Wednesday, October 21, 2009

B-W Marching Blackhawks finished third in WSMA band championship

The B-W band won the best percussion trophy in their class. Accepting the trophy from Tim Wurgler was Drum Major Mallory Precht. She is pictured with Maggie Gadbois, left, Kristin Bauer, behind Wurgler and Tori Liston, right.

The Baldwin-Woodville Marching Blackhawks finished third with a score of 75.65 points in Class A in the Wisconsin School Music Association’s Marching Band Championships held Saturday at UW-Whitewater. The Blackhawks were less than a point behind second place Columbus High School, with a point total of 76.35. First place finisher Cumberland, which had in recent years competed a division “up”, finished in first place with 78.55 points.
“All three [of the top bands] were within three points of each other,” noted Baldwin-Woodville Band Director Adam Bassak. He said Class A was the most competitive of the four classes at the state competition.
The closeness of the competition “is great,” said Bassak. “It pushes all three bands.”
The B-W performance was “by far our best show of the year,” continued Mr. Bassak. “It’s the first time since I’ve been here that every kid came off the field knowing they had a good show.”
B-W won the trophy for the top percussion section. “Obviously, taking the top percussion trophy is a cool thing,” said Mr. Bassak. “Our senior percussionists have put in lots of extra time whicFont sizeh paid off for the third year in a row by winning a state drum line trophy.”
This year’s program “definitely took a step up as far as the difficulty of marching and music,” said Mr. Bassak. “We continue to go forward.”

School Board: bring pool up to code or close it down?

For the second month in a row the Baldwin-Woodville Board of Education postponed deciding the fate of the district’s swimming pool.
At issue is a proposal to budget an additional $25,000 for design and installation of new drain gates and sump pumps in order for the district to be in compliance with a new federal law. The law was enacted in response to the tragic death of a young girl who died after the suction from a spa drain entrapped her and she drowned. The district must be in compliance with the law in order to open the pool next summer.
At last month’s meeting, board members requested information about pool usage and history. “The pool was built in 1953 according to school records,” said Superintendent Rusty Helland. “In 1976 the district spent $183,347 on remodeling and renovation of the pool,” he continued, “and more remodeling was completed in 1982 at a cost of $9,345.”
“In 1995 a community-led fund drive raised $90,000 for pool repairs, which cost a total of $105,000,” said Helland, “and the community raised another $26,363 for more repairs in 2007. That project ended up costing a total of $101,229, and the district paid the balance.”
As for pool usage, the past three years have had over 400 students for swimming lessons, said Helland. In 2008 the pool was open 73 days with an average attendance of 123 and in 2009 the pool was open for 64 days with an average attendance of 103.
“Each year we budget $25,000 for the pool, which is mostly used for salaries,” said Helland, “and the district receives over $14,000 for state aid for swimming lessons,” He added.
“Is the value of the pool to the community a worthwhile service?” Helland asked board members. He said that the board needs to make a decision by December for the work to be completed in time for the pool to open next summer.
“We need to know if the community supports this and by how much,” commented board member John Hinz. “I think the community benefits, but I don’t think people realize the maintenance costs involved.”
Board member Jody Lindquist said that her child benefits from the pool and so does the extended community.
“I think it’s a dead horse,” stated board member Ann Hilmanowske “We just keep throwing money down the hole. If the community wants it, the community needs to do some big fund raising.”
Board member Mike Bondarenko said a new pool would be a tough sell. “I think it would be a disservice to the community to close the pool. We’re stuck with it, so I say we fix it, he said.”
High School Principal Eric Russell commented that as a parent, he believes the pool is an important asset to the community. “Where will all those kids go during the summer if the pool is closed?” he asked.
“There are a couple of ways to pay for this work on the pool,” said Helland. “The district can levy the additional $25,000 which would have a tax impact of $8.25 of $200,000 value, or we can pay for it at the end of the year with underexpended funds, if for example, fuel costs less than anticipated,” he said.
“The pool serves an educational purpose,” said board president Jeff Campbell. “We need to keep it going for now, and we also need to start a committee to plan for the future of the pool. The costs are not out of hand this time,” he added.
District bookkeeper Pam Rose pointed out that the pool account presently has $10,000 after the 2009 season.
“Keep in mind the impact of $25,000 on the entire budget,” said Helland. The budget for the 2009-2120 school year is $17,231,887 according to information presented at the meeting.
The board decided to put the fate of the pool on the November agenda.

