Thursday, October 28, 2010

Political season in Wisconsin

U.S. Senate Candidate Ron Johnson, an Oshkosh manufacturer and accountant, joined Representative John Murtha at a rally at Murtha’s business with supporters last Saturday. He is pictured above at right listening to local resident Hugh Lockerby, left. John Murtha is at center in the background.

Johnson is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Russ Feingold. Murtha is up for re-election for the 29th State Assembly seat and is challenged by Liz Jones.

This past weekend, manufacturer and U.S. Senate Candidate Ron Johnson campaigned throughout Western Wisconsin to meet with voters. While in Baldwin, Ron attended a rally hosted by local State Representative and small businessman John Murtha.

“Throughout Wisconsin, the message from voters is clear – we have to reduce the size of government to spur job growth,” Ron Johnson said. “Unfortunately, career politicians like Russ Feingold have voted for budgets that exploded our debt, a health care bill that increased taxes and hurts seniors, and a failed stimulus bill. We need leadership with a new perspective, and that is what I hope to offer Wisconsin voters on November 2nd.”

As a 31-year manufacturer, not a career politician, Ron is working hard to meet as many people in Wisconsin and communicate his message of smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and an economic growth agenda.

Ron Kind stopped in Baldwin last Friday to congratulate Baldwin Telecom on the award of ARRA funds for a project to bring high speed internet to the resident of the Town of Troy. Kind is being challenged for the seat in the U.S. Congress by Dan Karpanke. Pictured with Kind, left, are BTI General Manager Larry Knegendorf and BTI Operations Manager Matt Sparks.

Village board grants Baldwin Care Center independence

The Baldwin Village Board has agreed to give the Baldwin Care Center independence as a 501(c)(3) corporation separate from village ownership.

The action came Wednesday, October 20 at a special meeting of the village board. It is a prelude to an addition and remodeling peroject at the Care Center intended to make the facility competitive into the future by changing it from the “medical” model to a “residential” model. That means more private rooms and bathrooms and carpeted floors rather than tile.

Care Center Administrator Eileen LaFavor indicated she is excited about operating independently of the village but noted that the operating structure of the facility won’t change that much. “I don’t see a lot changing,” she said.

The motion to turn over the real estate of the Baldwin Care Center, Inc. to the existing Board of Trustees for $1.50 was made by Trustee Claire Stein. The motion passed with Village President Don McGee and Trustee Kevin Brathol voting no. The Care Center assumes the existing $600,000 of debt that will no longer be guaranteed by the village.

The addition/remodeling project will hopefully be started sometime next year.

In other action at the board meeting: the Board agreed to spend up to $900 on trees for adjoining land in lieu of not postponing the impact fee payment for a four-plex planned by Scott Plourde. He said the interest cost of paying the impact fee at the building permit time rather than at completion of the building was about $900.

Additionally, President McGee noted that the village went through the step of getting a bond rating and was rated AA with a stable outlook. Part of the reason for the good rating is a healthy, strong fund balance. The good rating means lower interest rates for the village which can generate substantial savings over time. For example, at the regular monthly board meeting of October 13 financial consultant Sean Lentz of Ehlers and Associates said the re-financing of the bonds approved at that meeting combined with the bond rating, generated savings of $11,000 to $15,000 a year over the seven years remaining on the life of the bond issue.

“Living Green: From Trash to Treasure”

Joan Sprain, Family Living Agent

On Thursday, November 4 from 1:00 -3:00 p.m. at the Ag Center in Baldwin, Joan Sprain, UW-Extension Family Living Agent and the St. Croix County Association for Home and Community Education will present “Living Green: From Trash to Treasure” at the UW-Extension Office. This free presentation is open to the public. Ms. Sprain will share repurposing and recycling ideas along with items and tips she’s discovered. Please bring any items you have created from recycled/repurposed materials.

Hawks roll to 45-6 win against Amery;

Top Spooner in Level 1 Playoffs

Play at Somerset Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

Panthers fall to Somerset in Level 1 38-14.

Johnson sectional winner

St. Croix Central senior Brett Johnson qualified for the WIAA state cross country meet last Friday with a first place finish at the Amery Sectional.

Johnson finished the 5000m course with a time of 16:48.61, nearly a half minute in front of the second place finisher, Josh Smith of Ashland.

This will be the third trip to the state meet for Johnson. Last year he finished in 11th place when the Central boys team qualified.

“Brett will try the same strategy as last, but hopefully this year he’ll be more relaxed and accomplish his goal,” said Coach Bill Emery. The strategy is to stay with the the top ten runners and be in striking distance at the finish.

“Last year he was just too uptight,” Emery said.

Overall, the Central boys team finished in third place with 126 points behind Northwestern (66) and Ashland (71).

“I was very pleased with the third place finish, especially with Stephen (Brunshidle) going down,” Emery said. Brunshidle has been experiencing ankle problems the last few weeks and finished nearly a minute off his usual pace at the sectional, Emery explained.

“Even with Stephen running his usual race, we weren’t going to move to second place, but we could have gotten down to around 100 points,” Emery said.

Alex Halvorson was the second finisher for the Panthers, 19th overall at 18:49, while Brunshidle was 21st in 18:50. Also scoring for the Panthers were Brett Briggs (35, 19:32) and Jonathan Mielke (50, 20:05).

The Panther girls finished in 13th place with 337 points, led by Courtney Kramer with a 17th place finish in 17:18 over the 3000m course. Also scoring for the girls were Hope Hoolihan (46, 18:20), Abbie Webb (83, 20:55), Jenna Ganther (88, 21:17) and Hayley Ray (103, 24:49).

Northwestern won the girls’ sectional title with 47 points, followed by Rice Lake with 112.

Emery said the entire team will accompany Johnson to the state meet. “I look at this as another training exercise,” he said. “The boys’ team has a legitimate chance to make it to state next year.”

From the Exchanges

Interesting items from

surrounding communities

AMERY FREE PRESS: A resolution to hold a public hearing on the proposed 2010 Budget for Polk county was finally approved by the Polk County Board of Supervisors after extended discussion Tuesday, October 12. Sup. Neil Johnson moved to have the board instruct Administrator Dana Frey to rework the proposed budget and come back with a zero percent increase for 2011. Johnson began by suggesting that cuts will have to come and suggested that the county “get rid of some personnel” and other cuts. Corporation Counsel Jeff Fuge ruled the motion out of order. Eventually, Johnson withdrew the motion to offer it later in the meeting. At that later point, the effort to require the administrator to submit a zero percent increase proposed budget was again floated this time by Sup. Brian Masters and seconded by Johnson. The argument in favor led by Johnson, who told the supervisors the county has “too many people…get rid of them.” Johnson also admitted that there were some positions on his list of too many people that had yet to be filled. “Don’t get cold feet,” he urged the supervisors, “We gotta do it in 2011…I need your support.” The final vote on a zero percent increase proposed budget failed with nine supervisors voting in favor and 14 voting against it.

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: In early 2009, the local affiliate of Habitat For Humanity announced plans for the development of an “eco-village.” The goal was to provide a self-sustained, energy efficient and environmentally friendly neighborhood of homes for area low-income families. Today, plans are still being made to build this first-of-its-kind neighborhood on the southern portion of Appollo Road, just off West Maple Street. Major components of the eco-village center around the construction of the 20 to 25 houses, according to Jim Farr, recently hired director of St. Croix Valley Habitat For Humanity. He’s pleased with the progress and distinctive nature of the project. “The most unique aspect of this project is the strong alignment and commitment of the core partners - St. Croix Valley Habitat For Humanity, the city of River Falls, the UW-River Falls/St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development, and the design team at Frisbie Architects - toward the key objectives,” says Farr. “One of the outcomes of (those core partners) was the donation of the five-acre parcel of land from the city of River Falls to SCVHFH,” he began. “This provided the opportunity to vision the village concept.”

THE SUN (OSCEOLA): After the Osceola Village Board met in closed session last week, The Sun learned it gave Village Administrator Neil Soltis a letter of reprimand titled “Notice of Expectations.” The reprimand was the culmination of a three and a half month investigation conducted by the Board after Soltis and Mike Mallin, a public works department employee of the Village had terse words outside the Village Hall in early July. The confrontation resulted in Mallin filing a union grievance against Soltis on or about July 23. Mallin filed the grievance under the Village’s Internal Complaint Procedure. Mallin alleged Soltis used the f-word numerous times, spit in his face and poked his finger in Mallin's chest in a threatening manner. Soltis later admitted to his use of the f-word, but denied the spitting and poking. In his grievance, Mallin asked the Board to direct Soltis to issue him a written letter of apology. Mallin also alleged that Soltis, in an act of retaliation, assumed most of Jim “Abe” Schmidt’s duties as public works director shortly after the grievance was filed. Schmidt, who was not a member of the union, is Mallin’s direct supervisor. Mallin asked that Schmidt have his full authority restored to insure there was a buffer between Soltis and the union members.

