Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bell ringers raise funds

Ringing bells for the Salvation Army’s red kettle last week on Main Street in Baldwin were Baldwin Area Medical Center employees Barb LaVigne and Terry Rademaker.

Two stores robbed on Main Street

Two stores on Main Street in Baldwin were recent victims of robberies.
PC Doctor was broken into some time during the night time hours on Monday, December 7. The person or persons involved used a brick to break a window on the Main Street entrance, reached inside and unlocked the door.
Merchandise stolen, along with damages, totaled about $1,000.
On Sunday morning of this week, between the hours of 7:00 and 7:30 a.m., a brick was thrown through a Main Street window of Fennern Jewelers. The burgler reached in and stole six to eight pieces of diamond jewelry in a display case.
Baldwin Police suspect the two robberies were carried out by the same person or persons. No suspects have been apprehended. Both cases continue to be under investigation.

Village Board approves five year extension of United Civic Center contract

The Baldwin Village Board at their regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 9 approved a five year extension of the contract for use of United Civic Center with the Blackhawk Hockey Association.
Included in the extension is the village’s agreement to continue providing the Hockey Association with an annual payment of $20,000 from the tourism fund the village has as a result of a motel/hotel tax.
The current agreement between the village and hockey association doesn’t expire until 2012. However, Jon Zevenbergen, representing the hockey association, said that if there is no extension with the $20,000 payment, the hockey association would have to start making plans to raise revenue. He said “significant planning” would be necessary to find substitute revenue, and some of it would perhaps have to come from raising fees to those who play on teams.
Raising the cost to hockey players could result in fewer numbers of players, Zevenbergen said, so the hockey association tries to keep registration fees “as low as possible.”
Annually, about $250,000 is necessary to run United Civic Center, Zevenbergen said. One of the largest revenue sources is tournaments, he added, and all the tournaments planned for this season are full. “There’s a lot of activity that way,” he said.
Among the recent improvement at United Civic Center are a security system and remodeling of a coaches room and extra space for storage.
“You have to be impressed with the job the Hockey Association has done in the past few years,” Trustee Claire Stein said before the board voted to renew the agreement from 2012 through 2016
In other action at the meeting:
-The Board approved expending $12,070 for a 2005 Trailblazer for the Baldwin Police Department. It will be equipped with siren and lights. The amount was budgeted.
-Caucus was set for Wednesday, January 13 at 6:15 p.m., which is before the regular monthly January meeting.
-The board was told that there are 11 or 12 applicants for the position of Administrator/Clerk-Treasurer. The deadline for applying is Tuesday, December 15. After the deadline is passed a committee will meet to pare down the list of applicants.
-The board accepted the improvements in Baldwin Energy Park conditional upon erosion control and street signs that will be done in the spring when the ground thaws. The acceptance is not final, but does give the village ownership of the improvements which means the village will plow snow on the street.
-The watermain loop under I-94 is progressing said engineer Mike Stoffel. He said the pipe, originally stopped by rock, has been relocated up about two feet. A pay request for the work done was approved and an extension of time to finish the work was approved until December 31 because of the unexpected rock conditions.
-Police Chief Jim Widiker said cab driver Abdi Askar who was involved in an incident in Baldwin on December 7 in which he was critically injured, remains hospitalized at Regions Medical Center and is on life support and has no brain activity.
-Engineer Stoffel said the Thompson building has been cleared of asbestos and the company hired to demolish the building would like to start as soon as the paperwork is completed, perhaps as early as this week.

News from the exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

HUDSON STAR OBSERVER: The North Hudson village board put an agenda item on the fast track last Tuesday (Dec. 1) in order to make a grant application deadline. At issue was an urban wildlife abatement control grant which, if awarded, would give the village $5,000 toward the cost of an archery deer hunting season. The urban deer season is in its final trial year under the guidance of River Valley Deer Management. President George Klein moved the item up from No. 14 on the agenda to No. 4 in order to make the Dec. 1 deadline. “We have permission to fax the application in tonight,” Klein said. Lon Feia, president of the management group, said last week that 22 deer had been bagged since the season opened September 12. Their goal is 30 to 50 deer in during the pilot program that will end when the archery season closes January 31.

THE COURIER-WEDGE (Durand): Recently the Durand Police Department has received several complaints regarding a money scam that has occurred in several churches in Durand area as well as several churches in surrounding counties. A male would contact the churches by phone and advise that a close relative had died a long distance away and he had no money for transportation to the funeral. Arrangements were made by several Churches to provide assistance. The Durand Police Department with assistance of the Pepin County Sheriff’s Department and Pierce County Sheriff’s Department apprehended 37 year old Eric Allan Kisor on November 25, 2009 in the City of Durand. When interviewed Kisor stated that he lives in Rochester, Minn., and has defrauded several churches in various locations, and sometimes used an alias name. If you have been a victim of this type of scam, please contact your local Police or Sheriff’s Department. Kisor is currently in the Pepin County Jail.

TRIBUNE PRESS REPORTER (Glenwood City): Only seven Glenwood City firefighters were on hand to fight the Emerald Dairy fire a little more than a week ago, and that has Carlton DeWitt worried. DeWitt, owner, editor and publisher of the Glenwood City Tribune, appeared before the Glenwood City Council Monday night to discuss the issue and to urge council members to encourage city employees – and their own employees – to volunteer for the fire department and the ambulance service. DeWitt currently is a member of the fire department and in the past served the community as fire chief for 25 years. “City business must be done at this table, not down the street and especially not on the apparatus floor of the fire station. Because some members of the council engaged in a discussion about the ambulance outside of this table were overheard, someone was offended. Because of this we have lost two members off the ambulance service and one off the fire department. If you have problems with city business, it belongs at this table,” DeWitt said, reading from a letter he had written to the city council. Part of DeWitt’s letter stated: “The fire department is in worse shape for personnel. At the structure fire last week, only seven members of the department responded. Thank GOD for the mutual aid agreement. Our neighbors covered our butts.”

THE SUN (OSCEOLA): F&A Dairy Products in Dresser wants to further clean up its act. The 40-year-old commercial dairy, which makes mozzarella and other cheeses, is planning to install a new $500,000 aerobic digester that will decrease the amount of solids and other pollutants leaving its wastewater treatment system. The dairy submitted plans to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for approval last month, but could take up to 90 days to gain approval. If approved, the project is scheduled to be installed and operational by April 2010. Mike Breault, vice president operations at the dairy, said the new digester will produce a “fine bubble” aeration that will “get more air in there and treat things better.” “It should be cleaner and smell better” for residents near the treatment facility west of Highway 35 in Dresser Breault said. Breault said the new system is being installed in response to increased production at the dairy, not because of any permit violations. The dairy is currently processing more than 1 million pounds of milk every day, up from 900,000 a few years ago. The dairy employs about 50 people and currently is producing about 2 million pounds of cheese every month, Breault said.

MONDOVI HERALD-NEWS: The Mondovi School Board discussed changing the early admittance policy currently in place for four-year-old kindergartners at the board meeting held Wednesday, December 2. The discussion stemmed from many requests for early admittance that have come forward. The policy currently states that a child to be placed in four-year-old kindergarten who will not yet be four years old by September 1 needs to be evaluated through testing. If the child does not pass the test, and appeal can be made to the principal and then to the school board. Elementary principal Paul Franzwa said three or four requests have come to his level in the past five years. He said he recommends children entering four-year-old kindergarten should be at least four years old by September 1 and no early admissions should be allowed. He said some of the four-year-old kindergartners turn five soon after starting school and he emphasized that the needs of three-year-olds and five-year-olds are different.