Wednesday, August 12, 2009

John and Judy Newton are Hammond Parade Marshals

John and Judy Newton have been living in Hammond since 1960 and since then they have been involved with many aspects of the community’s activities and development. This year they have been named the Marshals in the Hammond Heartland Days celebration Grand Parade on Sunday, August 9. The parade begins at 12:30.
John Newton was raised on the Newton family farm south of what is now I-94. His brothers are Verlyn, Earl and Duane and his sister is Delores (Lind). After graduating from Baldwin High School he worked first for Farmer’s Elevator and then for Lloyd Eggen at Eggen’s Supermarket as a meat cutter.
Judy Sather, also a Baldwin High School graduate, worked for Northwest Airlines after high school and then for Chet Nelson at the Baldwin Creamery.
Judy and John were married in 1960. “I was looking at the meat market in Hammond,” related John, but wasn’t able to come to terms. Instead, he was approached by Edwin Larson who had a grocery and general merchandise store. John and Judy bought the store and converted it to just groceries and meat. That store was where the bank in Hammond—Associated—is now. The Newtons added on to their store once and then in 1976 they built and moved into a new store. During the years they had a grocery store they worked together while they raised their three children.
In 1986 the Newtons sold the store. John worked in River Falls for awhile before he took a position with Donaldsons where he worked for 14 years before he retired. Judy worked for St. Croix County at the Register of Deeds office for 16 years before she retired. After her retirement she worked part-time for the Register of Deeds office and also looked after a lady who was in the Heritage Care Center.
John has been involved with the Hammond Golf Club since it started—and even before. “We started working on it in 1967 but didn’t get it built until 1970,” he said. “I’m the only one left of the 32 who were the original charter members,” said John. “But you know at that time we had a lot of good businessmen who helped with a lot of things. We had a lot of businesses and could do a lot of things.”
That’s been one of the biggest changes in Hammond, like in a lot of small towns, said John. Hammond had a hometown owned bank, a doctor, feedmill, pharmacist. “They were all good workers.”
John said he was also a member of the Hammond Development Corp., which only had four or five members. But the Development Corp. bought some land, built a building and sold some of the land back and also donated some of the land as a village park.
Although retired, the Newtons stay active. John said he golfs about four or five times a week and also does volunteer work at the Hammond Golf Club, including spraying and trimming. He enjoys ice fishing in the winter.
The Newtons were originally members of Gethsemane Lutheran Church but were involved in the establishment of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hammond in 1972. The Newtons remain active in Trinity. Judy also golfs, but not as much as John. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in April.
“Our grandsons are a big part of our life,” said Judy. Their children are Jay, and his friend Barbie, who lives in Roberts and has three sons, Jonathan, Zachary and Logan; Jayne Murphy and her husband David of New London and their three boys, Mike and Jake and Luke who died tragically at the end of March. Their other daughter Jennifer is married to Louie Johnson of New Hope, Minn.
The Newtons expect all three of their children to attend the parade Sunday and will wave to them when they go by.

Wilson couple recovering from shooting, home invasion
Suspect still at large; public asked for help

