Thursday, April 16, 2009

Phoenix Bar and Grill readied for May 1 opening

Owners Quinn and Susie Johnson are pictured in the soon-to-open Phoenix Bar and Grill located in the Baldwin Plaza development at the southwest quadrant of the I-94/USH 63 interchange.

Quinn Johnson said he grew up in the food business and “I miss it.” So he and his wife Susie are getting back into the restaurant business and hope to open the Phoenix Bar and Grill on May 1.
“We called it the ‘Phoenix’ because Susie and I are both rising up from the ashes,” said Quinn. “We gave up our careers to go into the restaurant business.”
Quinn and Susie said their bar and grill will be something new to Baldwin, and they want people to be comfortable there. “We’re trying to bring Baldwin something that it’s never had. We’ll have great food at a great price that a family can afford,” Quinn said. “We’re going to have fresh food. And people will feel comfortable here in jeans or shorts or dressed up.”
The Phoenix Bar and Grill is located in the Baldwin Plaza development on the southwest quadrant of the I-94/USH 63 interchange. The interior has been completely gutted and remodeling is nearly complete.
The Phoenix will feature an English pub look. There will be a corner bar and high seating area as well as tables and booths in the eating area. The plan is to have seating for 85 indoors and another 30 outside on the patio. The restaurant inside will be no smoking, Susie said.
Already some bartenders, cooks and waitresses have been hired, but more are needed. The Johnsons plan to be open from 11 until 11 during the week. On the weekends they hope to serve breakfast so will be open earlier and perhaps staying open later.
“You can get everything from ribs to ahi tuna here,” said Quinn. He said the menu will feature sandwiches, wraps, full dinners and grilled pizzas. The Johnsons also plan to offer curb service.
A full bar will have eight beer taps with Leinenkugel’s featured but also some different beers featured weekly.
Although the Johnsons tentatively plan to open for business on May 1, they are also planning a grand opening celebration for later in the month.

Two incumbent B-W board members defeated

The biggest surprise locally in the spring election held last Tuesday was that two incumbent Baldwin-Woodville Board of Education members were defeated. Deb Rasmussen and Tom Schumacher both lost their bids for re-election to newcomers Jody Lindquist and Ann Hilmanowske. The other incumbent B-W Board member standing for re-election was Jeff Campbell who was the top vote getter with 659 votes.
The two newly elected members Hilmanowske and Lindquist received 633 and 613 votes, respectively. Rasmussen received 523 votes and Schumacher received 512.
For the St. Croix Central Board of Education the three incumbents were re-elected. Scott DeGross received 557 votes, Kay Zwald received 496 votes and Howard Kruschke received 486 votes. Challenger Dana S. Cottrell received 376 votes.
For the Village of Baldwin, the three incumbents were re-elected to their posts. Re-elected were Trustees Douglas Newton with 219 votes, Duane Russett with 218 votes and Kevin Brathol with 192 votes.
For the Village of Hammond, incumbent Village President Vince Trudell received 103 votes to turn back the challenge by former Village President Tom Kinney who received 63 votes. For trustee five candidates were on the ballot for three open positions and formerly appointed Trustee Tony Bibeau was the top vote-getter with 120. He was followed by new-comer Erin McComb with 92 votes and incumbent Eric Arthur with 88 votes. Incumbent Mary Rivard failed in her re-election bid with 70 votes and the second newcomer Jack Herbert received 49 votes.
In the Village of Woodville the only race was for President where the incumbent Tom Vandenberg won re-election with 105 votes over challenger and present trustee Barry Ketchum who received 94 votes.
In the Village of Wilson incumbent President Craig Grandahl withstood a challenge from present trustee Paul Timmerman and came out the victor 47-43. For Trustee Douglas Ray outpolled Jeff Hintz 52-40.
In the Town of Hammond where all positions were challenged, all incumbents held on to their positions. For Chairman incumbent Ken Peterson received 227 votes compared to challenger Tessa Boury with 58 votes. For supervisor, incumbents Lory Hawkins with 208 votes and Greg Gillis with 168 votes were returned to office over challengers Kirk Hodenfield with 77 votes and Dave Jahns with 69 votes.
For Town of Hammond Clerk, incumbent Linda Hawkins retained her office with 229 votes over challenger Theresa Wallace who received 47 votes. For Treasurer, incumbent Kathy Guski received 250 votes compared to 34 votes for challenger Marilee Spinks.
In the Town of Baldwin, Joe Hurtgen won re-election as Chairman with 127 votes. Challenger Ken Graf received 36 votes. For Supervisor incumbents Don L. Johnson with 114 votes and Barbara Zimmerman with 104 votes were re-elected over challenger David Sander with 80 votes. Winning as Treasurer was Cheryl Puppe with 86 votes over Lori Graf with 59 votes. For Clerk, Barbara Gerhardt won with 134 votes.
In the Town of Eau Galle, two new candidates were running for chairman and James Lund won the office with 166 votes compared to 80 for Joel Kraemer. For Supervisor one incumbent, David North, won re-election with 136 votes. The other Supervisor elected was Barry Serier with 120 votes. Other candidates for Supervisor were Dennis Duckworth who received 115 votes and Jackie Mathison who received 79 votes.

