Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Orchard Restaurant & Banquet facility taking shape

Richard Pearson, owner of the Orchard Restaurant and Banquet Facility, stands before the huge fireplace at the former New Leaf Nursery, flanked by Dave Lunde, left, owner of Valley Custom Homes, Inc. which is doing the remodeling work at the facility, and Dave Johnson, the foreman/job supervisor.

Richard Pearson, owner of the Orchard Restaurant & Banquet facility, says he wants to do the make-over of the former New Leaf Nursery into a restaurant/bar/banquet facility the right way. There's no doubt he's accomplishing his goal with the complete transformation of the facility into a new use.
Mr. Pearson says he hopes the new establishment can be opened in July of this year but already the outlines of the new rooms in the business are clear.
"We want to do it right," said Mr. Pearson. "We won't open until we're ready for a first class professional operation. We expect to be reasonably priced—for banquets and the restaurant—so families can bring their children in here to eat and not be gouged."
The general contractor for the project is Dave Lunde of Valley Custom Homes, Inc. "This has been one of the most unique projects we've worked on," said Lunde. "Remodels are challenges and older buildings pose unique challenges" with wiring and water lines and still keeping the character of the building.
The new restaurant and banquet facility will keep the great character that is given to it by the massive beams in the former display/showroom, the huge fireplace and silo that was incorporated into the structure.
Simply, the new business will have three main public areas: the restaurant in the former display room featuring the large stone fireplace and a circular bar around the silo; a bar and game room located in the leanto on the northeast side of the facility (bar) and original barn (game room); and banquet facility in existing and new space on the west side of the building.
A new entry way from the south has been constructed. Upon entering the building, the banquet facility will be to the left, or west, with the main dining room to the right.
The former display room of the New Leaf, dominated by the silo and huge fireplace, will be the main dining room.
The banquet room on the west side of the building, which includes some new space, will have a separate covered entry to the west. A small stage will be on the north end of the large room, with a gigantic TV for projecting pictures at events held there.
The banquet space will be adjacent to a "bride's changing room." Restrooms will be between the banquet facility and restaurant.
The barn and leanto have been completely insulated and resided. There will be a new, separate entrance to the bar from the east. New, large windows will allow natural lighting in the bar. The circular stairway in the silo will be used to reach the loft in the barn which will be part of the game room.
Between the banquet area and restaurant, on the north side of the building, will be the new kitchen as well as an office for the manager of the business, who Mr. Pearson has already hired, has 25 years experience in the hospitality industry and is consulting on the remodeling project. A 34 foot long by 12 foot wide walk-in cooler/freezer combination built by Nor-Lake will be placed by a crane on a foundation that has been constructed on the north side of the building.
According to Lunde, after the construction of the building is finished sometime in May, the interior build-out will take place, which will take four or five weeks and involves placing all the tables, chairs, cash registers, kitchen equipment and other furnishings in the building.
Outside, the grounds need to be landscaped, the parking lot completed and lighting installed. Mr. Pearson said the pond will remain. Eventually, the possibility exists for volleyball courts.
In addition, said Mr. Pearson, a wedding chapel will be built on the grounds and with the extensive grounds he owns around the facility, the possibility exists for a bride and groom to take a carriage ride around the property as part of their wedding festivities and their entire celebration can be on-site.

Village receives grant to level building

The Village of Baldwin's application to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for a Brownfield Site Assessment Grant to raze the Thompson building on Main Street has been approved for $56,600. The Thompson building is located at 705 Main Street, which is at the corner of Seventh Avenue.
According to a letter sent to Village President Don McGee, Baldwin's application scored 97 points and all applications receiving more than 55 points were funded.
The building has been purchased by the village at a price of $20,000. The $56,600 grant received from the DNR is for two phases: Phase I for assessment of the site; and Phase II for further assessment, demolishing of the building and asbestos abatement.
Following the demolishing on the building and clean-up of the site, the lot will probably be put up for sale by the village, in which case some or perhaps all of the village's cost to purchase the property could be recouped.

Baldwin man charged with sex offender registry violation

A 28-year-old Baldwin man has been charged with felony sex offender registry violation.
Timothy J. Denzine is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, March 17.
According to the criminal complaint, Denzine failed to return a confirmation letter confirming his registry status and address. He is also accused of failing to notify the registry of an address change within 10 days and did not report for a photo to be taken in August.
He was convicted in August 2001 in Dunn County of third-degree sexual assault.