Village board compromises on huge trees

After hearing of a conflict of opinion regarding large cottonwoods—perhaps the largest trees in the village—the village board accepted an alternative to removing all the trees along the boulevard at the Summers’ residence at 880 12th Avenue in the village.
The board had been alerted at an earlier meeting that the eight large cottonwoods along the sidewalk, on private property, were in danger of losing large limbs and posed a danger to the public. At the September village board meeting, Village Public Works Director John Traxler relayed the opinion of St. Croix Tree Service that the trees were a danger and should be taken down. The cost to remove the eight trees was pegged at approximately $9,000.
However, the owners of the trees, the Summers family, had a new opinion about the trees from Ackley Tree Service that one of the large trees was dangerous and should be taken down, another would possibly need to come down and a third should be further checked out. The others could be trimmed of dead limbs and were not a danger. They said they got the opinion before the issue of the trees was raised at the September meeting.
Orin Summers said that the trees mean a great deal to him and they have been there for 100 years and that with some trimming work could be there for another 100 years other than the one that should come down and possibly a second.
In support of Summers was Jim Mondor who said he has been in the landscape design field for years and recommended that two trees and maybe a third should come down and the others should be pruned.
“I’m for letting them take care of it,” said Village Trustee Duane Russett.
In the end, the board agreed that one tree should be removed this fall and another should be checked out and may need to come down, too. A third should be trimmed and if there is no new growth in the spring it, too, should come down. All the trees should be pruned and have the deadwood cut out.
In other action at the meeting:
-Mike O’Keefe, probation and parole agent for St. Croix County of the Department of Corrections, talked about the Impact Recovery program briefly. He said at first there was a minor problem because some individuals from other counties were referred there without notifying the Department of Corrections but that has been corrected.
O’Keefe also noted that he has worked with North Hudson in developing a sex offender ordinance and said he would help with that for Baldwin too.
Baldwin Police Chief Jim Widiker expressed concern that some people who have been through the Impact Recovery program are “landing here,” when they are finished with the program.
Pastor Steve Olson, director of the Impact Recovery noted that there are no sex offenders in his program. He said there are three individuals who have been through the Impact Recovery program and now live in the other side of the building on the east end of Main Street. He said those three people are from the area and came in looking for help and are not probation referrals. “We want to be a service to the community, not a hindrance,” he said.
“At this point there’s not much we can do except keep checking,” said Village President Don McGee. Pastor Olson invited board members to come in and visit and see how the program works.

Jet buzzed Woodville Tuesday

A low-flying business-type jet caused quite a stir, at least initially, when it buzzed Woodville at a low height perhaps three times last Tuesday, October 13.
According to many people, the small jet flew north, then south, seemingly along Main Street, then flew north, again seemingly along Main Street. Several witnesses reported that the jet had its flaps down and perhaps had its landing gear down. The time of the fly-overs was about 1:50 p.m.
Woodville Police Chief Lori Hetfeld was among those who saw the jet pass over Woodville. She said she informed St. Croix County Emergency Communications Center of the low-flying jet and the persons at the Center were able to see the jet on the radar they have there. The Emergency Communications Center also gave Chief Hetfeld the number of the Federal Aviation Administration’s “unsafe flying” tip line and she called that number to report the jet. However, as of Monday this week she had not received a return phone call from the FAA.

