Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fundraiser for Vanessa Achterhof

Friends and classmates of Vanessa Achterhof got together Saturday
morning at the Hazelnut Tree in downtown Baldwin for a fundraiser.
Vanessa, daughter of Bruce and Sharon Achterhof and a fourth grader at Greenfield Elementary had surgery just before Christmas to remove one of her kidneys which had a cancerous tumor attached to it. She is now undergoing chemotherapy.
The friends of Vanessa made bracelets using Vanessa's favorite color green with gold ribbons as a symbol of cancer awareness and a brass charm with the word "believe." The bracelets will be sold at local schools for $2 with the proceeds donated to the Achterhof family.
Among Vanessa's friends who helped at the fundraiser were: Shania Warren, Lilly Paulson, McKenna Smith, Tegan Davis, Eva Doornink, Alyssa Gedatus, Hannah Phelps, Bailey Peterson, Mariah Smith, Erynn Laemmle, Destinee Haas, Marissa Morton, Megan Suckow and Oliva Booth. Supplies have been ordered to create an additional 900 bracelets.
Linda Booth can be contacted at 684-3185 to answer any questions about the project.

Countryside Coop takes over convenience stores

The Kum and Go convenience store in Baldwin and at three other
locations has been replaced by Countryside Coop convenience stores.
According to George Rude, General Manager of Countryside
Cooperative, Countryside chose not to continue with the Kum and Go program because Countryside had a series of eight other stores under the Countryside banner. He said operating those stores cultivated the discipline and expertise needed to compete in the convenience store
business and the new stores add to the scale necessary to compete. In addition, said Rude, Kum and Go required a management fee which will now be saved by Countryside.
The Baldwin and Glenwood City Kum and Go stores became Countryside Cooperative stores on December 2 and the Luck and Amery stores were converted on December 3.
Rude said the Countryside Cooperative convenience stores under Convenience Store Supervisor Tim Toraason have been profitable which encouraged the confidence of the Coop's board of directors.
"To compete in [the convenience store] industry you need some fundamentals," said Rude, including volume and expertise. Now the Countryside Coop convenience stores have sufficient volume and expertise has been acquired over time.
The decision to replace Kum and Go with Countryside Cooperative convenience stores is not a reflection on the original Kum and Go affiliation, said Rude. He said the cooperative is simply in a different stage now with sufficient volume and expertise to operate its own stores.

Contests in spring election

There will be a number of local contests in the spring election for municipal and school elections.
Three seats are up for election on the Baldwin-Woodville Board of Education and five individuals have filed nomination papers. They include the three incumbents: Tom Schumacher, Deb Rasmussen and Jeff Campbell. 
The two additional candidates are Jody Lindquist and Ann Hilmanowske. There will be no primary for the board.
For the Village of Hammond three candidates have filed for Village President, including incumbent Vince Trudell. The other candidates are former President Tom Kinney and present trustee Eric Arthur. Because only two candidates can appear on the April 7 ballot, there will be a primary held on February 17.
Filing for three trustee seats that will be filled were: Arthur, two other incumbents Mary Rivard and Tony Bibeau and two others: Erin McComb and Jack Herbert. Because up to six candidates can appear on the spring election ballot, there will be no primary for trustee.
At the Town of Baldwin caucus held Thursday, January 8, two were nominated for chairman, incumbent Joe Hurtgen and Ken Graf. For one of the supervisor positions the nominees were Don L. Johnson, the incumbent, and Ken Graf, who withdrew his nomination. For the other supervisor position the nominees were incumbent Barbara Zimmerman and David Sander.
Also in the Town of Baldwin, nominees for Town Clerk were Barbara Gerhardt and Leroy Esanbock. Treasurer nominees were Lori Graf and Cheryl Puppe.

