Tuesday, December 25, 2007

New National Honor Society Members Inducted at Baldwin-Woodville High School

At an induction ceremony held Wednesday, December 19, new members were inducted into the Baldwin-Woodville Chapter of the National Honor Society.

The new members are pictured above. In the front row, left to right, are: Ellen Hawley, Kya Grafenstein, Elisa Folden, William Doornink, David Ring, Alex Buechter, Michelle Johnson, Morgan Jacobson, Kris Eggen and Pella Borh. In the back row, left to right, are: Leanne Terpstra, Rachelle Veenstra, Kayla Wagner, Ian Schoenke, Dan Ramberg, Jennifer Holle, Daniel Peterson and Tyler Klund.

Mike Soergel is 2007 Wildlife Technician of the Year for DNR

Mike Soergel of Baldwin has been recognized as the 2007 Wildlife Technician of the Year at the annual statewide Wildlife meeting of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources held in Madison two weeks ago.

According to John Dunn, Area Wildlife Supervisor with the Wisconsin DNR in Eau Claire, "Mike beat out some stiff competition from other Wildlife Technicians from around the state" who had also been nominated by their superiors.

Dunn said Soergel has been the Wildlife Technician in Baldwin for the past 14 years and "over that period has continuously shown a positive 'can do' attitude in his job responsibilities. Specifically, Mike was recognized for his leading role in warm season grass plantings, his top notch prescribed burning program, his aggressive approach towards exotic and invasive plant control, his wetland restoration activities and his ability to partner with other organizations and agencies."

Soergel said after the award that "I was very surprised and honored," to be nominated and to receive it.

Soergel has been Wildlife Technician in Baldwin for 14 years, and before that he was a limited time employee of the DNR for five years in the Janesville area.

During his time as Wildlife Technician Soergel has been involved with Pheasant Forever Chapters, securing land, often with funds from Knowles/Nelson Stewardship Grants which is then donated to the Wisconsin DNR as public land and carrying out prairie plantings.

"I'd like to brag we're the reason there are so many pheasants around," commented Soergel, but the recent mild winters probably has as much to do with it, he said.

In a tribute given to Soergel when his award was presented, it was noted that "following his passion and commitment for his wife and family, is his love of grasslands and the wildlife they produce. He has played a lead role in planning and carrying out prairie plantings on our public
lands. Plus, the two counties in which he works have some of the highest acreages of CRP grass, thanks in part to his efforts with the private lands program to get the grass planted and burned."

In the burning of grassland lands Soergel "has played a leading role improving communications with the local county dispatch and fire departments that minimize unnecessary fire calls. He's worked with local fire departments giving advice on custom-building burn rigs and encouraging them to conduct prescribed burns on private lands. For several years he's been the primary burn boss and has carried out those duties conscientiously, safely and efficiently. The limited time employees claim he's the best burn boss they've ever worked with."

The tribute went on to note that Soergel's love for grasslands "is equaled by his dislike for invasive and exotic plants. His mantra against invasives is 'better living through chemicals.' He has tried various techniques on his own and has also developed good working relationships with other experts to try to fine-tune his invasives strategies. In 2006, he organized an invasives workshop attended by DNR, US Fish and Wildlife, and Pheasants Forever staff from several counties.

Soergel's tribute concluded that "there are strong indicators of a person possessed with the wildlife passion. This person is Mike Soergel, our 2007 Wildlife Technician of the Year. We fully anticipate his continued excellence in our beloved profession. Not only is he a dedicated professional, he's an all-around great guy. Mike's dedication to the resource is unquestioned and he is deserving of this special recognition from the Wildlife Management program and from his colleagues."

Baldwin Set for "Tree City" Status

Dead of Winter. A foot of snow or more on the ground. The shortest days of the year. Temperatures rarely or never above freezing and more likely closer to zero.

No one thinks about trees and the greenery of summer in winter? Well, almost no one.

The Baldwin Village Board, under the prompting of Village Public Works Director John Traxler, has taken action that will hopefully result in Baldwin being designated as a "Tree City USA" under a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources program.

What is an "urban forest"?

According to the DNR, "It is all of the trees and other vegetation in and around a town, village or city. Traditionally it has referred to tree-lined streets, but an urban forest also includes trees in home landscapes, school yards, parks, riverbanks, cemeteries, vacant lots, utility rights-of-way, adjacent woodlands and anywhere else trees can grow in and around a community of any size. [Emphasis in original.] Shrubs, flowers, vines, ground covers, grass, and a variety of wild plants and animals are also part of the urban forest. Streets, sidewalks, buildings, utilities soil, topography and, most importantly, people are an integral part of the urban forest. The urban forest is, in fact, an ecosystem."

According to Traxler, all the groundwork has been laid for Baldwin's designation by the DNR as a "Tree City USA. "We have met the criteria and need to finish filling out the paperwork and send it in," said Traxler. "It's just a formality."

At the Board's December meeting, Trustees agreed to amendments to an earlier draft of a village ordinance titled "Trees and Shrubs" and passed the provision. That ordinance states its purpose as "to establish policy for the control of planting, removal, maintenance and protection of trees and shrubs in or upon all public areas and boulevard areas of the Village to eliminate and guard against dangerous conditions which may result in injury to persons using the streets, alleys, sidewalks or other public areas; to promote an enhance the beauty and general welfare of the Village; to prohibit the undesirable and unsafe planting, removal, treatment and maintenance of trees and shrubs located in public areas; and to guard all trees and shrubs both public and private within the Village against the spread of disease, insects or pests."

The ordinance and designation as a "Tree City" "is just saying that the community is trying to green up and beautify and to take care of trees," said Traxler.

He said another important aspect of designation as a "Tree City" is public awareness involving care for trees, removal and pruning.

The benefits of trees are more than just aesthetic. According to information from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the presence of trees may increase property values, if strategically placed can cut summer air conditioning costs and can intercept storm sewer runoff.

A large portion of the village's new ordinance is devoted to types of trees that will be required in "public places," particularly by developers for a new subdivision. "The ordinance specifies what we expect from developers," said Traxler. He noted that two trees of the same genus are prohibited from being planted next to each other. Among the genus of trees that are allowed for in the ordinance are: maples, oaks, birches, honey locusts, elms and miscellaneous trees of other genus.

One aspect of the "Tree City" designation is an inventory of existing trees that are considered "public", or in parks or along a boulevard. The count reached 1,522 public trees in the village.

Traxler said a Tree Board has been created consisting of himself, Trustee Claire Stein, Village Engineer Mike Stoffel and Chris Ruch a certified arborist with St. Croix Tree Service. Traxler said there is an opportunity for volunteers to serve on the tree board in several capacities and persons interested in serving can contact him at 684-2535.

The Tree Board will also plan for tree removal of trees that are hazardous. Many of the silver maples planted on boulevards are in that category, said Traxler, and removal in the winter is sometimes best because it results in the least amount of damage to lawns and boulevards.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bell Ringers Raising Money for Salvation Army

Baldwin Medical Center employees Carol Rens, left, and Ruth Fick served as bell ringers for the Salvation Army Friday afternoon at Nilssen's SuperValu.

Gun Club Ordered Closed

May be reopened if renovated and supervision and operation improve

A St. Croix County Judge has determined that "The use of firearms at the [Central St. Croix Rod and] Gun Club[, Inc.] Property have repeatedly trespassed on the property of the individual plaintiffs" and has "unreasonably interfered with the individual Plaintiffs' use and enjoyment
of their property."

Moreover, the order by Judge Eric Lundell states that "the continued use of firearms at the Gun Club Property as currently configured and operated is sufficiently probable, indeed likely, to result in future trespass and nuisance causing Plaintiffs irreparable harm."

Therefore, Judge Lundell ordered "All use of firearms at the Gun Club Property is prohibited until further Order of this Court," and added conditions to insure that Gun Club members are aware of the order.

The Gun Club is located in the Town of Eau Galle along USH 63 about one-half mile south of CTH N.

According to Barry Serier, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the Gun Club, he testified about numerous bullets and shot that was leaving the Gun Club property. He said one of his great uncles had bullets in the walls of his house. Another great uncle also had bullets in outbuildings and was chased off his own property by trespassers. He said trespassers on his land chased his kids off his land.

The Gun Club "was shut down by the court," said Serier. "It can be reopened if they can prove that it can be done safely to the court and plaintiff's satisfaction. We knew there would be a lot of talk and we don't want to be labeled as anti-gun people, but we do want to use our property as we see fit-without fear of being hit by projectiles from a neighboring facility.

"It's just disheartening for us to have to go through this, but we had to do it to protect our families," said Serier.

At the court hearing Serier said he brought many recovered bullets from his field northeast of the Gun Club.

Serier said the lawsuit filed by himself and others, including the organization Citizens for a Safe and Peaceful Eau Galle and Rush River Township, Inc., was their last resort. They had been to the County Zoning Department, which had issued a permit for a trap range at the site. "I really think they had good intentions," said Serier about the individuals who wanted the trap range. "But there were no restrictions placed on them." He added that they next went to the Town Board and the Sheriff's Department because of trespassers, night time shooting and unsupervised shooting, but received no satisfaction. "So we had exhausted our options.

