Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Band first at Edgar parade

The Baldwin-Woodville Marching Blackhawks placed first among marching bands in the Edgar parade held Sunday, June, 28. There were four other bands in the parade. In addition to winning the best overall band, the Blackhawks received awards for best percussion and best drum major.
The Blackhawks have two parades left in the summer marching season. Their drill camp is August 3-7.

Kind addressed full house

U.S. Congressman Ron Kind, who represents Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District, was in Hudson at the St. Croix County Government Center where he drew a full house to the St. Croix County Board Room. Kind discussed his “small business agenda” and some steps that are being taken to help small businesses through the current recession. According to literature available at the meeting, Kind is advocating affordable healthcare including deductibility of health insurance premiums by self-employed individuals and the Small Business Health Options Program that would provide federal tax incentives and encourage states to harmonize their insurance laws so that small business can pool together to purchase health insurance.
Kind also advocates modernizing small business rules under the S Corporation Modernization Act and making it easier for small businesses to offer savings plans to their employees.

YOF left for Guatemala June 30

Ten members of Peace Lutheran Church's youth group, "Youth On Fire," and nine adults left early Tuesday morning, June 30, for an eight-day mission trip to Guatemala. They will do some clean up, repair, painting and landscape work at a church and park in Retalhulau, Guatemala. They will also take a DVD projector purchased for the church. In Tulate, about an hour from Retalhuleu, they will donate chairs for their worship space. If time permits they will also be doing some much needed work on a public school in that community.
They have also prepared a short service with songs and skits to perform at a public school, a school for Down Syndrome children and adults and an AIDS hospital, as well as both churches. Thanks to the generosity of this community and the fellow parishoners at Peace and area churches, they have many suitcases full of shoes, coloring books, school supplies, tote bags, Frisbees, soccer balls, toothbrushes and toothpaste and many other items to distribute to the more than 400 children and adults they will meet there.
The idea for this trip started in 2007, when the Kevin Knutson family, of Baldwin, and the Roger Humphrey family, of Woodville, hosted exchange students from Guatemala. The two families worked with the program "Friends Around the World" based in Minnesota. Both Juan Pablo Coloma and Jose Juan Ucles attended school at B-W High School and the LOGOS program at Peace. They also participated in Youth on Fire. The group has been working closely with Juan Pablo's church in Retalhuleu to make this trip happen. When they land in Guatemala City the group will meet Jose Juan, he will travel with them and participate in the mission work in that community. In a subsequent trip back to Woodville last December, Jose helped the group with a fundraiser at Culver's.
According to the U.S. State Department website, Guatemala has about 71% literacy. Many homes consist of sheet metal walls and roofs with dirt floors. Near where the group is staying are ancient Mayan ruins which they will also get an opportunity to visit.
The Youth On Fire would like to thank the community and the members of Peace Lutheran for all their support in their fundraising efforts. Through the sale of gourmet, fresh-roasted coffee, a garage sale during June Bug Days, a quilt raffle and Culver’s fundraisers they have raised enough money to bless the people in Guatemala in many ways. Thanks are also extended to those individuals and organizations who have donated items to be taken to Guatemala.

From the Exchanges
  Interesting News Items from
    Surrounding Communities

HUDSON STAR OBSERVER: Victoria Bear may be coming home in a few days rather than spending four more years in state prison. Last week an appeals court found a St. Croix County judge exceeded his authority by effectively revoking the former Hudson woman’s probation before she began serving a year-long jail term for causing the death of Michael Strauch, Hudson. Her attorney, James R. Johnson, said that Bear is ready to move to the next phase of her probation, which involves finding a job so she can pay $17,000 in restitution and performing 200 hours community service. In the spring of 2008, Bear, 58, pleaded no contest to homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle for causing the death of Strauch Sept. 23, 2007. On July 2, 2008, Judge Eric Lundell placed Bear on probation for five years and ordered her to serve a year in the county jail. She would have had work-release privileges. But on July 8, the day before Bear was to report to jail, she was observed drinking with her ex-husband, Peter Bear, at a restaurant in Woodbury, Minn. Police there were called, and Victoria Bear’s blood alcohol level tested at 0.13. Ten days later, Judge Lundell vacated the original sentenced and re-sentenced Bear to five years in prison and five years extended supervision. During resentencing, Lundell acknowledged that he didn’t have authority to revoke Bears probation but said the drinking incident constituted a “new factor” and justified resentencing.

OSCEOLA SUN: The Osceola Chamber of Commerce/Main Street Board may soon be without a chamber director. At the Osceola Village Board meeting Tuesday, the board voted, in legally closed session, to terminate its cooperative funding agreement with the Chamber to provide for the Chamber director position. The agreement will end August 22. Under the terms of the agreement, the Village provides a staff position, facilities, equipment and funding for one-third of the director position, while the Chamber board funds the other two-thirds. The director works about 13-hours per week on Village projects under the agreement. Funding is the Village’s primary concern in making the decision, Osceola Village Administrator Neil Soltis said. Soltis said the Village’s Administration and Finance Committee recently undertook a concerted effort to reduce expenses and conserve its capital fund balance. “This is a step in that direction,” Soltis said.

PIERCE COUNTY HERALD: Findings of the Klass-Jonas Pool Committee formed by the Ellsworth School District have some heads swimming over the pool’s future. Committee members told the local school board last month they tend to favor continuing the current pool operation while working toward installing a permanent structure atop the facility and adding a fitness center. Yet, part of the area public is apparently reluctant to give up summertime outdoor swimming at the site, adjacent to the middle school. A number of residents also reportedly believe closing the pool could help ease the school district’s budget woes. However, the bulk of the pool’s operation comes from a school fund with a separate tax levy, outside the district’s general fund, and any savings realized from the former aren’t transferable to the latter. Meantime, the life expectancy of the present dome over the pool is estimated to be five-to-seven years at the most. But SDS Architects’ input shows the facility can’t be left uncovered and shut down in the winter without risking damage to it.

MONDOVI HERALD-NEWS: Alma is claiming breach of contract by the engineering company it hired to design plans and specifications for a dredging and boat landing project in the Mississippi River backwaters. The city council is seeking repayment of project money from Vierbicher Associates, Inc., of Reedsburg, Wis., and authorized hiring a hydrologist to survey dredged waters and compared findings with engineering plans. The council also wants an engineering hydrologist to measure and inspect grade of a new boat ramp facility and compare it to plans drafted by Vierbicher. Nearly $800,000 in local, state and federal funding was spent on a 2008 dredging and boat ramp project to open a boating channel through the Beef Slough and Buffalo River basin to provide an access route to the main channel of the Mississippi River at Alma. The narrow passage through the slough was opened to boating traffic in October and had to be closed this spring because of sand and silt build up. Plans called for a 5-foot channel depth with a couple of 100-foot long sediment traps dredged to depths of 10 feet. Recent inspections by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources found average channel depths of only 12 to 18 inches.