Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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CLINTON — The outside thermometer was stuck well below zero the morning of Jan. 6, and yet a crowd of 60 people filled the Inadvertent Cafe in downtown Clinton by sunrise for the chance to discuss the issues of the day with State Sen. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake, and Rep. Jeff Baker, R-Browns Valley. Everything from buffers to local government aid were the topics, but one underlying theme to it all was concern about economic opportunity in rural Minnesota.
WATSON - Chuck Ellingson's phone has been ringing ever since news and social media accounts this week began advising anglers to use caution on Lac qui Parle Lake. Caution is always the best policy on the ice, but Ellingson said ice conditions are good and he wants anglers to know that they do not need to worry about water on the ice. Ellingson, owner of the Watson Hunting Camp and Lodge, has a number of rental ice fishing houses scattered about the lake. He reports no water problems at any of them, including his larger, 21-foot models.
WATSON — People with ice fishing houses on Lac qui Parle Lake are being advised to check on them. Water has seeped on top of the ice around some houses on the lake. It's not known how extensive the problem might be, but a word of caution would be to the wise, according to Walt Gessler, wildlife manager with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at Lac qui Parle. He noted that there have been reports of both slush and water around some houses.
OLIVIA - A Minneapolis woman was transported to the Renville County Hospital in Olivia for non-life threatening injuries she suffered in a one-vehicle rollover at approximately 9:26 a.m. on Saturday. Arshunde Boyd, 34, was driving a 1998 Saturn Sedan westbound on Renville County Road near Renville County Road 16, about six miles southwest of Hector in Palmyra Township, according to information from the Renville County Sheriff’s Department.
MONTEVIDEO — Chippewa County will see its first graduate of the Eighth Judicial District's specialized drug court next week, two-and-a-half years after the new court was launched. It's left the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners with one question: Why aren't all of the counties in the district participating in it, they asked.
CLARA CITY — A Granite Falls man who was airlifted after an accident Dec. 29 on Minnesota Highway 23 southwest of Raymond has died of his injuries. The family of George Schindele, 80, of Granite Falls, reported that he died Jan. 4 while a patient at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Schindele was airlifted following the two-vehicle crash at 10:54 a.m. Dec. 29 on Highway 23 at the intersection of Chippewa County Road 1. Schindele was a passenger in a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu driven by his wife, Linda Schindele, 74, of Granite Falls.
OLIVIA — Finding the right profession can be a long journey for some, but not for Jeff Nelson. All he needed was a few short rides in the squad cars of Minnesota State Patrol troopers to know that law enforcement was for him. A few weeks ago his colleagues let him know in a big way that they felt the same way: The Minnesota Sheriffs' Association honored the Renville County sheriff's deputy as Deputy Sheriff of the Year in the state.
OLIVIA — The Renville County Board of Commissioners will be watching the Legislature to see whether counties will be reimbursed for enforcing the state's new buffer law before the county agrees to take on that responsibility.
MONTEVIDEO — A Chippewa County jury has awarded a total of $10,199,000 in a civil lawsuit brought by a 42-year-old woman who alleged that her father had sexually abused her when she was a child.
NEW LONDON — A New London-Spicer School District teacher credited with inspiring students with her passion for the natural world has been recognized as teacher of the year by the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The Kandiyohi County Soil and Water Conservation District nominated Laura Molenaar for the award she received at the organization's annual conference Dec. 5 in Bloomington.