"People started to converse and found out they were not the only ones: neighbors had bullets in their buildings, bullets whistling by them," said Pastor John Hanson who lives about three-quarters of a mile from the range. "Individuals were told to restrict their actions on their own property."

In total, about 12 people in the area had near-misses from direct bullet fire, said Serier, six properties were struck by projectiles, several homesites, and one home. A quick discovery survey by the Citizens found over six hundred projectiles that had left the Range.

Serier said there was alcohol used at the site, and on one occasion he was there, garbage cans were overflowing with garbage and beer cans. In one instance there was a person with an automatic weapon spraying bullets at a hillside.

Pastor Hanson said Citizens for a Safe and Peaceful Eau Galle and Rush River Township, Inc. was formed by more than a dozen neighbors of the shooting range, most of whom are close neighbors. He said there are also many other supporters of the group's efforts, although they are not members.

"I got involved when an elderly lady called one day and reported that there was a lot of activity going on and I feel unsafe," said Pastor Hanson. "Another part of that was due to bullet strikes at their homes."

Among the efforts the plaintiffs in the lawsuit took was to hire a ballistics expert and arrange for an on-site visit.

The Gun Club is on an 11.54 acre parcel, said Serier, which when land is subtracted for the driveway and right-of-way gives about 10 acres and about four acres are actually used for shooting. The lineal dimensions, as per the gun club's own testifying expert, are too short to contain their shotfall zones and safety zones. This expert stated under oath that this physical limitation is a safety issue.

Pastor Hanson explained that the berm is not properly constructed and allows for bullets to skip out of the range since there is no overhead baffling in addition to the berm.

In addition to ordering that all use of firearms at the Gun Club property is prohibited, Judge Lundell said signs shall be posted at the property stating the prohibition, that written notice will be provided to all Gun Club members and that the lock be changed on the gate.

The Court's order provides that the Gun Club may move to lift the injunction "by presenting a plan to physically renovate the Gun Club property and make all other necessary changes, including changes to the operation and supervision of the Gun Club property, to ensure that all shot, bullets, and other projectiles are maintained on the Gun Club property." The plan, wrote Judge Lundell, must include: "(1) drawings by a professional engineer or its equivalent with firearms range design experience, (2) cost estimates, by range; and (3) three-dimensional (CAD) renderings of the plans."

The plans must include "(1) physical design, including perimeter control; and (2) operational controls, including on-site supervision."

"Gun Club shall not be permitted to resume use of firearms until the Court approves the plan and the physical renovations are complete and the Court inspects and verifies that the plan is fully implemented."

The order by Judge Lundell also contains a schedule for presenting the Gun Club's plans to plaintiffs and to the Court, and a schedule for evidentiary hearings "regarding whether the Gun Club's plan ensures that all shot, bullets, and other projectiles are maintained on the Gun Club

The order says that if the Gun Club does not present a plan to the Court and plaintiffs by April 15, 2008 or does not prevail at the evidentiary hearing, "this injunction shall become permanent."

The Gun Club was ordered to provide the plaintiffs' attorney with proof of insurance.

The "plaintiffs are entitled to an award of statutory costs and disbursement," the order states. Serier estimates that amount may be in the range of $20,000, which is but a small fraction of the costs that have been incurred to bring the lawsuit, he said.

BW-School Board Reviews Building Recommendation

The Baldwin-Woodville School Board spent the lion's share of Monday night's meeting discussing last month's recommendation from the Community Facility Needs Exploratory Committee. In November the committee presented the recommendation that an intermediate school for grades three through five be built to alleviate crowding at the elementary and middle schools.

The committee was formed by the board last April with community members who responded to advertising for volunteers. Also serving on the committee are Superintendent Rusty Helland, school board member Jeff Campbell and school employees. John Huenink, construction manager from Kraus-Anderson, and architect Brad Simonson of HSR provided technical assistance to the committee.

Committee member Jane Erickson commented that the group represents a wide range of ages and occupations.

Over the past eight months, the committee met ten times to research, analyze data and brainstorm. In the end, their recommendation is that an intermediate school for grades three through five with six sections at each level should be built. The recommended location for the 90,000 square foot building is north of Greenfield Elementary, just west of the parking lot that currently serves the High School. Estimated price tagis $16,494,000 according to preliminary cost figures provided by Kraus-Anderson.

Steve Apfelbacher of Ehlers and Associates explained the financial impact of the project using the preliminary figure of $16.495 million construction cost, with that debt issued over 20 years. The financing assumptions include bonds being issued in June of 2008 following an April referendum.

Apfelbacher said the district's present debt is $22,061,837. State Aid to the district for debt service is at 69.65 percent annually. As the district's debt increases, the State Aid formula changes and Apfelbacher estimated the new debt would be reimbursed at 63.8 percent.

Current debt capacity of the district is $45,524,792, which is the difference between the $67,586,629 debt limit less the $22,061,837 outstanding, according to Apfelbacher. Board members Tom Schumacher and John Hinz both cautioned against borrowing to the upper debt limit.

The projected interest rate for the project is 4.25 percent said Apfelbacher. That translates into $121.76 yearly tax increase on a $200,000 home, $182.64 for a $300,000 home and $243.51 for a $400,000 home.

"This last year, our growth didn't increase that much," commented Hinz, "What happens if it stays flat?"

If there is no growth in property values the mill rate would go up, said Apfelbacher. He explained that in doing the cost analysis for the district he used a conservative growth estimate of 75 percent of the average of the last five year's growth.

Apfelbacher said the two most important factors for the district to consider from a financial standpoint are how fast is the equalized valuation of the district growing and how much will the state contribute. Both of these can only be estimated.

John Huenink of Kraus-Anderson Construction Company explained the construction manager at risk services, which Kraus-Anderson could provide for the district. Construction manager at risk services assume all responsibility for pre-construction and construction phases of the project.
The district assumes no risk, any problems are the responsibility of the CM, he said.

In addition, the CM at risk charges a fixed fee which is negotiated up front based on estimated cost of the work. There is no mark up for change orders, said Huenink. Checks and balances between the architect and construction manager are built into the process and any savings revert 100 percent to the district, he said.

Architect Brad Simonson explained that the proposed building would add one classroom per grade level. The district has been increasing by an average of 24 students per year according to enrollment figures.

"We're not growing like we were, who knows how far out we can predict," said Hinz. "You can over-build."

"The committee talked about projected enrollment a lot," said Simonson. "At first the recommendation was for seven sections for each grade level, but they didn't want to over-build."

A few board members said the community had been misled in the last building project which assured that Viking Middle School could be added onto in the future.

Simonson said classrooms could be added on at Viking to the various wings and the core areas could handle the added students, but an additional entire grade level wouldn't fit. And that doesn't alleviate the problems at Greenfield Elementary. Classrooms could be added at Viking and the proposed new school in the future as needed Simonson said.

"What happens to the classrooms at Greenfield (that would be vacated by the move of third and fourth grades)," asked board member Dustin Klanderman.

Many programs that have been crowded would now have adequate space including special ed, library and computers, said Simonson. There would also be classrooms for additional grade level

Board member Todd Graf asked what would happen to the new garage next to Greenfield. Simonson said there are several options of where to move the building. He explained that the proposed building is planned for that spot due to the location of the bus loop and main entrance of Greenfield.

Board member Deb Rasmussen noted that the committee was very concerned with the leaking roofs in the district and thought these should be fixed before any new building begins.

Huenink said it's actually the exterior walls that are leaking in places where the flashing was improperly installed. According to Maintenance Supervisor Mike Timm, the district plans to test two sealant products in the spring to see which work or not.

"We're looking at $50,000 at the low end to $350,000 at the high end to replace the flashing," said Supt. Rusty Helland. "We all agree this needs to be fixed as soon as possible."

Rasmussen also asked if the committee addressed the swimming pool issue.

Simonson and Huenink said they estimated $4 million for an indoor pool and $10,000 to $12,000 annual operating costs. They said the committee decided that if the board wants to include the pool on the referendum, it should be a separate question from the proposed school building question.

District resident Ken Rundhaug asked what new administrative staff would be needed for a new building and if operating costs were included or would another referendum question be needed for that.

Simonson said the committee noted there would be additional maintenance staff, serving kitchen staff, as well as teachers. He said there would be a savings on busing costs. Operating costs are not figured into the preliminary building cost estimates, he said.

"These are all good questions," commented Huenink. "Your committee discussed them at length over a period of months and we'll review them with the board if you like."

"I don't think we need to re-invent the wheel," commented board member Mike Bondarenko as he made a motion to pursue the recommendation with further discussion at the next regular board meeting scheduled for Jan. 14.

Motion carried.

Village Applies for Grant for New Treatment Plant

After a presentation by Paul Gont of SEH Engineering, about a proposed upgrade to the village's wastewater treatment plant, the Baldwin Village Board agreed to apply for a grant from the state's clean water fund to help pay for it and to proceed with preparing plans and specifications
for the new treatment plant.

The action came at the board's regular monthly meeting last Wednesday.

Gont told board members that the estimate for construction of the new plant is about $4,500,000, plus engineering fees. Of that amount, the village has about $1,100,000 in funds from user fees and impact fees. The projected impact of the new plant on existing homeowners is about a 30% increase, said Gont.

