The Stanley Cup is coming to Renville County, courtesy of the head athletic trainer for the National Hockey League champion Washington Capitals.

Jason Serbus will bring the trophy to the Broaster restaurant in Bird Island from 1 to 3 p.m. July 23. Serbus is a Bird Island native and a 1997 graduate of BOLD High School.

The Capitals won the Stanley Cup last month. By tradition, players and other members of the winning organization are each allowed to take it for a day to a destination of their choice.

Serbus is asking fans to make a donation to the Tim Orth Memorial Foundation before snapping a photo of the trophy.

The Tim Orth Foundation helps the families of children in west-central Minnesota who are facing significant medical expenses. Orth was a BOLD student and athlete who died of a brain tumor in 1997.



Power plant to sell off unneeded coal supply

The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission voted unanimously last week to sell off its 3,200-ton coal pile — the last of its stocks.

Chris Carlson, power supply manager for Willmar Municipal Utilities, said the supply of natural gas the plant uses to generate electricity is so stable that it no longer needs to hang on to the coal as a backup.

“A couple of months ago we determined we are far better off to purchase energy on the market than to generate the energy,” Carlson said. Staffing costs and clean air permits needed to store the coal also played a role in the decision, she added.

The company has a prospective buyer, John Harren, the utility’s general manager, said in an e-mail. “However, we will be soliciting quotes for the sale of the coal and it will be sold to the highest responsible quote/bid.”

Justin Mattern, vice president of the utilities commission, asked if there was some value to keeping coal on hand in case there’s a hiccup in the natural gas supply.

Harren said that made sense a couple of years ago, but coal no longer is needed because gas volumes are adequate.

Dan Browning


Cities get $19 million for infrastructure

More than 30 cities in greater Minnesota have received grants for housing and infrastructure rehabilitation from the Small Cities Development Program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The grants are targeted at improving blighted properties and promoting public health and safety. The largest grants went to Willmar ($1.2 million) and Clarkfield ($1.1 million).