THE COURIER-WEDGE (DURAND): An Eau Claire, Wis., man was sentenced October 5 for his role in a gun theft in Durand, according to the U.S. Department of Justice press release. Alan Xiong, 24, received a seven-year sentence with three years of supervised release following imprisonment for the 2007 burglary of Ryan’s Sport Shop. According to the press release, Xiong and other members of the street gang, Menace of Destruction, stole 34 guns from the store. Five of the guns have been recovered, the release said. Of the 34 guns, whose total value was about $35,000, about ten were handguns according to a June 28, 2007 Courier-Wedge report.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Band second place in state competition

Accepting the Best Precussion trophy on behalf of the Baldwin-Woodville Marching Blackhawks at the Wisconsin State Marching Band Championships Saturday were, left to right: Jacob Stoffel, Kristin Bauer, Maggie Gadbois and Leann Larson.

The Baldwin-Woodville Marching Band’s performance at the Wisconsin State Music Association’s Marching Band Championships at UW-Whitewater Saturday afternoon was not only “our best show of the year,” said B-W Band Director Adam Bassak. The point total for the band of 76.80 “is the highest point total our program has ever had.”
In addition to finishing second with a great point total, the B-W ensemble was the winner of the Best Percussion section. All the other captions—Best Color Guard, Best Visual Presentation and Best Musical Presentation—went to Cumberland.
And a resounding performance it was. Following the show the crowd in attendance at the beautiful UW-Whitewater stadium cheered vigorously and loudly for a prolonged period.
“That’s the way you want to finish your season,” said Mr. Bassak.
The winner in the Class A competition was Cumberland, an outstanding band with a enviable record. Their point total was 78.85. Cumberland has had such success that for several years it competed up a class, in AA.
Mr. Bassak said there were several things in the B-W Band’s show that “stood out. Our ballad—the slow part, the love story—was a perfect moment in the show with the color guard and two soloists we have performing at the time. And then obviously the percussion winning their fourth straight championship: that’s a testament to all the extra time and dedication to their instrument.”
“I think overall, that as a group this group of kids worked better together as a family and as an ensemble than any other group we’ve had and it showed,” said Mr. Bassak.
Band members this year include:
Drum Majors: Kristin Bauer, Maggie Gadbois, and Jacob Stoffel; Flute: Mallory Custer, Kayla Stone, C'aira Thompson, Stacia Berg, Brittany Bergquist, and Robyn Syverson; Clarinet: Tanya LaFavor, Tapp Chantel, Emalie Tison, Emily Sigafoos, Michael Clausen, Cayla Thompson, and Zyanya Arce; Bass Clarinet: Jennifer Veenendall; Alto Saxophone: Sydney Menkevich, Trevor Zimmerman, Raymond Thomas, and Colton Schmitt; Tenor Saxophone: Nick Herzog, Nick Zillmann, Trevor Plemon, and Tyler Behr: Trumpet: Shauna Basques, Colton Sander, Drew Johnson, Kelsey Lyons, Taylor Kadrlik, Cody Cernohous, Larissa LaFavor, Jake Otis, Anna Dahl, Steven Aune, Chase Wilson, Colten Hoff, Jake Humphrey, and Tyler Dierich: Horn: Abby Gadbois, Marah Kittelson, and Tyler Weyer; Trombone: Jacob Grafenstein. Ali Hilborn, Dustin Carlson, Alex Clausen, and Alyssa Cooper; Tuba: Maximilian Shakal, Anthony Stock, Andrew Ring, and Kevin Yang; Snares: Doug Hanson, Matthew Sparks, and Zach Wagner; Tenor: Bradley McGee; Bass Drums: Jennifer Willert, Brody Jensen, Grey Tison, and Brandon Serier;
Front Ensemble (Pit): Emma Miller, Andrea Cronk, Terra Jansma, Marissa Braymen, Ross Jennings, Catie Hollabaugh, Chris Shakal, Erick Forsberg, Forrester Smith, and Michael McMillan; Guard: Rachael Hanson, Brianna Mortel, Elsie Kersten, LeAnn Larson, Victoria Liston, Mara Hanson, Naomi Hurd, Amanda Myer, Jenna Mortel, Nicole Branstad, Carly Grafenstein, Lauren Russell, and Courtney Behr; Staff Colorguard: Amber Hahn, Kim Ricci, Sarah Bassak, and Afton Polk; Percussion: John Mapes, Nathan Zacharias, Aaron Kittelson, and Ryan Wilson; Winds: Bobbi Geissler and Brianna Hepfler; Directors: Adam Bassak and Eric Becker.

School board designates donated land school forest

A resolution designating the land recently donated to the Baldwin-Woodville Area School district by the Mary Giezendanner estate as school forest will save the district a $98,000 tax penalty, according to attorney Terry Dunst of Bakke Norman SC.
Dunst and fellow attorney Tom Schumacher explained to the board that according to the DNR state office, a public entity may not own land in the Managed Forest program, in which the property is currently enrolled. When land in a program is withdrawn before the enrollment period is expired, the back taxes which have been waived must be repaid, explained Dunst.
“However, if the land is withdrawn and declared a school forest, then we fall under an exemption to the withdrawal tax,” said Dunst. ”School forest rules are quite flexible,” he continued, “and they are ruled by the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, not the DNR.”
Board member Deb Rasmussen commented, “It’s my understanding that a managed forest is a healthy forest,” and asked if managed forest principles could still be applied to a school forest.
“Yes, and UW-Stevens Point would be very helpful with that,” said Dunst.
Supt. Helland added that administrators have been meeting with interested teachers and gathering information about existing school forests for review.
“We recommend you withdraw from the Managed Forest program and designate the land as a school forest. You avoid the tax penalty and give the board a chance to consider its options,” concluded Dunst.
The board approved a resolution designating the property as a school forest unanimously.
In response to district resident Jim Lund’s question whether hunting would be allowed on the land, Dunst said hunting could be allowed by the district under regular hunting laws.
“Our district insurance policy would cover this,” said Supt. Rusty Helland.
The board then discussed allowing hunting on the land. Board president Jeff Campbell spoke in favor of allowing hunting, as did board member Todd Graf. Board member Ann Hilmanowske asked if the district should limit the number of hunters allowed on the property.
The consensus of the hunters present was that hunters will not go there if it looks crowded, “Hunters think of safety first,” commented Supt. Helland.
The board approved allowing hunting on the land if asked for permission by hunters.
District Reading Coordinator Randi Hoffman opened the Balanced Literacy report by introducing five enthusiastic elementary teachers who have received training in the Daily 5 and incorporated the strategies in their classrooms. First grade teachers Denise Corrigan and Kim Thomason, third grade teacher Heather Kittelson, fourth grade teacher Kelly Veenendaal, and Title I director Kelly Bugni explained the components of the Daily 5.
The Daily 5 are part of the Balanced Literacy program. Hoffman explained that the program teaches students reading strategies and focuses on leveled books so each student is able to read at his or her level. Reading is done in small, fluid groups, and independently. Students read aloud to one another and conference individually with the teacher.
“The goal is to get students to read for 30 minutes a day, which has been shown by research to improve learning,” said Hoffman. She said the program steers away from worksheets and workbooks and focuses on reading and writing.
The Daily 5 are the strategies used by teachers to teach students how to improve their reading.
“The first thing we do is build muscle and stamina,” said Kittelson. “We might start out the year just reading a few minutes,” she said, but that improves over time. Kittelson said students are taught to read by themselves and to each other, a just right book for them, in a comfortable place. The goal is for students to become able to work independently so that the teacher can work individually with others.
“We model desirable reading behavior and incorrect behavior to show students how to act,” Kittlelson said.
Teachers stay out of the way while students are practicing reading stamina and students keep individual logs of how many minutes they read at a time.
Read to someone is the next strategy. Reading partners can be of different levels since each has his or her own leveled books to read. Partners are taught how to coach each other if one is having trouble with a word, said Thomason.
Work on writing is next, which includes intense focused daily writing practice said Veenendaal. Students chose what they want to write about and they learn by proofreading and editing their work. These activities help them become better readers and writers, she said.
Word work is learning the weekly spelling words. “All these activities are hands on,” according to Corrigan, “the kids love it.” She explained the students use manipulatives like play dough or blocks or white boards to practice their words.
Listen to reading is the last strategy in which students listen to fluent reading while viewing the text at the same time. They use computers or CD players with headphones to follow along, “This is especially important for English Language Learners,” concluded Corrigan.
Title 1 is following the guided reading approach as well according to Bugni.
The next step following the Daily 5 is called CAFE, said Hoffman. CAFE stands for comprehension, accuracy, fluency and expand vocabulary, she said. Some teachers are starting this program already, but most will begin next year, according to Hoffman.
In other business, district bookkeeper Pam Rose walked the board through the Revenue Limit Worksheet that is finalized now that the enrollment figures are complete. The Third Friday Enrollment figure for 2010 is 1585, up 60 over 2009. That includes only one-third of the new 4K program enrollment because the TFE figures are based on a three year average. Based on this figure the tax levy will be $6,314,079, which is $48,741 or .77 percent less than last year.
Supt. Helland pointed out that the equalized valuation of the district decreased by 6.8 percent this year, following a 6.46 percent decrease last year.
According to the report, state aid for the district totals $10,637,650 and the total budget for 2010-2011 is $19,674,046 which is a .59 percent increase over last year.
Supt. Helland distributed the SchoolFacts10 Middle Border Conference Report prepared by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. The report shows that out of the eight school districts in the conference, B-W ranks fifth in average adjusted gross income and eighth in property value per student.
B-W is seventh in the conference in comparative expenditures per student. Comparative spending is one measure of “education-related” spending, according to the report. Transportation costs and capital expansion are not included here.
Test scores show B-W to be at the top of the conference in fourth grade reading, sixth in eighth grade math, fourth in tenth grade science.
B-W ranks sixth in base teacher salaries, third in maximum salary.