From the Exchanges
   Interesting News Items from
      Surrounding Communities

PIERCE COUNTY HEARLD (ELLSWORTH): After almost seven months a body of a missing Prescott man has been found. Robert More, 53, apparently drowned after slipping off his houseboat in March. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department was notified at 10:40 a.m. Sunday the human remains were found on an island south of Red Wing along the backwaters of the Mississippi River. Investigators traveled by boat about a mile down-stream from the Back Channel Bridge in the Town of Trenton to recover the remains. A Minnesota driver’s license and other identifying items were found on the body. Dental records later confirmed it was More. Pierce County Investigator Doug Ducklow said a search of the area revealed that More’s body had become lodged in debris on the island, Pierce County officers and medical examiners determined there was no foul play said Ducklow. More disappeared March 28 after apparently slipping off his houseboat, which was docked at Mr. Sippi’s in Hagar City. Ducklow said search efforts didn’t provide details into the man’s disappearance and searches throughout the months revealed no new clues. Funeral arrangements are pending. The Goodhue County Water Patrol was also on scene with Medical Examiner’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department.

HUDSON STAR OBSERVER: Hudson police are looking for a man who robbed the Associated Bank, 2200 Crest View Drive, at approximately 1 p.m. Friday (October 9). Police are looking for a lone white male who entered the bank, approached a teller and demanded money. He was armed with a handgun which appeared to be wrapped in a small towel. The robber is described as being 6 feet to 6 feet-2 inches, average build having short brown hair, wearing a brown baseball cap, blue sweatshirt blue jeans and a blue handkerchief across his face. He left the bank with an undisclosed about of money in his hand and was seen leaving the area on foot. He was last seen running toward Wal-Mart and Wendy’s. Hudson Police Department Detective Shawn Pettee said the area was searched extensively by members of the Hudson Police Department, St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol. “We shut down the entrances to Wal-Mart and kept people in the store for a short time while we checked all the vehicles,” Pettee said. “We did the same thing at Wendy’s.” Wal-Mart security cameras were also reviewed for any possible leads. The parking lot and camera searches, however, did not result in any arrests and the search for the robber continues.

BURNETT COUNTY SENTINEL: Confronted with a $28,000 operating loss from the 2009 swimming season and mandated safety changes that will add $11,000 to the 2010 swimming pool budget, the Grantsburg Village Board will ask the public for suggestions and, it hopes, donations. Before the swimming pool opens for the 2010 season, changes must be made to the pool’s gates and filtration system to bring the pool into compliance with the federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act. The changes are intended to prevent severe or fatal injuries or drowning when swimmers become attached to a pool’s filtration system. ABC News estimates more than 30 children and several adults have died in suction-related swimming pool deaths since the 1980s including Abbey Taylor of Edina, Minn. in 2007. The facilities wading pool also needs repairs before it opens next year, as it has been losing water through leakage, which added expense last summer for additional water, heating and chemicals.

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: Just a month after closing, cars and trucks are being sold and repaired again at the site of Roen Ford, 660 N. Main St. The difference? The business is being operated by Bernard’s of River Falls, which moved there over the weekend from its frontage-road location at 151 Hwy. 35 N. Bernard’s general manager, Pete Lubich said Bernard’s has inked a three-year lease with the local Roen family for the site. “We’ll definitely have a lot more room now, and yes, we were a little off the beaten path, so this location gives us more visibility,” Lubich said. After operating in River Falls for 42 years, Roen Ford closed Sept. 1 following a buyout by the Ford Motor company. Local sales were down and Ford, like other major auto dealers has struggled in the recession to produce popular, fuel efficient cars. Local Bernard’s is a branch of New Richmond-based Bernard’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership. Bernard’s opened a used-car/repair shop in River Falls in 2001 on North Main Street across from Burger King. Five years ago, when the property on that leased site was sold, Bernard’s relocated and has been leasing space at Jackelen Auto. That lease expires in January. “The point I’d like to make for our customers and for customers of Roen Ford is that we can handle both and plan to offer them the same great service,” Lubich said. Toward that end, four full-time Roen Ford employees have been retained.

NEW RICHMOND NEWS: A lawsuit by a former Somerset School District teacher against the district has been allowed to continue, following a ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals last week. Renae Ekstrand served as an elementary teacher in the Somerset School District from 2000-2005. Ekstrand’s grounds for the lawsuit is that she was forced to leave the school district because she suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder. She was teaching in a room without windows. When she asked to be transferred to a classroom with windows her request was refused on several occasions, she alleges. The Court of Appeals reversed an earlier judgment supporting the school district by District Court Judge Barbara Crabb. Ekstrand is suing the school district under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Crash at intersection results in fatality

A two vehicle collision at the intersection of 220th Avenue and 170th Avenue last Wednesday morning resulted in the death of Larry W. Scheel and serious injury to his passenger, John M. Bazille.

