Tuesday, September 16, 2008

St. Croix County Seniors top in Wisconsin State 4-H judging contest

Pictured left to right are Bob Zwald, Jill Cowles, Jacob Kruschke, Tom Zwald, Chuck Kruschke and Kendra Mitchell.

The St. Croix County Senior Dairy Judging Team took top honors at the State 4-H Senior Dairy Judging Contest at the Polk County Fair in St. Croix Falls on July 25.

Senior contestants placed ten classes and delivered four sets of oral reasons. St. Croix County's team members and their parents are: Kenra Mitchell, Jackie and Dennis Mitchell, New Richmond; Jill Cowles, Dave and Cheryl Cowles, Roberts; Tom Zwald, Bob and Kay Zwald, Hammond; and Jacob Kruschke, Chuck and Mary Kruschke, New Richmond. The team coaches are Bob Zwald and Chuck Kruschke.

"These four kids have been judging dairy cows since they were nine years old in the 4-H dairy project," said Bob Zwald. "This is the result of nine or ten years of hard work."

Zwald noted that every year about Easter St. Croix County dairy judging practice starts. The kids compete to represent St. Croix County at the northwest district in the middle of June. Practices are held once a week from April until the contest in June.

This invovles about 200 kids from 18 counties in northwest Wisconsin. The winning teams then represent their county at the state contest which was held at St. Croix Falls this year.

In all, over 800 4-Hers compete for this title. From the state contest, the winning team represents Wisconsin at the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest held at the World Dairy Expo in Madison on September 29 this year. Contestants from about 40 other states will compete in the

The winning team at Expo will get an educational trip to represent USA at Edinburgh, Scotland next summer. This year the state of Wisconsin will be represented by St. Croix County. The contest at World Dairy Expo will be preceded by a three day tour of some of the best dairy herds, where practices will be held along with educational tours of Hoards Dairynan Magazine, Nasco Farm Supply, and the Dairy Shrine Museum at Fort Atkinson.

"We are very proud of the dedication and accomplishments of these outstanding youth," Zwald commented.

FCCLA and CO2 receive community service award

Pictured are: Jordan Lorenz, Angela Schmoker, Zac Humphrey, Mark Serier and Caleb Larson. Not in the picture are: Sara Donahoe, Bailey Larson and Jon Willert.

The Lions Club Foundation of Wisconsin awarded a first place plaque and a check for $500.00 to the Baldwin-Woodville High School FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) and independent student band "CO2" for their community service project entitled, "Band for Benefit."

On Saturday, September 13, members of the "Band for Benefit" project attended the State Lions Club Foundation Camp and Open house in Rosholt, Wisconsin. Students Jordan Lorenz, Mark Serier, Zac Humphrey and Caleb Larson were in attendance along with advisor Angela Schmoker and Frederick, as chaperones. While at the camp, students were able to tour the 440 acre facility, which allows blind, deaf or hard of hearing and cognitive disabled children to attend camp, view the eyeglass recycling center and participate in the awards ceremony. The plaque and check was awarded to the FCCLA and "CO2" based on their written essay that was previously submitted.

The community service project had taken place during the 2007-2008 school year. FCCLA members and "CO2" were contacted about a local family that was in need. The students put a plan into action to play at local establishments and churches, took up a free will donation and raised enough funds to meet the needs of the family. After hours of practice, several performances and a fundraiser concert with the band "Lightswitch," the students raised over $1500.00. The money was used to pay a family's mortgage payment, fuel, groceries, household necessities and Christmas gifts.

"The FCCLA and "CO2" feel honored to have done this project for their community and look forward to continuing their efforts where needed," said Mrs. Schmoker "Thank you to all thelocal Lion's Club members for this award. It was truly a tribute to the amazing work the Lion's Club does for the state of Wisconsin."

Veenstra is National Merit semifinalist

Rachelle Jayne Veenstra, daughter of Anson and Sylvia Veenstra, has been honored in the National Merit Scholarship Program as a Semifinalist.

About 1,600 high-scoring participants in each year's National Achievement Scholarship Program are designated Semifinalists. Semifinalists are the highest-scoring program participants in the states that constitute each region.

Application materials are sent to Semifinalists through their high schools. Before being considered for a National Achievement Scholarship, a Semifinalist must advance to Finalist standing in the competition by meeting high academic standards and other requirements.

I-94 crash early Sunday kills one

The driver of an east-bound vehicle that crashed and rolled over early Sunday morning on I-94 in Hudson was ejected from the vehicle and killed, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol.

The crash that killed the 25-year-old male driver from Minneapolis happened about 2:20 a.m. Sunday, September 14.

A female 25-year-old passenger was also ejected from the vehicle and was severely injured. She was taken to Hudson Hospital and then transferred by air ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. The State Patrol said she was from Hudson.

Neither name had been released as of mid-Monday afternoon, pending notification of relatives, the State Patrol said.

Both the man and woman were under the influence of alcohol, the State Patrol said in its news release. Neither were wearing their seat belts. The crash remains under investigation.

Board makes offer on industrial land

The Baldwin Village Board put together the final touches on an offer for 160 acres of industrial land in the Alreich Properties/Baldwin Business Park development southeast of the USH 63/I-94 interchange during their regular monthly meeting last Wednesday, September 10.