Village board asked for Baldwin Care Center ownership

At the October regular monthly meeting of the Baldwin Village Board, representatives of the Baldwin Care Center [BCC] asked board members to consider the ownership of the facility.
According to Tom Martin of Community Living Solutions, which has been hired to help prepare a master plan for BCC, the trend in nursing homes is “to a more residential-like setting and not the medical model.” He said the more residential type setting provides more privacy for residents and that in turn leads to increased dignity. As part of that trend private rooms with private bathrooms which are wheelchair friendly are becoming the norm.
Martin said that it is becoming increasingly necessary to compete for private pay residents as government funded residents pays a smaller share of total costs. In addition, competing for staff may be an issue in the future.
Baldwin Care Center has prepared a plan to enlarge the present facility with a wing of private rooms and then renovate some of the existing rooms to “Community Based Residential Facility” rooms.
The issue of the ownership of the facility then became an issue. The board was asked whether the village still wants to be the owner of the facility or whether the ownership should be transferred to a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Transferring ownership would relieve the village of any liability if the facility is not able to meet debt payments. It would also result in an interest rate between one-half and one percent higher than if the village guaranteed the debt.
Sean Lentz of Ehlers and Associates, the village’s financial consultant, told the board that at the point of addressing a new project is a good time to address the structure of ownership and finanical. He noted that even if the village was not the owner of the facility and not ultimately responsible for its debt, it could still participate by providing “conduit financing” for tax-exempt purposes. The switch to a 501(c)(1) organization would require a nominal sale price, or the expansion project would not be viable.
After brief consideration of the issue, board members decided they needed more time to reflect on the question and a special meeting was set for Wednesday, October 20 at 6:00 p.m.

BAMC, Greenfield team up for wellness event

Pictured above are some of the organizers of the effort. From left are: Mrs. Peg Helland, physical education instructor at Greenfield; Katie Carstens of BAMC’s Fitness Center; Mrs. Brenda Bergquist, Greenfield school psychologist; Mrs. Carol Lebo, Greenfield school counselor; Mrs. Heather Kittelson, Greenfield second grade teacher; and Mrs. Denise Corrigan, Greenfield first grade teacher.

In an effort to combat the growing problem of obesity, especially childhood obesity, Baldwin Area Medical Center [BAMC] and Greenfield Elementary School have teamed up to present “Be-Well Blackhawk Family Kick-off to Play.”
The event will be held at Greenfield Elementary on Monday, October 25 from 6:3 until 8:00 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria and library. All students and their families are invited to attend.
The problem of childhood obesity is growing, said Carstens, who holds a BS degree in Kinesiology, which is the study of movement.
The problem needs to be approached by providing solid nutrition information to families, said Carstens. She noted that time is an issue for many families along with a lack of knowing how to implement a more active and nutritious lifestyle. “We need to get both parents and kids working with the schools and hospital to get information to families.”
The evening at Greenfield on October 25 will involve providing nutrition information to parents while their children learn activities. That will be followed by a nutritious snack and the chance for parents and their children to share with each other what they’ve learned.
For more information please see the advertisement in this week’s issue.

From the Exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: At last, the beauty of it was revealed Monday evening. After a very long wait, UW-River Falls’ corpse flower finally bloomed. Tuesday morning the university’s greenhouse manager Dan Waletzko cut a hole in the base of the plant to allow for viewing of the flower’s fruit. The corpse flower, actually called a titan arum plant, typically blooms only once every six years. The corpse flower is one of only 140 that exist worldwide. Until this week the UW-RF plant had not bloomed in nine years. Out of town visitor Victoria Stevens spent hours watching the bloom slowly unfold Monday. However the corpse flower’s bloom was short-lived and began collapsing by noon Tuesday.

HUDSON STAR~OBSERVER: A 51-year-old St. Cloud State University professor was prevented form jumping off the St. Croix River bridge by the Hudson Police Department early Saturday morning. Police received a call just after midnight that a man was straddling a fence along the eastbound side of the I-94 bridge and appeared to be preparing to jump. His car was stopped just east of the bridge with its hazard lights on. According to the police report, Bruce Richard Klemz was shaking, emotional and agitated as officers approached him and he demanded they not come close to him. Taking turns the four officers on the scene tried to convince Klemz to come off the fence. A crying Klemz told officers he “really messed up this time.” He told officers he had tried to buy a gun to “end this swiftly” but was denied. Police transported Klemz to the Hudson Hospital for a possible prescription drug overdose and he was later transferred to United Hospital for additional treatment. Before leaving Hudson, Klemz told police that he had been in divorce mediation that day and was not able to emotionally handle it. After court, he attempted to buy a gun at Fleet Farm in St. Cloud but was unable to, citing a previous felony conviction related to a domestic abuse incident. He said his “plan B” was to take Vicodin and find a tall bridge.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Keefer selected to play in the Army All-American Bowl

The selection of Baldwin-Woodville’s Jake Keefer to play in the nationally televised Army All-American Bowl in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday, January 11 was hardly a secret. The official announcement came Tuesday afternoon, October 5 at a rally-pep fest at Baldwin-Woodville High School attended by hundreds of cheering fellow students.
Keefer, modest as always, thanked his coaches, teachers, fellow football players and students for his success after he accepted a US Army jersey with a number 11.
Keefer joins an elite groupe of All-Americans who will play in the Army All-American Bowl in the annual east versus west match-up.
“Jake is a talented athlete whose exemplary leadership and teamwork qualities have made him a standout at Baldwin-Woodville High School,” said Col. Derik Crotts, Director of Strategic Communications, Marketing and Outreach, U.S. Army Accessions Command. “The strength, dedication, leadership and teamwork skills necessary to succeed on the football field are the same qualities mirrored in the Army Strong Soldiers. We are proud to honor all of our U.S. Army All-American Bowl players and congratulate them on their selection.”
Keefer was selected by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee, which consists of All-American Games’ network of regional directors. U.S. Army All-American players are eligible for the U.S. Army Player of the Year Award, the Anthony Munoz Lineman of the Year Award, the Pete Dawkins Game MVP Award, and the Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard U.S. Army Awards.
As a result of Jake Keefer being selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, his head coach Dan Keefer has been invited to travel to San Antonio and attend the U.S. Army Coaches Academy, an elite three-day learning experience featuring NFL and NCAA coaches, as well as participate in game-week activities.
The U.S. Army All-American Bown is the premier high school football game in the country held each January in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The game features the best high school football players in the nation and has helped launch the careers of Adrian Peterson, Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Michael Oher (from the movie “The Blind Side”) and many other college and NFL stars since its inception in 2001. The game also crowns the U.S. Army Player of the Year during Bowl Week in San Antonio.
The U.S. Army Accessions Command (USAAC), a subordinate command of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, meets the human resource needs of the Army by transforming volunteers into officers, warrant officers, and enlisted soldiers. In providing the force, the 18,400 men and women of Accessions Command prepare these future soldiers and leaders for their initial military training. Commanded by Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, SCAAC is located in Fort Knox, Ky.

Labecki presented sportsmanship award to Fusion

Wade Labecki, Deputy Director of the WIAA, was present at the start of Thursday’s B-W football game against Prescott to present the Sportsmanship Award to the Fusion hockey team for the second year in a row. The Fusion has also been the WIAA champion two years running. Labecki is center standing. Also standing from left are Assistant Coach Karl Erickson, Head Coach Matt Cranston, Labecki, Baldwin-Woodville High School Principal Eric Russell and B-W Athletic Director JR Dachel. Members of the team are in the front row.

