Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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DASSEL, Minn. - Four of the 14 white-tailed deer previously euthanized at an east-central Minnesota deer farm near Dassel have tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health reported this week. Testing confirmed the four as CWD positive last weekend. The Meeker County herd about 50 miles west of Minneapolis was part of an investigation initiated after a CWD infected deer farm herd was found in Crow Wing County in northern Minnesota late last year.
NEW ULM, Minn.—Two southern Minnesota counties are working with the Department of Natural Resources to create a plan for more outdoors activities, whether it be for hiking, horse riding, fishing, paddling or sight-seeing. Those assets can help companies recruit new workers to the region. These are among the benefits that Dennis Frederickson, southern regional supervisor with the the DNR in New Ulm, foresees as Renville and Redwood counties adopt a master plan for the Minnesota River Valley corridor they share.
MADISON — Lac qui Parle County Sheriff Lou Sager has tendered his resignation 11 months after having moved from the East Coast to take the job. "It's time," Sager said. "At the end of the day I was hoping this to be a long-term, future thing. The citizens and everybody made it clear that is not going to happen." His resignation is effective Monday, May 15. He took the oath of office June 13, 2016, after responding to a "help wanted'' ad posted by the county when Sheriff Rick Halvorson resigned with about two and a half years remaining in the term.
WILLMAR — Five days after his son was born, Souen "Posy" Chheng was placed on a flight to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with seven other deportees from the United States. Chheng is now over 8,000 miles away from the son he has not met, Jakobie, and the child's mother and his wife of less than a year, Allison Chheng. "It's been hard,'' said Steve Peppin of Willmar, his friend and employer in Willmar. Peppin said the deportation of his friend on Tuesday, May 2, feels like a death. He is not optimistic that Posy Chheng will ever be allowed to return to the United States.
MONTEVIDEO, Minn. — A father and son in Montevideo are charged with felony theft for allegedly removing the gravestone from the burial plot of the wife and mother of the two. John Wendell Albrecht, 74, and John Darron Albrecht, 47, will make their first appearances May 1 in district court. They were arrested April 17 at John Albrecht Sr.'s farm property northwest of Montevideo and were released from custody on their personal recognizance on April 19.
KERKHOVEN, Minn. — James Rothers may be an enigma to many in Kerkhoven today, but Rich and Carol Radtke have no questions about his willingness to help. They owe the survival of their small organic dairy farm to his generosity. "We couldn't have done it without him,'' Rich Radtke said. Rothers' help came after fire destroyed the barn and thousands of dollars worth of equipment in it on the Radtke farm east of Kerkhoven in March 2014. They discovered to their surprise that the loss was not insured.
KERKHOVEN, Minn. — City Council members in Kerkhoven will decide Monday whether to accept the resignation of controversial Mayor James Rothers only three months into his two-year term. If they do, which is expected, they will also decide whether to appoint a successor or hold a special election to replace him in the town of about 750 people about 100 miles west of Minneapolis.
WILLMAR, Minn. — For as long as many can remember, winter winds and blowing snow have made a curve on Minnesota Highway 67 west of Granite Falls a problem area for motorists. Those days may be over — and feature a first in North America. Two local landowners have teamed up with the the Minnesota Department of Transportation in District 8 to improve safety on the notorious stretch by building a permanent snow fence.
BENSON, Minn. — Here's how far and wide the fame of the Benson Bakery reaches. When Toby Johannessen's neighbor returned from a camping trip to Alaska, he reported that the ranger who handled his registration took one look at his address and told him matter-of-factly: "There's a good bakery there in Benson.''
ST. PAUL—A coalition of religious and civil rights organizations will continue to oppose legislation that calls for the State of Minnesota to lease or purchase the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton.