Wednesday, November 11, 2009

B-W FFA is recipient of National FFA Alumni Grant

The five Baldwin-Woodville FFA members and their advisor, pictured above, left to right, are Tamika Branchaud, Liz DeVries, Taylor Hovde, Mrs. Kamm and Jordan Van Dien.

Five Baldwin-Woodville FFA members and their advisor Mrs. Kamm were the recipients of a National FFA Alumni Grant in the amount of $1,000 which they received at the FFA 82nd National Convention that was held October 15-18 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The B-W FFA members are Tamika Branchaud, Liz DeVries, Taylor Hovde and Jordan Van Dien.
The grant application was written by B-W FFA Alumni Association President Megan Frye.
The grant theme was “Adventures in Agriculture.” The funds will be used to promote activities by the B-W FFA including growing poinsettias, which is in conjunction with the second grade classes; the petting zoo for B-W kindergartners; and participating in the parade and having a food booth at Baldwin’s June Bug Days.
Among the other activities in which the B-W FFA members participated at the national convention included attending a PRCA championship rodeo, hearing speaker Mike Rowe of “Dirtiest Jobs,” attending a concert by Toby Keith; two members taking an Indy Speedway tour; and a tour of Fair Oaks Farms, which includes ten farms with 30,000 animals between them. On the way home the FFA members visited a corn maze and haunted house. They bused to the convention with six other FFA chapters from the area with a total of 45 FFA members.

Farm-City Day wins national award

St. Croix County’s Farm-City Day has won a national award.
At the National Association of County Agricultural Agents annual convention held September 20 through 24 in Portland, Oregon, St. Croix County Ag Agent Lee Milligan was presented as the National Winner of the PRIDE award. PRIDE stands for Public Relations in Daily Efforts and was presented for the annual Farm City Day held in St. Croix County.
The award was presented at a banquet held Monday, September 21.
The 28th annual Farm City Day was held this year. According to Milligan, the annual event was started by Bob and Mary Zwald “who deserve the credit for getting it started.”
Milligan said there were 18 entries from across the country for the PRIDE award. A review process was followed for selecting the winner, he said.
Farm City Day involves 100 to 150 volunteers from around the county each year, Milligan said. “It’s been hosted by a different farm family each year.”
As an award winner, Milligan gave a presentation on Farm City Day. He said that of the nominees for the award, “I would say ours is the largest” event. He gave a presentation at the banquet on Farm City Day and there were people in the audience who “wanted to use elements from our Farm City Day and incorporate it into their events.”
“Really, when you get an award like this, it’s the volunteers and people who started it who should get recognized,” said Milligan. “I just happened to write it up and send it in.”
According to the program for the PRIDE banquet, the award is sponsored by the United Soybean Board, The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association as well as the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.

Man charged for sexual assault

A Hammond man has been charged with two crimes involving sexual activity with a child.
According to a criminal complaint filed in St. Croix County Circuit Court on Monday, November 9, James Lawrence Armagost of Hammond, 45, has been charged with “repeated sexual assault of a child” and “use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.”
Armagost was arraigned Monday.
According to the complaint, the “defendant on and between February 1, 2009 and August 31, 2009 … did commit repeated sexual assaults involving the same child,….”
The count of “repeated sexual assault of a child” is a Class C felony and upon conviction may result in a fine of not more than $100,000 or imprisonment of not more than 40 years, or both. Use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime is punishable upon conviction and requires the court to impose a “bifurcated [separate] sentence including a term of initial confinement for at least five years. The Court may impose a sentence of less than five years or place the person on probation upon finding on the record that the Court finds the lesser sentence is in the best interests of the community and the public will not be harmed.”
According to the criminal complaint, a relationship developed between the defendant and the minor that “started with the exchange of email communication to her….”
The complaint graphically spells out the sexual contact, which did not include sexual intercourse, between the defendant and the minor.

