Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Two long-time town officials to retire

Ken Klanderman has decided that 55 years as Town of Baldwin Clerk is long enough. He will not be running for re-election in the spring election.

A spokesperson at the Wisconsin Towns Association, located in Shawano, said there have been a few town officials that have served longer than 55 years, but they are few. The Towns Association does not keep longevity records, so it is unknown if Klanderman is the longest serving Town Clerk in Wisconsin, but the spokesperson said 55 years "is a long time."

Another Town of Baldwin official, Treasurer Reuben Doornink, has also decided not to seek re-election to the position.

Klanderman said he does not know of persons who are interested in the two positions.

Klanderman, a native of the Town of Baldwin, is a Baldwin High School graduate. He then entered the military and served in Japan with the occupying forces. He graduated from River Falls Teachers College in 1951 with degrees in agriculture and science.

After a short stint in Thorp employed in a federal veteran's assistance program, Klanderman returned to the family farm where he and his wife Ruth have raised four children.

In 2001 Klanderman stopped milking cows.

Klanderman was appointed as Town Clerk in 1953 when Edwin Ferg resigned the position and every two years since he has stood for re-election and been successful.

Although Klanderman, 82, has no health issues, he said it is time for a change and someone else should take the job of Town Clerk.

Christmas was special

There are some things that happen that can make a family, or even a neighborhood or whole community believe, Christmas is more special than normal.
This Christmas was that way for the family, friends and neighbors of Matt and Erin Knegendorf of Baldwin and their son Mitchell.
On Tuesday, December 23 after school Mitchell, 10, a fourth grader at Greenfield Elementary, fell head-first into a hole he had dug in a big snowbank in front of his house. He struggled to get out, but the more he did the tighter the snow collapsed around him.
The end of the story is this, Mitchell is now fine after he was discovered probably up to 30 minutes after falling into the snow hole by his father, who is a trained emergency responder and performed CPR to revive him. Mitchell spent the night at the Baldwin Area Medical Center but left by 10:00 the next morning with no long-term lasting effects.
"I'm glad I know CPR," said Matt. "It's important that people know CPR. I don't know what mode I was in—a dad, firefighter or first responder—but again, it was just reaction."
After school Tuesday, Mitchell went outside to play. His usual buddies weren't there, but Mitchell took a shovel and dug straight down in the snowbank. He told his parents that he remembered waving good-bye to one of the children his mother cares for. Then, his memory is of slipping head-first into the snow hole. The hole was too deep for him to push himself back up. He hollered and yelled for help but the snow collapsed around him and just got tighter and tighter around his body.
Mitchell is about 4 feet eight inches tall, and only his boots were showing above the snow.
Matt said he normally snowblows the driveway in the morning but it was still snowing when he left for work, so he left it for after work. So he parked in the street and noticed the shovel laying there.
Then he saw a pair of boots sticking out of the top of the bank. "I looked at them and thought 'please let them move.' But they didn't so I climbed up there and recognized Mitchell's boots."
Matt said he started yelling for help and for someone to call 9-1-1. "I tried to pull the boots but I didn't have enough leverage, so I dug out his ankles. The neighbors had all called 9-1-1 and were starting to come out and I don't know whether it was the adrenaline or what, but on the fourth tug I pulled him out of the snowbank. I pulled him right out of his coat. He was purple and bleeding from his nose. He wasn't breathing and was unresponsive."
Matt took Mitchell down the bank and started rescue breathing for him. "On the fourth breath he started breathing and I checked and he had a weak pulse."
So, said Matt, instead of his worst fears being realized, there was hope. Baldwin Area EMS showed up in the ambulance. "They immediately started to warm Mitchell up and did an excellent job. They took him in the ambulance to the hospital where they continued to warm him up. And thanks to the staff at BAMC for the excellent job they did."

Small barn destroyed by fire

A smaller barn and all the hay it contained were destroyed by fire Saturday afternoon. The barn was owned by Herb Lucks and was located in the Village of Wilson, according to United Fire Department Baldwin Station Chief Gary Newton. Although the barn was in the Village of Wilson, it was north of most of the Village, since a large area is incorporated within the Village, said Newton.
In addition to storage for hay, the barn was used as a stable for horses, said Newton. All the horses were saved from the fire. About 2,000 bales of hay were lost in the blaze.
Newton said the fire started from an effort to unthaw a frozen water tank