A Wilson couple is recovering after both were shot during a home break-in late Saturday night.
According to the St. Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead, the couple, Thomas Erickson, 28, and Maria Erickson, 27, of 640 Main Street, Wilson, were both wounded by bullets but both are expected to make a full recovery.
Maria Erickson was treated Saturday night at Regions Medical Center in St. Paul for a “through and through” bullet wound to one of her calves, and then released. Her husband Thomas was shot in his stomach. The bullet lodged in his abdomen and doctors decided not to remove it, said Sheriff Hillstead. Thomas Erickson is listed in good condition, Sheriff Hillstead added.
Phone calls to the Erickson residence on Monday to check on their status were not answered.
The incident that led to the Ericksons’ wounds began late Saturday evening. According to a press release from Sheriff Hillstead, the Sheriff’s Department was notified about 11:00 p.m. Saturday, August 1 of a home invasion at 640 Main Street in Wilson and that two persons had been shot.
Upon arrival, deputies found Thomas and Maria Erickson. “Thomas had sustained a gunshot wound to his abdomen and Maria had received a gunshot wound to her lower leg.” Deputies performed first aid until arrival of EMTs from Baldwin Ambulance Service. Both Ericksons were transported by ambulance to Regions.
According to the press release, “investigation revealed that at approximately 11:00 p.m., Maria and Thomas and their three-year-old child were asleep in the bedroom which is located in the basement of the house. Maria was awakened by the sounds of loud banging and a crashing sound. She awoke Thomas and they both left the bedroom and were confronted by a person at the bottom of the steps. “The subject was wearing a cap, had a mask on his face, camouflage pants and a black t-shirt with the word ‘Sheriff’ on it.” The subject pointed a rifle at them.
The subject said “Sheriff’s Department, get down on the ground,” the press release said. “The subject then ordered the Ericksons to give him the money and drugs.” Thomas and Maria began to question whether the subject was a law enforcement officer. “After some arguing, Thomas got off the floor and confronted the subject. The subject began to back up to the stairs and attempted to ascend them. At this point Thomas engaged him in a struggle half way up the stairs. Maria was at the bottom of the steps. During the struggle five shots were fired.”
One of the shots hit Maria in the leg and one shot hit Thomas in the abdomen. “Upon being shot, Thomas fell to the bottom of the steps.” Maria entered the downstairs bathroom and called 911. The man ran out the kitchen door.
The Sheriff’s Department press release said “examination of the scene and recovery of forensic evidence is consistent with the statements of the victims. The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram quotes St. Croix County Chief Deputy John Shilts as saying five .22 caliber rifle casings were found at the scene.
The statement by the Sheriff’s Department also said the child in the home was not injured. Sheriff Hillstead said the child is being taken care of by relatives and Maria is staying at the same residence, at least temporarily.
The immediate aftermath of the incident resulted in a search of the area, including with K-9 units, and with help for the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department by the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department to secure the area and roads around Wilson, and the Wisconsin State Patrol with tracking. The State Patrol also used an airplane equipped with infrared cameras to search the area in and around Wilson. The search as of Monday afternoon has been unsuccessful.
Sheriff Hillstead noted that investigators are working on several promising leads in two areas. “We have some pretty good information that’s been developed today,” he said Monday, and investigators continue sifting through leads and interviewing people. He said the investigation process can be arduous for an incident that lasted only about five minutes, but he hopes the process will lead to getting the suspect off the street.
“Obviously, he’s a dangerous individual, a person who would knock a door down, was in a struggle and fire five shots.” At the same time, said Sheriff Hillstead, “we believe the attack was not random and that the person had either direct or indirect knowledge of Thomas Erickson’s activities so we do not think the general public should be overly concerned, but the suspect is a dangerous person and we want him off the street.”
The Leader-Telegram quotes Shilts as saying a small amount of marijuana was found in the residence. He said Maria had a good look at the man who was described as white, mostly bald with a two days growth of beard. He was about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighed between 150 and 180 pounds.
The news release said the public is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 1-715-381-4320 or St. Croix County Dispatch at 1-715-386-4701 or 684-2112 if they have information about the incident.

BAMC announces Clint Semrau, D.O. to medical staff

The Baldwin Area Medical Center announces the addition of a full-time general surgeon to the medical staff. Dr. Clint Semrau began seeing patients at BAMC on August 3.
Dr. Semrau is trained in general surgery with a special interest in minimally invasive/laparoscopic surgery. He attended medical school at Des Moines University in Iowa and completed his internship at the Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center in Lancaster, Pa. He then completed a General Surgery residency at Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital in Pontiac, Mich.
“This is a new era for Baldwin Area Medical Center,” states Alison Page, CEO. “Having a full-time surgeon on staff will result in better service to our patients. Dr. Semrau has been trained in the latest, non-invasive, surgical techniques which result in better outcomes and shorter recovery times for patients.”
BAMC is a community-based organization providing comprehensive health services to the communities of Baldwin, Woodville, Hammond and surrounding areas. Services include primary and specialty medical care, emergency care and inpatient services.
Dr. Semrau is excited to start his practice in the community of Baldwin. For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Semrau