benefits bonds, according to Superintendent Al Stoeckman. The district qualifies for integration funding since it is considered racially isolated in that students of color represent more than 20 percent of the enrollment.
MONTEVIDEO -- A convicted sex offender who had been just a few hours from being released from prison to the streets of his hometown is now indefinitely committed to the Minnesota sex offender program in St. Peter and Moose Lake. Steven Allan Housman, 55, formerly of Montevideo, was committed to the sex offender program after an Oct.
BENSON -- Defense attorneys for Andrew Gordon Lemcke, 35, of Appleton, want access to a Smith & Wesson handgun and other physical evidence for analysis by their own outside expert in anticipation of his upcoming trial for the shooting death of his wife. Lemcke is charged with first-degree murder - premeditated and second-degree, intentional murder in the Sept. 12, 2004, death of Nichole Riley-Lemcke, 26, in their home in Appleton. She was shot at close range, through the chin, and died at the hospital in Appleton. The court will hold a hearing Dec.