Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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MONTEVIDEO — An estimated 110 workers in Montevideo will be seeking new jobs as SL-Montevideo Technology begins a six-month, staged layoff and wind-down process at its 22,000-square-foot facility on the north side of the community. Originally a home-grown company, it has been a part of Montevideo for 50 years. Some of its employees have 20 plus years of experience.
OLIVIA — Renville County is calling for bids to repair County Ditch 66, which was upgraded and rerouted at a cost of $2.2 million in 1998. Acting as the drainage authority, the Renville County Board of Commissioners approved calling for bids following a hearing held Tuesday morning. The commissioners agreed to call for bids that will include two options, one of which is aimed at reducing the estimated $704,000 cost for the project.
OLIVIA — Juvenile offenders will typically get charged, pay a fine, and do it all over again, while virtually nothing is done about problems at home or issues behind the bad behaviors that escalate with time. "By the time we can actually step in to do something significant, we've lost two or three interventions already,'' Laurence Stratton, assistant county attorney, told the Renville County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.
CHICAGO, IL — Minnesota Artist Ashley Hanson was selected by the Obama Foundation to join the inaugural 2018 Fellows class. Selected from more than 20,000 applicants from 191 countries, Hanson will join a two-year, non-residential program that brings together 20 leaders representing 11 countries around the world who are creating transformational change on many of the world's most pressing problems.
ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton voiced skepticism Wednesday about a Republican proposal to tap U.S. Bank Stadium reserve funds to build veterans nursing homes in Montevideo, Bemidji and Preston. The governor referred to the legislation to tap those funds as another example of "legislative meddling in the operations of the executive branch'' when asked by reporters Wednesday for his views on the development.
WILLMAR — The Minnesota Supreme Court has disbarred longtime Willmar attorney George Hulstrand Jr. According to an order released Wednesday, the court determined that disbarment was the appropriate discipline for a series of professional misconduct charges. Hulstrand's misconduct was not an isolated, single incident, the court stated in an opinion accompanying the order. "Rather, he violated 18 different ethics rules in 13 separate client matters over the span of four years.''
MONTEVIDEO — Over 100 supporters of a veterans nursing home in Montevideo applauded news that they expect the project will be included in bonding bills to be released Wednesday by Republican leaders in the Legislature. "It appears they will fund all three homes,'' Marv Garbe, who has led the Montevideo campaign for a veterans home, said during a gathering Monday afternoon at the American Legion in Montevideo. "I think it is going to happen,'' Garbe said.
OLIVIA — BOLD School Board members are interviewing two more candidates for a half-time, interim superintendent position on Monday after a finalist declined their offer last week, but has since asked to be reconsidered. With the request for reconsideration, there are three candidates in the mix for consideration by the board members, according to Jill Hanson, board chairwoman.
SPICER - We only have to look back at 2013 to know just how long the ice can stick around. The winter ice cover on Green Lake held on until May 8 that year, or just a little more than a day before the fishing opener. Will Green Lake be ice free when it hosts the 2018 Governor's Fishing Opener on May 12? "My guess is it will be open. We'll have open water,'' said Greg Melges, Mel's Sports and Bait Shop of Spicer. But he quickly added to be clear: "That's my guess.''
GRANITE FALLS — Rural hospitals are seeing shrinking operating margins, increased competition to recruit physicians, and a growing need to form partnerships or join larger organizations to gain leverage when negotiating reimbursement rates from private insurance companies. In a state with 140 hospitals, 104 are now owned, managed, leased or affiliated with a larger health care system, according to Tom Kooiman, CEO of Granite Falls Health, as he outlined the challenges rural health care providers face.