On October 7 St. Croix County recorded its 12th traffic fatality of the year. At approximately 10:50 a.m. Larry W. Scheel, 65, of rural New Richmond, was traveling northbound on 220th St. in a 2000 Ford F250 Super Duty pickup, while Roger W. Fisher, 48 of Emerald was traveling westbound on 170th Ave. in a 2006 Chevy Silverado pickup.
Scheel failed to stop at the sign and was struck by Fisher. Scheel’s vehicle overturned in the northwest ditch, Fisher’s vehicle came to rest in the field northwest of the intersection.
Fisher was transported to the Baldwin Area Medical Center by Baldwin EMS with non-threatening injuries. A passenger in the Scheel vehicle, John M. Bazille, 54, of Emerald was transported by Baldwin EMS to Regions Hospital in St. Paul with serious injuries. Larry Scheel was pronounced dead at the scene by a St. Croix County Deputy Medical Examiner.
Units from United Fire in Baldwin and Woodville as well as Wisconsin State Patrol assisted the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department with the crash.
None of the occupants in either vehicle were wearing seatbelts. The crash is still under investigation by the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department.

Keefer receives scholarship offer from Badgers

When Baldwin-Woodville junior football standout Jake Keefer received a telephone call Tuesday morning, October 6 he wasn’t expecting Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema on the line. But that’s who it was. And Bielema offered Keefer a full scholarship in two years to join the Wisconsin Badgers as a linebacker.
Keefer said he was thinking that Bielema maybe would call him on Junior Day in February, so the call last week was a surprise. But Bielema said he saw two game films of Keefer playing “and saw no need to wait.”
Keefer is a standout player for the Baldwin-Woodville team this season. Just last Thursday against Prescott, for example, Keefer rushed for 61 yards and caught passes for an additional 71 yards and scored two touchdowns when they were needed by his team. On defense he had nine tackles.
The offer of the scholarship “is really exciting,” said Keefer. “I still can’t believe it. It’s awesome.”
But at the same time, although Wisconsin is at present Keefer’s first choice, he won’t definitely say that’s where he is going to play college ball. “I love it there at Wisconsin. I’m very interested. I can definitely see myself playing there.”
But, there have been other schools that have showed an interest: “LSU has been sending a lot of letters,” he said, for example. “But probably the Big 10 is where I’m leaning toward.”

Kindergartners receive visit from Deputies

            Pictured from left to right are Deputy Justin Johnson and his K-9 partner “Cash” and Deputy Jessica Zupfer.

             Barking and squeals could be heard coming from the lunchroom at Greenfield on Monday, October 5. Deputy Jessica Zupfer, Deputy Justin Johnson and his K-9 partner “Cash” visited the kindergartners at Greenfield Elementary in Baldwin.

            Officer Zupfer’s presentation included information on 911, strangers in the neighborhood, playing with matches, wearing bike helmets and seatbelts, and saying “no” to drugs and alcohol. She also explained the duties of a police officer and their uniforms.

            Deputy Johnson introduced his partner “Cash” and demonstrated some dog obedience behaviors. The children were thrilled! Petting working animals was discussed, and the students were told that it is not okay to pet a dog if he is “working” for a blind person. Although Cash is a working dog, he was not working today, just visiting, and so everyone got to pet his head as they left the room to go back to the classrooms.

            The Kindergarten unit at Greenfield Elementary is very appreciative of the County offering this opportunity to early educate our students to “Be Safe,” which is one of our four primary rules at Greenfield.

 Changes mean improvements at Baldwin Care Center

           Changes in the way Medicare funding works combined with evolving expectations by residents and their families regarding care at nursing homes, and what that care entails, have resulted in changes already made and more expected in the future for care of residents.

            According to Baldwin Care Center Administrator Eileen LaFavor, “what’s at issue right now in the federal budget is Medicare funding. They are looking at cuts now that will affect our funding.”

