Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Crash into Greenfield remains under investigation

A Blue and White cab was crashed into a parked vehicle at Greenfield Elementary Tuesday night. Law enforcement has an individual in custody and another man is hospitalized at Regions Medical Center in St. Paul as a result of the incident.

A crash of Minneapolis cab at Greenfield Elementary School took place Monday night, November 23.
According to a press release from Baldwin Police Chief Jim Widiker, the Baldwin Police Department was notified at 6:40 p.m. of a one-vehicle accident on Maple Street at 14th Avenue at the Greenfield Elementary parking lot. When Baldwin officers arrived they discovered a man identified as Abdi Mohamed Askar, age 38 of 211 W. 28th Street, of Minneapolis, Minn. lying on the sidewalk on the north end of the Greenfield Elementary parking lot. Askar was identified as the cab driver and had picked up a fare in Minneapolis and had driven him to Baldwin.
It was then discovered that a Blue and White Minneapolis cab had crashed into a street light pole, then struck a parked vehicle near the receiving entry at Greenfield, near the gym.
Baldwin officers were notified that a second individual was seen fleeing from the accident scene and was being followed by two citizens. Officers found the fleeing individual approximately two blocks from the scene of the accident.
The investigation at the scene indicated that the cab had been traveling above the posted speed limit and that Askar had jumped out of the cab prior to it striking the light pole.
Askar had numerous injuries and was transported to Baldwin Area Medical Center and from there transferred to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
The passenger of the cab, who is not being identified by law enforcement at this time, is also a resident of Minneapolis. He being held in custody pending further investigation by the Baldwin Police Department and St. Croix County Sheriff’s office.
Police Chief Widiker indicated that an intense search of the area was conducted in an effort to gather evidence. He did not reveal what evidence was being sought or whether any was found.
Observations at the scene revealed that St. Croix County K-9 units and then later dozens of United Fire and Rescue volunteers participated in the search.
Several areas were cordoned off with yellow police tape during the search and the Greenfield bus driveway remained off-limits due to police tape on Tuesday morning. However, the tape was removed shortly after 8:00 a.m. Police tape remained in the front yard at a residence on the south side of Maple Street, south of Baldwin-Woodville High School.
Chief Widiker said there appeared to have been some sort of verbal altercation that led to the incident.
Those with inquiries about the incident are directed to call the Baldwin Police Department at 715-684-3856.

Area Boy Scouts to receive highest award

Pictured from left to right, Zac Humphrey, Nick Huston and Mark Serier will receive the Eagle Scout Award on Sunday, November 29 at Peace Lutheran Church.

On Sunday, November 29, Boy Scout Troop 110 of Baldwin and Woodville will present the Eagle Scout award to three area Scouts.
Zach Humprey, Nick Huston, and Mark Serier have earned the rank of Eagle, Boy Scouting’s highest award. Each Scout enters at the rank of Scout and progresses through the ranks of: Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life and finally Eagle.
A variety of requirements must be fulfilled including 21 Merit Badges which provide more in depth study in a variety of skill and interest areas. Each Scout also provides service to the community, learns outdoor camping, cooking and survival skills, studies citizenship and strives to work together in leadership building activities.
Service projects for the community have included: highway cleanup, Baldwin American Legion Chicken dinners, Woodville American Legion Flag burning ceremony, cleanup for community Christmas and Halloween parties, Woodville Lion’s Pancake breakfast, and Salvation Army bell ringing.
A major portion of the Eagle award involves coordinating a project that benefits the community. The Scout needs to develop the plan, arrange for needed funding, and coordinate volunteer workers to complete the project.
Zach Humphrey’s Eagle project was to build an outdoor worship area for Peace Lutheran Church.
Nick Huston’s Eagle project was to install permanent benches and trash receptacle holders throughout the parks in Woodville.
Mark Serier’s Eagle project was to clean up the 10 acres surrounding the Rush River recycling center.
The community is welcome to attend the Eagle Ceremony on November 29 at 3:00 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church in Baldwin. A special invitation is extended to any Eagle Scouts living in the area to attend this ceremony. Refreshments will follow.
Cave Dahl American Legion Post 240 in Baldwin charters Troop 110.

