Thursday, December 10, 2009

Santa visits Baldwin

Ashley Jones, daughter of Loretta Lindsey, was a bit shy but Santa made her smile during their visit on Sunday, December 6 at the Windmill in Baldwin. The event was sponsored by the Baldwin and Woodville Chamber of Commerce.

Rick Walton killed in farm accident

Well-known local farmer and entrepreneur Richard “Rick” Walton, Jr., age 50, was killed in a farm accident on Saturday evening, December 10.
According to emergency workers who were called to the scene of Walton’s farm in the Town of Rush River, south of Baldwin, about 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 5. Walton had been discovered on the ground next to a grain bin/dryer. It appeared he had slipped and fallen from the bin and the fall could have been from as high as 40 or 50 feet. Walton appeared to have suffered considerable trauma to his head and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Emergency workers said it appeared Walton had fallen a considerable amount of time prior to when he was discovered and emergency personnel were summoned.
Walton is best know as the owner of Rush River Meats, a direct sales meat market. Walton also had a large cash crop operation.
Funeral services for Walton have been set for Thursday, December 10 at 10:00 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, south of Baldwin on CTH N.

Charges dropped in car slashing; may be re-filed

The charges of first degree reckless endangerment for causing injuries to the driver of a cab that crashed into Greenfield Elementary on Monday, November 23 have been dismissed against a man who was a passenger in the cab.
After a preliminary hearing in the case on Wednesday, December 2, the reckless endangerment charge was dismissed but Cordaro D. Little, age 22, of Minneapolis, was instead charged with a felony count of possession marijuana. A preliminary hearing on that charge has been scheduled for Thursday, December 17.
The driver of the cab that crashed into the school, Abdi ASkar, 38, also of Minneapolis, has not been interviewed and remains in critical condition in Regions Hospital in St. Paul. He suffered internal injuries and slash and puncture wounds to his neck in the incident. He is still in Regions in critical condition and law enforcement officials have not yet been able to interview him.
According to Sheriff Hillstead, investigators are waiting for crime lab reports, including DNA testing, from the scene. He said although the initial reckless endangerment charge was dropped, as more pieces of the puzzle are put together, the charges “most probably will be re-filed.”
According to authorities, when police first found the cab crashed into Greenfield, neither man was inside it. Investigators believe the driver, Askar, jumped from the moving cab. He was found unconsious about 30 feet away from the cab on a sidewalk and was taken by ambulance to Baldwin Area Medical Center and then transferred to Regions in St. Paul.
The cab was totaled in the crash and first hit a garbage bin and then a parked vehicle before striking the school. Conditions at the site suggest that it crashed at a high rate of speed.
Little was seen running from the scene and was caught by an off-duty Roseville, Minn. police officer who had heard the car crash and was arrested about two blocks away from the crash site. A bloody knife was found along the route he took when he ran from the cab.
Little told investigators that he and the cab driver Askar argued over the fare from Minneapolis to Baldwin. Little said Askar increased the speed of the cab, locked the doors and pulled a knife wrapped in some sort of cloth. Little said he pushed the knife away from himself in self defense and that’s when the knife cut Askar’s neck, after which Askar apparently fell from the cab.
According to the original complaint, Little said that after the crash he ran away from the scene and as he was running he found the knife entwined in his clothing and threw it away.
Sheriff Hillstead said investigators are still trying to get a firm grasp on why the two in the cab were in Baldwin. He said information suggests that Little knew someone in the Baldwin area but “that person has not spoken with us and we’re having some difficulty making contact” and both Sheriff’s Department investigators and Baldwin Police Department officers are continuning to follow up on that aspect of the case.
In addition, Sheriff Hillstead said the cab lost contact with the company’s dispatchers about half an hour prior to the crash into Greenfield and investigators are trying to determine why that happened.

VIPs of Teaching recognized by MSOE

Former Good Shepherd Christian Academy teacher Jennifer Beierman, of Baldwin, now teaching at Red Wing High School, received the VIP Excellence in High School Teaching Award from Milwaukee School of Engineering on Nov. 21. Beierman was nominated by her former student Emily Knowlen, who graduated with high honors from MSOE with bachelor’s degrees in architectural engineering and construction management.
Each academic quarter, graduating students at MSOE are invited to nominate an individual from their own secondary school experience or their working experience -- someone who not only “knew her/his stuff,” but could communicate it, and whose commitment to others included encouragement of further educational and career goals. In more than a small way, these individuals had a positive and significant influence on the life of one or more students.
At a time of much concern over the educational skills and competencies of our nation’s young people, MSOE recognizes those who have had a significant influence on their students’ future educational achievement and career goals. Not only does MSOE shine a spotlight on its graduates, but also recognize and thank those, who in some important way, motivated them, inspired them and helped make it happen for them.