Former Shrine patient attends Shrine festivities

Sarah French, of New Richmond, attended the festivities on the weekend of the Little East West Shrine Game in River Falls on Saturday, October 2. Sarah, who was a patient at the Shrine Hospital for Children from 4 1/2 years of age, now runs marathons. She is pictured with her father, Shriner and Mason Larry Wiegand of Wilson and her son Hunter. Photo by Milt Helmer

From the Exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

AMERY FREE PRESS: Thirty-four pounds of marijuana with a street value of about $190,000! That is the amount and value of marijuana taken in an investigation of information received by the Barron county sheriff’s department of a large quantity of marijuana harvested on Saturday, October 2, on property belonging to Michael Carl Field, 55, Clayton. A Polk county sheriff’s deputy headed toward where a Barron county deputy was enroute. Upon arrival an officer met Field’s vehicle driving away from the address and intercepted it when it turned north on County Line St. from CTH D. Field was driving with one male passenger. Upon contact a deputy detected the odor of marijuana from the vehicle. When patting Field down for safety, the deputy found a round object in his lift front pocket, the size of a chewing tobacco container. Field stated it was lip balm, but when asked to show the deputy, he said it was “weed.” The passenger admitted to the harvesting of marijuana. Field was arrested and transported to the Polk county jail without incident. A search warrant was obtained and executed at the residence and 35 complete marijuana plants were potted and under grow-type lights. There were several areas where buds had been harvested in different stages of drying and large quantities of grow chemicals and other paraphernalia for manufacture and preparing for the sale of marijuana. Numerous gallon-sized plastic baggies with harvested and dried marijuana were found in the residence, along with a digital scale. Polk County Sheriff Tim Moore, stated that numerous firearms were located in the residence, including, .45 caliber weapons, an AK-47 rifle and many had live rounds in the chambers. Some were found stashed near the marijuana itself.

PIERCE COUNTY HERALD: The first phase of a multi-phase project at the Ellsworth Co-op Creamery progressed last week. A new 17,000 square foot storage building for cheese was becoming visible just northwest of the present plant. General Manager and CEO Paul Bauer said the structure will include a 100-by-100 foot area for coolers plus another 7,000 square feet of room. “We were cramped for space,” Bauer said Wednesday. The project began in early June with the installation of footings, but heavy rains this summer set the work schedule back, he said. The creamery’s board had given a go-ahead this past spring. The facility will feature structural wall panels made of reinforced concrete with insulation in the center, he said. It will have a flat roof with refrigeration units on top and insulation underneath for a slight pitch. “The energy loss will be two-thirds improved, compared to our present building,” he said. Completion of the new structure is now projected for around the end of this year, Bauer said. The last cooler addition at the plant occurred 30 years ago in 1980.

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: Lori Anderson admits it hasn’t been easy living without husband Mark since his death September 28, 2007, caused by an accidental fall. She says the dedicated father of 10, loving husband and gifted horticulturist was the backbone of Anderson Plant Farm in the town of Martell. “This is how we raised our family,” she said of the business. Anderson said the vision they’d begun 25 years ago, changed suddenly. That darkness, pain and mourning let to a seed that sprouted and grew: “The love of green things and all that is good and serene in this world.” The Anderson family’s thoughts and inspirations steered them to transform the plant farm into a natural atmosphere for healing, restoration and transformation called Mystical Rose Gardens. Located about 12 miles east of River Falls, Anderson said the plant farm began selling retail about three years before Mark died. She’s excited to share Mystical Rose Gardens, a retreat center available for weddings, wedding receptions and hobby retreats like scrapbooking and quilting.

THE SUN (OSCEOLA): Osceola and Dresser police officers seized a large amount of crystal methamphetamine and cash last week during a traffic stop in Dresser. According to an arrest report, Marvin C. Zehm, 40, of Dresser, was charged September 27, with possessing more than 10 grams of amphetamines with intent to deliver, a felony, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia after he was stopped for speeding on 240th St. near 100th Ave. After the Dresser officer observed Zehm to be “very twitchy and nervous” during the traffic stop, the report stated, the officer requested the assistance of Osceola’s K officer, Smokey, and his handler Samantha Byram. When the officers asked Zehm to step out of his vehicle, he initially refused telling the officer “you’re not getting in my vehicle, you’re not touching anything.” He later rolled up all his windows, turned the vehicle off and locked the doors, taking his keys with him as he exited the vehicle. During a search of the outside of the vehicle, Smokey indicated the presence of narcotics odor on the door of Zehm’s vehicle and on the large bundle of cash taken from Zehm during a physical search for weapons. Further search of the inside of Zehm’s vehicle revealed a large resealable plastic bag containing what appeared to be meth.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Jennings is a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist

Ross Jennings, center, son of Kathryn and Tad Jennings, has been named a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program [NMSP] by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation [NMSC]. He is pictured B-W High School Principal Eric Russell and his mother.

Ross Jennings, son of Kathryn and Tad Jennings, has been named a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program [NMSP] by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation [NMSC].
Forrester Smith was named a Commended Student in the NMSP. He is the son of Charles and Jennifer Smith.
Approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program were announced in September. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for 8.400 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $36 million, that will be offered in the spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of competition. About 90% of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing and approximately half the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.
NMSC is a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance and was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual NMSP. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 450 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.
Smith is one of about 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2011 competition for National Merit Scholarships, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2011 competition by taking the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Test (PSAT/NMSQT).
“Recognition of high-achieving students is essential to advancing educational excellence in our nation,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “As demonstrated by their outstanding performance in our highly competitive program, the young men and women named Commended Students represent some of the most academically talented students in our country. We sincerely hope this recognition will enhance their educational opportunities and encourage them in their pursuit of academic success.”

B-W students score well on AP exams

Baldwin-Woodville High School and the College Board are pleased to recognize the following students who have earned AP Scholar Awards on the basis of their outstanding performance on the 2010 Advanced Placement exams.
Edward Rumpel, son of Jim and Mary Rumpel of Baldwin, was named an AP Scholar with Distinction. To do so, he had to earn a score of at least 3.5 out of 5 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more exams. Ed is currently attending the University of St. Thomas where he is majoring in electrical engineering.
Kory Hines, son of Keith and Beckie Hines of Baldwin, and Tanis Klingler, daughter of Marvin and Lise Klingler of Baldwin, were named AP Scholars with Honor by earning an average score of at least 3.25 out of 5 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more exams.
Three students qualified for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP exams with scores of 3 or higher. The AP Scholars are Blaine Hardy, son of William and Pam Hardy of Baldwin, Josh Moor, son of Jesse and Ann Moor of Wilson, and Ross Jennings, son of Tad and Kate Jennings of Baldwin.
Forty-three Baldwin-Woodville High School students took 78 AP exams in 2010. B-W offers AP Calculus, AP English Literature and Composition, AP U.S. and European History, AP Physics, and AP Chemistry classes.

CROP Walk is Sunday, October 10

The 20th annual CROP Walk in Baldwin will be held Sunday, October 10 starting from the First Reformed Church in Baldwin. Pictured above are 2010 CROP Hunger Walk Grand Marshals Dale and Gloria Fern, at left, who have been involved in every CROP Walk held in Baldwin, most years as co-chairpersons. Also in the picture are Steve Perry and Roseanne Nietz who haver served as co-treasurers for every walk.

The CROP Walk on October 10 will start at 2:00 p.m. Registration will begin at 1:15. Everyone is invited to join and walk together to take a stand against hunger in our world. CROP Walk raises awareness and fund for international relief and development as well as local hunger-fighting. The CROP Walk will be held rain or shine.

For more information contact Gerard or Sheryl Buechter, 715-684-2997.

Chamber offers coupon books

Baldwin-Woodville Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau coupons books are now available. Get yours for $5.00 and save over $1,700!

Inside you'll find valuable coupons for: Nilssen's SuperValu, Verizon Wireless, Lindus Construction, Suzanne Wynveen Photography, Prestige Lawn and Landscape, Bar-B-Q UniverCity, Larson Allen, Boldt's Plumbing and Heating, Designs for You by Erika, BTI, Midwest Dental, Family Resource Center, Soderberg Eye Care Center, Lynn's Custom Creations, Fennern Jewelers, Anderson Ford, Keller Williams - Tracy Carlson, Liquor Haus, The Hazelnut Tree, LLC, Bobtown Pet Clinic, Hammond Golf Club, First Bank of Baldwin, Shafer Financial Services, SC, and Value Implement.

Coupon books are available at the following locations: Anderson Ford, Baldwin Telecom, Inc., Bar-B-Q UniverCity, Boldt’s Plumbing & Heating, Comprehensive Communications, Designs For You by Erika, Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley, Fennern Jewelers, First Bank of Baldwin, The Hazelnut Tree, LarsonAllen LLP, Liquor Haus, Midwest Dental, Nilssen’s SuperValu, Shafer Financial Services, Suzanne Wynveen Photography.

News from the Exchanges

Interesting items from

surrounding communities

THE SUN (OSCEOLA): Conway Mackenzie, Inc., of Canton, Mich., the company that has taken over management of the Osceola-based, injection-molding manufacturer UFE Inc., notified Osceola Village President Kathy Demulling through a letter September 16 that UFE intended to institute a series of layoffs at its facility located at Osceola. The layoffs began September 16. According to Steven R. Wybo, a managing director with Conway Mackenzie, “15 positions in the molding department, approximately 20 percent at the plant, were eliminated due to a slowing of sales related to the products produced in that department.” The letter further stated, “…that anticipated schedule for additional layoffs, if any, is unknown at this time…” It also stated, “…The layoffs are permanent. No bumping rights exist.” Wybo reiterated comments published in The Sun September 1, when he said, “Our number one priority is to maximize (the company’s) value to its creditors, employees, customers, and suppliers.” UFE, Inc., in addition to Osceola, has other operations in El Paso, Texas, Monterrey, Mexico and a tooling plant in Singapore. Company owned plants in Stillwater, Minn., Dresser, and River Falls were consolidated in Osceola last year. The company makes custom injection molded and thermoplastic products for the medical industry, among others.