Man arrested in Baldwin with stolen vehicle

One of the four men allegedly involved with and who has been charged in connection with the burglary of Fennern Jewelers last year was arrested in Baldwin over the weekend for another alleged crime.
According to Baldwin Police Chief Jim Widiker, Joshua Krinkie, 29, was arrested late Saturday night in Baldwin in a stolen truck that had stolen license plates. Krinkie was at the Custom Storage building on Baldwin’s north side when he was arrested.
Chief Widiker said Krinkie will likely be charged and prosecuted in Minnesota for allegedly stealing the truck.
Krinkie is allegedly one of the four individuals involved in and charged with the burglary at Fennern Jewelers last year in which the perpetrators made off with pendants valued at approximately $25,000. The burglars gained entry by kicking in the door on the west side of Fennern’s. The burglars had first cut power to the building, presumably to disable the burglar alarm; however, backup power set off the alarm.
The alarm resulted in Baldwin Police Officer Randy Lindquist reaching Fennern’s almost immediately where he found the door kicked in and power shut off after a lock on the power box on the back of the building had been cut.
Later that day, Boldt’s Plumbing and Heating co-owner Dale Hudson reported vandalism to one of his trucks parked at the rear of his store in Baldwin. An employee called for a service call, discovered the truck with the shroud pulled off the steering column and parts scattered through the cab. After Hudson was called and first called police, he looked around the area and found Fennern Jeweler display boxes and also some pendants with Fennern tags on them that were determined to be from the burglary earlier that day.

BadgerLink is available to Wisconsin residents

Baldwin-Woodville High School Librarian and District Media Director James Perkins displays the BadgerLink page on a computer at the library at the High School.

A valuable resource is available to Wisconsin residents through the internet and Baldwin-Woodville High School Media Director James Perkins says more people would perhaps utilize it if they knew about it.
BadgerLink is an internet service available to residents of the state of Wisconsin that supplies on-line data bases. “It’s a tremendous resource available to everyone in the state,” said Perkins. “It’s funded by tax dollars and it’s something everyone can take advantage of.”
Each computer has a unique address, an IP, short for internet protocol, and BadgerLink is available to every IP address in Wisconsin.
BadgerLink is a project of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning. The purpose of BadgerLink is to provide access to online information for Wisconsin residents. It can be accessed by simply typing BadgerLink in a search engine.
The DPI at present contracts with five venders to provide access to a large volume of information. “Essentially, what we have here are vast collections of information,” said Mr. Perkins. “It’s organized by type or broad topic, for example business or consumer health, literature and others.”
The DPI website about BadgerLink says “Users can search approximately 20,000 full-text magazines, journals, newspapers, reference materials and other specialized information sources. Included are over 8,000 full text magazines and journals, over 1,500 newspapers and newswires, and approximately 6,800 full text books. Full text articles are taken from 2,900 historical newspaper titles. In addition the BadgerLink vendors provide access to automobile repair manuals, company profiles, country economic reports, industrial reports and yearbooks, biographies, primary historical documents, charts, author video programs, book reviews or discussion guides and many other full text resources not available through regular internet search engines.”
Mr. Perkins noted that at times the information available on BadgerLink may be uneven and perhaps, for instance, the information available as an automobile repair manual may not be as complete as a standard manual. “But it’s worthwhile to check it out because it’s free,” he added.
Resources are available to both students in the form of information about a work of literature and to teachers as teaching guides.
The BadgerLink page said it will connect users to the online catalogue of Wisconsin library holdings, called WISCAT, and an international database of library holdings called OCLC World Cat, as well as directories of libraries and digitized library collections.
Not only is the information available for public use on personal computers, but according to the DPI website about BadgerLink, “Most libraries also provide access to BadgerLink from public access computers within the library.”

News from the exchanges
   Interesting items from
      the surrounding communities

HUDSON STAR-OBSERVER: Two Twin Cities people have been arrested in connection with four burglaries in Hudson last spring. Several of the victims identified items recovered from the burglaries that were found inside the suspects’ vehicle and in the motel room. Other items were recovered from Twin Cities’ pawn shops, second-hand jewelry stores, and storage rental units. Hudson Police Department Det. Jeff Knopps said they were contacted recently by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department with information about a burglary ring that may have been responsible for the thefts in Hudson between May 6 and June 15. Ramsey County deputies said that a credit card was one of the items taken in a burglary there and that when it was used at a nearby convenience store for a car wash, they were able to track down the vehicle and the suspects using the store video surveillance. Knopps said some of the stolen property was found in the Ford Explorer which is registered to a River Falls man. The two suspects who were arrested are a male, age 43 from St. Paul and a female, age 42 from Shoreview. Police are not yet releasing their names.