Among the points discussed by Gont were the need for a generator at the plant; and the possibility of a storage garage being constructed as part of the project.

Gont said the process to prepare the specifications and plans for the plant takes about six months, or approximately to June of 2008.

Following that is an approximately two month approval process and then the Village Board will have to make a decision on whether to go ahead with building the project.

Board members questioned Gont on the amount of engineering fees, which are just short of a million dollars. He noted that as a percentage of the project it is about normal. Trustee Duane Russett said the amount seemed extremely high but Village President Don McGee said the percentage seemed the same as the last treatment plant project.

The motion to proceed with preparing the plans and specifications carried on a voice vote with no one voting no.

In other business at the meeting:
-The board voted for final acceptance of the fourth addition to Berkseth Heights and to reduce the developer's letter of credit.

-With the upgrade of USH 63 through Baldwin, the Department of Transportation is taking over the outside lanes of the highway through the village and they will be used as travel lanes. At present they are parking lanes through most of the village. In preparation for that action, the
board voted to end parking on USH 63 in the village effective April 1.

Village Engineer Mike Stoffel noted that the bid to do the work has been awarded to Monarchfor $3,800,000 but the start date has not been firmly set.

-Stoffel said the village's newly formed Urban Forest Board has met and made some changes in a proposed ordinance, mainly increasing the species acceptable for planting in the village. The board approved the ordinance.

-Two candidates for the newly created fourth judicial branch for St. Croix County spoke to board members. They were: Howard Cameron and Mark Gherty.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Star Prairie Man Charged with Second Degree Reckless Homicide

On December 2 at approximately 10:38 p.m. St. Croix County Sheriff's Deputies were contacted by Children's Hospital in St. Paul regarding a possible child abuse victim. Initial information obtained was that the child, London Sherwood, 13 weeks old, had a serious head injury, eye bleeding and a possible rib fracture.

An investigation revealed that the New Richmond ambulance had responded to 110 Jewel St. in Star Prairie at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 2 for a report of a baby that had stopped breathing. The child was taken to Westfield Hospital in New Richmond and then transferred to Children's Hospital in St. Paul.

The child's father, Joshua Alan Schaak, age 22, was the primary and only care giver for the last three weeks. The child's mother, after determining through DNA tests that Schaak was the father, took the child there and left her in his care. Schaak initially stated that the child had bumped her head in the bathtub.

On December 4 the child was taken off life support and died at 2:30 a.m. as a result of her injuries. An autopsy conducted by the Ramsey County Medical Examiners Office revealed external soft tissue contusions and an internal examination revealed evidence of closed head trauma and multiple rib fractures.

Investigators re-interviewed Joshua Schaak on December 5. Schaak stated that he had become frustrated, shaken the baby and then forcefully directed her to the bed where she struck her head on the wall.

The St. Croix County District Attorney's office has filed second degree reckless homicide charges against Schaak. He is currently being held in the St. Croix County Jail, bail has been set at $200,000.

St. Croix Ranks 9th in Annual Health Study

The 5th annual Wisconsin County Health Rankings says St. Croix County is the 9th healthiest county of the 73 areas (72 counties plus the city of Milwaukee) examined by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The rankings are designed to summarize the current health of the counties as well as the distribution of key factors that determine health. Those factors include health care, health behaviors, socio-economic factors, and the physical environment.

Ozaukee County is the state's healthiest county according to the study. The city of Milwaukee ranked 72nd and Menominee County ranked 73rd.

The study ranked the 73 areas according to their summary measures of health outcomes and health determinants. The health outcomes are based on an equal weighting of two measures - mortality (years of potential life lost) and general health status (self-reported fair or poor). Health determinants are based on weighted scores of four major components - health care (access to care and quality outpatient care), physical behaviors (tobacco, diet-exercise, alcohol use, high risk sexual behavior, and violence), socio-economic factors (education, income, and social disruption), and physical environment (air quality, water quality, and built environment).

The Top 10 counties are (1) Ozaukee, (2) Waukesha, (3) Eau Claire, (4) Iowa, (5) Dane, (6) Portage, (7) Outagamie, (8) Washington, (9) St. Croix, and (10) Kewaunee.

The nine counties of west central Wisconsin are ranked: (3) Eau Claire, (9) St. Croix, (12) Pierce, (18) Dunn, (33) Clark, (41) Polk, (44) Chippewa, (45) Pepin, and (52) Barron.

Fire Causes Smoke Damage

A fire at the Jamie McCracken residence in Woodville late Monday afternoon resulted in extensive smoke damage to the house, according to United Fire and Rescue-Baldwin Station Chief Gary Newton.

Newton said the fire started in a wood pile next to a wood stove in the basement of the residence. He said there was little structural damage as a result of the fire.

Kortney Cleveland T-Shirt Drawing Contest Winner

The 8th Annual Polar Bear Plunge for Angel On My Shoulder distributes a commemorative Plunge T-Shirt to anyone brave enough to jump in the lake each January. This is the true "badge of courage" worn proudly by the many particpants. Penguins and Polar Bears depict the chilling antics of the "Dare to Care" plungers.

This year the front logo was designed by Caitlyn Hook of St. Germain, an employee at Fibber's, and the back design was selected from the entries submitted by the Camp Teen Angel participants. Fourteen year old Camp Teen Angel camper, Kortney Cleveland from Woodville, was selected as this year's Polar Bear Plunge T-shirt design winner.

Each year campers are encouraged to submit their entries for the design selection on the back of the commemorative Polar Bear Plunge T-shirts which highlights the many sponsors of the event sponsored by WRJO Radio and Fibber's Bar and Restaurant in St. Germain. This year's event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 5 on Big St. Germain Lake when over 100 dedicated plungers will collect pledges and take to the icy waters to benefit Angel On My Shoulder.

Kortney and her family will be treated to a weekend getaway at the St. Germain Lodge and Resort where she will be the guest of honor on the day of the Plunge and each family member will receive a T-shirt boasting Kortney's creative signature piece.

Robin Cleveland, Kortney's mother said she first learned of Camp Angel when her middle son Josh was diagnosed with an optic gloom at the age of nine. He underwent surgery and chemo and still lives with the tumor today, though it has shrunk some and does not show signs of change. Josh turns 18 this month and will be graduating from high school in the spring.

Robin saw a pamphlet at a doctor's office for Camp Angel and decided to send her oldest son Cyle who was 13 at the time. Cyle is now 20 and in the Army stationed in Germany.

"When I saw first hand what magic Lolly and the crew at Camp Teen Angel perform, I didn't even think twice when Kortney reached 13. So thanks to all the angels at Camp Angel," Cleveland said.

Kortney attends Viking Middle School in Woodville.

"When my parents found out that my brother had cancer it was hard on the whole family. My parents were always having to go the hospital frequently and didn't have much time for me and my brother Cyle. So when my Mom found this camp it was really exciting," Kortney said.

Kortney was a little hesitant at first because she didn't know anyone at camp, but that soon changed when she was approached by another teen, Liana, who turned out to be a very special friend throughout her camp experience. Special moments Kortney will not forget include a pirate ship ride, a treasure hunt, the bonfires, and the climbing wall.

"I was very sad when it was time to go home and say good-bye to all the wonderful people I had met and I'll never forget them. I was just so loved there and that feeling of knowing that you are OK being you," Kortney said. "At Camp Teen Angel you can be yourself and no one will judge you, not a single soul because people there are your friends for life, no matter what".

Camp Angel/Camp Teen Angel are camps for kids experiencing cancer through a loved one. These unique weekend retreats for young people affected by cancer through parents, siblings, or grandparents or who have experienced the loss of a loved one through cancer are presented through the co-sponsorship of Angel On My Shoulder and Marshfield Clinic. The camp experience is designed to provide young people the opportunity to meet others like themselves in a well-supervised atmosphere of love and acceptance knowing that their pain is understood.
There is a spirit of bonding and camaraderie as campers create special friendships and participate in a variety of fun-filled activities.

Counselors provide support and guidance in a gentle, yet strengthening way. These camps are cost-free to the campers. If you would like more information about the camps and other cancer support programs go to www.angelonmyshoulder.org For more information on the Polar Bear Plunge go to www.WRJO.com or call 715-542-3433.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fire Leaves One Dead

A tragic fire in a mobile home, caused perhaps by a wood burning furnace, resulted in the death of a New Richmond man early last Thursday morning, November 29.

According to St. Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead, Jeff Geurkink, 49, of New Richmond, died as a result of the fire. His mobile home was located at 1722 CTH G, or about three quarters of a mile west of the intersection of G with CTH T, in the Town of Erin Prairie. Geurkink was a dairy farmer.

Sheriff Hillstead said the fire call for the mobile home in which Geurkink lived came in about 4:09 a.m. on November 29. He said two men who typically travel CTH G every morning on the way to work and are familiar with the road and many residences along it, saw the fire in the mobile home and pulled into the driveway. One left the vehicle and banged on the door of the mobile home trying to rouse any residents who might be inside, but without success. Sheriff Hillstead said the other man in the vehicle called 911 on his cell phone.

Sheriff Hillstead said that preliminary autopsy results indicate carbon monoxide poisioning due to smoke inhalation was the cause of Geurkink's death.