Dog waste becoming nuisance in parks

Baldwin Public Works Director John Traxler told members of the Baldwin Village Board at their regular monthly meeting last Wednesday night that pet feces in village parks that is not picked up by their owners has become a “health issue,” especially in the playground area at Mill Pond Park.
“We have a real big issue with dogs in our parks,” said Traxler. “It’s a health issue now because they’re into the playground.”
He said signs in the park tell dog owners that they must clean up after their dogs, but apparently some do not. He said one solution would be to prohibit dogs from being in the park, but that seems like a drastic step.
He asked board members to help come up with a solution to the problem.
In other action at the board meeting, the annual committee appointments were made.
-Spring Clean-up was set for Friday, April 24 from 4 to 7 and Saturday, April 25 from 8 to 3.
-The board discussed whether the village ordinances should be amended to require that a garage be built with every home. The consensus was that should be the case and the board passed a motion to require at least a 20x20 garage with every home. The measure now needs to be published and then adopted as an ordinance.
The board spent considerable time dealing with the village’s sign ordinance, specifically as it relates to Dan’s Auto Center. Board members will review the ordinance and it will be put on the agenda for a future meeting.
-The board also spent considerable time dealing with a request by Scott Plourde to rezone a lot of his in the Creekview Meadow development from R-2 to R-4. The rezoning would allow a six unit apartment to be built.
Plourde said that when he started the development the lot was planned for four unit zoning, so the increase is really from four units to six. He said a six unit apartment would not be out of proportion for the lot. Each unit would be two or three bedrooms with two baths. He noted that other six unit apartments are nearby.
“The people who live [in that area] are adamantly opposed” to the rezoning request, said Trustee Claire Stein. He added that he was against other four-plexes in the area before and he’s opposed to them at present.
A motion to deny the request to rezone the parcel was carried on a voice vote.
-The board voted to provide $500 to the Botany Belles and Beaus for flower planting.
-The board discussed some way of having the lawns at vacant properties mowed. There is a problem with notification of owners and in some cases even determining who the owner is. A plan will be prepared to be presented at the May meeting.
-Baldwin’s Arbor Day celebration was set for April 24 and a proclamation was adopted.
-The property at 705 Main Street (Doug Thompson’s) was discussed with the hope that it could be taken by the village in a “friendly” condemnation. Also discussed was letting United Fire and Rescue use the property for search and rescue training. Board members expressed no objection after the village acquires the property.
-The board voted to donate $350 to the Viking Middle School Syttende Mai run.
-The board discussed a sidewalk on the west side of USH 63 (10th Avenue) between Franklin and Lokhorst Streets. Holding a hearing on the proposal at the May meeting carried on a 4-3 vote.