From the Exchanges
   Interesting News Items from
      Surrounding Communities

TRIBUNE PRESS REPORTER (GLENWOOD CITY): The council is seeking more information from the DNR in regard to putting an old city well and pump back into operation. At present all the water furnished by the city's water utility comes from a single well and pump (well number 3) located at Hinman Park. This well has served the city for more than 20 years. Before that was installed the city had two wells and pumps located in a single building on Water Street behind the former Ford garage. Over the years, those wells sat idle and one was abandoned because the well shaft was not protected with required piping. Those wells were called well number one and well number two. Now comes the problem, the current well number 3 is scheduled for repair work on the plumbing inside the well house. The council learned Monday night from Kevin Oium of Cedar Corporation that it will be down for several weeks for repairs. The council knew this some time ago and asked Cedar to do the necessary preparation work to put well number two back into service. Oium had information for the council to review and what was needed to bring the well back on line. The cost would be somewhere near $6,000 for the installation of equipment to inject fluoride, chlorine and phosphate into the water as is being done at well number 3. Council member Terry Klinger moved to approve the cost of installing the needed equipment. "We need to get our back-up well running to DNR standards," Klinger said. But on the vote, council members Klinger, Lee, and Graese voted yes while members Ben DeGross, Nancy Hover and Jim Kuehl voted no. Mayor Larson asked why the no vote and it seemed that there was a question about how much time the well could be operated and that if it is only temporary, the city could save over $1,500 by not installing the equipment to inject fluoride into the water at well number 2. So the mayor did not vote and said the motion failed, but he would have it back with more information in the next meeting after they have Cedar contact the DNR.

AMERY FREE PRESS: Although not identified, a Town of Lincoln resident has allegedly been a victim of a theft by a grandson over Christmas. The Polk county sheriff's department believes that Andrew Selvig, 18, Taylors Falls, Minn., and Samuel Durkot, 19, Cambridge, Minn., removed a fire proof safe containing up to $250,000 in $100 dollar bills. The two had stayed at the residence Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The sheriff's department said that about $140,000 has been recovered. Selvig was arrested in Lake City, Minn., by Goodhue Co. authorities. He was in possession of $2,000 plus a small safe found in his vehicle. Polk County Sheriff Tim Moore said that Selvig implicated Durkot as an accomplice. The two apparently split the money. Selvig was transported to Polk county jail on Wednesday, December 31. Durkot was arrested on December 29 by the Elizabethtown, Ky., police department. He was apparently traveling to Florida with a juvenile female runaway from Anoka County, Minn. During a spending spree the two purchased a Mitsubishi convertible, Buick Roadmaster, Ford F-350 truck, Ford Ranger, Ford Focus, Dodge Neon, numerous electronics, flat screen TV and tools. Money and "gifts" were given to persons in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and Isanti. Persons who may have received gifts from the two since Christmas are asked to call Sgt. Ray Joy at 485-8326 or Investigator Pete Johnson at 485-8336. Sheriff Moore said that all the vehicles have been recovered except the one driven to Kentucky.

MONDOVI HERALD NEWS: Two area men who are members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard are preparing for their deployment to Iraq. Kevin Johnson, 43, and his son-in-law, Nathan Zahara, 20, both of Mondovi, will be leaving this week to join 3,500 other soldiers with the 32nd Infantry Brigade in what is considered the largest overseas deployment of the Wisconsin National Guard since World War II. Johnson and Zahara are with the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry Company C, a unit of 80 members being called from Arcadia. Before being deployed to Iraq for 10 months, the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team will spend two months training in Florida and Texas. Once in Iraq, Johnson expects to be commanding a Humvee in a truck convoy, while Zahara will be patrolling on the ground. Johnson's daughter, Lindsay, who is also Zahara's wife, is another member of the Guard and could have been deployed if she hadn't qualified for the Guard's College First program. Instead, she will begin taking classes this month for a two-year program at Chippewa Valley Technical College. Johnson enlisted in the National Guard just a year-and-a-half ago. He also served in the Marine Corps from 1987 to 1991 as a corporal and computer specialist and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, during the first Gulf War. Johnson has served as the Buffalo County veterans service officer since 2006 and says that he will miss working with veterans while in Iraq.