After the investigation into the cause of the blaze, it appears that a wood stove may be the culprit, said Sheriff Hillstead. He noted that there was an addition attached to the mobile home and the majority of the fire appears to have ocurred there.

A memorial service for Geurkink was held Tuesday at the United Methodist Church in New Richmond. He is survived by two children, Burt and Hailey Geurkink, both of Somerset; two sisters; five brothers and many nieces and nephews.

He is preceeded in death by his parents, Wes and Amy (Snoyenbos) Geurkink. His parents were both graduates of Baldwin High School with the class of 1938 and Jeff has many other, more distant, relatives in the Baldwin area.

Tragic Accident Takes Life of Six-Year-Old

A six year old Hudson girl has died apparently as the result of elecctrocution after a hair dryer fell into the tub in which she was bathing.

According to the Hudson Police Department, Chelsea Jo Helland was unresponsive when Hudson Police Officers responded to her residence about 7:00 p.m. Sunday night, November 25. Officers immediately started CPR and the girl was transported to Hudson Hospital by St. Croix EMS. She was pronounced dead in the emergency room.

The girl was a kindergarten student at Rock Elementary in Hudson. She was the daughter of Nicole Overturf of Hudson.

Chelsea's funeral was held Friday in White Bear Lake, Minn.

Baldwin has a New Celebrity - Phyllis Willink Wins Recipe Contest

Ever since winning the grand prize in the dessert category of the American Profile Hometown Holidays recipe contest announced in the November 11-17 issue, Phyllis Willink says she has received phone calls, cards and letters from all over.

Phyllis submitted her recipe for Cranberry Cake with Hot Butter Sauce the first part of this year and learned in February she was the winner of the dessert category.

"It's the first time I've ever entered a contest," Phyllis said. "You had to include a story about the recipe, so I almost didn't enter. But I did have a story about this recipe so I sent it in."

As the grand prize winner, Phyllis received a monetary award, an American Profile apron and a copy of the recipe book of selected recipes, including her Cranberry Cake recipe.

"Over 1500 recipes were sent in and they test every one of them," Phyllis said. "About 250 made it into the book."

Phyllis noted the company added "Tips From Our Test Kitchen" with her recipe. The tip for her recipe noted "this recipe can be used any time of the year by substituting blueberries, blackberries or raspberries in place of the cranberries."

Phyllis said she doesn't remember where she got the original recipe. "It been so long that I've had it, but I know it's not from any one from around the area," she added.

In her accompanying story with the recipe, Phyllis wrote "This recipe is our Christmas cake-our three daughters, their husbands and their children say the holidays wouldn't be the same without it."

Phyllis said the cranberrys taste is not that strong "it's the sauce that makes it so good."

The Hometown Recipes Holidays book came be purchased by visiting AmericanProfile.com/store or by calling 800-715-6248 or sending a check for $18.95 plus $4.97 shipping and handling to: American Profile, Dept. HOBKA725, P.O. Box 344, Louisiana, MO 63353.

Cranberry Cake with Hot Butter Sauce
Phyllis Willink, Baldwin, Wisconsin

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup cream or half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 glass baking pan.
2. To prepare the cake, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Combine the butter and sugar and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add the beaten eggs. Add the milk alternately with the sifted dry ingredients, starting and ending with the dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in the cranberries. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

3. To prepare the sauce, combine the butter, sugar, cream, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar melts, about 10 minutes. Serve hot over the cake.

Santa Visited with Children Saturday

Mia Evans was among the children who visited with Santa Claus at the Baldwin Municipal Center Saturday afternoon following the Christmas Spirit Horse Parade in Baldwin.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Shelley Wynveen Buys Coachman Supper Club

Shelley Wynveen, an 11 year employee at the Coachman Supper Club, including nearly two years as co-owner, became sole owner of the establishment on October 25.

Shelley Wynveen, a co-owner with Jim Reich of the Coachman Supper Club for nearly the past two years, became sole owner of the establishment on October 25.

Wynveen has worked at the Coachman for the past 11 years, and since March of 2006 has been a co-owner with Jim Reich. Prior to that she was an employee there. She said that the transition has gone well and "we had a nice crowd for Thanksgiving. I'd like to see a few more people out for Sunday buffets and Friday buffets, but hopefully that will pick up," said Wynveen.

There will be no big changes at the Coachman, said Wynveen. However, new menus are in the works. "Otherwise it's pretty much the same. It's been working as is and if we change anything it will be minor."

As owner Wynveen said she will be involved in all aspects of the business, "I do about everything-wherever I need to be including waitressing."

Prior to her employment at the Coachman, Wynveen worked for her aunt and uncle at Mel's Northside Cafe where she was a waitress and cook.

Mattison was One-for-One Deer Hunting

Not many people go one-for-one deer hunting. But that's what Michael Mattison did.

Mattison bagged an 11 point buck with the first shot he ever took while deer hunting. "I'm addicted to hunting now, I think," he said. "It wasn't the biggest deer I've ever seen, but it was nice," he added. He estimated that the deer weighed 185 lbs. field dressed.

Mattison was hunting north of Baldwin with friends. He had hunted last year for the first time, but never got a shot. This year on opening day the buck was in his sights and he bagged it with the first shot he took.

Mattison said he'll be out in the woods again next deer season. And oh, yes, Mattison shot again at a deer later in the season and missed. So the one-for-one claim can no longer be made.

Mattison is a 2000 B-W grad. He served four years in the service and is now pursuing his degree in business at UW-Stout in Menomonie where he lives with his wife Nadine. He will graduate in May. He is the son of Dave and Deb Mattison of Baldwin.

Christmas Spirit Parade and Santa Visit is Saturday

Although nationally the unofficial start of the Christmas season is the day after Thanksgiving with the shopping frenzy, in Baldwin, the Christmas season is kicked off with a less commercial emphasis.

Saturday at 1:00 the 18th annual Christmas Spirit Horse and Wagon Parade will reach Main Street. Following the parade, Santa Claus will pay a visit to the Baldwin Municipal Center where he will visit with youngsters and everyone will receive a treat.

The Christmas Spirit Parade has attracted between 55 and 65 entries in recent years and there is no reason to think this year will be different.

According to Mike Smith, proprietor of the Lumber Company Brew Pub and Eatery and one of the organizers of the parade, the entries come from all over the upper mid-west, with a heavy emphasis, of course, on this region. He noted that many of the entries are decked out in fancy decorations and costumes in keeping with the Christmas season. The expenses for decorations may be substantial despite the meagerness of the $25 decoration prize, Smith said.

Each entry also receives a gift bag and door prizes and is treated to a pig roast with fixings at Bol's Lanes and Lounge. The meal is free to the parade entrants. Other may partake for a $4 charge.

Because there is no pre-registration for the parade, all entries are registered Saturday morning. The area in the vicinity of Cedar Street and 8th Avenue, is alive with activity as horses are unloaded from trailers and hitched to wagons. The parade leaves Bol's Lanes about 12:30 and reaches Main Street by 1:00.

Best viewing of the parade is along Main Street and cars will be prohibited from parking along the 800 block.

The parade is a chance for people with horses and wagons to show them off, said Smith.

Santa Claus' visit at the Baldwin Municipal Center will begin about 1:30 and last until about 3:00 p.m., or as long as there are children waiting to visit with him. Pictures with Santa will be available. There will be treats for all.

Santa's visit is sponsored by the Baldwin Area Chamber of Commerce, Suzanne Wynveen Photography and Vital Plastics, Inc.

Thanksgiving Morning Crash Results in Fatality

A Thanksgiving morning crash resulted in the death of a Hudson man, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol.

According to the report, Chin T. Khaw, 50, was eastbound on Crest View Drive in Hudson about 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning, November 22 when his vehicle left the roadway and broke through a fence next to the eastbound lanes of I-94. His vehicle then crashed through the fence a second time and entered the parking lot of the Wisconsin Tourist Information Center where it struck a parked car and overturned.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Facility Needs Committee Recommends New School

Brad Simonson, left, an architect with HSR Associates, points out some improvements that could be made at Greenfield Elementary School if two grades were moved out of the building. At left is construction manager (and Baldwin native) John Huenink of Kraus-Anderson Construction Company. Both have been working with a committee of Baldwin-Woodville residents on plans to relieve overcrowding especially at Greenfield and Viking Middle School.

A conceptional site plan of the intermediate school was provided by the committee.

A new school building for Baldwin-Woodville? That's the recommendation from the Community Facility Needs Exploratory Committee to the school board at Monday night's regular monthly
B-W Board of Education meeting.

The committee was formed by the board last April with community members who responded to advertising for volunteers.Also serving on the committee are school employees, Superintendent Rusty Helland, and school board member Jeff Campbell. John Huenink, construction manager from Kraus-Anderson, and architect Brad Simonson of HSR provided technical assistance to the committee.

Over the past eight months, the committee met ten times to research, analyze data and brainstorm. In the end, their recommendation is that an intermediate school for grades three through five with six sections at each level should be built. The recommended location for the 90,000 square foot building is north of Greenfield Elementary, just west of the parking lot that currently serves the High School. Estimated price tag is $16,494,000 according to preliminary cost figures provided by Kraus-Anderson.