St. Croix County records 1st traffic fatality of 2009

On Wednesday, February 18 at 4:42 p.m. the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office responded to a two-vehicle crash on STH 29 one tenth of a mile east of STH 128 in the Town of Cady.
The report said Carrie A. Lehmann, age 24, of Menomonie was traveling eastbound on STH 29 in a 2007 Ford Taurus when she lost control going around a curve on the snow covered road. The car slid sideways into the westbound lane and was struck by a 1999 Isuzu truck driven by Ricky DeMotts, age 45, Woodville. DeMotts was driving a truck owned by Advanced Dairy Systems Inc. of Spring Valley. Ms. Lehmann was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Croix County Medical Examiner. Mr. DeMotts was transported to Baldwin Hospital following the crash, his condition remains unknown.
Both Mr. DeMotts and Ms. Lehman were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash. Spring Valley Fire and Ambulance assisted at the scene.
This is the first traffic fatality of 2009. The crash remains under investigation by the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office.

From the Exchanges
    Interesting News Items from
        Surrounding Communities

CENTRAL ST. CROIX NEWS (Hammond): Incumbent Hammond Village President Vince Trudell and his predecessor, Tom Kinney, won spots on the April 7 ballot when they came out as the top two vote-getters in Tuesday's primary. Unofficial results showed Trudell with 42 votes and Kinney with 30 versus incumbent first-term trustee Eric Arthur's 13. Two years ago, Kinney announced he would not be seeking re-election as president at the end of his third term, but shortly before the 2007 April election declared himself as a write-in candidate. Trudell overwhelmingly won the election. Arthur will appear on the April ballot seeking one of three trustee spots, along with incumbents, Mary Rivard and Tony Bibeau (who was recently appointed to fill out the term of the seat resigned by Mike Artiaga) and newcomers Erin McComb and Jack Herbert. The top three vote getters on April 7 will sit on the board. The Village of Roberts voters will be in a situation similar to Hammond's former Roberts Village President Willard Moeri is running against Eric Fisher for the seat he lost two years ago. Peter Tharp will be on the ballot challenging incumbent trustees Chuck Pizzi, Kathy Kapaun and Scott Gehardt.

PIERCE COUNTY HERALD (Ellsworth): After reviewing policy language and a timeline, a judge found a Pierce County house destroyed by fire after being hit by a pickup was not insured. St. Croix County Judge Scott Neeham ruled Randall and Sue Hendrickson's house insurance had legitimately been canceled nearly two months before the home was hit by a GMC Sierra driven by Lisa Villigan, 39. The accident occurred Feb. 17, 2007. The vehicle Villigan was driving struck the Hendricksons' house and hit a gas meter, triggering a natural gas explosion. Villigan died in the incident. Prescott Police Officer Ben Henrich was injured as he attempted to help the woman and was thrown an estimated 15 feet by the explosion. Villigan's pickup and the Hendricksons' house were destroyed. In an order signed Feb. 3, Needham denied the Hendricksons' motion for a summary judgment against Foremost Insurance Company. According to background in the decision, the Hendricksons bought an insurance policy for their property at 1010 Pearl St., Prescott, in October 2006. On Dec. 8, 2006, Foremost sent a notice of cancellation saying coverage would expire Dec. 22, 2006. The reason given for the cancellation was missing and damaged shingles on the house's roof increased the likelihood of loss. According to court records, Randall Hendrickson signed and cashed the refund check Dec. 18, 2006. Although the judge found the cancellation language to be ambiguous and read a 30-day notice of cancellation in favor of the Hendricksons, he determined the fire occurred 71 days after the couple received the cancellation notice.