            At the same time, LaFavor said, more than half of the residents at Baldwin Care Center are no longer long-term but instead are there for a rehabilitative stay, usually short term.

            “We now send more people home and more than half of our residents come for a one to sixty day stay,” said LaFavor. She gave the example of someone who has fallen, suffered a broken bone and spends three days in a hospital and then 20 to up to 60 days at Baldwin Care Center for rehabilitation. The change in the status of residents has been a “progression that has occurred over a number of years,” she added.

            “It’s much different than when I came here,” explained LaFavor. “Then people came here and decided to stay for the rest of their lives. But now people come for either short-term rehabilitative stays or ‘end-of-life’ stays in conjunction with hospice. We have some very acutely ill people coming here.”

            So, with the new emphasis, Baldwin Care Center has made two dramatic changes. First, effective October 1, the Care Center reduced the number of licensed beds at the facility to 55 from the previous number of 65. That in turn allows the Care Center to more than double the number of private rooms available to residents, to 15 from the previous seven.

            Double rooms, explained Administrator LaFavor, are “difficult to live in and difficult for our staff to provide care in with the equipment needs some people have and there simply isn’t room in a double occupancy room to do that.”

            In addition, said LaFavor, “gone are the days when we looked at residents as a group of people.” Now instead, each resident is seen as an individual and care is “patient-centered.” That has combined with consumer preference changes—not only by residents but also their family members—for a “different set of expectations when it comes to long-term care.”

            That benefits Baldwin Care Center because of its small town setting and all that includes, including low employee turnover compared to the national level and staff who have family members at the Care Center. “I think we are somewhat special,” because of those considerations, said LaFavor.

            So, in addition to providing more single rooms, the therapy area at the Care Center has been expanded from what was one converted resident room to three resident rooms. “We see such a demand for that area,” said LaFavor.

            Along with the expansion of the therapy area, the company that provides therapy to residents has changed. The new company, called “People First Rehabilitation Services,” has started at Baldwin Care Center to rave reviews. “What this company does is hire local people as a full-time team to provide services for each facility” they work at. While the previous company that provided therapy had four people who split their time between four facilities. With the switch to the new company and full-time people at Baldwin Care Center “we have seen dramatic gains in the residents here,” said LaFavor.

            “Previously the residents who got the most services were the short-term residents,” said LaFavor. “But now we have every resident in the Care Center involved and we have started in new areas that you wouldn’t think of as therapy.” Some of those new areas include: urinary/incontinentence and a wound program; in addition another program has led to a decrease in falls by residents.

            Another area the new therapy regime is tackling is pain management. “And they’re really assisting us with that,” said LaFavor. “They use a treatment called diathermy and we’re seeing dramatic results in the area of pain management.”

            The new team of therapists includes six people: an occupational therapist; a certified occupational therapist assistant; a physical therapist; a physical therapist assistant; a speech therapist and a rehabilitation aide.

            The therapy bill for Baldwin Care Center, as you might expect, has doubled, but the services are reimbursable by Medicare and “the residents here are seeing the services they’re entitled to.”

            Mrs. LaFavor said the Board of Directors at Baldwin Care Center are looking at “what we would like to do with this campus to promote the culture change” of being patient-centered and looking at each resident as an individual. “What does this campus need to become? What additional services do we need to provide?”

            The president of Baldwin Care Center is Dorothy Schneider. Vice President is Jon Mentink. Marcia Graf is Treasurer.