Beth Meyers, chairman of the committee, presented a power point outlining the groups' activities to this point. "We toured all the buildings, including old Viking," she said. "Old" Viking is presently owned by Albrightson Excavating. In addition, committee members interviewed people involved in the past building project.

"Lessons learned from the past project include the need to plan further out than five years," Meyers said. The committee's goal is to plan for the next 20 years she added.

Another lesson learned was the need to hire a construction management firm that is independent of the architectural firm, said Meyers. That provides a system of checks and balances, she said.

Currently the High School has 455 students and can handle 600, so that building is in the best shape numbers-wise said Meyers.

Viking Middle School is at capacity with 472 students, using what was intended as a meeting/community room by dividing it into two classrooms, according to Principal Hank Dupuis. While classrooms were planned to be added at Viking according to the original plan, the core areas such as cafeteria and library are not large enough to handle the increased capacity said Simonson. Currently, grades five through eight are at Viking.

Greenfield Elementary Principal Gary Hoffman reported that 587 students are presently at that school and conditions are crowded. Lack of classroom space, inadequate computer labs and small library, cafeteria, art and music rooms are the main problems at Greenfield. Grades kindergarten through fourth are presently at Greenfield.

After doing the research, the committee narrowed their options to two: buying back "old" Viking and remodeling, or building a new intermediate school for grades three through five. The efficiencies of a new building prevailed.

Meyers said the committee thinks it is essential that the district fix the leaks at Viking and the High School before putting a referendum before the public in April, 2008.

The school board will devote the December meeting to further discussion of the plan.

Members of the committee are Bob Basques, Scott Benoy, Jackie Bensen, Warren Benson, Jeff Campbell, Jane Erickson, Nan Jordahl, Mark Lebo, Beth Meyers, Dennis Paquette, Ken Peterson, Larry Spoo, Jerry Strobush, Greg Wevers, Amy Wicker, Mike Timm, and Rusty Helland.

In other business at Monday's meeting, the board approved up to $9,457.50 toward new playground equipment at Greenfield Elementary. Principal Hoffman explained he is applying for a 50 percent grant from Gametime, a playground equipment company, to fund the remainder of the cost. Board President Jeff Campbell suggested that Hoffman contact the Village of Baldwin for a contribution from the parks fund.

Following a closed session, the board expelled two High School students for possession of drugs on school grounds. The buyer of the drugs was expelled until the end of the 2007-08 school year, but may be readmitted second semester if certain criteria set by the school board are met. The seller was expelled until the end of the 2008-09 school year, but may be readmitted in September of 2008 if certain criteria set by the school board are met.

Dr. Russell Roloff has Practiced at the Baldwin Clinic for Three Months

Dr. Russell Roloff at right is pictured with his wife Nicole and week old daughter Edith.

Dr. Russell Roloff started his medical practice at the Baldwin Area Medical Center clinic on August 24 of this year.

"I'm enjoying it thoroughly," said Dr. Roloff. "The doctors have been very supportive." He added that he's also been busy at the clinic.

Dr. Roloff and his wife Nicole, also a physician but not practicing, have two children, a son Owen who is 21 months old and a new baby girl, Edith, who is a week old.

Family medicine is Dr. Roloff's area of practice, and he said he enjoys obstetrics and pediatrics areas of practice. With his own children he is learning more about kids all the time, he said.

Dr. Roloff also has a strong interest in overseas medical mission work and spent two months in Kenya over the summer.

Dr. Nicole Roloff has an interest in public health and is pursing a masters degree in that field.

An Illinois native, Dr. Roloff moved at an early age to south-central Wisconsin. He graduated from High School in Baraboo and his parents and his sister currently reside in Reedsburg.

After high school Dr. Roloff attended Judson College in Elgin, Illinois and received a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry. He then attended the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and that's where he and his wife met. She is from Janesville.

Dr. Roloff did his residency at Columbia St. Mary's in Milwaukee in family medicine and finished in June of this year.

Working with the Office of Rural Health was the impetus for Dr. Roloff to locate at the Baldwin Area Medical Center, because this is considered a underserved area. Also, the Public Health Department of the University of Minnesota, through which Dr. Nicole Roloff is pursuing her degree, is nearby.

Outside interests of Dr. Roloff include his family and children. He said he used to run and would like to start again but that takes a lot of time, which is at a premium at present. As a family the Roloffs like to canoe and camp. Dr. Roloff also enjoys working on his house and has re-done the bathroom, refinished floors and painted.

Kayla Wagner Named All-State

Kayla Wagner, Baldwin-Woodville junior, was named to the Wisconsin cross-country All-State First Team by the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association.

Baldwin-Woodville standout cross country runner Kayla Wagner has been named to the first team All-State of the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association (WCCCA).

The honor was awarded to Wagner based on her time at the Wisconsin State Cross Country meet held in Wisconsin Rapids October 27.

Heading the list of girls WCCCA all state selections was Ashley Buetler of New Glarus/Monticello. Also named to the first All-State team was Breanna Tinney of Osceola.

Named to the second team from this area were Katie Cumming of Hudson, Morgan Place of Ellsworth and Ashley Brown of River Falls. Hannah Utzman of New Richmond was named to the Honorable Mention State team.

For the boys, Adam Zais of Hudson was named to the All-State second team and Kendrick Johnson of Menomonie and John Roberts of Hudson were named to the Honorable MentionState team.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Veteran's Day Services Held

Missy Rogers, wife of a veteran who was deployed to Iraq, was a speaker at the Veteran's Day service at Viking Middle School held on Monday. Seated behind Mrs. Rogers are her husband Steve who served in Iraq, daughter Katie, John Terkelsen, Chaplain of the Woodville American Legion Post and Principal Hank Dupuis.

Mrs. Rogers said it was difficult having her husband deployed in Iraq. "A lot of prayers took place. I prayed for the safety of my husband and other soldiers." Her recommendations for family members of military personnel deployed to Iraq include: don't watch the news because news focuses on the negative; try to keep things normal; and use resources available such as mentoring programs and kindness of neighbors.

Steve Rogers finished his deployment in October of 2005.

Mrs. Rogers said she would be interested in starting a support group for family members of military personnel deployed to war zones. She said her number is in the book for those who are interested.

Three Generations

There are three generations now at work at McGee's Fix-It Shop on the east end of Baldwin's Main Street.

Harry started the business in the fall of 1961 and bought the shop from Leo Strain. He said he has enjoyed his years in the fix-it business. "I must-I'm still here."

His son Don joined the business in 1979. He also currently serves as Village President for Baldwin.

Matt is a 2002 graduate of Baldwin-Woodville High School and then spent four years in the Marines, including 18 months in Iraq. He was discharged from the Marines in 2006 and started in July of this year at the Fix-It Shop.

Dancing for Darfur

Many people do not know of the horror going on in a place called Darfur. It is time that we raise awareness everywhere so we can come together and help stop the oppression and genocide that lies therein. Darfur is in the western part of Sudan, a country in middle east Africa. Since 2003 as many as 400,000 civilians from Darfur have been murdered. As many as 2.5 million have been forced to leave their homes and have had to move to refugee camps to avoid violence, rape, torture, and murder. About 1 million Darfurians still live in their villages and are in grave danger of becoming the next victims of the Janjaweed, the local tribal and other militias that are responsible for this genocide. All though we seem so far away from a place like Africa, there are still ways we can help.

On November 30, we will "Dance for Darfur." The Baldwin-Woodville chapter of FCCLA (Family Careers and Community Leaders of America) will be holding a "Dancethon" to raise money for Darfur. The eight hour event will be open to the public and is for all ages. It will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 30 at Baldwin-Woodville High school and will end at 2 a.m. the following morning. We will take you back to the days of swing! There will be refreshments, swing dance lessons, and an opportunity to dance the night away!

All who plan to attend are encouraged to pick up a pledge sheet prior to the event to help raise money to be sent to Darfur. Pledge sheets will be available at Treasures from the Heart, First Bank of Baldwin, and the Baldwin-Woodville High School. If you are unavailable to raise money prior to the event, there will be a $5 entrance fee to get into the dance. Any and all donations are also welcome at the door.

If you have any questions at the event please call Angela Schmoker at (715)684-3321 ext. 114. All are welcome to attend this worthy cause. Please help us end the genocide in Darfur!

Snow Sends Vehicles Sliding

Just the small amount of snow last Friday morning resulted in a few traffic mishaps.

According to Gary Newton, Chief of the Baldwin Station of United Fire and Rescue, the Department was called to several traffic accidents Friday morning as a result of snow.

Newton said a couple of vehicles slid in ditches along I-94. He said the Department was called to three separate incidents and there were others throughout St. Croix County to which other departments responded.

At the incidents to which United Fire responded, Newton said there appeared to be no serious injuries.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Baldwin-Woodville Area School District has a Budget

The Baldwin-Woodville Area School District has a budget for the 2007-08 year.

It's late, but blame that on the Wisconsin legislature and governor which didn't pass a state budget with school aids figures until recently.

The budget for this school year was passed at a special meeting last Thursday, November 1.

B-W Superintendent of Schools Rusty Helland said he's disappointed that the legislature didn't get their job done and have the state's budget completed by the deadline. He added that there were winners and losers in the final budget that the state did pass. He said B-W was one of the losers, but only on a small scale to the tune of $7,070.