HUDSON STAR~OBSERVER: The heavy rain last week appears to have spoiled the plans of a Minneapolis man and landed him in jail. Jason Allen Dupre, 39, has been held in St. Croix County Jail since last Thursday following his arrest on charges of felony burglary and damage to property. He is accused of stealing scrap metal off the scoreboard at the St. Croix Meadows Dog Track. According to Hudson Police Det. Sgt. Eric Atkinson, sometime in the early hours of the morning of September 23, Dupre drove onto the rear of the property unnoticed by security on duty and stripped metal conduit, copper tubing and aluminum from the scoreboard. But when he attempted to drive off, his pickup truck became deeply mired in the mud. He was spotted by a security guard as he walked past a building at the south end of the property. The guard stopped Dupre and asked what he was doing. He told the guard that his truck was stuck and he was going to get help. The guard called police, who arrested Dupre on the scene. He did not attempt to leave. According to the security supervisor at the track some friends of Dupre showed up around the same time and told police he had called them to help him get his vehicle out of a ditch. They did not know anything about the alleged theft.

NEW RICHMOND NEWS: The Washburn County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of a 52-year-old woman found floating in Shell Lake September 22. According to a news release issued by Sheriff Terry Dryden, a fisherman discovered the body when he was landing at Shell Lake Boating Landing. Washburn County Sheriff’s Department Deputies responded to the scene along with the Shell Lake Police Department and found Kim Leverty of New Richmond lying face up in the water by the dock at the Shell Lake Boating Landing. Washburn County Coroner Karen Baker pronounced Leverty dead at the scene. She is being transported for an autopsy to the Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire. Neither the Shell Lake Police Department nor the Washburn County Sheriff’s Department believes foul play was involved, however, the autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. This case remains under investigation by the Shell Lake Police Department and the Washburn County Sheriff’s Department. Kim Ellen Levety (Christopherson), 52, was born on December 10, 1957, in New Richmond. She was graduate of Glenwood City High School in 1976.

BURNETT COUNTY SENTINEL: A 43-year-old Siren man is dead following a shooting incident which started in Siren last Sunday morning. According to Burnett County Sheriff Dean Riland, Michael Ritchie, was armed with a 12-gauge shotgun. After shooting several vehicles, Ritchie left the scene. Witnesses were able to provide police with a vehicle description and a license plate number. Sheriff’s deputy Ryan Bybee observed the vehicle northbound on Highway 35 near County Road D and initiated a traffic stop. Upon stopping, Ritchie got out of his vehicle and fired on Bybee striking him in the left hand and lower arm with pellets from his shotgun. Bybee returned fire, striking Ritchie. Ritchie was then transported by ambulance to the Burnett County Airfield in Siren where he was to be airlifted to a Twin Cities hospital for his injuries. However, he was pronounced dead before the arrival of a medical helicopter. An autopsy was conducted on September 27 and preliminary autopsy results are expected to be released within the next 10 days, and toxicology results within three weeks. No motive for the shooting has been issued.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Homecoming King and Queen crowned

Jake Keefer was crowned as B-W Homecoming King and Megan Smith was crowned as Homecoming Queen under a tent at King Field where the Homecoming Dance was held Friday night.

Dr. and Mrs. Price to retire
Practice sold to Dr. James Purdy

Dr. James Purdy, left, will be taking over the practice of Dr. Raymond Price in October.

Dr. and Mrs. Price have announced they will be retiring from the dentistry practice effective this Thursday, September 30.
The Prices have been practicing in Baldwin for the past 41 years. Jan Price was the dental assistant for about 30 years, in addition to scheduling appointments, doing lab work and keeping the books.
“It’s time,” Jan said about the decision to retire. “Well take some time to unwind and decide what we really want to do (in retirement).”
Dr. James Purdy will take over the operation of the practice. Dr. Purdy has been offering dental services in Hudson for the past five years. He lives in Hudson with his wife, Brenda, their two children, Preston and Landon and their yorkie, Malibu.
Dr. Purdy grew up in southern Minnesota. He received an undergraduate degree (BS) and a graduate degree (MS) from South Dakota State University and his dental degree (DDS) from the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Purdy has participated in many outreach and social service programs, giving much in the way of time and service to others. In his free time, Dr. Purdy enjoys spending time with his family, reading, learning, and traveling.
Dr. Purdy said he will ease into the transition at the Baldwin location beginning in mid-October.

Board approves assessments

At a special Village of Baldwin board meeting on Wednesday, September 22 the board approved assessments for the work that accompanied the street reconstruction of the two block stretch of Curtis Street between USH 63 and 12th Avenue.
Village Engineer Mike Stoffel told board members that the assessments in most cases, were slightly lower than the initial estimates.
The board did not deal with a request for issuing a fireworks permit for the homecoming celebration on Friday night because the application was withdrawn because of cost and liability issues.
The board authorized submission of an application for a TEA grant for building a road and other infrastructure in the village’s I-94 industrial park. The application is complete except for the village board’s approval, Stoffel said. The grant will be used to extend the existing road about 1,600 feet, he added.
The board also authorized borrowing funds for the up-front costs of the road before the grant proceeds are disbursed to the village. Later, when the infrastructure work is completed, bonds will be issued to pay for the excess costs over the grant proceeds.

Baldwin-Woodville annual meeting held

Baldwin-Woodville School District electors approved a preliminary budget of $19,399,845 for the 2010-2011 school year, or a drop of 0.81% from last year’s budget at the sparsely attended annual meeting on Monday night, September 27.
Superintendent Rusty Helland cautioned those in attendance, which included two electors, including this reporter, other than school board members and district employees, that the figures presented at the meeting were preliminary because final state aid figures have not been received. He said the numbers presented were on the conservative side and would likely change for the better for district taxpayers.
The preliminary budget includes a total school levy of $6,675,769, or an increase of 4.92% over last year’s total levy of $6,362,820.
Superintendent Helland also noted that the district is still working on compiling the official first day enrollment figures but he said the number will increase even without including those students enrolled in four year old kindergarten.
The remainder of the meeting was routine and included the election of School Board President Jeff Campbell as chairman; approving last year’s minutes; presentation of the treasurer’s report; passage of a motion to authorize the board to make temporary loans and sell unneeded property.
A motion to increase the pay for school board members to $75 per meeting from the present $65 was passed. The 2011 annual meeting was set for Monday, September 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Viking Middle School.

From the Exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

THE SUN (OSCEOLA): After squabbles between Osceola Village Board members held up the process by six days, Christian Community Homes & Services has received the go-ahead to begin constructing a new 56-bed nursing home in Osceola. Discussion over the plans culminated Monday night during a special village board meeting held at the behest of Don Stocker, who raised questions about the hospital/nursing home site plans during the September 15 regular board meeting. In particular, Stocker objected to the idea that the nursing home and Osceola Medical Center were proposing to share a lateral water and sewer pipe while still dividing the property into two lots with separate ownership. Stocker cited a number of “creative things done with this hospital” while it was being constructed in 2007-08 and cautioned the board to be wary of rubber stamping the project. But Village Administrator Neil Soltis told the board that the Village had no legal authority over the location of the companies’ water and sewer laterals, which run under private property from the public mains. Soltis consulted with both the state and the Village’s attorney to review the plan. They both found no issues with it, citing a legal agreement between the hospital and the nursing home.

CENTRAL ST. CROIX NEWS: The hottest topic at Monday’s regular monthly meeting of the Warren Town Board was the proposed Salvation Army Transitional Living Program to be located at 881 Hwy. 65. Although the property is located in the Town of Warren, it borders a development that lies within the village - specifically the homes on the west side of Hillcrest Drive. There were about a dozen residents from both Roberts and Warren at the meeting who wanted to be heard. Speaking on behalf of the Hillcrest neighborhood was Stacy Phillips, who lives within 200 yards of the proposed home. “I don’t want to live in that neighborhood anymore,” Phillips said. “My house will go up for sale.” The residents have started a petition that they plan to bring to the special exception hearing at the St. Croix County Zoning Department in Hudson on Thursday, October 28. “We have 300 signatures so far and counting. We’re going to be going all this weekend as well,” Phillips said. “I would say about 98 percent of the people we have talked to so far are opposed to this… We want to maintain that country small village feel to that area, that’s why we moved there. We are the ones directly affected by the home.” Town Chair Rich Meyer said there isn’t anything the board can do. “This is one of those things that we really have no control on,” Meyer said. “The state institutions are allowed on Ag-res.”

