Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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NEW LONDON -- Two of New London's biggest attractions have a conflict. The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District believes it has the natural solution. It began restoring the shoreline of Neer Park in New London on Thursday with plans to see native aquatic and upland vegetation take hold on an eroded and undercut shoreline that has been sloughing into the waters of the Crow River. "A matter of necessity,'' said Mayor Bill Gossman of the project as he stood in ankle-deep water. "The big thing is the shoreline.
FORT HOOD, TEXAS -- Their training completed and goodbyes said to families, nearly 560 soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery of the Minnesota National Guard are preparing for deployment to Iraq in the upcoming days. Six weeks of intensive training at Fort Hood, Texas, including 36 days of line-of-fire training, have prepared the troops well, and morale remains strong, according to the battalion's commander, Lt. Col. Scott St. Sauver. "Overall, it's very, very good,'' said St. Sauver during a teleconference with Minnesota news reporters on Friday morning.
SACRED HEART -- A cell phone call informed us we had some time to kill before the group we were to lead on the river arrived. Tom Kalahar was prepared. "Let's go fishing,'' he said, a smile betraying his excitement at the turn of events. In minutes we had our canoes positioned near a snag of trees under the Renville County Road 9 bridge crossing and nightcrawlers dunked. And almost immediately, Kalahar yanked out his first "fiddler," or small channel catfish he proclaimed as the perfect size for eating.
Two soldiers were injured when the Humvee in which Army Sgt. Jesse Lhotka was riding left a roadway and overturned in Baghdad, Iraq, on Feb. 21, 2005. Lhotka, 1st Lt. Jason Timmerman and Sgt. David Day were carrying the second injured soldier on a stretcher to a helicopter when an improvised explosive device detonated. All were killed. Army Sgt.
GRANITE FALLS -- A proposal to expand the Granite Falls municipal library and senior citizen center continues to win support from the City Council. The council approved action this week to pursue a capital bonding request for the proposal. The proposal calls for expanding both floors of the building that now houses the library and senior citizens center.
MONTEVIDEO -- The city of Montevideo is seeing the benefits of highly competitive bids for its wastewater treatment plant expansion as it finalizes funding for the project. The City Council took action at its regular meeting Monday to issue $10,379,466 in general obligation notes through the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority.
ECHO -- Kurt Arner was working on a horse-powered dairy farm near Viroqua, Wis., liked what he saw, and traded in his BMW for his own horses. "It was a good trade," said Arner of his 1978 swap. He's been relying on horsepower ever since. His stable of seven Belgian and Belgian-cross horses provide the power on his small farm outside of Montevideo.
WILLMAR -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty's announcement he will not seek a third term didn't really catch area legislators by surprise, but its timing has them buzzing. "It's a reality check for those of us in the Republican party,'' said Rep. Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck.
SUNBURG -- Managing prescribed burns on a modern landscape requires lots of planning and preparation, but things still don't always go as expected. That's why prescribed burns are conducted by specially trained workers, and why the experience of someone like Bill Clausen- who devoted much of his career to fighting wild fires- can be so important. Like every prescribed burn, the May 6 burn on the Freeze Waterfowl Production Area in northern Kandiyohi County was years in the making. Scott Glup, project manager with the U.S.
SUNBURG -- Bill Clausen devoted most of his 25 year career with the U.S. Forest Service to fighting fires. ''I've been just about everywhere,'' said Clausen of years that included lots of adrenalin-pumping moments. Once, he and his fellow fire fighters survived a California conflagration by taking shelter in a gravel pit as a wall of flames roared overhead. For the past six years, Clausen has been setting fires with the U.S.