Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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BUFFALO LAKE -- The Minnesota Energy ethanol plant in Buffalo Lake is closing, putting 20 people out of work. The decision to suspend ethanol production was a difficult and painful one, but necessary, according to Randy Byro, chairman of the board for the farmer-owned ethanol plant and grain handling cooperative. "Margins, margins, margins,'' he said. The operation has been losing money in recent months and its near-term financial prospects continued to look negative, he said.
GRANITE FALLS -- A 29-year-old man with prior domestic assault convictions is headed to prison for an assault in which he choked and head-butted a female victim. District Judge Bruce Christopherson sentenced Steven Everett Tipton of Granite Falls to 36 months in prison Tuesday after he was convicted of a felony count of domestic assault and three felony counts of violating a no contact order. The criminal complaint against Tipton charges he assaulted the 22-year-old victim during an incident Dec.
GRANITE FALLS -- Broadband connectivity is a "must have'' for economic growth. Yet in large swaths of rural west central and western Minnesota, that connectivity remains hard to have, or very expensive. That's changing fast, tower by tower. "We're getting this service to where it isn't,'' said Dan Richter, president of MVTV Wireless in Granite Falls. Since 1999, the nonprofit Minnesota Valley Television Improvement Corporation has been bringing broadband Internet service to western Minnesota via a two-way, wireless network. Currently, it has 58 access points placed atop as many municipal
HAVELOCK TOWNSHIP, CHIPPEWA COUNTY -- Who do you turn to for help if you have an emergency in the middle of the boondocks? Who else but the Boondocks First Responders, who have been responding to calls for help since 1991. These volunteers will come to your aid if you're on the edges of the Boondocks too. The borders of their coverage area are loosely defined, says Lance Knoshal.
OLIVIA -- Olivia and neighboring communities joined to offer a noisy and jubilant hero's welcome to the first returning troops with the 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery on Friday morning. The 111 troops with Battery B based in Olivia and Madison waved and gave thumbs up signals from their four busses as they rolled into Olivia at 10 a.m. They were the first of 550 troops making their way home from Fort McCoy, Wis., Friday and today. People lining U.S.
OLIVIA -- Olivia and neighboring, Renville County communities joined to give the first returning troops with the 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery a noisy and jubilant hero's welcome on Friday morning. The 111 troops with Battery B based in Olivia and Madison rolled into Olivia right on schedule at 10 a.m. Some 550 troops are making their way home from Fort McCoy, Wis., today and tomorrow. People lining U.S.
NEW LONDON -- Is it possible for spring to come too early to Minnesota? It did for those who love the drip, drip, drip of maple sap and the syrup to be made from it. This year's maple syrup-making season suffered an abrupt and early ending with the arrival of above-average temperatures to the region in March. "It is really shutting it down fast,'' said instructor Carl Vogt.
MONTEVIDEO -- Life is getting back to normal in areas affected by floodwaters along the Minnesota River during the previous week. Sanitary sewer service was restored Monday to low-lying areas in Montevideo, including the homes and businesses in the Smith Addition. Work also got under way on Monday to remove the temporary berm or levee added to a portion of U.S. Highway 212.
NEW LONDON -- April is when many of us start swinging our favorite clubs with the aim of doing better on the greens in the coming year. April is when Troy Haverly starts swinging the barrel of his single-shot Perazzi TM1 shotgun. There's no question about his aim. Haverly will be starting the 2010 trapshooting season just as he did the last two: At the top of the pack. He won honors in the last two consecutive years by being named to the Minnesota Trapshooting Association's all-state men's first team.
NEW LONDON -- A political debate heating up inside the state capitol could have ramifications for state parks in this region for many years to come. An amendment was approved on the House floor on March 15 to a natural resources bill. The amendment removed $4.2 million in Environmental Trust Fund monies that were to be used for land acquisitions. The funds are generated by the Minnesota Lottery. The total includes $2.2 million designated for acquiring private lands within state parks. Rep.