Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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WORTHINGTON, Minn. — Plans are being put in place to begin euthanizing hogs at the JBS Pork plant in Worthington, according to Congressman Collin Peterson. “It’s what we have to do,” Peterson, D-Minn., said Monday, April 27. Large meat processing facilities in the Midwest have suspended operations as workers have become infected by the COVID-19 virus. The closures have left pork producers with no place to bring market-ready hogs, and they are unable to hold on to them. Smaller processors have increased their take of animals, but cannot manage the large numbers of animals.
WILLMAR, Minn. -- Extreme fire conditions today have resulted in the National Weather Service issuing a Red Flag Warning for counties in west central Minnesota including Kandiyohi. The warning includes these counties:
MILAN, Minn. — Far be it from the intentions of the mayor of the tiny community of Milan in Chippewa County to get his town into any sort of rivalry with the far larger town of Alexandria in Douglas County when it comes to matters of Norse heritage and pride. Milan Mayor Ron Anderson said nothing of the sort when asked why he persuaded his local Lions Club to bust its budget and help replace the town’s iconic Viking statue.
GRANITE FALLS, Minn. — Never underestimate the power of church basement ladies holding bake sales or the western Minnesota spirit of cooperation. They are part of the heritage that has made possible Pioneer Public Television. And thanks to the generosity of Diane and Ron Fagen of Fagen Engineering, Pioneer Public Television is now one of the most modern of the 360 public television stations in the country. It operates in an 18,500-square-foot, state-of- the-art studio and production facility that rivals any other.
MONTEVIDEO, Minn. — Work is underway to ready the shuttered Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton to serve as a medical facility for coronavirus patients and possibly hold its first patients Monday, March 30, if necessary. The goal is to have the former prison equipped and staffed to hold as many as 559 COVID-19 patients within 55 days of its opening, Brian Lovdahl, CEO of CCM Health, told the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners on Monday, March 23.
BIRD ISLAND, Minn. — Three days after returning to his home in Bird Island from a trip to California, John O’Neill started to experience body aches and a low-grade fever. The 68-year-old man’s response to what seemed like a minor bout of influenza can be credited with stopping the COVID-19 virus in its tracks. He self-isolated himself in a room at his home in Bird Island, a small town of about 1,000 in west-central Minnesota.
OLIVIA, Minn. — The profits in farming will belong to the best managers, while the least efficient will continue to struggle in the coming year. Michael Swanson, senior vice president and agricultural economist for Wells Fargo and Co., told shippers along the Twin Cities & Western Railroad that he expects to see continued “churn” between the top and bottom producers in 2020.
MADISON — Just a little over one year after it began, the public lands dispute in Lac qui Parle County appears headed to a resolution. A settlement is expected in a civil lawsuit over one of the land parcels. In February 2019, the Lac qui Parle County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to not certify the purchase of two properties by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources from willing landowners. The DNR sought to purchase an 80-acre parcel in Baxter Township and a 158-acre parcel in Mehurin Township and add each to wildlife management areas adjacent to them.
GRANITE FALLS, Minn. — Their goal is to build seven traditional Dakota earth lodges and live in a sustainable way while practicing the centuries-old way of life of their ancestors. It will require an act of the Legislature to live the traditional Dakota life today. “That’s the irony and the painful reminder,” said Waziyatawin, who is among the members of Makoce Ikikicupi , a nonprofit devoted to Dakota land recovery. “I often say it is illegal to be Dakota in the Dakota homeland.’’
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Opening up more shoreline fishing opportunities in Greater Minnesota and moving the Quality Bluegill Initiative forward are high on the agenda for Brad Parsons, fisheries chief for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Parsons, who is 18 months into his role, outlined his goals and fielded questions on today's “hot topics” in fisheries management at the annual Roundtable hosted by the agency Jan. 24 in Bloomington.