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.