From the Exchanges

  Interesting News Items from

    Surrounding Communities

PIERCE COUNTY HEARLD (ELLSWORTH): A former UW-River Falls student was sentenced to eight years prison Wednesday in Pierce County Circuit Court. Andrews Moreno-Richey, 22, received terms of five and three years for third degree sexual assault and burglary, respectively. Pierce County Circuit Court Judge Robert Wing ordered those terms to be consecutive. Wing also ordered Moreno-Richey to be on extended supervision for nine years after he is released. Wing stated that, with no explanation given for what he did, Moreno-Richey is a “great likelihood to re-offend” and the need to protect the public is high. Moreno-Richey was charged with third degree sexual assault relating to an incident in August 2008. The burglary charge resulted from an incident last January. He was also sentenced to nine months in jail for fourth degree sexual assault. That term will run concurrent to his prison sentence. The criminal complaint stated that, in the August incident, Moreno-Richey went to the home of a “pretty girl” whom he’d seen in a local bar and knew from classes at UW-River Falls. This occurred at Broadway Street in River Falls. Finding the one he after not home, Moreno-Richey snuck into the bedroom next to her and sexually assaulted the woman in that room. The complaint continues he described the girl to a friend as “incapacitated” by crack or cocaine. Moreno-Richey went to that friend’s house after the assault and told her about it. He described the incident saying he’d wanted “to see what he could get away with.” He declared he had not enjoyed the sex, but thought the victim had. The friend told Moreno-Richey what he described was rape because the victim had been incapacitated and unable to consent. The friend reported the crime to police and questioned Moreno-Richey’s mental capacity saying at least once he’s “out of his mind.”

THE SUN (OSCEOLA): With her credibility eroded, Polk County Finance Director Tonya Weinert resigned Monday evening at the request of the county board’s five-member Finance Committee. Since last spring Weinert had projected that Polk county faced a 2010 budget shortfall of at least $3 million. Late last week, however, other county officials who scrutinized the budget numbers, including two certified public accountants who served on the Finance Committee, concluded that the projected shortfall was more in the neighborhood of $780,000. “This position requires a level of trust from Polk County employees, supervisors, department heads, the county board and the general public,” Weinert wrote in her resignation letter. “Recent actions have caused me to question that level of trust, which diminishes my effectiveness.” Finance Committee chairman Gary Bergstrom announced Weinert’s resignation by reading a short press release after the committee returned to open session after being in closed session for two-and-a-half hours.

HUDSON STAR OBSERVER: After a decline last year, enrollment in the Hudson School District is back on the rise. According to the official enrollment count required by the Department of Public Instruction on the third Friday of September, the district has 5,365 a net increase of 94 students over last year. There are 53 more students this year at the elementary level. That number includes 411 kindergarten students and 2,496 children in grades 1-5. Hudson Middle School enrollment increased by 46 which puts that building over its capacity by 86 students. Hudson High School had a net loss of five students but saw an increase of 31 in grades 9 and 10. There are 37 children in this year’s Early Childhood program at River Crest Elementary.

BURNETT COUNTY SENTINEL: I’m growing weary of this – it isn’t fun doing this job anymore when I have to come to meetings,” Burnett County Sheriff Dean Roland declared at last week’s public safety committee meeting. At issue was the sheriff’s budget and Roland having to defend himself. “There’s $250,000 in the budget for out-of-county housing for jail inmates and we might spend about $110,000 this year,” Roland said. “Some have questioned whether I pad my budget because there’s such an excess. Yes, we are under budget in that line-item, but were it not for drug court and other programs, I’d be $160,000 over,” the sheriff said. “I have 34 years of experience, I know how to do this job,” a clearly agitated Roland continued. “My budget has been under budget every year I’ve been sheriff – yet I’m called on every little thing.” “From my perspective, I’m seeing a little animosity toward the sheriff’s department,” committee member Gene Olson pointed out. “I think as a committee, we need to investigate the source of that animosity. I think our sheriff’s department is doing an outstanding job,” Olson continued. “And here we are asking them to do more with less. We’ve made promises we haven’t kept and if there’s a personality problem, we owe it to our sheriff to resolve it,” he said. “I appreciate that,” Roland said to Olson. “The budgets are what they are but I’m very passionate about keeping people safe.” Roland pointed out, “When it comes to communication, I don’t like being blind-sided.” Olson agreed.

CENTRAL ST. CROIX NEWS (HAMMOND AND ROBERTS): Kids pedal tractor pulling has become a family affair for the Iversons of Hammond. Seven-year-old Alyssa, the oldest of three children and only girl, last month qualified for the International Competition that will be held next summer, most likely in Iowa. This year marked the fourth year Alyssa qualified for the national competition, held at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, by first placing in the top three at Wisconsin State Competition. At this year’s national competition Alyssa took first place. She was one of six Wisconsin competitors to advance. Alyssa’s 5-year-old brother, Brett, qualified for state competition in both Wisconsin and Minnesota this year as well.