HUDSON STAR~OBSERVER: A lawsuit has been filed in Federal Court in Madison against the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department and others alleging that they used excessive force when a police dog was released on a Hudson teenager last October. The lawsuit alleges that Nate Livermore, then 15, was bitten by the department’s dog “Ace” as he ran to escape from a home in St. Croix Heights where he and three other friends were being threatened by the armed homeowner, Daniel Christenson, the night of October 17, 2009. According to the complaint, the four teens who escaped the house through the basement window were given conflicting reports to both “run” and “get down” by police on the scene. The complaint says the dog was released and bit Livermore, who was on the ground at the time, on the right arm, and refused to let go of the teen when commanded to do so by the St. Croix County Deputy handling him. Treated the night of the incident and allowed to go home, Livermore was hospitalized the next day with a serious infection and underwent at least two surgeries to repair the injury. The suit states that as a result of the dog attack, Livermore has limited use of his arm and continues to deal with some mental health issues.

PIERCE COUNTY HERALD: A teacher convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old Pierce County boy can’t mitigate her responsibility by claiming his parents failed to adequately supervise him, according to an appeals court decision. In a five-page decision filed Tuesday, the District III Court of Appeals upheld a decision by Pierce County Judge Robert Wing and rejected Ann Knopf’s claims against the parents. “Knopf’s assignment of blame to the (boy’s) parents represents convoluted reasoning reminiscent of Lewis Carroll,” wrote the three-judge appeals panel. “We will not follow down the rabbit hole and open the door for a child molester to sue the victim’s parents for their failure to lock their child away or for their ineffectiveness in trying to stop their child from being sexually abused. Knopf, now 42, whose address at the time was N5820 950th St., Ellsworth, worked as a substitute teacher at the boy’s school in Prescott. In July 2008, she pleaded guilty to second degree sexual assault of a child and was sentenced to nine months in jail followed by five years probation. In October 2008, the boy and his father filed a civil lawsuit, asking for monetary damages from Knopf and her husband, Wade (John) Knopf, and their insurance company. The lawsuit alleged Knopf negligently and intentionally harmed the child. Knopf subsequently filed a counterclaim and claim, alleging the boy’s divorced parents were negligent in supervising their son because they focused on learning with whom the boy was involved rather than stopping the contact.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fun day at Bailey Park

Among the activities hosted by the Baldwin Woodville Chamber of Commerce at Bailey Park last Saturday were the bed races., pictured at left, represented by Mary Husby, center, Dave DeJong and Tim Myer (and Jay Monson and Gerard Bouchter, not pictured). Lester Halstead, left, acted as judge for the cookie eating/milking drink part of the competition. The award winners for the most entertaining group are pictured above, from left, Lance Van Damme, Aaron Van Ranst, Johnnie Murtha and Brett Stephens and Nicole Huftel, seated. The winning team was from Value Implement and the United Fire Department won the award for best looking bed.

School district receives bequest

“The Baldwin-Woodville school district is the beneficiary of the Mary Giezendanner estate,” announced attorney Tom Schumacher at the regular monthly board meeting Monday night.
Schumacher informed board members that the bequest includes two parcels of land south of Baldwin: one 80 acres, one 20 acres; plus one-eighth of the residue of the estate. The residue of the estate is the remaining value after all obligations are settled, said Schumacher. In this case, the district has received $25,000 from the estate and can expect one more distribution toward the end of the year, he added.
“The appraised value of the land is $220,000 total,” said Schumacher, “and there are no restrictions placed on the district. You could keep land and develop it or sell it, whatever you wish.”
Board member Deb Rasmussen said her husband knew the Giezendanners and they took great pride in creating this woodland. “I’m sure they would like the district to keep the land and use it,” she said. “I think we should check out other school forests in the area before making a decision,” she said.
During the open forum, district resident Jim Lund stated that he lives next to the land and asked if hunting will still be allowed on the managed forest. If so, he requested permission.
Board members wondered if weapons of any sort are allowed on school property, so they will have their attorney research the question.
“If we can’t allow hunting, we’ve got to let people know,” said board president Jeff Campbell.
During the State of the District presentation, Superintendent Rusty Helland reviewed the skills that are important for students to develop in school. These skills include: critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and leadership, effective communication, civic responsibility, and cultural awareness.
The district has several initiatives to assure these skills are taught to students throughout their careers here, Helland said. The data retreat initiative involves the evaluation of test scores and student surveys in order to determine areas that need attention.
A new initiative this year is Professional Learning Communities. Middle school Principal Jon Hinzman explained that these communities are made up of teachers that focus on a specific discipline across all grade levels at a building. The weekly meetings allow staff to communicate what is being taught at each grade level to make sure something isn’t missed or over-emphasized, he said. They also develop goals and discuss best practices.
Director of Pupil Services Patti Phillipps informed the board that the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam test results for the district show adequate yearly progress for the eighth year in a row, since they began. Adequate yearly progress is a benchmark districts must achieve or else they are put on probation.
“Each year it gets tougher,” Phillipps said, “because the state raises the standards.”
Supt. Helland told the board the district will receive over $270,000 in federal dollars from the Education Jobs Fund. The money must be used in local districts for salaries for teachers, not general administrative expenses or other support services. Districts have two school years to use the funds, he said.
Helland said the district would like to hire an additional special ed teacher, a science/math teacher, and a 30 percent tech teacher for two years using the funds. At the high school, these classes are over-booked he explained.
“What happens after two years if we still need those teachers and don’t have the money?” asked board member Ann Hilmanowske.
“We don’t know,” answered Helland. Hopefully the financial picture will be different then, he added.
Administrative reports:
Greenfield Elementary Principal Gary Hoffman reported an enrollment of 599 at that building and 97 students in 4K. The 12th Annual Grandparents Day will be held Oct. 8.
High School Principal Eric Russell announced Homecoming Week which will kick off the 50 Years of Baldwin-Woodville theme.
Athletic Director J.R. Dachel said there will be a tent set up next to the football field for homecoming. Food will be for sale, there will be a bonfire, dance and coronation under the tent as well.
Viking Principal Jon Hinzman announced that the middle school students will be using $1,000 of their ACE funds to purchase food for the Baldwin and Woodville food shelves.

Homecoming events for B-W are this week
Public invited to celebrate 50th anniversary of consolidation

Candidates for Baldwin-Woodville homecoming king and queen are pictured above. In the front, left to right, are queen candidates Erin Booth, Emily Veenstra, Rachel Hanson, Megan Smith and Hannah Kippes. King candidates in the back, from left, are: Jordan Johnson, Sam Miller, Jake Keefer, Aaron Kusilek and Vince Rudesill.
Underclass attendants are: freshmen Jessica Morrissey and Brody Peterson; sophomores Caitlyn Hollabaugh and Ryan McCormick; and juniors Jennifer Willert and Andrew Dahl.
Community members are invited to help celebrate the golden anniversary of the consolidation of the Baldwin and Woodville schools as a part of homecoming. The formal celebration will be Friday, September 24 as part of homecoming prior to the football game against Durand. A tent will be set up and a food stand will be available at which people can purchase hamburgers and bratwurst and the fixings.

News from the Exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

PIERCE COUNTY HERALD: A Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) freight train derailed Monday morning near the Ralston Purina processing facility, west of Hwy. 35 and north of Hwy. 63 in Hagar City. The 72-car train was northbound carrying consumer items from Chicago to Seattle, when 31 of its cars derailed One of the cars had broken through the south wall of the Purina facility, causing damage to the building according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. Another car was pinned under the CTH VV bridge causing the Pierce County Highway Department to close it. It remained closed as of yesterday morning. Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove said no one was injured and none of the derailed cars carried hazardous materials. Ralston Purina was closed for the day and approximately 14 residents from seven nearby homes were evacuated for precautionary measures. The residents later returned to their homes once the area was deemed safe by the Ellsworth Fire Department and Xcel Energy. The sheriff’s department said it’s too early to tell what caused the derailment, but the accident remained under investigation early this week. Around noon Monday, Hulcher Professional Services was in the progress of cleaning up the scene and projected the rail lines to be reopened within 24 hours.

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: The school board holds its regular meeting this Monday evening and a key topic will be a $38.5-million referendum to renovate and upgrade all the schools. The board’s regular meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the high school library. Late last month the school board received a recommendation from its Facilities Committee for the referendum. The overall aim is to preserve and modernize each existing school so that it functions for another three to four decades. The renovations and additions will focus on energy efficiencies, technology safety, accessibility and maintenance. It’s estimated the referendum would cost business owners and residents 61 cents per each $1,000 worth of property that they own. That would mean for instance, that owners of a house valued at $200,000 would pay an extra $122 a year in school taxes. Superintendent Tom Westerhaus expects the board to discuss the proposal, take public input and act. He didn’t expect the board to set a referendum date.

AMERY FREE PRESS: A search warrant on Broadway St. in the City of Amery was executed by Amery police and Polk county’s K-9 officers on Thursday, September 9. An initial sweep of the area was conducted to determine if any persons were hiding and during the sweep a glass pipe, like those used to ingest illegal narcotics was found. Courtney L. Thompson, 23, was the only one in the residence at the time of the search. Amery police called a judge to expand the scope of the warrant and it was expanded to include illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia. Polk county’s K-9 officer was called in to assist. Found during the search were three sawed off shotguns, one Ducks Unlimited shotgun, which investigation showed was stolen. Also found were several hypodermic needles, a pink plastic storage box containing several items of contraband including a small baggie with a large quantity of small, white, crystalline tocks that tested positive for meth. It weighed about 23 grams, almost a full ounce. Also found was a black tube hollowed out by a threaded end that appeared to be a silencer for a firearm. Charged in this case are Thompson and Matthew J. Savoy, 28, both of the same address.

