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.