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.
BIRD ISLAND, Minn. — A rural, small town upbringing has led Jean Tersteeg to offer her medical skills during disaster after disaster. The last was Hurricane Harvey, where she served in a disaster center in the heart of Houston as thousands of people fled their flooded homes.
MONTEVIDEO, Minn. — Tremaine Michael Bucholz, 20, of Minneapolis, made his first appearance Tuesday in Chippewa County District Court in Montevideo on felony charges that he accelerated his car and struck his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend on their bicycles while in Montevideo. He is charged with felony assault in the second degree with a dangerous weapon, a felony charge of criminal damage to property, and a gross misdemeanor charge of failure to stop for collision, injury or death.
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.
WILLMAR, Minn. — Residents in southern Minnesota are mopping up wet basements after a low pressure system dumped rains of up to 9.45 inches Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning. The heaviest rains fell during the night hours. Tornadoes were also reported in south-central Minnesota as part of the system. Redwood Falls officially recorded 9.45 inches in the rain event. Willmar posted 4.11 inches, according to information from the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen.