Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeere!

Road construction, that is. On Monday crews started the USH 63 upgrade project through Baldwin with the work of realigning the lanes of traffic through Baldwin.

Pam Donahue Retires This Year

Pam Donahue, a physical education, adaptive phy-ed and health teacher at Viking Middle School, will retire from her position this year. But she'll likely end her teaching career the way she started it.

Right out of college-UW-River Falls-Mrs. Donahue started her teaching career by substitute teaching, first at Somerset and later mostly at St. Croix Central, B-W and Glenwood City.

After she retires, Mrs. Donahue plans to continue teaching, at least occasionally, as a substitute teacher.

But she said that "I have other things to do also." She noted that she probably can't read any more than she does now, and plans to continue that. "I'll maybe see the grandchildren more and visit my folks" who are in Illinois.

She also plans to offer her services as a volunteer.

Pam Kruse was born in Chicago, Illinois. She attended grammar school at St. Norbert's in Northbrook, Illinois. While in High School she was on the synchronized swimming club and participated in the synchronized swimming nationals at UW-River Falls. "I decided it was a nice, small school that was good in physical education which was what I was interested in," and that's what brought her to this area.

Her senior year she married Dan Donahue and they lived in Roberts where they were the caretakers at the Division Street Apartments. Later they built their house in which they still reside in the Town of Erin Prairie.

After substitute teaching, Mrs. Donahue was first hired as a long-term substitute at B-W in 1987-88. She was hired part-time in 1989 and from then until 1993 she worked between Greenfield and the High School where she taught health and phy-ed.

In 1993 Pam was hired full time and worked in all three B-W schools. In 1999 she worked only at Viking and Greenfield until 2001 and from then until this year she has only been at Viking Middle School.

In addition to her teaching duties, Mrs. Donahue coached volleyball for 19 years-three at seventh grade and 16 as JV coach. She was assistant track coach for 16 years.

The Donahues have two children. Alison lives in Verona, is married, has a son Max who is a freshman at UW-Milwaukee and is co-owner of Siren Fitness.

Darren is married and has three boys, ages four, two and two months. They live in Wasilla, Alaska and Darren is a pilot for Northern Air Cargo.

Over the years Mrs. Donahue said she has had many interesting experiences. One was this year when a pie throwing contest was about to be held and Mrs. Donahue told a girl with whom she did not see exactly eye-to-eye that the girl better get her pie to throw at me [Mrs. Donahue.] No, the girl replied, I've got a pie for "Mr. [So-and-so] because I hate him more than I hate you."

When Mrs. Donahue taught first grade PE there was a unit about folk dancing. The school used a record player with 78 rpm records. One time when Mrs. Donahue took out the record one little student blurted out "'Wow, that's a big CD.' That shows that technology and times have changed," said Mrs. Donahue.

Mrs. Donahue has gone on several Spanish Club trips over the years and has enjoyed the experiences. This summer she will join the Club on a trip to Spain.

During her years at B-W Mrs. Donahue sponsored the fundraiser that raised money for the roller blades that the school district now owns. She has been involved in a fundraiser for the food pantry. She sponsored a club at Viking that made fleece blankets that have been donated to Grace Place and St. Croix Valley Family Resource Center. Mrs. Donahue led the drive for donations that purchased the climbing wall at Viking without expense to the district. And she has held Friday Family Fun night which is held six Fridays, usually in January and February when the gym is opened to families for various activities.

Mrs. Donahue has also participated in Movin' Schools; Governor's Falls Challenge, Shape Up Wisconsin Kids and a yearly eight to 10 week Staff Wellness program as a member of the district's Wellness Policy Committee.

Mission Group Visited Kenya

A group of local people, including a native of Kenya, spent from 10 days to two weeks in March and April on a mission trip to Kenya.

Members of the group are pictured above at the equator, from left: Pastor John Hanson; James Arati, a Kenyan and employee of Baldwin Dairy; John Vrieze a dairyman and entrepreneur; Joy Grognet; Lori Hetfeld; and Nancy Rowe, who was on her third mission trip to Kenya.

The group traveled to a town called Maseno, which is about 30 miles from Kusomo, and stayed at a compound with two doctors. There is also a small college there and James has family there.

According to Hetfeld, the weather was pleasant, with the temperature in the low 80s during the day and dropping to the upper 60s at night. She said the compound where they stayed was modern and had electricity and water. She also noted that although there has recently been
violence in Kenya stemming from elections which were alleged to be fraudulent, there were no flare-ups while the group was there.

According to an article that was published in a Kenyan newspaper while the group was there, the goal of the group was to help orphans at Esivalu Primary School. They assisted the children with food, school uniforms and books. In addition, they are assisting the village with a water project.

Pastor Hanson also took solar ovens on the trip, which can be operated without wood used as fuel. They are manufactured in the Twin Cities.

Attorney Ordered to Pay Woodville

The Kevin Sheridan saga in the Village of Woodville may well be over with a St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge's decision ordering Sheridan's attorney, Harry Hertel, and his law firm, Hertel & Gibbs, S.C., in his lawsuit against the Woodville Police Review Board to pay $3,262.57 to the Village of Woodville in compensation for defending what the judge determined was a frivolous claim.

Sheridan was the former Police Chief of Woodville who was terminated by the Police Review Board for misconduct in September 2006 after an evidentiary hearing.

The decision by Judge Edward F. Vlack was reached on December 21 of last year.

In his "Memorandum Decision and Order" Judge Vlack noted that "when imposing sanctions, the court shall describe the conduct determined to constitute a violation of this rule and the basis for the sanction imposed.ŠFirst, the Court finds that Mr. Hertel failed to conduct a reasonable inquiry into the facts of the claims." And that the claim that Sheridan's constitutional right of free speech was violated is frivolous.

Second of the reasons given for awarding Woodville damages from the law firm is "Mr. Hertel knew or should have known that there was no basis in the law to support his claims."

And as the third reason, "Mr. Hertel had the opportunity to withdraw or dismiss once he realized there may have been no basis in the law or facts to support his contention."

Finally, wrote Judge Vlack "[m]ost importantly, Mr. Hertel was given another opportunity to withdraw or dismiss [in January 2007] when the board's attorney served Mr. Hertel with a copy of the motion for frivolous claim and indicated that pursuant to statute, she would wait the necessary 21 days before filing the motion. In this 21-day period, Mr. Hertel did not respond to the Board's attorney, nor did he make a motion to withdraw, supply law that supported his argument or anything else that would seem reasonable, but instead stated that during this period he relied on his client alone."

Judge Vlack wrote that "Mr. Hertel's actions here rise to the level of imposing sanctions against him in the form of attorneys fees for the Board in having to defend against this frivolous claim."

According to the decision, the facts of the case include the findings by the Police Review Board that "Sheridan's removal was required and his employment must be terminated because Mr. Sheridan refused to wear a uniform on duty; his action of hand-marking the village police car in violation of department practice was police misconductŠ; Mr. Sheridan violated policies and the Village Personnel Manual by refusing to obey Village Board orders, intimidating Village Board members, and being publicly disrespectful to superior officers while on duty; Mr. Sheridan violated Village OrdinanceŠby smoking in the office of the Woodville Police Department; he violated policies and procedures by using the Woodville squad car for personal use; and he wrote "Woodville Police Department" with window wax on the village squad car.