THE COURIER-WEDGE: Approval of a bid from Freier’s Electric and Heating of Ellsworth for purchase and installation of a wood pellet boiler this fall was the highlight of the regular Pepin Board of Education meeting on Monday, September 28. District Administrator Bruce Quinton presented the board with the bid from Freier’s. Quinton stated that after three years of research and investigation into alternative heating sources, the Building and Grounds Committee was ready to move forward with its recommendation to approve the wood pellet boiler project. Earlier in the meeting, Building and Grounds Committee member Reisgraf reported that they had had two meetings this past month to make final preparations to being the wood pellet boiler bid to the board for approval. The goal, Quinton said, was to have the new system installed before the start of this heating season. The system will also give the district the future flexibility in the type of fuel that is used including corn, coal, grass pellets or other multi-fuel pellets, that could come out in the future. This project would ensure the district and its taxpayers would have flexibility in fuel usage and better control over volatile fuel markets.

Mabis and Larson are king and queen at homecoming

Bailey Larson was crowned queen and Taylor Mabis king at homecoming festivities at Baldwin-Woodville High School on Friday night after B-W beat Ellsworth 22-14.

Jessie Peterson leased the Wildwood

Jessie Peterson has leased the Wildwood Bar and Grill from owners Mitch and LaVonne Johnson. The agreement is for one year to see how the business goes, said Peterson and “so far the bar and restaurant are going well,” she said.
Peterson graduated from B-W HS and then attended Chippewa Valley Technical College at Eau Claire where she earned a police science degree. She worked for the Ellsworth Police Department for seven years but was looking for a career change when the Wildwood opportunity arose.
Peterson has extensive bar and restaurant experience in both high school, when she worked at the Hammond Hotel and the Doll House, and in college. “I know how to bartend and waitress but now I’m learning the financial part and ordering.” She also said she does some cooking.
Her sisters Bethany, Summer and Krystal all are employed at the Wildwood also.

Alertnow is in use to provide information

If the Baldwin-Woodville School District needs to cancel school, alert parents on upcoming parent-teacher meetings or notify parents of other information, a new tool can be used by the District.
A phone message system that utilizes the internet has been put in use. The program is called Alertnow and will be used to send phone messages to every parent in the district.
According to District Superintendent Rusty Helland, the system can be accessed by members of the District’s administrative team which includes building principals as well as Transportation Director JR Dachel and Director of Pupil Services Patti Phillipps.
According to Superintendent Helland, the program uses the internet to call every phone number entered in it. The phone messages to parents will be made in a matter of minutes. If the phone isn’t answered a message will be left.
“It is a way to provide immediate communication and hopefully it will work well,” said Helland. The system can be used for select groups other than the total list of phone numbers, he added.
The program is produced by a Raleigh, North Carolina based company that is one of the fastest growing communication companies in the country, said Helland. The cost for the system was reasonable, too, about $2 per student at B-W.
The training for the system was given to members of the administrative team in August.
A test of the system resulted in a 89% success rate—meaning that the call was answered or a message was left on 89% of the 1,741 phone numbers contacted.
Helland said other methods of communicating school news will be continued: the phone hotline and over TV and radio for school closings.
Parents who want their phone listings updated or to add a cell phone that should be called with messages would best use their Family Access site. If that isn’t available, the child’s school should be contacted.

From the Exchanges
   Interesting News Items from
      Surrounding Communities

HUDSON STAR OBSERVER: A man armed with a knife surprised employees at Taco John’s Restaurant early on Saturday by ordering more than breakfast. According to police, the man, described as white, between 30 and 40-years-old, around 6 feet tall and heavy set, came into the restaurant at the corner of 11th Street and Coulee Road at 6 a.m. He told a supervisor and another employee that he wanted money and that no one would get hurt if they did as they were told. The man, who was wearing a short, fiber-filled jacket, got away with an undisclosed amount of cash from a safe and fled on foot. The incident was over in minutes according to the victims. Police are investigating but have no leads at present. Anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the robbery and saw something or who has any information about the crime is asked to contact the Hudson Police Department at (715)386-4771.

