Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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RAYMOND -- Olson Lake is a 124-acre, shallow water lake that was once a waterfowl hunter's Mecca and could be soon again. It's part of a 450-acre Waterfowl Production Area, and the protected grassland on the property are as popular with pheasant hunters as the lake will again be for waterfowl hunters. Olson Lake escaped the fate of many shallow waters in this area: More than 95 percent of our original wetlands have been drained, according to Scott Glup, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service project leader with the Litchfield office. He spoke May 7 at the dedication ceremony.
WILLMAR -- Duluth Mayor Don Ness was on hand to wish them well, and 400 balloons were released as friends cheered their departure. Yet what's really etched in their memory is what greeted the team of bicyclists on the road: ''40 degrees and a driving rain at the start,'' said Clarence Nylund, describing their May 5 start from Duluth. Five days later, and Nylund and the bicyclists reached Willmar via a route that included Hinckley, White Bear Lake, Fairmont, and Marshall. The temperature was popping thermometers at 88 degrees as they rolled into the Day's Inn on East Highway 12 in Willmar on
The spring of 2010 came very early, and anglers were looking forward to the walleye and northern pike opener with expectations for success matching those of Minnesota Viking fans awaiting the return of Brett Favre. And for many anglers, the opening day results were comparable to the Viking's season. This year's late spring seems to have dampened expectations for the 2011 fishing opener, but it shouldn't. Most area lakes are holding above average populations of walleye, and the spawn was completed right on schedule.
Just where will a love for fishing take you in life? In Jon Wogen's case, it has led him to: * wild streams running through the bluff country of northeastern Iowa; * the Black Hills of South Dakota in search of trout; * the sparkling waters of the Mississippi River near Brainerd to tangle with largemouth bass and northern pike; * the deep, glacial waters of Grindstone Lake near Sandstone for pole-bending lake and rainbow trout fishing, and trophy pike; * and the fertile waters of Kandiyohi County, to enjoy just about all of it.
MORTON -- The Lower Sioux Community, doing business as Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel, has agreed to pay a civil penalty as assessed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Treasury, according to a news release from the community and the U.S. Treasury. The assessment charges that the community did not implement internal controls as required by the Bank Security Act in operations at the casino during the period 2006 through 2009. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network assessed a $250,000 civil penalty.
APPLETON -- It is a challenge to keep a regional tourism collaborative together. Its member counties and communities sometimes have competing interests and differing ideas of what to do. And right now, all are facing tight budgets and greater demands on their resources. Despite these realities, the Western Minnesota Prairie Waters tourism coalition is moving into 2011 with a sense of optimism.
The Chippewa River was back within its banks but keeping a sprinter's pace when the nine of us slipped two canoes and five kayaks into its current at Lentz's Landing on Minnesota Highway 40 on the afternoon of Easter Sunday. Our plan was to hitch a ride on this conveyor belt to the Watson Lion's Park about eight miles downstream. So much to see on the way: We chased up wood ducks, mallards and plenty of mergansers too, including a pair of hooded.
LAKE JOHANNA TOWNSHIP, POPE COUNTY -- Kurt Nelson has 80 acres of land in the southeast corner of Pope County that are the kind often touted in the classified ads of outdoor publications as "prime hunting acres.'' Last winter he dished out more than 3,000 bushels of corn to pheasants and deer just outside the back door of his home here. "I'm too busy feeding them to hunt them,'' laughed Nelson, a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. This spring he's watching waterfowl splash in the four-acre wetland he restored, and anticipating the green-up.
For more than seven years, Terry Overlander has continued to answer every opportunity to stand before high school students and tell a story that never fails to bring him to the brink of sobbing. He's telling it again today, this time to professionals gathered in Redwood Falls at the request of the Southwest Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths campaign to make roadways safer. "It's about choices,'' Overlander, of Dawson, tells his audiences of all ages. He wants to persuade young people not to make the mistake of drinking and driving or of getting into a vehicle when the driver has been drinking.
OLIVIA -- Matthew Fahey's sentencing for the sexual assault of a 14-year-old newspaper carrier is being postponed until May 27, according to a decision announced Tuesday by the District Court in Renville County. The delay was requested by Matthew Fahey's newly retained defense attorney, Richard Lee Swenson of Chaska.