Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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GRANITE FALLS — Two burglary suspects are in custody after a homeowner's home security system alerted him that a vehicle was in the driveway of his rural home while his 12-year-old son was home alone. The homeowner hopped into his squad car, contacted his son en route and shortly afterward, pulled the suspects over on a rural roadway and with gun drawn, took them into custody with the help of a sheriff's deputy and the Granite Falls police chief. Michael Allen Chenoweth, 36, of Springfield, and Ashley Dawn Schultz, 29, of Marshall, are currently held in the Yellow Medicine County Jail
WILLMAR - A house fire has displaced the renters of a duplex in northwest Willmar.
Fire destroys mobile home in Meeker County LITCHFIELD – A fire destroyed a mobile home in Manannah Township of Meeker County on Wednesday. The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office reported that a home belonging to Edward Holmgren, 56, was reported on fire at 57700 340th Street in Manannah Township at 5:13 p.m. The Meeker County Sheriff’s Department, Eden Valley Fire and Litchfield Fire Departments responded.
Opioids are being abused in Redwood and Yellow Medicine counties, home to the Lower Sioux and Upper Sioux communities respectively, but it's not happening at the crisis levels being reported in some area of the country and Minnesota, according to law enforcement officials in those areas. And they are quick to emphasize that the abuse of opioids and other narcotics is occurring at similar levels among native as well as the non-native populations in those counties.
MONTEVIDEO — A convicted pedophile from Chippewa County will remain in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by a judicial appeal panel to deny a petition by Steven Allan Housman, 63, of Montevideo, for his full discharge from the program. In its decision released Tuesday, the court agreed with the judicial panel that Housman did not meet the criteria for discharge.
OLIVIA — Renville and Redwood counties are creating a standing committee to promote recreational opportunities in the 65-mile-long corridor of the Minnesota River they share. The Renville County Board of Commissioners at its meeting Tuesday approved creation of the committee and approved a conservation master plan for the corridor. The Redwood County Board of Commissioners was expected to approve the same at its meeting.
GRANITE FALLS - When Xcel Energy removed its Minnesota Falls dam on the Minnesota River in 2013, an underwater surprise was revealed a few miles upstream. Waiting for modern eyes to see was the rock-filled cribbing that was the base of a dam that spanned the river immediately downstream of the present day U.S. Highway 212 bridge in Granite Falls. The "old power dam" as it was called in a 1900 plat book may have been built as early as 1871. It's base had been hidden underwater for 108-years by the higher waters the Minnesota Falls dam had created when it was built in 1905.
MONTEVIDEO — The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners has selected the finance director from neighboring Yellow Medicine County to serve as the county's interim auditor/treasurer beginning in January. The Chippewa County Board at its meeting Monday approved the appointment of Michelle May. The appointment is for the calendar year 2018, to complete the remaining term of current Auditor/Treasurer Jon Clausen. Clausen has announced his intentions to retire at the end of February following a 43-year career with the county.
ST. PAUL — A number of rural fire departments in the area are among those that will be benefiting from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants. The program aims to save lives and protect property in rural areas. The DNR Rural Fire Department program provides financial and technical assistance to Minnesota fire departments in cities or communities with populations under 10,000. Grant recipients will use the funds for fire protection within existing state and county rural fire protection plans.
MONTEVIDEO — The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners approved a conditional use permit for a septic hauler to use underground, steel tanks to temporarily store human waste when conditions do not allow it to be land applied.