According to Superintendent Helland, back in July the Department of Public Instruction informed the B-W district that it would receive about $9,402,700 in state aid. However, the final budget included only $9,272,344 in state aid, a difference of $130,356.

But, in an effort to bridge that gap between what was expected and what was finally passed, the legislature increased the tax credit for schools and in B-W's case the amount that taxpayers will receive in credits is $123,286, or $7,070 less than the difference in what was expected in general school aid and what actually passed.

"I call it a rebate," said Superintendent Helland. "It will show up on property tax bills as a rebate." He noted, however, that the district has to levy from the taxpayers the difference in what was expected and what will be actually received. So school taxes will increase about eight cents per thousand, before the tax credit, making a mill rate of 9.53, compared to last year's of 9.45.

Helland said if the tax credit is considered the mill rate would be down by approximately .35.

"So the real bottom line, big picture is that school taxes are going down again," said Helland. "People say 'we pay more in taxes,' but the school taxes are going down per thousand. For the same value of property, you pay less for school taxes."

This year's B-W school budget is $18,198,505. Of that amount, state general aid accounts for $9,272,344. The remaining amount is not all placed on the tax levy because of other categories of aid received from both state and federal sources.

The final tax levy, excluding the amount of debt service, is $6,56,046,892, which is an increase of 4.46% over last year's budget. The levy for debt service is an additional $2,215,262.

The levy is supported by equalized valuation of $656,046,892 in the school district. That valuation is an increase of 3.55% over last year's equalized valuation.

B-W Students in Honors Choir

Baldwin-Woodville students who participated in honors choirs at Madison on October 27 are, left to right, Reid Anderson, Rachel Hanson and Kirsten Hoffman.

B-W students Rachel Hanson, Reid Anderson and Kirsten Hoffman recently performed in Madison with the Wisconsin State Honors Choir.

Rachel Hanson was accepted into the Wisconsin Middle Level State Honors Choir! This choir is comprised of 100 seventh, eighth and ninth grade students from across the state. Rachel auditioned last spring and was invited to be a part of this choir in June. Rachel traveled to Madison October 25 to rehearse and then performed on Saturday, October 27 at the WI State Music Conference. In total, 1,459 students auditioned for the Middle Level State Honors Music Project. 305 students were selected for the three ensembles - choir, band and orchestra. Rachel is the daughter of John and Julie Hanson.

Reid Anderson and Kirsten Hoffman were accepted into the Wisconsin High School State Honors Mixed Choir. This 100 voice choir is comprised of students in grades ten, eleven and twelve. Reid and Kirsten both auditioned last February and were notified in April that they were selected. In June they attended a three day music camp held on the UW-Green Bay campus. On Wednesday, Oct. 24 they traveled to Madison to put the finishing touches on their music. Their Honors Concert was Thursday evening, October 25 at the Overture Center in Madison as part of the WI State Music Conference. 1,695 students auditioned for the High School State Honors Music Project. 419 students were selected for the five ensembles - mixed choir, treble choir, jazz ensemble, orchestra and concert band. Reid is the son of Keith and Mary Anderson. Kirsten is the daughter of Gary and Randi Hoffman.

B-W choral directors Janet Hanson and Jane Thompson also extend their congratulations to these outstanding musicians. These students were excellent representatives of our music program, our schools and our communities.

Relay for Life Team Receives Award

The Baldwin Area Medical Center's Relay for Life team was presented with the American Cancer Society National Fundraising Club Award this October for raising over $10,000 in June's Relay for Life event in New Richmond. Only 94 teams out of 3,700 were able to reach this level. The team raised over $12,000 for the continued fight against cancer and direct patient support. The award was presented at the 2007 Leadership Summit in Wisconsin Dells. Accepting the award on behalf of the team was its team captain, Tom Schreiber, at center.

Clear Lake Man Killed in I-94 Crash

A Clear Lake man was killed in an I-94 one vehicle crash near Hudson early Sunday.

According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, David P. Fischbach, 23, of Clear Lake, was pronounced dead. He was not wearing his seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle, the State Patrol said.

The other man in the vehicle was James Smith, 22, of Hudson. State Patrol officers said it was unclear whether Smith was wearing his seat belt at the time of the rollover. He was taken to Regions Medical Center in St. Paul and was released later Sunday.

The 2004 Chevrolet Impala had been traveling westbound on I-94 when the rollover accident occurred. The crash happened about 2:50 a.m. Sunday near the southbound STH 35 exit ramp.

Also responding to the accident scene were Hudson fire and ambulance and the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department. The accident remains under investigation, according to the State Patrol.

Fire Destroys Home in Hammond

A home in Hammond was a complete loss due to a fire which struck the structure early Saturday morning.

According to Gary Newton, Chief of the Baldwin Station of United Fire and Rescue, firefighters were summoned to the scene of the blaze about 5:30 a.m. Saturday. He said the house, just east of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hammond on CTH TT, was fully engulfed in flames and the roof had already fallen in when firefighters arrived on the scene.

Newton said the house was unoccupied at the time of the fire. He did not know the cause of the blaze and said it remains under investigation.

Early Monday afternoon firefighters were summoned to the scene of a small grass fire east of Baldwin near USH 12. The fire was easily extinguished, Newton said.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Clear Lake Woman Killed in Crash

A 51 year old Clear Lake woman died as the result of a traffic accident in New Richmond on Friday, October 26.

According to New Richmond police, a 1989 Toyota van northbound on Knowles Avenue, driven by Thomas H. Lange of Clear Lake attempted to make a left turn on to New Richmond Way in front of a 2005 Econoline Ford van driven by Thomas W. Deal of Houlton and the vehicles collided.

A passenger in the Lange vehicle, Sara J. Lange of Clear Lake was transported to Westfield Hospital in New Richmond where she was pronounced dead. Both Sara Lange and Thomas Lange had to be extricated from their vehicle.

Responding to the crash were New Richmond Police and New Richmond Area Ambulance and Rescue Service and New Richmond Fire Department.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Kayla Wagner, Reid Anderson, Kya Grafenstein, Ian Schoenke, Jason LaFavor and Kirsten Hoffman (missing from picture) would love to see you at the musical!!

Why was The Wizard of Oz chosen for the all-school play this year? Often our directors are asked who picks the all school play. It has been nineteen years since Mrs. Hanson delivered a baby on opening night of Wizard of Oz. Because of the number of people in last year's all school play, consideration was given to a large, flexible cast. We also had to identify the number of sports teams which did well this year and would take many of our hours of rehearsal time away from us. After reviewing multiple shows, we decided that the song that was voted the most influential of the twentieth century should be our mantra this year: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" has captured our hearts.

The play is actually based on Frank Baum's novel which was written in 1905 with political satire to enlighten teenagers of the ironies within society. Baum writes his main characters to criticize the public's view of teens, agricultural, industrial, and natural resource practices in our country. The Scarecrow satires farming, the Tin Man: manufacturing, and the Cowardly Lion: natural resource abuse. Everyone always believes the green stuff (money) will be able to fix everything, so our characters travel to Oz expecting amazing things. When Dorothy encounters little people and a good witch as well as a bad witch, she realizes that all sorts of qualities are found right in the people in her own back yard.

We hope to educate our youth and entertain all with this year's all-school play, The Wizard of Oz.

Performances are on November 1, 2, 3, 9, and 10 at 7 p.m. and November 4 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $6 for adults, $3 for students, and $1.50 for children five and under. Tickets are on sale now by calling 684-3321, ext. 118. We hope you are able to join us.

Wagner Finished Seventh at State

Kayla Wagner of B-W rounded a corner in the WIAA Division 2 cross country meet at Ridges Golf Club at Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday. Wagner finished in seventh place with a time of 15:15.8 over the difficult 4,000 meter course.

B-W's premier cross country runner Kayla Wagner finished in seventh place of the 151 runners in Division 2 in the WIAA State Cross Country meet at Ridges Golf Course at Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday.

Wagner was in fifth place until the very end of the 4,000 meter course when she was overtaken by two runners who she was unaware were so close to her and unable to hear the shouts of spectators because of the tremendous roar of the crowd.

Wagner finished in 15:14.8 for her seventh place finish. Both the fifth place finisher, Emily Bachhuber of Shorewood, and Kelsey Bernet of New Glarus/Monticello, had their times listed at 15:14.7.

"Kayla had a superb race," said her coach, Jennifer Cimino. "The course is really tough-probably the toughest she races on because of the hills and long stretches of sand. It's really tough to run through sand like that."

Although Kayla finished in seventh, "it was an extremely close race," said Coach Cimino. "From the human eye it was a tie and the only way to tell the difference was with the chip."

Coach Cimino said that throughout most of the race Kayla battled back and forth with her chief competitor over the regular season, Breanna Tinney of Osceola. They changed fourth and fifth places several times in the race.

Although Kayla's best time of the season was a 14:59, the course Saturday was more difficult and she beat her time in the last couple of races.

The seventh place finish is a great achievement, said Coach Cimino. "Considering the number of spectators, for a first time athlete to have that big of an event and not have your emotions overwhelmed is a big accomplishment. I'm really proud of her. I think she did awesome."

Winning the Division 2 race was Ashley Buetler of New Glarus/Monticello with a time of 14:11.3. Tinney finished in fourth with a time of 15:09.5.

