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.