 In nominating Beierman for the award, Knowlen said, “Mrs. Beierman is an inspiration to me. I remember how she would answer any of our questions and do her best to ensure we really understood the subject matter. She instilled and nurtured in me an excitement for science and math and how they describe the world. Mrs. Beierman went beyond teaching me the academics I needed to know to set up a strong base for me to build on in college.”
MSOE is an independent university with 2,600 students. MSOE offers 17 bachelor’s degrees and nine master’s degrees in the engineering, engineering technology, architectural engineering and building construction, computer, business, nursing and health-related fields. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; and extremely high placement rates and starting salaries. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.

From the Exchanges
   Interesting new items from
      surrounding communities

HUDSON STAR OBSERVER: A company that was contracted to collect bills owed to St. Croix Emergency Medical Services has sued the city of Hudson, claiming the city breached the contract. Lifeline Systems of Wautoma, which did business for Hudson as LifeQuest, is asking for up to $465,296 in compensatory damages, plus reimbursement for court costs and attorney’s fees. The complaint filed November 20 in St. Croix County Circuit Court alleges that the city didn’t notify LifeQuest soon enough that it intended to terminate its agreement with the company at the end of the three-year contract. According to the complaint, Hudson entered into an agreement with LifeQuest on April 1, 2006 to have the company provide a customized billing, collection and data management system that the city used to collect receivables for ambulance service. The contract required either party to give notice at least 180 days before the end of the term if it didn’t want it to renew for another three-year period, the complaint says. LifeQuest alleges that it wasn’t notified until March 20, 2008 that the city wanted to end the contract on April 8.

SUN-ARGUS (THE GATEWAY TO PIERCE COUNTY): One thousand pounds of produce? This is the amount of tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, onions, beets, squash and green beans, added to the plates of our friends, neighbors and families grown in the Plum City Community Garden. Our first year has been a great success. The plan, from our early spring meetings, was to go small and do well. It worked! There has been very little cost for the garden this year with all volunteer labor, most Wednesday evenings all summer, plus other days. The plowing and fertilizer, the tilling, mowing and trimming, the seeds and plants, the fencing and gates, the signage, the flower containers, were all donated and put to use. The Village of Plum City helped with the location and water tank, keeping it filled. People have stepped up to maintain, pick and transport produce and help with taking the material at the end of the season for compost. The produce was distributed through the Plum City Food Pantry, and surplus was delivered to the Food Shelf in Ellsworth. The Community Garden idea is a very old and historic way to grow food for your area. Many local communities are organizing to have a community garden of their own. A surprise benefit of the garden has been sharing garden tricks and tips and conversation.

THE SUN (OSCEOLA): A 62-year-old Luck man has been charged with murder in the apparent stabbing death of a former Edina, Minn., man last Saturday evening around 9:45 p.m. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested Wayne Rouillard at his Bone Lake township home after a third party reported that there had been a stabbing. According to the sheriff’s office, the apparent victim, Stephen Dahlstrom, 61, of Bogota, Columbia, was found in the garage area of Rouillard’s residence. Dahlstrom suffered “severe blunt force trauma and at least one fatal stab wound,” the sheriff’s office reported. Polk County Sheriff Tim Moore said the department recovered a number of weapons all of which may have played a role in the incident, including a hammer, a large knife that was found still in the deceased’s body, and a splitting maul. “This is one of the more graphic scenes I’ve been on,” Moore said.

RIVER FALL JOURNAL: Hailed as a “significant partnership,” UW-River Falls officials are expected to announce a joint deal with Racine-based Case IH and Value Implement of Menomonie/Osseo this Wednesday morning, December 2. The deal is predicted to greatly benefit students in the university’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Services (CAFES). “We are grateful for this partnership which will provide (CAFES) with access to state-of-the-art equipment and will help prepare our students well for careers in agribusiness,” said UW-RF Chancellor Dean Van Galen. “This equipment will be technologically advanced and more efficient and ‘green’ than what our students currently have access to. These hand-on experiences will enhance the education of our students, which will also result in a brighter economic future for our region and state.” CASE IH is a global production of farm equipment – from tractors and combines to harvesters and tillage tools. Value Implement is a farm equipment distributor and CASE IH dealer in western Wisconsin.