Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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APPLETON, Minn. — In a span of 16 days last month, workers removed and replaced all of the shelving, restocked them all, and poured 102 yards of concrete to build a new floor while keeping the doors of Don's Food Pride open for all but six and a half hours of its regular schedule. "Looking good, Tim,'' said a customer pushing a cart down the newly polished floor in Appleton's grocery store last week.
WEGDAHL, Minn.—The last time the tiny, Minnesota River community of Wegdahl could be called a destination dates to the days when a dance hall and speakeasy known as Skunk Hollow sold bootleg whiskey, and there were stories galore about fights and shady card games. The crowd that showed up Thursday, Sept. 28, found a much different environment. Chippewa County hosted an open house to introduce people to the park it has developed on this site along the Minnesota River roughly halfway between Montevideo and Granite Falls.
MONTEVIDEO, Minn.—When residents of the Upper Minnesota River Valley are surveyed on the challenges the region faces, the number one response is "a lack of jobs.'' "Absolutely against what all the data say,'' said Luke Greiner, regional market analyst with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
JORDAN, Minn. — Jay Gustafson quit the job he loved and hit the trail. We should say trails, as in Minnesota's water trails. He intends to paddle all 34 of them, a total of 4,500 miles. "This is the thing I love more than anything,'' said Gustafson. "I love to canoe. I love to be on our rivers. I love paddling,'' he said during a break from the waters of the Minnesota River last Saturday, Sept. 16.
MONTEVIDEO, Minn. — A woman accused of using her mother-in-law's assets to support a lavish lifestyle, while the older woman was evicted from a nursing home, made her initial appearance Tuesday in Chippewa County District Court in Montevideo. Martina Annette Christie, 61, of Billings, Montana, faces 12 felony charges for the alleged financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. She is currently held in the Yellow Medicine County Jail in Granite Falls with bail set at $500,000 for release without conditions and $250,000 for release with conditions.
BIRD ISLAND, Minn. — Rural grocery stores do not have to go the way of the iconic red barn and disappear one by one from the Main Streets of small towns.
GLENWOOD, Minn. — Starry stonewort has been confirmed in Lake Minnewaska in Pope County, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported Monday. This is the second new confirmation of starry stonewort in a Minnesota lake in 2017. It was originally discovered in Lake Koronis in 2015. DNR invasive species specialists confirmed an abundant growth of starry stonewort among native aquatic plants in the narrow Lake Minnewaska marina off the main body of the lake. Additional searches are being conducted to determine whether it is anywhere beyond the marina.
HANLEY FALLS, Minn. — Irrigation can make economic sense for many corn farmers in Minnesota, but it is not known if a more costly investment in subsurface irrigation can produce the yields to justify the extra cost. Brian Velde aims to find out, thanks to an Innovation Grant from the Minnesota Corn Growers and the help of a University of Minnesota researcher.
BREWSTER, Minn. — Never would Kathy Miller have imagined anything positive coming from her son's death 11-years ago in Iraq. But just a few weeks after the 11th anniversary of the June 29, 2006, death of Sergeant Kyle Miller, his mother could say: "There've been positive things that have happened since my son has been killed.'' She was speaking of one that will last a very long time, and in a very big way.
WILLMAR — A phone call Tuesday morning put a mother of two children in tears and brought more than 60 people to the Living Hope Church in Willmar for a prayer vigil Sunday evening. They gathered to pray and discuss ways to help Melvin Siu, who was taken into custody Tuesday morning by agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A native of Guatemala, Siu has been living in the U.S. for more than 16 years; the past 10 years in Willmar where he has been employed during this time at Jennie-O Turkey Store.