CENTRAL ST. CROIX NEWS: Village resident Mary Rivard kept the Hammond Board on their toes Monday night. During the public comment portion of the evening’s agenda, Rivard, a former Hammond trustee herself, voiced her displeasure at the Board’s failure to post the agenda of the August 9th meeting at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. Rivard said she checked the Village website, was well as the other regular posting locations and found no information on what would be discussed at the August meeting. She accused Board members, as well as Village Attorney Tim Scott, of illegal actions regarding the posting of the agenda. “Everyone who attended that meeting was breaking the law,” Rivard said. She went on to ask the Board if they planned to pay themselves for the improperly held meeting, and if they were going to void any action taken at that meeting. Village attorney Tim Scott believed an honest employee mistake led to the late agenda posting, and not a malicious attempt to hide information from the public, he felt the Board could go ahead with the meeting as scheduled. There were not any “hot button” issues on the agenda for the August meeting, Scott said. However, Scott also told Board members that there was always the chance they could be fined if the matter was ever taken to court. The final decision about whether to meet was left up to Board members.

TRIBUNE PRESS REPORTER: If all of the improvements were made to Glenwood City’s high school, middle school, elementary school parking lot and athletic fields, the project would cost between $9 million and $14 million, the Board of Education learned Monday night. Tom Hanley of SDS Architects reviewed the site survey and told the school board that the project would fall under two basic categories: the school building; and the parking lot, driveway and athletic fields. The site survey represents preliminary concepts and budgets and the Board of Education would have to align the scope of the project with budget expectations and then decide whether to hold a referendum, Hanley said. The school district will be making the final payment on one referendum project in March and could spend $5 million to $6 million without raising the tax levy, said Tim Emholtz, superintendent. If school district residents approved a $10 million project, the tax levy would increase, he said. Interest rates are at an all time low, and the bidding environment is competitive, Emholtz noted.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Proclamation read for Poet Laureate

A large group of family and friends gathered at the Baldwin Village Board meeting last Wednesday night for the proclamation of Marie Bosman as the village’s “Poet Laureate.” After the proclamation was read by Village President Don McGee, Bosman read a poem she created for the occasion. As poet laureate she will celebrate living in Baldwin and commemorate special events with poems. The proclamation states that “the Poet Laureate will celebrate the quality of life and work in Baldwin….”

Armagost gets six years in prison

James L. Armagost, 46, former youth sports coach from Hammond, who admitted to sexually assaulting a former player was sentenced last Thursday in St. Croix County Court. Judge Edward Vlack doubled the prison term recommended by assistant district Attorney Frank Collins and sentenced Armagost to six years in prison. He was also placed on eight years extended supervision with conditions of his release including: no unauthorized contact with juvenile females, no participation in programs involving children, psychological and sex offender evaluation and treatment and court costs.
Armagost’s wife filed for divorce soon after he was charged. The divorce was finalized later in the same day as his sentencing, also by Judge Vlack.
The court records said Armagost sexually assaulted a teenage girl several times during a seven-month time span in 2009. He sent numerous emails to the 15-year-old girl, between February 1 and August 31, 2009, expressing his love and romantic interests in her as well as his intention to meet with her alone. The girl said she met with Armagost about 50 times at his home and on secluded roads where he sexually assaulted her.

St. Croix County reports 5th traffic fatality of 2010

On Saturday, September 4 at 6:41 p.m. the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office responded to a one vehicle crash on 205th Ave. 1/4 mile east of 80th St. in the Town of Star Prairie.
Tony S. Bushinger, 38, of Somerset was traveling east on 205th Ave. in a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban when he lost control and entered the south ditch. The vehicle rolled and came to rest in the south ditch on its roof. Bushinger was ejected and was partially underneath the Suburban. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Croix County Medical Examiner’s Office. He was not wearing his seatbelt.
Assisting at the scene was New Richmond Fire, EMS and Rescue along with Star Prairie First Responders. The crash remains under investigation by the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office.
This is the fifth traffic fatality of 2010 in St. Croix County.

Alumni invited to B-W’s homecoming

All community members are invited to help celebrate the golden anniversary of the consolidation of the Baldwin and Woodville schools.
The formal celebration will be Friday, September 24 as part of homecoming.
The celebration of homecoming will take place all week at B-W High School. But for members of the public, especially alumni of Baldwin-Woodville schools, there will be a special celebration Friday prior to the football game against Durand. A tent will be set up and a food stand will be available at which people can purchase hamburgers and bratwurst and the fixings.
Also available will be crazy hair, bling string, face painting and all sorts of Blackhawk clothing and fan items for sale.
Prior to kickoff this year’s court candidates and past royalty of B-W homecoming celebrations will be introduced.
Following the football game the Homecoming dance and coronation will be held in the tent set up adjacent to King Field. Members of the public are invited to stay for the activities free of charge. In addition to the dance and coronation, there will be a bonfire, ‘smores, music and games.

News from the Exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

SUN-ARGUS: When the 43rd Annual Lions Club Dam Days celebration gets underway on September 17, visitors and local residents will be treated to something new. Dam Day goers will have an opportunity to be a little kinder to this beautiful valley that so many people call home. This year, the Zero Waste plan, with the help of Rob Peterson and the Spring Valley Lions Club, will be a part of the community celebration, Zero Waste encourages recycling and composting. New products can be efficiently produced through this plan and the amount of trash being sent to landfills can be significantly reduced. Last summer, Peterson attended the St. Croix Falls Autumn Festival where Zero Waste was the requirement for all food vendors meaning that all service ware had to be either recyclable or compostable. In December, Peterson shared what he learned about the program with the Village Board. “By demonstrating how Zero Waste works at Dam Days,” he said, “residents will be able to see how this can help them as the village to save money. It will help to make Spring Valley a more thoughtful, strategic, and more sustainable community,” he told the Board.

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: The American Legion of River Falls, Fletcher-Pechacek Post 121, begins hosting twice-monthly bingo games 7 p.m. Friday, October 1. Ed Miller explained by saying, “Our chicken fries have not been sustaining the programs we support.” Miller, one of the main organizers of the effort said Legion members brainstormed other ways to bring in revenue. When the idea of bingo came up, the group started checking with other groups who’d hosted the game. They talked to the Elks in Chippewa Falls and the Legion in Eau Claire, then visited those places to see how everything works. “They’re running very successful programs,” Miller said. The local Legion contacted the state and asked about licensing. Wisconsin advised them to start with a six-month license, which cost the organization $245. Miller said the licensing costs $20 per night bingo is played plus a $5 filing fee. He says all the bingo proceeds will go to support the Legion and the causes it supports. “We decided we’d try it for six months and see what happens,” said Miller. The Legion maintains an Honor Guard that attends funerals, parades and holiday celebrations plus supports Legion baseball, Boy Scouts, scholarships, awards and student contests, veterans and deployed service members, Children’s Miracle Network the auxiliary and more.

NEW RICHMOND NEWS: To borrow or not to borrow, that is the question facing the New Richmond City Council. At a special strategic planning meeting Thursday, the city’s financial advisor Sean Lentz with Ehlers and Associates Inc. began the night by providing a comprehensive overview of New Richmond’s financial position. Mayor Fred Horne had previously indicated that he was uncomfortable with the community’s level of debt and wondered if future borrowing should be put off until the financial picture improves. He pointed out that New Richmond’s total debt is more than Hudson’s and River Falls’ debt combined. Horne scheduled the strategic planning meeting aimed at establishing a five-year capital improvement plan for the city. The council never got around to talking about the details of a possible plan. Instead, the discussion centered around debt. The city’s debt limit stands at $29.9 million for 2011 and current debts totaled $23.2 million. Horne has suggested that the city is too close to its limit. Lentz verified that the city’s finances were much rosier four or five years ago, when the community was growing and taxes collected were rising.

