Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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WILLMAR, Minn. — State Rep. Dave Baker of Willmar applauded the work of local law enforcement in bringing charges against a suspect in the Nov. 4 overdose death of John Schlegel, 24, of Blomkest. Richard Michael Carl Houske, 29, was arraigned Thursday, March 15, on third-degree murder charges for allegedly selling the fentanyl that led to Schlegel's death.
KERKHOVEN, Minn. — The propeller was spinning and the plane's engine was running when an experienced pilot from Kerkhoven crashed his single-engine aircraft on July 28, 2016, into a cornfield northeast of the La Crosse, Wisconsin, airport. That's based on the analysis of wreckage found at the crash site where pilot Loren Larson, 55, of Kerkhoven, died, according to the final factual report on the accident by the National Transportation Safety Board.
BLOOMINGTON — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be cutting back on the number of fingerling walleye it stocks, but maintain its commitment to stocking young fry. The decision comes in response to an analysis of the state's accelerated walleye stock program over the past 12 years.
APPLETON, Minn. — There are now price tags for the state of Minnesota to either purchase, upgrade and operate the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, or to lease it. A newly released architectural assessment of the facility in far west-central Minnesota for the state Legislature determined the total project cost for the state to purchase and upgrade the prison to meet state needs would total $139 million, representing $86,875 per bed for the 1,600-inmate facility.
BENSON, Minn. - A former Benson High School student is charged with a felony count of terroristic threats for allegedly posting statements and video on social media that led law officers to evacuate the west-central Minnesota town's high school gymnasium during a basketball tournament on Friday. Alexander Forsberg, 22, of Moorhead, was arraigned in district court in Benson on the charge Monday. He was released on his own recognizance on conditions that he not consume alcohol or drugs, have no contact with those he allegedly threatened, and not possess any firearms.
HANLEY FALLS, Minn. — Two central Minnesota cooperatives are among the first in the state to make group health insurance policies available for farmers. Glacial Plains Cooperative, based in Murdock, and the Hanley Falls Farmers Cooperative Elevator are offering group health insurance for their members through Land O'Lakes cooperative.
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.
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.
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.