United Fire and Rescue District Jumps a Class; Donation for Vision Goggles Presented to United Fire

Loparex, represented by Hammond Plant Manager Michael Stang, presented a check for $1,500 to Todd Criego, Assistant Chief of the Hammond Station of United Fire and Rescue for purchase of "smoke vision goggles" which are used to "see" objects by the heat radiating from them in dense smoke.

Investment in equipment, water utilities and training over many years have paid off for United Fire and Rescue.

The local fire department which includes stations in Woodville, Baldwin and Hammond has received an improved fire rating from the Insurance Service Office, or ISO, which may pay off in better insurance premium rates, especially for commercial properties.

According to United Fire Chief Reid Berger, Baldwin's and Hammond's fire ratings have improved to three from four; and Woodville's has improved to a four from five.

"I want to give the credit to the people who deserve it," said Berger, citing the people who run the consolidated fire department, including chiefs and assistant chiefs at each station, firefighters, and the people who sit on the fire board and village and town boards. He said the nearly 80 firefighters of the three stations and the on-going training is an important reason for the success of the department. Training is both in-house and from WITC.

Berger said the class three rating for Hammond and Baldwin are ones of only a few for communities of their size and some of the neighboring towns have ratings of five or six. The fire rating systems goes from a one, the best, to a ten. Gary Newton, chief of the Baldwin Station of United Fire, said many volunteer departments, like United Fire, are rated seven or eight.

According to Newton the ISO rating is based 50% on the grade for the fire department; 40% on the water system that serves it; and 10% on training and communication of the department. "The emphasis is put on training and the ability to get out and deliver the water," he said.

Newton said an ISO inspector, Jim Murphy, spent more than a week's time in the spring and summer in the three communities and surrounding area surveying water systems, reviewing past fire calls and equipment that went out and training records. Included in the survey was detailed inspections of water utility systems and water flows.

Berger said the new ratings may not have much effect for existing business, although in some cases they may result in lower rates. However, he noted that the better rating makes fire insurance coverage cheaper for new commercial enterprises and may make the communities more attractive for new business. "The rate may be an incentive for a new business to locate
here," he said.

Rick Houston, chief of the Woodville Station, said that in some cases the new rates may have an impact on residential insurance rates, also.

Rural locations are under a separate rating system based on how much water can be brought to the location. And Newton said Inspector Murphy did go out to each town served by United Fire and determined how much water could be brought to locations. Miles to a fire department or station is sometimes important in ratings, said Newton, so having three stations for United Fire has proved to be important.

Berger said Bill Peavey, secretary for United Fire, was instrumental in orchestrating the rating improvement because he compiles data and keeps all the department's records.

Berger noted that when he started as chief of the Baldwin Fire Department in the late 1970s the department had a seven rating. The consolidation process started in 1994 informally at first with all three department responding with mutual aid to each other's calls without specific calls for aid. He said the merger was based on Chippewa Falls' merger and involved discussions for two or three years before it was finally put in place. Elliott Stene of Woodville and Norman George and Duane Larson of Hammond were instrumental in the final merger that emerged.

Berger offered his thanks to everyone who helps United Fire and the achievement of the improved rating system: from the members and villages and towns that support it to the people who help fundraise and donate to the department. "It's a team and it all comes together," he said.

Postal Jacket Stolen from Display Case

Could Halloween be the reason a United States Post Office hat and jacket were stolen from a display case at the Baldwin Post Office?

Personnel at the Post Office hope that is true and they also hope the items are returned to the Post Office after Halloween. And Postmaster Deb Clennon quipped that if the clothing articles win a prize for the wearer, she and the other employees at the Baldwin Post Office hope they
get to share a portion of the winnings.

The jacket belonged to the late Bud DeSmith and he wore it when he was Officer in Charge in the Woodville Post Office in the 1970s. It was placed in the display case with other Post Office artifacts by his daughter Deb Graf, a clerk at the Baldwin Post Office. It was at center right in the display case, pictured above.

Also missing is a hat that belonged to a retired postal carrier from Lake City, Minnesota who gave it to Postmaster Clennon when he learned of the display at the Baldwin Post Office.

The lock on the display case was apparently not broken, but was manipulated in some way to get the case open to remove the two articles of postal clothing.

Baldwin Man Pleaded Guilty in Federal Court

Erik C. Peterson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Wayne Ruoho, 40, Baldwin, pleaded guilty in Madison before U.S. District Judge John C. Shabaz to a charge that he conspired to distribute methamphetamine. Ruoho will be sentenced on January 11, 2008 at 1:15 p.m.

Ruoho conspired from September 2001 to the end of December 2004 to distribute, and possess with the intent to distribute, methamphetmine. Ruoho traveled with co-conspirators from Minnesota to California, transporting large amounts of U.S. currency to obtain multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine; large quantities of methamphetamine obtained in California were then transported to Minnesota for distribution by Ruoho and his partners in various locations, including Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Ruoho utilized couriers to deliver methamphetamine, and personally delivered methamphetamine, to his co-conspirators for distribution in the Western District of Wisconsin. Angela Trudelle, formerly of Washburn County, distributed Ruoho's methamphetamine to customers from various counties in the Western District, including Washburn and Barron Counties. Michele and Timothy Nelson distributed Ruoho's methamphetamine to customers in various counties, including St. Croix, Pierce, and Dunn Counties.

Timothy Nelson has pleaded guilty to this conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing. In addition to Michele Nelson (262 months) and Angela Trudell (119 months), Lawrence Bauer (262 months), Terry Mortier (135 months), Richard Holland (170 months), Jamie Briesemeister (121 months),
and Reanne Taylor (180 months) have all been convicted and sentenced to federal prison as a result of their involvement in this methamphetamine conspiracy.

U.S. Attorney Peterson stated that this guilty plea is the result of a long-term investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation-Narcotics Bureau; the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department; the Washburn County Sheriff's Department; and the Barron County Sheriff's Department.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wagner and Zerwas are State Bound

Two athletes from local schools have qualified for the WIAA state cross country meet at Ridges Golf Course at Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday.

Kayla Wagner of B-W and Steven Zerwas of St. Croix Central each placed second in their respective races at the Osceola sectional meet on Friday, October 19.

Wagner will be leaving with a send off from B-W High School at 8:00 a.m. on Friday. Zerwas will be leaving for the competition early on Saturday morning.

Wagner's time of 15:26.82 in the sectional race was second behind Breanna Tinney's first place time of 15:11.71 over the 4,000 meter course.

Zerwas ran a time of 17:35.03 over the 5,000 meter boys course behind only Brandon Little of Ashland with a time of 17:02.42.

Both Wagner and Zerwas will run in Division 2 competition at Wisconsin Rapids. The Division 2 girls race will start at 11:40 a.m. The Division 2 boys race will begin at 1:40 p.m.

B-W Marching Blackhawks are State Champs!

They did it!

After hours and hours, days and days, weeks and weeks, months and months and it's not a stretch to say years of preparation and practice, members of the Baldwin-Woodville Marching Blackhawks have achieved their goal.

Saturday, October 20 at UW-Whitewater the Marching Blackhawks hit on all cylinders and came away as winners in Class A competition of the Wisconsin School Music Association State Marching Band Championships.

The Marching Blackhawks participated against six other marching bands in Class A Competition.

In addition to winning the overall trophy, the Blackhawks won best Musical Presentation and Best Percussion.

The Marching Blackhawks left Friday for a stay in a elementary school near Whitewater. On Saturday night after the competition they returned to the same school for another night. They arrived home mid-afternoon Sunday to a tumultuous greeting. They were met at the Woodville I-94 interchange by a boisterous group of supporters, including a United Fire and Rescue truck, which accompanied them through Woodville and then to Baldwin to B-W High where they were feted as the champions they are.

Director of the Marching Blackhawks is Adam Bassak. Eric Becker is assistant director/percussion. Drum major is Karen Warner. Assistant drum majors are Brittany Lofgren and Jason LaFavor.

"It's incredible to see what a group of students is capable of," said Mr. Bassak Monday morning after an assembly at B-W where the Marching Blackhawks performed their program, "The Rise and Fall of Rome." He said his and Mr. Becker's goal was "to push the students to new levels and see what they're capable of and they went above and beyond anything we expected. They did whatever we asked them to do and did it better and stronger every time."
Bassak said B-W's show on Saturday at Whitewater in the competition "was by far our most musical performance of the year." He said there was great balance and blending of music "and you could hear all the parts.

Everyone worked as one and played as one group.

"You don't know what to expect when you start the year, but the levels we've reached and the excitement and enthusiasm is what makes teaching worthwhile. It's incredible."

One of the reasons the Baldwin-Woodville Marching Blackhawks were successful is "we had so much help," said Bassak. Other staff included Amber Hahn, Sarah Bassak, Virginia Bagan and Sarah Holmes who all work with the color guard; Aaron Kittelson, Ryan Wilson and Andrew Sazama who work with percussion; and Trevor Anderson, brass.

Other bands in Class A competition at Whitewater included: Palmyra-Eagle High School Marching Panthers; Columbus High School Marching Cardinals; St. Croix Falls High School Marching Band; Lancaster High School Marching Band; Whitewater High School Marching Band; and Marathon High School Red Raider Marching Band.