PIERCE COUNTY HERALD (ELLSWORTH): Pierce County Board members will vote next month on whether to give themselves or future board members a raise next spring. The proposal to increase regular pay for committee meetings from $35 to $47 and for county board meetings from $50 to $70 was introduced and discussed briefly at Tuesday’s board meeting. Chairman Paul Barkla, noting board pay hasn’t been raised in 12 years, said the suggestion to increase came from Supervisor Rich Purdy, Town of River Falls, who was not at the meeting. Barkla said Purdy recommended tying the board increase to the percentage increases negotiated for employees. “I’m opposed to it,” said Barkla, explaining the board has asked departments to cut back and streamline and should set an example. But if a board raise is considered in the future, he would favor linking it to the percentage increases given to employees, said Barkla. “It taints the process,” said Supervisor Jeff Holst, Town of Diamond Bluff, of tying supervisors’ pay to raises given to county employees. Holst and other supervisors said they are not in favor in increasing county board compensation when taxpayers are struggling financially. The proposal would also increase the pay for long meetings – those lasting over four hours – from $50 to $70; the pay for attending two consecutive meetings from $50 to $70; and the pay for attending three meetings in one day from $70 to $90. In 2008, the per diem and expenses paid to the 17 county board member ranged from $17,980 for Barkla, who served as both board chairman and interim administrative coordinator, to $1,423 for Supervisor Ben Plunkett, River Falls. The average paid to the 16 supervisory positions (excluding Barkla) in 2008 was $3,560.

CENTRAL ST. CROIX NEWS (HAMMOND AND ROBERTS): When she made her speech at the groundbreaking ceremony held for the new Hazel Mackin Community Library in Roberts, Library Board President, Dora Rohl said the project, for which fundraising has been going on in full force for more than two years, “really began in 1974 when a group of women said ‘What should we do for the village of Roberts?’ The big suggestion was a library.” The Hazel Mackin Community Library was established in 1975 with four shelves of books in a corner of the village hall. Soon the collection had outgrown its space. When the village offices moved to a new building in 1985, the former village hall was remodeled into the present library which opened in 1986. The library will soon be moving from that 1,600-square-foot location on Main Street to a 7,000-square-foot facility at the corner of Warren Street and West Boulevard (Hwy. 65 frontage road).

RIVER FALL JOURNAL: Tuesday afternoon Dick Rinehardt was still stunned. “We’ve never had anything like this happen in 27 years of being in business here,” said the local owner of Dick’s Fresh Market and Dick’s Hometown Liquor. “It’s a sad day in Mayberry. You cannot describe what this feels like until it happens to you.” A lone masked gunman robbed his liquor store on South Main Street at 10 p.m. Monday. Two male clerks, one a college student, were working. Neither was hurt. No customers were in the store. The medium-build white male suspect wearing a hooded sweatshirt and handkerchief over his face, held a handgun and asked for money. His actions were captured on surveillance cameras. After being given cash from a till, the gunman was seen walking north toward the grocery store. River Falls Police Sgt. Jon Aubart said the suspect may have had a car parked nearby to escape in. Rinehart was called immediately at his home where he was watching Monday Night Football. He got dressed and came to the crime scene within 15 minutes. “The police department’s response was fast and incredible,” he said. “There were squad cars all over. The store was quarantined while they waited for a St. Croix County police dog. I had to wait an hour myself to get inside. A perimeter with barricades was set up to block streets off.” Police had one suspect with local ties, but Tuesday afternoon Aubart said that person was cleared of any involvement and the investigation was back to square one. “We’re still working on things and have sent fingerprints to the state crime lab, but we’re also looking for the public’s help,” he said.

TRIBUNE PRESS REPORTER: Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed felony and misdemeanor criminal charges against John Rassbach of Glenwood City, Wisconsin. Rassbach, 53, is accused of defrauding customers of his business, Rassbach Oil Company, which contracts to sell fuel products to Wisconsin homeowners and farmers. The charges which include multiple felony and misdemeanor counts, arose out of an investigation conducted by agents of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture , Trade and Consumer Protection (DAPCP), Division of Weights and Measures in conjunction with the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department. Rassbach, is charged with five felony counts of theft that stem from events occurring between April 20 and August 25, 2008 in which Rassbach, acting as Rassbach Oil Company, knowingly defrauded Paul Veenendall in the amount of $2,612.50, Randy Thompson in the amount of $3,098.70, Blackhawk Nutrient, LLC, in the amount of $4,400.55, Paul Wagner in the amount of $3,437.50 and Lee Seim in the amount of $5,161.20. All these charges, according to the criminal complaint, are for intentionally deceiving customers or attempting to deceive customers that he contracted to sell fuel products including LP gas, gasoline, and diesel/fuel oil in three general ways: (1) physically “shorting” the customer by pumping a portion of the fuel back into his delivery truck, (2) the use of fraudulent propane delivery invoices, and (3) issuance of duplicate and triplicate fuel delivery tickets by presenting the same ticket to multiple customers for a single fuel delivery.