Cindy Deringer to retire from Village’s administrator’s post

At last Wednesday’s Baldwin Village Board special meeting, the board heard not only about the budget for 2010. Village Administrator/Clerk-Treasurer Cindy Deringer also made the announcement that she will be retiring from the post she has held for nearly 13 years.
Deringer told board members that she will retire effective January 5, 2010. She started in the position in April of 1997.
When Mrs. Deringer started work for the village the office was located downtown in what is now the west portion of the Baldwin Telecom office. Baldwin’s population was hovering around 2,200.
Now the village offices, library, senior center and police offices are located in a new building on Cedar Street and the population of the village had grown by more than a third to about 3,560.
The village office had computers when Mrs. Deringer started work for the village, but now the internet is used extensively and electronic filing of reports on-line is commonplace.
Mrs. Deringer said she will use her retirement to do what she finds she enjoys the most—and some of that may be up in the air. What she does know is that she will be able to spend more time with her children and grandchildren. Other possibilities to take up her time include more time at the lake, traveling and hobbies that have been on hold for years. She also said she may attend graduate school; she is just short of the requirements for her masters in business administration. Her undergraduate degree is in broad area accounting.
Cindy said the village is in good shape fiscally. She added that long-term “I think we have a great location with the interchange and I-94 and USH 63.”

News from the exchanges
   Interesting items from
      surrounding communities

THE COURIER-WEDGE (DURAND) – Dunn County Sheriff Dennis Smith reported to a Rock Falls area home at approximately 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, November 4 after a shooting incident was reported. Allegedly an argument over the sale of some marijuana or a disagreement about a comment made about a girlfriend may have been the catalyst for the drive-by shooting, authorities said. According to the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, the suspects wanted for the shooting have been arrested and face felony charges in Dunn County for being part of first degree reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm from a vehicle. Brent Skinner, a Dunn County reserve judge, set bond and also ordered the men not to have any contact with the family that lives in the home or go within a mile of the house. They also cannot possess any dangerous weapons. The Leader-Telegram also reported that deputies also found eight .22 caliber shell casings near the end of the driveway. A deputy also found a .22 caliber bullet on the floor of the kitchen.

TRIBUNE PRESS REPORTER (GLENWOOD CITY) – A 57-year-old North Dakota man pleaded no contest in Dunn County Circuit Court November 13 for possessing an untagged bear and was fined $4,140. Michael C. Graff of West Fargo, North Dakota, was originally charged with harming a bear in its den, shooting and killing a bear without a license and hunting bear during closed season. Graff was accused of shooting the bear on the Neil Schlough farm in a corn field near County Highway VV in the Town of Sheridan on November 25, 2008. Prior to the plea hearing, a November 24 trail had been scheduled in Dunn County Circuit Court. The charge of hunting or harming a bear in its den was dismissed and Graff was found guilty of possessing an untagged bear. Schlough initially assumed he had struck the bear and killed it with his combine while harvesting corn. In addition to the $4,140 fine, Graff’s hunting privileges were revoked for three years. Dunn county Circuit Court Judge William Stewart, Jr., ordered Graff to pay $100 per month toward the fine until the fine has been paid in full. According to a statement Graff gave to a North Dakota game warden in early January, Graff said he had been hunting by himself on November 25 last year when he saw something that looked like fur lying on the ground. Graff said he thought it was a big buck and shot it twice to make sure it was dead. When he found out it was a bear, Graff told his father about it, and Harold Graff recommended they get a license. The two men drove to Ridgeland but found out that bear season was closed.