HUDSON STAR OBSERVER: It has been nearly 16 years since William S. “Junior” Clapp was killed in his rural Roberts home, and while the case has gone cold it is not closed. “We have two investigators, Cary Rose or Jim Mikla, assigned to it. When anything comes up in connection to the case, they look into it. The case remains open,” said Sheriff Dennis Hillstead. Clapp, 76, was found with a gunshot wound to the back of his head, slumped over the kitchen table in his Roberts farmhouse late on April 25, 1993. The case is one of four and possibly five unsolved homicides that occurred in the county. “There is at least one person out there, and possibly two, who know what really happened,” Hillstead said. “It’s a long time to keep a secret.” Star-Observer reports in the April 29, 1993, edition said Clapp called the home of Jack Larsen, his neighbor, the night of the homicide. He got Larsen’s mother on the phone and asked for her son. When Jack got to the phone the line was dead. Larsen said he phoned Clapp back three times, but couldn’t get through. It took him about 10 minutes to get to his neighbor’s house. He found Clapp semi-conscious at the kitchen table bleeding from a head wound. Larsen tried to talk to him but Clapp couldn’t communicate – all he could do was moan, the reports said. The St. Croix County medical examiner said Clapp died at the scene from a single gunshot wound.

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: A 25-year-old Town of Troy woman was charged with locking her three-year-old son in a room so that he couldn't eat or go to the bathroom and instead had to use a diaper. Danielle K. Quinn, 533 County Road M. #39 in the Hilltop trailer court was charged with a felony for child neglect resulting in bodily harm. If convicted, maximum sentence for this crime is six years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A child protection social worker was tipped off about the case because Quinn's older son attends Westside Elementary School. The boy often missed classes and reportedly said he had to feed and get himself ready for school. He also mentioned the situation at home with his younger brother. A St. Croix County Sheriff's deputy and the social worker finally went to the boy's trailer home at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4. According to the criminal complaint, the older boy answered the door. The mother was in bed but woke up. The three-year old was heard screaming and kicking a wall in another room. At one point the boy shouted, "Mom, let me out of here." The room was locked from the outside by a latch hook. It was later found that this boy had been confined in the room for over 14 hours with nothing to eat or drink. Though either totally or partially potty trained, he was wearing a soiled diaper that left him with a "very bad rash." Quinn's 55-year-old mother also lived in the home. She was not charged. In the complaint Quinn's mother said her daughter was very depressed, didn't take care of her kids and wouldn't get help for her problems. The grandmother added that the door locks were first used to keep the cats from getting into rooms. Quinn's mother said Quinn has no job, but expects her to care for and feed the children when she gets home from work. The grandmother also said that Quinn asked her to watch the children in 2006 for a weekend visit. Quinn then disappeared for several months before returning home.

BURNETT COUNTY SENTINEL (Grantsburg): When the votes were finally tallied Tuesday night the referendum the Siren School District was asking its voters to approve was narrowly defeated by 167-156 margin. The district was asking its taxpayers to again support a 5-year non-recurring exemption to the revenue limit, a move which would bring the district an additional $250,000 for each year for the next five. "I'm obviously disappointed," district administrator Scott Johnson said after the votes were returned Tuesday night. "What it means to me is the school board will be talking to people to see if there's a way we can come back at this thing in April," he said. I don't want to give up on this thing," he continued. Another vote in April would mean trying to rally public support for that vote. "I believe most people in this community support public education - we just need to get them to the polls," Johnson added. He said the poor attendance at the district sponsored informational meetings about the referendum was reflected in the low turnout for Tuesday's vote. "I think it's a shame," he declared. "The school is the heart and soul of the community." "I have a difficult time believing people of our community want us to cut our programs," Johnson added.

OSCEOLA SUN: An impartial third party will evaluate the operational components of Osceola’s wastewater treatment plant to try to determine why the three-and-a-half-year-old facility has performed poorly during winter months. The Osceola Village Board last week authorized spending up to $5,500 for MSA Professional Services to conduct an operational review. “What we propose here is to first come in, meet with the operators, get some of your existing data (and) look at how the plant is being operated,” an MSA wastewater engineer explained. “. . . We’ve designed similar plants, so we have experience with these kind of wastewater treatment plants.” For the past two winters the treatment plant’s effluent has exceeded Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources standards for several substances, including phosphorus. As a result, the DNR has placed a moratorium on the extension of the village’s sewer system. Village administrator Neil Soltis said there is some question as to whether the problem is operational in nature or a flaw in the plant design. According to Soltis, though, 79 treatment plants in Wisconsin use the same system, and the 78 others are running fine.