Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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SOLOMON LAKE -- Workers with Donnie Hanson's Auto & Truck of New London hooked the big one Wednesday, but it will take them another day to land it.
SOLOMON LAKE -- Workers with Donnie Hanson's Auto and Truck and Towing of New London hooked the big one this afternoon, but it will take them another day to land it. A scuba diver attached a cable to a 2007 Ford Ranger pickup truck that had gone through the ice on Solomon Lake north of Willmar during the snow and sleet storm on Monday evening. Kris Ryks of Willmar and passengers Jason Mackey and Jarrod Gates had safely bailed out of the truck as it nose dived in about 10-feet of water, located 1.4 miles from the public access on Kandiyohi County Road 5.
It's hard to miss the development of renewable energy at the University of Minnesota campus in Morris. There are now two, 1.6-megawatt wind generators towering over the prairie and cranking out enough kilowatts to provide 60 percent of the electrical needs on campus.
SPICER -- The first step toward energy independence was taken by the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in 2004, when it added a corn-burning stove to the lobby of its education building. The stove still warms the lobby, but it burns wood pellets in place of the corn that originally could be purchased for less than $2 a bushel. There have been a lot of other changes in the last eight years too.
BENSON -- You can measure the commitment by Paden Strutz to his favorite sport in miles. The senior on the Morris-Benson Area Storm hockey team makes an 80-mile, round trip five days a week from his home in Granite Falls to attend practices. He pays for all of his gas by working and saving during the off-season, according to his mother, Anne Brown. It's the commitment that makes hockey special to fellow Storm senior Luke Schwarz of Benson as well. "It takes so much more commitment than any other sport, because of the cost and the hard work. Every practice is a work out no matter how light.
Western Minnesota has its own version of the mining debate taking shape on the edge of the Boundary Waters. Can we allow mining and still protect what remains of a unique and endangered natural environment? This debate is taking place on the edge of the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge between Ortonville and Odessa.
CLINTON -- While plans for a quarry in Big Stone County have some concerned about the environmental impact, the developer says it is committed to mitigating any damage. Strata Corporation of Grand Forks, N.D., is proposing to develop a 104-acre quarry on a 478-acre property on the edge of the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. That area of western Minnesota is already home to two large quarry operations. The Cold Spring quarry opened originally as a dimensional stone quarry but now crushes granite for aggregate. The larger, L.G.
GRANITE FALLS -- A 35-year-old man will return to prison for a burglary that allegedly netted him an X-Box console and a game for it. Daniel Ray Blue will serve a 43-month sentence for a second-degree burglary conviction. The court issued the sentence Monday in Yellow Medicine County District Court in Granite Falls.
OLIVIA -- A judge's order issued on Wednesday means that Sergio Turrubiates could see a longer sentence for his second-degree murder conviction in the death of 19-month-old Tiana Moore in December of 2010. Turrubiates, 21, of Olivia, pleaded guilty on Jan. 31 to second-degree murder, without intent - child endangerment. The presumptive sentence for the charge is 153 to 216 months in prison.
CLARA CITY -- Sarah Guggisberg is speaking up so that young victims of sexual abuse do not have to suffer in silence. Lawmakers are listening. The Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives advanced "Jacob's Law,'' a bill being championed by the Clara City mother. Guggisberg told her story to committee members on Feb. 2 in St. Paul.