Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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GRANITE FALLS, Minn.—You can't fight city hall, but soon, you might be able to infiltrate it. That's kind of what Ashley Hanson is up to, and she has the formal approval of the powers that be in Granite Falls to do it. City Council members recently approved a proposal by Hanson to pursue funding and create an artist-in-residency project that would embed an artist in the city.
WILLMAR, Minn. — Kandiyohi County has filed a felony charge of tampering with a witness in the first degree against the sister of Chad Monson, who is in custody on firearms and explosives charges. Amy Lynn Monson, 42, of Burnsville, appeared Friday, March 16, in District Court after having been taken into custody on a warrant issued by Kandiyohi County.
WILLMAR, Minn. — State Rep. Dave Baker of Willmar applauded the work of local law enforcement in bringing charges against a suspect in the Nov. 4 overdose death of John Schlegel, 24, of Blomkest. Richard Michael Carl Houske, 29, was arraigned Thursday, March 15, on third-degree murder charges for allegedly selling the fentanyl that led to Schlegel's death.
WILLMAR, Minn. — A Willmar man faces a third-degree murder charge for allegedly selling the fentanyl that led to the overdose death of John Schlegel of Blomkest at age 24 on Nov. 4. Richard Michael Carl Houske, 29, was arraigned on the charge Thursday, March 15, in Kandiyohi County District Court in Willmar. The charge carries a potential sentence of 25 years in prison. District Judge David Mennis ordered bail set at $750,000 for release without conditions, or $200,000 for release with conditions.
LITCHFIELD — Meeker County authorities are investigating the death of a 40-year-old man after his body was found other than where he was believed to have died. Shawn Jacob Medley, of Waverly, was found at a rural Ellsworth Township location at 2:15 p.m. Sunday, according to Meeker County Sheriff Brian Cruze. The sheriff reported that officers found the man's body after acting on a report of an unresponsive male at the location, which is withheld at this time due to the ongoing investigation.
WILLMAR, Minn. — A Willmar woman who has been urging city officials to adopt a welcoming city resolution offered her voice in support of a statewide coalition calling on people of faith to fight Islamophobia. Hamdi Kosar of Willmar joined Muslim and Christian faith leaders Thursday, Feb. 1, at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington for a rally also aimed at encouraging people to attend their precinct caucuses. The effort was sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, ISAIAH, and the ISAIAH Muslim Coalition.
BLOOMINGTON — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be cutting back on the number of fingerling walleye it stocks, but maintain its commitment to stocking young fry. The decision comes in response to an analysis of the state's accelerated walleye stock program over the past 12 years.
APPLETON, Minn. — There are now price tags for the state of Minnesota to either purchase, upgrade and operate the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, or to lease it. A newly released architectural assessment of the facility in far west-central Minnesota for the state Legislature determined the total project cost for the state to purchase and upgrade the prison to meet state needs would total $139 million, representing $86,875 per bed for the 1,600-inmate facility.
MADISON, Minn. — Blowing snow and sub-zero temperatures didn't stop more than 80 people from traveling the roads of western Minnesota Thursday, Jan. 11, to reach the aptly-named Frozen Farm Forum in Madison. They braved the weather to learn about the possibility of raising industrial hemp in Minnesota. Their interest came as no surprise to Margaret Wiatrowski, coordinator of the industrial hemp program for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The forum marked the fourth big event she's spoken at this year, each with large crowds.
MONTEVIDEO, Minn. - The latest frontier in the solar power industry's growth in Minnesota is found in Chippewa County, where workers are completing the third of three solar garden projects undertaken in the past year. Berkshire Hathaway Energy, working with Geronimo Energy, is developing the solar gardens as part of Xcel Energy's Solar Rewards Community Program. Legislation approved in 2013 requires Xcel Energy to provide community solar gardens in its service territory. Workers are completing the Taurus Community Solar Garden on the east side of Montevideo.