Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Water leak fixed

            A water leak discovered about 2:00 a.m. Monday was found and fixed by mid-afternoon Monday by members of the Baldwin village crew with help from Joe Anderson of Anderson Excavating and the Village of Hammond.

           The leak revealed itself just a few feet north of the railroad tracks on Sixth Avenue, raising fears that a crack in the main under the tracks, or even on the other side of the tracks, could be causing the leak. However, after digging in the vicinity of where the water reached the surface, a corroded connection was discovered and replaced with parts that were borrowed from the Village of Hammond.


DeMotts credited with save in 9-6 West win

             Baldwin-Woodville’s ace pitcher Dylan DeMotts is credited with a save in the West’s 9-6 win over South in the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-Star series. DeMotts came into the West/South game Saturday in the fourth inning and gave up three hits and no runs while striking out three and walking none.

            In hitting, DeMotts was 0-2 with a walk.

            In the game, the West scored six runs in the third, capped by a bases loaded triple by LaCrosse Central’s Drew Ghelfi, giving them a 7-6 lead. But, after West had at least one error from the second through seventh, the one-run lead didn’t seem safe. But LaCrosse Aquinas’ Bobby Kachel hit a two run homer over the left center field fence to make it 9-6 and give West breathing room.

            In the seventh, DeMotts faced bases loaded with no outs, but he worked his way out of the situation.

            The All-Star series is played by 72 of the state’s best seniors at Oshkosh. Among DeMotts’ fellow players were Trevor Morning of Bloomer, Joe Effertz of Ladysmith, who has been drafted, and Josh Meade of Hayward. “It is an honor to be selected,” said Grey Hush, Dylan’s high school coach. “Many of the kids on the teams willplay Division 1 college ball or have been drafted by major league baseball. It’s good experience.”

Crews continue to repair pavement blowups on I-94 in St. Croix County

         The high temperatures last week caused areas of pavement to buckle on I-94 near Hudson. On Tuesday county crews will be making additional repairs to the interstate, just east of Carmichael Road’s westbound off ramp to a blow-up that occurred last Friday.

         Beginning around 9 a.m., the right two lanes of west bound I-94 at milepost two will be closed while crews make temporary repairs to the roadway. They are expected to be there until approximately 3 p.m. County crews will make permanent repairs to the area after the fourth of July holiday weekend.

         Motorists should also be aware of the Move Over Law in Wisconsin. The law requires drivers to shift lanes or slow down in order to provide a "safety zone" for a squad car, ambulance, fire truck, tow truck or highway maintenance vehicle that is stopped on the side of a road with its warning lights flashing.

 Public information meetings scheduled for St. Croix River Crossing project

          The Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation (Mn/DOT, WisDOT) will hold two public informational meetings to update the public on the St. Croix River Crossing project.

         Both meetings will follow the same format with an open house from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Staff from Mn/DOT and WisDOT and consultant staff will be on hand to address questions and share information about the project status. Comment cards will also be provided for attendees to submit written statements. There will be no formal presentations.

         The Minnesota open house is Wednesday, July 15, 5-7 p.m. at the Stillwater Area High School, 5701 Stillwater Blvd North, Stillwater.

         The Wisconsin open house is Thursday, July 16, 5-7 p.m. at Somerset High School, 645 Sunset Drive, Somerset.

         The meeting sites are handicapped accessible. Hearing impaired individuals may request special accommodations by calling Mn/DOT at 651-582-1176 or WisDOT (TDD) at 7-1-1.

         Next steps for the project include the development of the bridge design and construction criteria in preparation for a 2013 letting. To accomplish this, the project team will be performing technical studies to analyze the bridge depicted in the Visual Quality Manual, examining the constructability of the structure and developing detailed construction cost estimates.

         Additional information about the project is available from Amber Blanchard, (651) 366-4529, Todd Clarkowski, (651) 234-7714 at the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Paul Conlin, (715) 833-5364 at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Information regarding the St. Croix River Crossing is also available at the project website: www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/stcroix.

From the Exchanges
  Interesting News Items from
     Surrounding Communities

SUN-ARGUS (THE GATEWAY TO PIERCE COUNTY): It was the annual ‘Sleep Under’ week-end Friday, Saturday and Sunday before last at Crystal Cave and this year there were about 25 spelunkers from the Minnesota Speleological Society. The spelunkers broke up into a couple of different work groups and dug at a couple of ongoing excavation sites on the Crystal Cave property. One is the Tree Fork and another is called south Portal, it was at Tree Fork that perennial spelunker “Digger Dave” made the link to the main Crystal Cave from this auxiliary cave. This year after working the South Portal for about two years “Digger Dave” with the help of the other volunteer spelunkers has excavated to another series of large rooms and given the large amount of air flow coming from inside the area of the dig is convinced that more open areas will be encountered in the near future.

MONDOVI HERALD-NEWS: A tentative plea agreement in a Buffalo County felony 4-H theft case was postponed because of disputes over the amounts of restitution owed for money allegedly stolen by the former treasurer of the organization. A defense attorney for 56-year-old John L. Gehrke of Mondovi said Gehrke wasn’t going to enter a plea or respond to the state’s plea offer until the restitution issue was resolved. A felony complaint accuses Gehrke of stealing more than $21,000 from club accounts while serving as treasurer of the Buffalo County 4-H Leaders Association, a non-profit group that raises money for 4-H youth programs. Gehrke is accused of stealing funds by making cash withdrawals and writing checks made out to cash or issued to his business, Gehrke Floral of Mondovi, or the Mondovi Church Softball League, of which he also served as treasurer. Gehrke’s defense attorney, Michael Cohen of Eau Claire and Buffalo County District Attorney Tom Clark clashed over the amount of restitution Gehrke would pay in a proposed plea agreement. Cohen said Gehrke disagreed with the numbers and wasn’t going to pay back more restitution than what was owed. Some of the money has already been returned, according to Cohen.

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: A school bus driver with 21 years of experience was fired last week by the school board for failing to report an “accident” on Wednesday morning, May 6. The driver, Ruth Joy Anderson, a city of River Falls resident has appealed the termination. A still-to-be named state arbiter is expected to handle the case in a hearing this summer. According to the school district. Anderson had two four-year-old children in her bus. She was on her way to pick up a third to take them to Rocky Branch Elementary for an early childhood program there for “special needs” students. Driving a 36-passenger bus, Anderson was east-bound on Co. Rd. M between Meadows Drive and Liberty Road (just uphill from the golf course). It’s believed her speed had not quite reached the 55 mph posted limit. Anderson would claim a dog ran in her path. She swerved and braked to avoid it. Her bus – spinning 180 degrees – apparently crossed the center line three times, going into shoulders on both sides and hitting a mailbox before ending in a residential driveway on the opposite side form the east-bound lane she was traveling. Her two four-year-olds were still strapped in their seats and unharmed. Anderson herself was not hurt. She allegedly didn’t radio what happened to the bus garage but kept going to get the other children and then dropped them all off at Rocky Branch. It’s alleged that she made no mention of the incident to the teacher of the special needs students. There were three witnesses to the accident. One phoned the school district right away. School Transportation Supervisor Ron Weishaar immediately went to the accident scene for an inspection. Anderson returned to the bus garage, but allegedly said nothing about her close call. She had gone to her car when Weishaar returned. At that point he asked her about what had occurred on her bus route that morning.