Friday, September 10, 2010

B-W FFA receives awards

The Baldwin-Woodville FFA Chapter as well as one of its members received awards at the Wisconsin FFA convention held in June in Madison at the Alliant Energy Center.
Elizabeth DeVries, daughter of Wijbe and Gooitske Dijkstra received the Three Star Leader Award. The Three Star Leader Award recognizes a selected FFA member from a local chapter for being actively involved in chapter activities in Student Development, Chapter Development and Community Development. Three Star Leaders received a pin and certificate sponsored by the Wisconsin FFA Alumni.
Other B-W FFA Chapter members who attended the State FFA convention, above, seated, left to right were Cody Zimmerman and Colette Auld. In the back, from left, are B-W FFA advisor Mrs. Kamm, Cyrus Elliott and DeVries.
The B-W Chapter was in fifth place for the Chapter Membership Recruitment Award. The first place Chapter was Adams-Friendship, followed by Lincoln-A.C.H.M., Waupaca, Badger and B-W.
B-W was also the section two winner in the Membership Award, which recognizes chapters whose membership increased from one year to the next. The top Chapter was Pulaski with an increase of 124 members. B-W’s membership increased by 42 members. That was the largest percentage increase of any Chapter with an increase of 175% and was third in the increase in numbers of members.
Finally, Baldwin-Woodville was a winner of a P.R.I.D.E. Award which is designed to increase membership participating by encouraging chapters to continually recruit and retain members in hopes that every chapter would increase by 10 members each year. P.R.I.D.E. stands for Promote, Recruit, Inspire, Develop, and Educate.
In addition to Baldwin-Woodville receiving a P.R.I.D.E. award, the following chapters also received one: Adams-Friendship, Badger, Beaver Dam, Berlin, Bloomer, Brookwood, Campellsport, Cashton, Clayton, Clinton, Clintonville, DeForest, East Troy, Elkhorn, Elk Mound, Elmwood, Fall Creek, Fort Atkinson, Freedom, Gilman, Glenwood City, Green Bay-Preble, Greenwood, Kewaunee, LaFarge, Lake Mills, Lincoln-ACHM, Lodi, Lomira, Luck, Mauston, Oconto Falls, Oregon, Parkview, Pardeeville, Pulaski, Randolph-Cambria-Friesland, Random Lake, Sevastopol, Shullsburg, Slinger, Stanley-Boyd, Unity, Waterloo, Waunakee, Waupun, Wausau and Wisconsin Dells.
The Wisconsin Association of FFA is a leading student organization due to the efforts of more than 17,000 students across the state. With a focus on premier leadership, personal growth and career success, students’ FFA activities complement agricultural classroom instruction by giving them an opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge while gaining real-world experience. These activities are dependent on donor funding through the Wisconsin FFA Foundation. For more information about Wisconsin FFA and the Wisconsin FFA Foundation, visit or

Local youth spends part of summer in Africa

Abby is pictured surrounded by the children at the Orphan feed. She taught them the fun of playing a guitar.

While many area young people were spending time by the pool, hanging out with friends, or in front of video games, one local pre-teen chose to join a Mission Team in Kenya, East Africa. Abby Hanson, daughter of Pastor John and Julie Hanson of Baldwin joined the local mission team from Peace Lutheran and traveled half way around the world to work with their ministry, His Arms Children’s Project in Kenya. Local residents that also made up the team were Abby’s father Pastor John Hanson, Laura Hanson, Brenda Cronk, Eunice Hop and Nancy Rowe. The team also included four women from Michigan who met up with the crew in Maseno.
While in Kenya, Abby was able to visit several schools and speak to the students about some of the differences of Kenya and Wisconsin. They were especially intrigued to hear of the four seasons we enjoy. Maseno lies on the equator, so their weather varies very little. Abby had pictures representing our seasons that helped the students better understand.
Abby also helped the team volunteer with Orphan Feeds where on a given Saturday, up to thousands of children are fed in 15 area churches. While the volunteers cooked the large pots of beans and corn, the team played games with the children, did some crafts, and basically just helped them have some fun. When it was time to eat, Abby helped distribute the food to the children. This might have been the only protein meal some of the orphans would receive for the whole week.
When Abby was asked recently about the impact of the trip, she responded, “The highlight of my trip would have to be going to that special needs school and seeing their faces light up when they got a plastic spider ring and a bandana! It truly just made me smile. I want others to know that there really are people suffering over there and that they need our help and our love. I also just wanted to say that when you’re over there you can really see God working though us with just a smile and a habari (hello).”
When Pastor John was asked about his feelings about the trip, he responded, “I
have been very impressed with the impact we have made on the community around Maseno due to the Orphan Program and our sharing resources of water, solar ovens, craft ideas, seeds, meds, and school sponsorship. To have seen the transformation of homes without any animals - to seeing goats and chickens running around was a further proof of this ministry's impact.
“I think Abby had her life changed - and - many of her friends have witnessed a change as well. Their shared experiences - in Abby's travel - and in the support given by her friends - have been the source of numerous conversations... encouraging these youth to think beyond themselves, to the care and support of others.
“I knew there would be a risk to bringing my daughter out of the country. But, not much more of a risk than if I took her into the wilderness or even some regions of our country. The energy she expended to finish her goal of ‘going to Kenya with dad’ has made her into a stronger student - even as a Christian with a stronger faith.
To this end, I am forever grateful.”
The team did visit many of the orphans that are now sponsored in the His Arms Orphan Program that Peace Lutheran volunteers help coordinate. Currently 37 children that are orphaned and in severe need in rural Maseno, Kenya are matched with sponsor in the US who change the child’s life, by sharing just $20 per month for the child’s care. The program also sees that US volunteers who wish to donate the cost of a goat for $40, a chicken for $9, a malaria net for $7, or a mattress for $25 is given out to the extreme poor as well. The team could visually see the difference in the communities these gifts were making.
The team coordinator, Nancy Rowe, said since their return, the Peace team has also set up a project to help see that the children get to go to school. A $25 one time gift can help a needy child go to primary school for a year. The team also believes that education is a key to seeing extreme poverty come to an end.
If you want to get more information about the trip, feel free to contact Peace Lutheran’s office at 684-2770. Or if you wish to sponsor a child, or donate to one of the other projects listed in this article, you may see You may also contact the church office for further information about the projects.

News from the Exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

TRIBUNE PRESS REPORTER (GLENWOOD CITY): Another court hearing for two 18-year-olds accused of shooting and killing three horses in Dunn County last November has been scheduled for October 29. Trenton Hollister of Dallas and Brock Flatland of Wheeler appeared in Dunn County Circuit Court August 27 for a pre-trial hearing. Dunn County District Attorney James Peterson told the Honorable Judge Rod Smeltzer that a plea agreement had not yet been reached and that the case was not resolved. Hollister and Flatland are charged with three felony counts of mistreating animals and causing death along with one misdemeanor count of intentionally mistreating animals. Flatland and Hollister also were charge with five misdemeanor counts of mistreating animals in Barron County in connection with the same incident when five cows were shot. The young men pleaded guilty in Barron County Circuit Court March 15 and were sentenced to three years of probation, 30 days in jail, and 25 hours of community service. The jail sentence is to be served ten days at a time for the next three years.

HUDSON STAR OBSERVER: Duro Bag Manufacturing Company announced last week that it will close its Hudson facility in mid-October and lay off 63 workers. But Tim Young, the parent company’s vice president of human services, said Thursday that moving won’t be a workable alternative for all the Hudson employees. He said Duro will offer assistance for those who don’t want to or can’t move. “We know that relocation is not appropriate for everybody,” said Young, “so we are also working with representatives from the state of Wisconsin and outside professional consultants to provide job search assistance to those who are not interested in transfer.” He said Duro is encouraging workers to consider a transfer and will provide relocation assistance to those who choose to move. The company is offering severance, benefit continuation and other assistance to those who stay in the Hudson area.

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: River Falls voters may see a referendum question about medical marijuana on the ballot when they step into the election booth in November. City Council Member Bob Hughes filed with the city clerk’s office Wednesday, August 25, a petition for direct legislation bearing 800-plus signatures. The question petitioners want added to the ballot: Should the Wisconsin Legislature enact legislation allowing residents with debilitating medical conditions to acquire and possess marijuana for medical purposes if supported by their physician?” City Clerk Lu Ann Hecht confirmed that Hughes had submitted the petition a few days before the deadline and had the required number of signatures. She has forwarded the petition to the city attorney for interpretation. He’ll determine if it warrants a direct-legislation referendum or an advisory referendum. After that is determined, the City Council will decide whether to add the question to the ballot.

CENTRAL ST. CROIX NEWS: There will be a Public Information Meeting next Wednesday, September 8 at 7 p.m. at the Roberts Park Building (312 N. Park Street) featuring a presentation by the Salvation Army regarding the Transitional Living Facility that will be located in Warren Township at 881 Hwy. 65, according to the Roberts Village Clerk Doreen Kruschke. At last month’s Warren Town Board meeting, the board heard from Ann Cartman, Department of Corrections, that the individuals would be electronically monitored, and sex offenders will not be placed in the facility. The Salvation Army is planning to rent 881 Highway 65 for a four-bed transition house facility. They notified local law enforcement and requested a town of Warren board member to serve on the advisory committee. Bruce Elliot offered to join the advisory board.

NEW RICHMOND NEWS: One of the nation’s best community colleges is right here in western Wisconsin. Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College has again cracked the Top 10 in study by Washington Monthly magazine ranking the nation’s two-year colleges. Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire was ranked 10th, WITC’s four campuses, including New Richmond’s campus, were ranked as the seventh best two-year college in the magazine’s first study in 2007. For the 2010 ranking, the school moved up a notch. “We’re pretty proud of that fact,” said Joe Huftel, campus administrator in New Richmond. “It’s a pretty good indication of how we’re performing.” The ranking is based on a satisfaction survey filled out by students at each institution, graduate rates and other indicators. Huftel said the high ranking shows that students who attend WITC are pretty happy with the education they are receiving.