From the Exchanges
    Interesting News Items from
        Surrounding Communities

BURNETT COUNTY SENTINEL (GRANTSBURG): "All we need now is some warmer temperatures and dry weather," new general manager Mark Kamish said as he surveyed the layout at Siren National golf course last week. "The course came through winter in great shape and it could be played now except it's still wet in places," he continued. "We should be open for play April 15 give or take a week." Kamish was named the new general manager after River Bank-Osceola took ownership of the course when former owner Bob Schmidt went into foreclosure. "The initial foreclosure was scheduled for Dec. 15 last year but kept getting postponed," River Bank president Doug Wynveen said. "The sheriff's sale was last month and that's when we got the course." Wynveen said the bank is "actively marketing the property." "The bank has assured me they'll keep the course open for play until they find a new owner," Kamish noted. As far as the land around Siren National being developed into a resort area with cabins and amenities, Kamish said all of that is on hold. Even though he has been named g.m., the bulk of his work will center around the upkeep of the course. "With Dave Edaburn coming back to pretty much run the clubhouse side, I'm planning to spend about 75 percent of my time working on the course," he pointed out.

OSCEOLA SUN: Last Friday, when a group of Osceola High School students were driving tractors down Chieftain Street, Matt Miller ended up being more than just a spectator. When Makenzie Shira’s Ford 9N tractor plowed into the back of another tractor and flipped completely over, pinning her leg and trapping her underneath, Miller sprinted to the tractor and lifted the implement off the 17-year-old, as another girl pulled her from underneath it. Seconds after the incident, the tractor burst into flames. Miller, 23, who had been helping his father re-roof a nearby apartment building, had stopped for a quick break from what he was doing to watch the tractors pass. In a brief interview shortly after the incident, Miller said the accident happened very quickly. “It rode up on the back of the other one and just went over,” Miller said. Miller doesn’t remember thinking about what to do, or even if the tractor felt heavy. “I don’t know,” Miller said. “I was pretty pumped. … The fire almost got us.” Osceola police officer Eric Lehman said it was very lucky that Miller had been taking a break at that moment. “He’s a freakin’ hero,” Lehman said, noting that Miller probably didn’t even fully realize what he’d done. “He was just going ‘geez there was a lot of adrenaline going back there.'" Lehman chalked the accident up to inexperience; Shira’s tractor was in the wrong gear and she panicked when it jerked into motion, he said. Shira, who had attended the school’s Take Your Tractor To School Day, suffered several bruises, a swollen knee and some small burns, but was otherwise unhurt in the incident.

NEW RICHMOND NEWS: James Jensen, 56, former owner of the Outpost Bar & Grill near Star Prairie and former New Richmond area resident, has been charged with theft and obtaining property by deception in Belize. Jensen most recently has been operating a business, the Coyote Ugly bar in Belize. Jensen and his wife, Janis, moved to the Central American region after selling their local establishment in 2007. Jan died since that time. On March 23, James Jensen was arrested by Belize police. According to arrest records, an investor named Robert Martin reported that on Dec. 11, 2008 he sent by wire transfer $50,000 to Jensen for the purchase of land in Punta Gorda. According to the report, Jensen allegedly acknowledged receiving the money, but presented no proof of the land purchase. Jensen had also allegedly promised to give back the money to Martin but has not done so. Jensen, who is a Canadian national, was arrested and remanded to Hattieville Prison until his next court hearing, which is scheduled for April 24. The charges are indictable and no plea was taken during Jensen’s first court appearance, according to a story in the San Pedro newspaper.

PIERCE COUNTY HERALD: A former Maiden Rock woman was sentenced Wednesday in federal court to four months prison for wire fraud. Melissa Christiansen, 31, now of Red Wing, was originally indicted last August on 16 counts of wire fraud. The indictment alleges that, between June 2003 and Nov. 2006, Christensen contacted individuals in Texas, Arkansas, Virginia and Ohio, saying she was having a baby and wanted to put the child up for adoption, only to say the babies never existed. Federal District Judge Barbara Crabb ordered the prison term to be served concurrently. She also placed Christiansen on two years probation and to pay restitution of $1,990. She will start her sentence June 3. "She didn’t commit her crime out of greed or financial motive," Christensen’s attorney Michael Lieberman said in documents filed in court. "Nor did she do it with the goal of hurting anybody, although she freely acknowledges the pain she unfortunately caused her victims."