Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Terry Stone recognized for 25 years of service

Terry Stone's 25 years of service to the Baldwin-Woodville Wrestling Club was recognized prior to the B-W/Prescott wrestling match Thursday. He is pictured at right with members/officers of the Wrestling Club who presented the award, from left: Dave Smith, Anissa Peterson and Sheila Mikla.

Ambulance chief disciplined by Village Board

After a meeting held in open session, a letter written by the village attorney that will then be reviewed by the village's Ambulance Committee, will be put in Baldwin Ambulance Service Director Craig Nelson's personnel file. The meeting was held in open session at the request of Nelson. It was held last Wednesday.
According to Village Administrator Cindy Deringer, discussion at the meeting included complaints regarding treatment and disrespect perceived by fellow EMTs. The motion passed by the board was that there be no suspension of Nelson because not enough information was presented but:
-Nelson is to get someone for runs during the day so he has more time for administrative work;
-Nelson is to delegate authority more often;
-Nelson is to report to the Ambulance Committee how he is reducing his work load; and
-the Village Board requests that Nelson regularly take days off of work.

DNR issues pollution discharge permit to Emerald Dairy

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently issued a state pollution discharge or (WPDES) permit to St. Croix County-based Emerald Dairy allowing the facility to discharge water from its state of the art wastewater treatment system to Dry Run Creek rather than having to landspread it – the current standard practice in the nation. Emerald Dairy’s discharged water will be very clean, closely monitored and limited to assure it does not impact the stream.
“John Vrieze and Emerald Dairy have shown remarkable initiative in advancing water quality protection and manure handling in the dairy industry,” said DNR Secretary Matt Frank. “They are revolutionizing the dairy industry and putting Wisconsin in the national forefront for progressive and environmentally sensitive farming.”
Large farms such as Emerald Dairy, called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, are required in Wisconsin to obtain wastewater permits from the DNR in order to monitor and assure manure is handled safely and in a manner that protects the state’s waters.
As part of the terms for the modified permit, Emerald Dairy will discharge daily up to 30,000 gallons of water treated using a reverse osmosis system. A number of specific and stringent restrictions on the discharge permit assure protection of surface waters near the facility. Remaining solids and liquids from the treatment system will be landspread in smaller quantities than traditional operations, making them less susceptible to runoff.
“The staff at the DNR has worked hard to get the Emerald Dairy permit issued, and the results speak for themselves,” said Secretary Frank. “Emerald Dairy is treating water to comply with state water quality standards and guard against run off pollution.
“This is a great example of our work with the agricultural community to ensure Wisconsin maintains a strong agricultural economy while continuing our commitment to protect the environment,” said Secretary Frank. “We support the efforts of farmers and the agricultural community as a whole to use technology and innovation to protect the environment and keep Wisconsin’s agricultural economy strong."

Pie contest at Library January 31

The Friends of the Baldwin Library is sponsoring a fun filled afternoon on Saturday, Jauary 31, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. A pie baking contest will be a highlight of event. To coincide with the baking contest will be a pie eating contest beginning at 5:00 p.m.
An auction will be held at 4:00 p.m. with items donated by local businessess (and pies).
There will be entertainment for every one to enjoy. The Library is located the Baldwin Municipal Building, 400 Cedar Sreet.
The cost is $5.00 for adults; $2.00 for children four and up; and free for children under four.

From the Exchanges
Interesting News Items from
Surrounding Communities

CENTRAL ST. CROIX NEWS (HAMMOND): The second Wednesdays of each of the final three months of school - March 11, April 8 and May 13, St. Croix Central students will be dismissed from school at 12:45 p.m. The board of education on Monday approved a proposal brought forth by Superintendent David Bradley to schedule the early dismissals for teacher professional development. When Bradley began with the district in July, he said the focus of the district could now shift from building projects to "student achievement, professional development and instruction." Previous discussions had included the school offering options for students on early dismissal days, but the action Monday did not include any allowances for that.

MONDOVI HERALD NEWS: A Mondovi florist accused of embezzling $21,000 from a 4-H organization is charged for felony theft in Buffalo County. John L. Gehrke, 56, owner of Gehrke Floral in Mondovi, allegedly stole money from 4-H accounts to help support his business, according to a criminal complaint filed by Buffalo County District Attorney, Tom Clark. Gehrke was treasurer of the Buffalo County 4-H Leaders Association, a non-profit organization set up to raise money for 4-H youth programs. Buffalo County sheriff's investigators questioned Gehrke after other 4-H group officers discovered financial discrepancies and missing funds from the organization's bank account. The complaint filed against Gehrke claims he stole money by making cash withdrawals, writing checks made out to cash or issuing checks made out to Gherke Floral or the Mondovi Church Softball League.

HUDSON STAR OBSERVER: A former Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) employee pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to charges of health care fraud. Kim Joann Austen, 47, of Hudson pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud. She entered her plea in Minneapolis before United States District Court Judge James Rosenbaum. Austen was indicted on Oct. 7, 2008. According to Austin's plea agreement, she admitted that from August 2003 through September 2008 she knowingly and willfully executed a scheme to defraud Medicaid, a federal health care benefit program, by obtaining through false representations money owned by and under the custody and control of Medicaid, in connection with the payment for health care benefits and services. Specifically, Austen used her position of employment within the DHS to fraudulently cause the State of Minnesota to issue 23 checks payable to an adult male, who is not a Medicaid provider. After the checks were issued, Austen admitted that they were cashed and converted to personal use. The total gross amount of funds disbursed in connection with the scheme was more than $1.1 million.

THE SUN (OSCEOLA): As President Barack Obama formally took his oath of office, in at least one small way the communities in the St. Croix River valley were represented. Osceola sixth-grader Paul Willett was there in Washington Tuesday during the historic event. In December, Willett, 12, wrote a letter to U.S. Representative Dave Obey asking for tickets to the inauguration event. He had done a few school reports on Obama for a class and based his letter and his request on what he'd learned from the reports. A staff person from Obey's office called the Willetts and said they liked Paul's letter so much they were offering him three tickets. Obey's office only gave away about 500 tickets. "I was not really expecting it," Willett said. His parents were unable to make the trip, Willett was accompanied by his aunt, Mary Medcraft and her son Nate, 22, They left for Washington last Sunday.

PIERCE COUNTY HERALD: A former Maiden Rock woman who told four women she had a baby to adopt when, in fact, she didn’t pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to four counts of wire fraud. Melissa Christiansen, 31, now of Red Wing, was indicted in August with scheming to obtain an unspecified amount of money from four women by emailing, instant messaging or phoning them she was pregnant and wanted to place her infant up for adoption. Although selling an infant is illegal, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman, the case against Christiansen is about wire fraud, which is making false representations by electronic communication in order obtain to money.