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL - Accused of the Nov. 2 armed robbery at Dick’s Hometown Liquor, 17-year-old Blake Halverson has since been charged with two more felonies: Intimidation of a witness and bail jumping. Last Thursday night Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies arrested him at his rural River Falls home at N7923 870th St. and took him to jail. Halverson was to appear in circuit court for a preliminary hearing on the armed robbery charge Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 18. According to River Falls police investigator John Wilson, the latest felony charges against Halverson relates to his return to classes at the high school last week Tuesday. After paying a $2,000 cash bond, Halverson bailed out of jail the day before and then went to school the next day. He’s a high school junior. At school, he allegedly “verbally intimidated” a witness in the robbery case, a high school female student. Wilson said this violated conditions of Halverson’s bail. Both the witness intimidation and bail jumping, felonies, were added to the felony armed robbery charge and a misdemeanor charge for receiving stolen property. Halverson was only in school last week one day before being suspended.

HUDSON STAR-OBSERVER – A young Stillwater, Minn., woman whose small pickup lunged over the side of a freeway overpass in Hudson last January has died. Marissa Anne Saad, 21, passed away on Tuesday, November 10, following a decision by her family to take her off the live support systems that had been keeping her alive. In a post on Saad’s website, her mother, Lori Babcock of Stillwater, said Saad died in her arms. “It is with unbelievable sadness, sorrow and grief that we have decided to let Marissa Anne go,” her parents and siblings said in a statement on the CaringBridge site a few days before she was taken off life support. Saad was on her way to work at the Freedom Valu Center on Coulee Road in Hudson on the morning of Jan. 28 when she came upon an accident and lost control of her 2000 Ford Ranger as she was attempting to avoid that crash. Her truck vaulted over a guardrail, went airborne and plunged nose-first into Front Street, which passes beneath I-94.

BURNETT COUNTY SENTINEL – Everyone knows the new Burnett Community Library in Webster is a work-in-progress but that work ran into a road block last Wednesday night. “I don’t have anything in writing and I just want it all to be legal but I don’t know how to go about doing that,” Terry Larsen told the Webster Village Board. At issue was Larsen’s donation of his former car dealership for the village’s new library and the fact he needs an appraisal for the write-off he plans to submit to the Internal Revenue Service. “I’ll retract the offer,” he threatened. “I have nothing to gain and everything to lose – there are a lot of IRS rules here and I need an appraisal which will stand up to the IRS. Part of the deal from the beginning was that I would get a tax credit for donating my building.” Larsen explained. That credit amount was called into question when village trustees talked about performing a “friendly” condemnation of Larsen’s building in order to obtain a liability exemption for the village. The liability exemption allows the village not to be liable for any site cleanup. The concern was raised after an environment site assessment of the Larsen property revealed a petroleum spill of some sort and questions who would be responsible for any clean-up efforts. Dave Rasmussen said the building owner can still apply for cleanup funds to get the site cleaned. Rasmussen is the engineer with MSA Professional Services, the company the village has been working with on the project. “How will the clean-up affect my donation price,” Larsen asked. “Your asking price is what the Department of Commerce is using,” trustee Tim Maloney answered. “They have already accepted the $225,000 asking price.” Because Webster has received a $360,000 grant for the library as long as the village matches that amount with local assets, the $225,000 price tag of the building can be considered matching funds.

MONDOVI HERALD-NEWS – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that Thomas A. Callaghan, Eau Claire, has agreed to pay fines and costs totaling $5,000 for his unlawful discharge of pollutants into the waters of the state without a permit – namely, metal shavings from Tremplo Manufacturing, Inc., into a storm sewer manhole that led directly to the Buffalo River. After the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conducted an investigation and referred the matter to the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) for prosecution, a criminal charge was brought against Callaghan for this 2006 violation of environmental protection laws. Callaghan pled no contest to the charge and was found guilty at a hearing on November 10, 2009. Trempealeau County Circuit Court. Judge John A. Damon approved the plea agreement entered into between Callaghan and the Wisconsin Department of Justice. In a related case, Callahan’s employer, Tremplo Manufacturing, Inc., which fabricates metal parts for industrial mixers has agreed to pay forfeitures and costs totaling $18,907 in a civil action arising out of the same discharge. Judge Damon approved this settlement on November 10, 2009.