PIERCE COUNTY HERALD (ELLSWORTH): A Prescott teenager was charged Tuesday in Pierce County Circuit Court with strangulation and suffocation. John P. Lubich, 19, 190 Flora St. S., was also charged with alleged misdemeanor intimidation of a victim and disorderly conduct along with the felony. The charges stem back to an Aug. 14 incident in the city of Prescott when the female victim called 911 according to the criminal complaint. Prescott Police Officer Mark Schultz noted in his report that the victim told Pierce County Dispatch that things were fine and that a male voice got on the phone, sounded angry then hung up. Schultz went to 190 Flora St. and first talked to the male, identified as Lubich. He said everything was fine between him and the victim. The victim then gave Schultz her side of the story. The two were drinking and it reached a point where the victim wanted her car keys so she could go to sleep. Lubich told her no and the pair began to argue. While they were arguing, he grabbed her and pushed her to the ground, where he choked her. She guessed she couldn’t breathe for about two to three seconds. She then ran into the house and called 911 with Lubich right behind her. Schultz noted the victim had scratches on her arm and shoulder, dirt on her back and clothing along with a “larger red mark on her neck area that appeared to be consistent with being grabbed and squeezed by the neck.” Schultz then interviewed Lubich, who denied touching her again. Lubich later admitted to grabbing the victim.

AMERY FREE PRESS: Amery Mayor Harvey Stower died Tuesday morning September 29 at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. He had been a patient at the hospital after suffering a heart attack on Friday. Stower, and ordained Methodist minister, had a varied career, including teaching English, serving as a State Representative in the Wisconsin Legislature and as an assistant to the Wisconsin Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs. One of Stower’s crowning legislative achievements was securing funding for the Polk County Information Center in St. Croix Falls.

TRIBUNE PRESS REPORTER (GLENWOOD CITY): The Dunn County shooting range in Boyceville run by the Northwest Rod and gun Club is finishing up some structural components to insure top-notch safety to users and the surrounding community. While the range has been around for more than 30 years, safety issues cropped up in 2006 when housing was developed directly behind the range. Projectiles have been found over the hill and there was a fear of potential injury coming from a stray bullet. At this time the range had no supervision, few structural safety features and anyone could come at any time, said long-time active club member Mark Smith. Even so, only one minor injury has occurred and it wasn’t due to mishandling a firearm. The first plan of attack was having range supervisors present during the hours of operation and having a gate to prevent access after the hours of operation. Supervisors must be certified annually, said Bauder. Currently the club has approximately 50 certified supervisors. The next step was keeping projectiles from going over the hill. Physical barriers have been put in place on the rifle range to prevent bullets from going over the hill. The new baffles were made possible with a state grant from County Conservation Aids with the county also matching those funds. All the fill of the baffles is from recycled material coming from Mattison Construction out of Knapp. This would have all ended up in a landfill, said Bauder. Also helping out, Dunn Energy brought in the poles, drilled the holes and set them. While the baffles aren’t aesthetically pleasing, they fit the bill.

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: The Journal’s front page story last week, “Who’s the mystery owner?” struck pay dirt. A 58-year-old town of River Falls man called police and accurately described the engraved wedding rings that he and his wife wore only to church, plus other mostly jewelry heirlooms, such as necklaces and watches, that belonged to his parents. The collection had gathered dust in the police evidence room until investigator John Wilson decided to put out a public plea. Wilson said the rural River Falls man’s house was burglarized in April 2006. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department took the complaint. The case remained unsolved. Wilson described the man’s reaction to his recovered keepsake property as “choked up, shaken and excited,” adding that, “He had pretty much given up hope that they’d ever be found.” Wilson is now working with sheriff’s investigators on possible criminal charges against a local River Falls man. The suspect claimed the items were given to him by a female hitchhiker he picked up and later dropped off at a Hudson motel. Wilson said last week’s Journal story generated a half-dozen calls from people claiming they lost jewelry in the past from a theft or burglary.