Point total for B-W in the competition was 74.35. Second place went to Columbus High School with 73.25 points. Third place band was from Marathon High School with 66.0 points.

Also in competition were nine bands in Class AA competition; seven bands in AAAcompetition; and seven bands in AAAA competition. Winning in AA was Greendale High School. Class AAA winner was River Falls. And in Class AAAA the winner was Waukesha North.

Judging criteria includes: Visual Performance/Ensemble for a possible 20 points; Music Performance/Ensemble for a possible 20 points; Percussion Performance/Ensemble for a possible 10 points; Music General Effect for a possible 20 points; Visual General Effect for a possible 20 points; and Auxiliary/Color Guard for a possible 10 points; for a total of 100 possible points. There were a total of eight judges for the Class A competition, with some categories receiving scrutiny by more than one judge.

Director Adam Bassak displayed the championship trophy at the welcoming home celebration Sunday afternoon at B-W High School with many members of the Marching Blackhawks behind him.

Special Meeting Results in No Land for Village

Instead of purchasing 100, or more, acres for industrial development, the Village of Baldwin currently has no agreement to buy any industrial property.

At a special meeting of the Baldwin Village Board last Wednesday, October 17, the initial offer by the village to buy 100 acres of land in a new development at the southeast corner of the I-94/USH 63 interchcange was taken off the table, according to Village President Don McGee. The meeting was held in closed session.

President McGee said there is thus no agreement at present for the village to buy any land for industrial development.

Death of Tom Lund Stuns Community

The death of a prominent local businessman has left the community reeling in shock and grief.

According to St. Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead, Sheriff's Deputies and Woodville Ambulance personnel responded to a report of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Saturday, October 20 at 4:03 p.m. Sheriff Hillstead said the victim Tom Lund, of Woodville, 45, was airlifted to Regions Medical Center in St. Paul where he was pronounced dead at approximately 10:30 p.m.

A Celebration of Life for Tom Lund will be held on Wednesday, October 24 at Zion Lutheran Church in Woodville from 3:00 until 8:00.

Funeral services will be private.

Baldwin-Woodville Cable Station Planned; Budget and Levy Postponed

The long-standing collaboration between Baldwin Telecom, Inc., and the Baldwin-Woodville Area School District has produced another technological advancement for the district. Starting in November, Baldwin-Woodville will broadcast over its own cable television station.
High School teacher Patrick Beierman explained that the local broadcast will include all school related activities: sports, extra-curricular, meetings, celebrations, concerts, guest speakers, and other school related programming.

Beierman's presentation was at the regular monthly meeting of the Baldwin-Woodville Board of Education meeting held Monday night. B-W High School students enrolled in Dynamic Media, Blackhawk TV and Marketing classes taught by Beierman will produce and market the programming.

Beierman will oversee and approve all contents of the broadcasts, he said.

Beierman and Athletic Director/Transportation Supervisor Wade Labecki (who formerly held Beierman's teaching position) have been working together with Baldwin Telecom to get the station off the ground, they said.

Baldwin Telecom has provided the district with the channel and training as well as $2,000 to use for the purchase of an editing station.

"Baldwin Telecom continues to work with the school district and has provided many technological services for us," said Supt. Rusty Helland. "They deserve our thanks," he said.

"Our channel will be broadcast over the Baldwin Telecom cable service area," said Labecki. "It will be a great way to connect with the community. In the near future, we hope to stream online so people outside the area will have access too," he added.

In other action at the meeting:

The board tabled two motions concerning the 2007-08 district budget until a special meeting scheduled for Nov. 1. Finalizing the budget is difficult due to the delayed state budget said Supt. Helland. "We have come up with three budget scenarios," he said, "the original budget which was due July 1, a budget without $71,500 in swimming pool repairs, and a budget with $71,500 in swimming pool repairs."

The repairs to the swimming pool were approved by the board after last year's budget was approved. Public donations now total $32,158 said Helland and the expenditures totaled $103,680 leaving a difference of $71,500.

District bookkeeper Pam Rose explained that pool expenditures come out of the community fund (Fund 80). Since the pool expenses were unknown at the time and not budgeted for, Fund 80 finished the year in the red.

Rose said that according to the Department of Public Instruction, funds from the general fund (Fund 10) cannot be transferred to Fund 80 to balance it, the district must levy for the dollars.

Complicating matters, the district has received approximately $283,000 from the Village of Baldwin from excess funds remaining from closed TIF accounts. The money was put in Fund 10 in the building and grounds and technology accounts, and those accounts can be changed said Supt. Helland.

"It's taxpayer money, why don't we just reduce the levy?" suggested board member John Hinz.

Board member Tom Schumacher said he would prefer to keep the options open for the time being. "I would like to wait and see what comes up. Maybe we could do something we thought we never could," he said. "I don't think we should use it for ongoing expenses that we levy for every year. Let's think about it."

"I think we should use the money to offset debt instead of finding a way to spend it," commented board member Todd Graf.

In the end, the board tabled setting the levy and adopting the budget because they are awaiting the state budget which iss in the process of being finalized. A special meeting to adopt the 2007-08 budget and tax levy is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m.

In other business, the board approved the teachers' contract for 2007-09. The total package increase is 4.3% the first year and 4.7% the second year and the union agreed to pay an additional 1% of the health care in the second year. Board member Mike Bondarenko complimented all those involved in the contract negotiations. "Everyone came to the table ready to work together. Thanks to all," he said.

Pupil Services Director Patti Phillipps announced the recent receipt of two grants for the district. Guidance counselor Robin Pagels wrote an Ann Marie Grant and received $735 which will be used for the Festival of Nations at the High School and the Knights of Columbus presented the district with $845 to be used for students with disabilities.

Labecki announced Bus Safety Week Oct. 22 through 26, and recognized all the bus drivers for the district.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Baldwin Retail Ready for Renters

Pictured at the new Baldwin Retail development at the southwest corner of the I-94/USH 63 interchange are, from left, Tammy Medina of Kami, Inc., the developer and owner of the project, and Stuart Schaefer and Julie DeNoyer of Commonweal Development Corporation which is marketing the property.

Baldwin Retail, an eight-unit mall at the southwest corner of the I-94/USH 63 interchange is ready for lease.

At an open house last Thursday Tammy Medina of Kami, Inc. of Woodbury, the developer of the mall, said one bay has already been rented and the other seven are available.

Medina, who with her husband Gonzalo owns Kami, Inc. and have developments throughout the Twin City area, said "we think Baldwin is a great location with lots of traffic."

Tammy Medina also said she and her husband like their development to look good and they take care of their properties and maintain them. "We consider our tenants our partners."

The south bay of the mall has been rented to Ben Grosz of Baldwin who currently owns The Daily Grind in Hudson. He is opening a coffee shop/bakery that will be called Maggie's Joe and Dough. The wholesale bakery will be called Bakery Creations and will sell to other restaurants and coffee shops. It will have a drive-up window, Grosz said. He said he hopes to be up and running by mid-November.

The eight bays at Baldwin Retail each have approximately 1,400 square feet of floor space.

In addition to the eight unit mall at the development, the Medinas are considering a gas station/convenience store, a hotel, restaurant and perhaps a small medical building on the remaining lots.

Village Board Approves Public Works Mutual Aid Agreement

The Baldwin Village Board at their regular monthly meeting Wednesday, October 10 approved a "Public Works Service Agreement" that is designed to provide a framework for sharing public works manpower and equipment in the event of an emergency.

Baldwin Ambulance Director Craig Nelson explained that the agreement is a mutual aid policy that will allow federal reimbursement for use of equipment if a municipality requests assistance from another municipality. It was proposed by the St. Croix County Emergency Management Department.

Public Works Director John Traxler said that in the event of a major situation he doesn't have objections to the policy and "hopefully it won't get a lot of use."

In other action, the Board:
-agreed to pay the St. Croix County Highway Department $3,385 as the village's share of the 80th Avenue improvements.
-approved a permit for a private well operated by Jonquist Family Kitchens.
-approved an ordinance that prohibits wood burning furnaces that are located outside of the structure that the furnace is principally intended to heat.
-approved the special assessment for 12th Avenue and Franklin Street due to the recent upgrades of the streets, curb and gutter and some utilities.
-approved a bid of $49,862 for a membrane roof system for the Ambulance building that will be done this fall. The approved bid is instead of a metal roof bid of over $100,000.
-addressed the parking situation at Panda Garden. The board agreed that the parking area must be completed within two weeks but black topping can take place in the spring as long as it's done by June 1.
-set a special meeting for work on the 2008 budget for October 24 beginning at 6:00 p.m.
-approved fireworks applications for the two fireworks sellers located at I-94/USH 63 interchange.
-approved ordering a new ambulance for delivery in the fall of 2008. The ambulance, with a cost of $122,800, will replace the Woodville ambulance and the present Woodville ambulance will be moved to Baldwin. The cost of the new ambulance has already been budgeted.
-approved a request by Police Chief Jim Wider to petition the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to slow down traffic on the north side of the village to 25 mph on the stretch where the current speed limit is 35 mph. Chief Wider cited increased traffic and the vehicles in and out of Baldwin Area Medical Center's parking lot.