THE SUN (OSCEOLA): In what might be a first-of-its-kind case, a circuit court judge has ruled that 20 Polk County Board supervisors violated Wisconsin's Open Meeting Law while working out a sale agreement for the county-owned Golden Age Manor nursing home in Amery. In a written opinion dated Dec. 26, Judge Eugene Harrington indicated that the matter will be scheduled for further proceedings to determine and impose penalties against the defendants. Balsam Lake area resident Jim Drabek, who filed an open meeting law complaint against the supervisors last April, and then acted as a citizen prosecutor, said the Amery attorney who successfully handled another Golden Age Manor case, Jason Whitley, told him he [Drabek] appears to be the first layperson to win such an open meeting law case. Drabek likens his success to bashing a homerun his first time at bat in the big leagues. Drabek believes members of the county board's Finance Committee maliciously violated the Open Meeting Law because they were angry about a story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press that trumpeted the fact that the Finance Committee members had been found guilty of failing to properly give notice for an agenda item. "That came out on the 17th of November [2007]," Drabek notes. "The 21st of November, the first meeting [of the Finance Committee], (they) went to closed session." Drabek argued in legal filings that Finance Committee members Neil Johnson, Mick Larsen, Gary Bergstrom, Duana Bremer and Larry Jepsen continually violated the Open Meeting Law in meetings held between Dec. 26, 2007 and Jan. 23, 2008 by going into closed session for "competitive and bargaining reasons" after the committee had agreed to sell Golden Age Manor to Rice Partnerships, of Appleton, Wis., for $2.5 million.

HUDSON STAR OBSERVER: The Hudson School District will pay 75 percent of the cost of having a police officer in the high school if the Hudson City Council has its way. Monday night, the council directed City Attorney Catherine Munkittrick to draft a contract containing the new cost-sharing percentage. The understanding was that it would be forwarded to the Hudson Board of Education. Until now, the city and school district have split the cost of Liaison Officer Mark Crimmin's salary, benefits and equipment expenses 50/50 for 10 months of the year. On an annual basis, the city has borne roughly 58.3 percent of the cost of the position, and the school district, 41.7 percent. "The city has been carrying far too much of the cost for this officer," Alderperson Lori Bernard said during Monday night's discussion of the issue. Mayor Dean Knudson said the question of liaison officer funding arose last summer when the school district asked for another officer for the middle school. "We just couldn't fit it in our budget," Knudson said. He said there's agreement among all of the parties on the value of having a liaison officer in a school, but the city has been paying an inequitable share of the cost. Under the old agreement, the city would pay $53,527 of the $91,760 total cost of the liaison officer position in 2009. The total includes $87,010 in salary and benefits for Crimmins, plus $4,750 in equipment costs.

PIERCE COUNTY HERALD: A Beldenville man was charged last month in Pierce County Circuit Court with felony theft over $10,000, a Class G felony that brings a maximum penalty of $25,000 and/or 10 years prison if found guilty. Gerald A. Langer, 56, has his next scheduled court appearance at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15, for a pre-trial conference. According to the criminal complaint, an Ellsworth man is alleging Langer entered into a contract with him to build a barn and a lean at the victim's residence for a total of $21,850. In September 2007, the victim wrote Langer two checks for $7,000 each, with the rest of the payment coming when the building started and when it was completed. In November 2007, multiple calls to Langer went unanswered. The following month, a registered letter to Langer was returned. The case was then reported to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department last February. Later that month, a member from the victim's family was able to reach Langer and he told her he was "completely at fault, but wants to make it right." He added he thought April would be the earliest possible start with the thawing. The victim contacted Langer in April and got no response. In late May, Langer called and said he would start in June. By the fall, the complaint says, the victim had given up with Langer and had hired another contractor to build the barn.