And according to Village President Don McGee, the terms offered by the village appeared to be agreeable to owner Jim Reich, when he was asked whether the offer would be accepted. "I think so. It sounds like they're favorable to it."

The terms of the offer are that the village will pay $1,940,000 for 160 acres, of which 20 acres is the maximum amount of wetlands. That price is considerably more favorable to the village than a previous agreement, which fell through, which called for a price of $2,250,000 for 140 acres.

McGee said First Bank of Baldwin has offered favorable, below market interest rates to the village to pay for the land. The funds from the purchase price will be paid into an escrow account from which the payments for a road and utilities to serve the property would come.

In addition to the details of the offer to purchase, the board worked out questions about easements in the land that may have to be moved, said McGee. Those terms will be part of the developer's agreement with Alreich which McGee hopes will be finalized at the October village meeting, along with the offer to purchase.

McGee also noted that an updated wetland map for the property has been approved by the Wisconsin DNR but still needs approval by the Army Corps of Engineers.

In other action at the meeting:
-The board approved a conditional use permit for the Orchard Restaurant and Banquet Facility. The zoning of the property-the former New Leaf Nursery-has been changed from agriculture to highway commercial, but a conditional use permit is still required for operation of a bar.
-The board considered an offer on a narrow parcel of land adjacent to Nilssen's Super Valu. The offer is for $1,500 which is the value assigned the property by an appraisal. However, the offer was not accepted until contingencies are included for utilities and a standard form is used
for the offer.
-The board approved installation of a sign at the Baldwin Industrial Park that will list the names of all the entities within the park. The sign cost of about $15,000 will be paid for by the village from TIF district funds. A base for the sign will be paid for by the Chamber of
Commerce. The sign will be located on St. Croix County land at the south east intersection of USH 63 and Fern Drive.
-The board approved issuing a class "A" beer license to Amwest, Inc, doing business as Bob and Steve's BP. Eggen's Supermarket will surrender their license prior to the new one going to Bob and Steve's.
-The board approved issuing an alcohol beverage license to Quinn Johnson and QS Enterprises, LLC, doing business as The Phoenix Grill at Baldwin Retail on Gracie Drive (on the southwest of the I-94/USH 63 interchange).

B-W schools having technical difficulties

If parents have been sending e-mails to Viking Middle School and not getting a response, there's a reason. Similarly, for anyone trying to telephone the high school since last Friday and not getting through, there's a reason for that too.

"Our server crashed the first day of in-service for teachers," Viking Principal Hank Dupuis informed school board members at Monday night's meeting, "and we've been struggling with it ever since.

"We're probably getting e-mails from parents that aren't being answered," he continued. Some of the e-mail accounts are now working Dupuis explained, but not all. Additionally, some folders, when retrieved, have lost bits of information, he said.

"Bryan Jones (Network Administrator and Technician) has been working hard on the problem and we hope to have it resolved soon," said Dupuis.

At the High School, the telephone hard drive crashed last Friday, according to Principal Eric Russell.

"BTI (Baldwin Telecom, Inc.) has been working with us," said Russell, "and we expect the new system to be working tomorrow."

During the open forum portion of the meeting, district resident and employee Kim Paul addressed the board on behalf of the Four-year-old Kindergarten Advisory Board. She explained the advisory board is studying the possibility of offering such a program at Baldwin-Woodville. The board would like to communicate with the community and will report to the school board on a regular basis. The Vision Statement of the advisory board is to provide all four-year-olds access to developmentally appropriate learning experiences through partnerships with communities and families.

Teachers Jackie Bensen and Jen Schommer gave a Smart Board presentation during the meeting. Bensen, a third grade teacher at Greenfield, explained that last school year, the district's Technology Committee made the decision to purchase Smart Boards for each building:
five at Greenfield, one at each grade level; four at Viking, one at each grade level and one portable; and three mounted and one portable at the High School.

"At Greenfield, teachers wrote proposals for the Smart Boards and we decided from there which classrooms would get them," said Principal Gary Hoffmann.

Smart Boards are connected to the teacher's computer and project from there. Students and teachers can then write or touch and move data around on the Smart Board screen. Notes can be taken and saved and it's easy to incorporate the Internet into lessons, according to Bensen. Lesson templates are provided through the software that comes with the boards.

Bensen said some teachers received training in operating the Smart Boards and then they trained other teachers in the district.

Using this new teaching tool benefits a variety of learning styles, according to Bensen. Visual learners as well as kinesthetic learners, who learn through physically interacting and touching the board benefit from the Smart Board. "It gets students involved in the lesson," she said.

High School Spanish teacher Jen Schommer invited board members to interact with the Smart Board. Board members then took turns writing on the board. Schommer and Bensen each demonstrated various lessons they have used with the Smart Board.

"The ways that we deliver information to students is constantly changing," commented Superintendent Rusty Helland.

During committee reports, board member Mike Bondarenko reported that since the No Child Left Behind legislation, national graduation rates are up two percent for a 74 percent graduation rate. He said two-thirds of schools have achieved the standards.

Transportation Director Wade Labecki informed the board that next week is Bus Safety Week and students will be practicing safety procedures.

Supt. Helland noted that Labecki (also B-W Athletic Director) is on the ballot for the WIAA Advisory Board.