Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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BENSON, Minn. — A Benson youth hockey coach facing felony charges for allegedly attempting to solicit a child for sex over the internet also now faces separate charges for weapons possession. It was also reported this week that the Benson Hockey Association, Morris Hockey Association, and Morris-Benson Hockey Association issued a joint statement terminating Bradley Alsaker's employment and said that Minnesota and USA Hockey have banned him from all Minnesota ice facilities.
RENVILLE, Minn. — There are plenty of obstacles keeping farmers from adopting the use of cover crops, but perhaps the biggest is this: "Peer pressure,'' said Brad Nere, a Renville County corn, soybean and livestock producer, when speaking last week about the challenges he faced. "You don't want to be a failure in front of your friends. You don't want to be a failure in front of your neighbors who said all along, 'well, that's not going to work.'"
SWEDES FOREST, Minn. — Everyone came looking to meet up with some odd-named characters, and found them. It's the five-lined skink, aka "blue devil,'' that brought Katie Leuenberger to the Swedes Forest Scientific and Natural Area on land in Yellow Medicine and Redwood counties. She surprised the speedy, blue-tailed reptiles by lifting wood and tin covers she keeps scattered about the granite outcrops on this site. They love hiding underneath them.
SPICER — The waters of Games Lake and Lake Andrew are still clear enough for swimmers to see their toes when they wade into them, or for anglers to see the sparkle of their spinner baits as they retrieve them.
MONTEVIDEO, Minn. — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has denied an appeal by Michael Dean Grussing, 57, for a new trial in the death of his roommate. Grussing was convicted of second-degree, intentional murder in the death of his roommate, Kevin Richardson, 44, on Sept. 8, 2015, in Montevideo. The decision released this week affirms a Chippewa County jury's guilty verdict on Feb. 24, 2016. Grussing is serving a 439-month sentence, and is currently incarcerated at the Rush City Correctional Facility.
GRANITE FALLS, Minn. — Andrew Dikken cannot withdraw his guilty pleas to murder in the 2013 shooting deaths of Kara Monson and Chris Panitzke, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled. In a ruling released Wednesday, June 21, the state's high court affirmed an earlier decision by the district court that denied Dikken's request to withdraw his guilty plea.
PAYNESVILLE, Minn. — Starry stonewort might sound like the name of some obscure, grunge band. Yet the latest aquatic invasive species to reach Minnesota has the potential to be a big time menace and as notorious as other unwanted invaders like eurasian milfoil and curly leaf pondweed. It all depends on what happens on Lake Koronis.
WATSON, Minn. — Chuck Ellingson makes it his business at the Watson Hunting Camp to introduce hunters to some of the best opportunities that western Minnesota has to offer. So what do you offer those looking for the thrill of the hunt when there isn't an open season?
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. — A bow angler fishing in a private gravel pit near Redwood Falls on Sunday, June 4 caught the largest invasive carp recorded in Minnesota. The bighead carp measured 47½ inches in length and weighed 61.7 pounds.
APPLETON - Legislation calling on the state to purchase or lease-to-own the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton did not make it through the 2017 session, but the state is now obligated to take a serious look at the possibility of utilizing the facility. Legislation approved and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton requires the Department of Corrections to hire an independent contractor to assess the facility and determine what, if any improvements would be required if the state were to house its inmates there. The assessment must be completed by January 15, 2018.