Thursday, February 11, 2010

Liz Doornink receives national Ag Award

Pictured from left to right are Liz’s parents Fred and Loraine Keller, Annaliese, Liz, Eva and Mikayla Doornink.

Local dairy farmer Liz Doonink was recognized at the Ag Connect Expo held recently in Orlando, Florida.
Doornink was named the Ag Woman of Year and received the award at the Ag Connect Expo held January 13-15 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. She received round trip tickets, hotel accommodations for four nights, a convertible rental car, complimentary admission tickets to the show and tickets to a choice of education breakout sessions.
"Ag Connect Expo's awards are a way for our trade show to put a spotlight on the significant contributions that those in production agriculture make to our quality of life," said Sara Mooney, the Director of AG CONNECT Expo. "We want the awards to draw attention to those whose work and accomplishments this year exemplify 'advocating for agriculture.'"
The Ag Connect Expo 2010 Ag Woman of the Year Award recognizes the achievements of women in farming operations, in their communities or in the agriculture industry as a whole. This award celebrates the role of women in agriculture and their contributions in operations, education, land stewardship, and business.
Liz is the Co-Leader of AFACT, American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology. Liz is passionate about the dairy industry; organizing and speaking, Liz has taught many to speak out and advocate for agriculture, correcting misconceptions, sharing values, traveling around the country. She has given many interviews to media, including NBC, BBC and PBS.
Ag Connect Expo is run for and by the industry, with direction from industry companies and associations. This management philosophy puts manufacturer and customer needs first and earmarks show revenues to advance industry causes. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) owns and produces Ag Connect Expo 2010.
This was the first year of the Awards program sponsored by the Ag Connect Expo. The new awards program recognizes those who support "in a compelling way the work of farmers and ranchers to provide abundant and affordable food and fiber." There are three categories: Ag Woman of the Year, Community Leadership and Ag Innovation. Nominations and voting were done on-line.

Spring Valley High School student will sing at WIAA wresting finals

When Dave Black of River Falls, organizer of the Northern Badger wrestling tournament during the Christmas break, heard Spring Valley High School freshman Riley Bowman sing the Star Spangled Banner at the event, he was so impressed he recommended her to the WIAA to sing for the State WIAA Wrestling Tournament. Her mother sent a video of her singing to back up his claim of her ability.
According to Wade Labecki, Deputy Director of the WIAA, he too was impressed and he called up Spring Valley’s athletic director and asked if Bowman could sing for the the state event. When contacted, Bowman said yes.
So Riley will sing before the finals of the WIAA Wrestling Championships on Saturday, February 27. The time will probably be something in the range of 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. in the Kohl Center in Madison.
This is not Riley’s first time singing before a crowd. In addition to the singing the National Anthem at the Northern Badger, she has gotten the American Birkenbinder in Cable, Wisconsin in 2009 and a Timberwolves game two years ago off to great starts. She sang at the start of the Timberwolves game after winning a Timberwolves Idol contest with about 40 other contestants.,
Riley is the daughter of Dennis and Ann Kiefer and Chris Bowman.
Riley said she loves to sing. But that’s not all she does. She likes to run and plans to participate in track at Spring Valley in the spring and run the 400 and 800m runs. She played volleyball in the fall. During the winter, she also enjoys running.

Third grader suffers from EB, benefits from hair donation

Greenfield Elementary third grader Faith Smith suffers from the disease epidermolysis bullosa—EB—which causes her skin to blister or tear after any friction. It also results in hair loss. It is an extremely rare condition and one book estimates that about 10,000 Americans, mostly kids, have the disease.
In Faith’s honor, Greenfield Elementary Secretary Lori Hadley had her hair cut by Peggy Hermanson of New Reflections and donated to Locks of Love. The hair donated by Hadley won’t go directly to Faith, but the gesture was meaningful to Faith nonetheless.
Faith is the daughter of Terri and Doug Smith of Woodville.
According to Terri, there is currently no treatment or cure available for the disease. But there is experimental work being done at the University of Minnesota involving bone marrow transplants and they may prove promising in treating EB.
There is no current treatment for the disease but in the meantime, blisters have to be popped and Faith’s skin is protected with gauze and ointment each night to protect her. The blisters have to be popped to prevent the weight of the fluid in them to continue separating layers of skin.

Dennis Rud, 55, killed in crash after chase

A 1973 Baldwin-Woodville High School graduate was killed on Monday, February 1 in Pierce County as the result of a car crash that happened during a high speed crash.
According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Dennis M.Rud, 55, was attempting to flee law enforcement officers when his car crashed and he was ejected from it.
The Sheriff’s Department said officers received a call at 1:48 a.m. on February 1 concerning a domestic dispute at Rud’s residence along CTH N in the Town of Gilman. Rud had left the premises when officers arrived, crashed his car into the ditch at a high rate of speed and was ejected from it about one-eighth of a mile from the house.
Rud was trapped under his vehicle and had to be extricated. He was transferred to the Red Barn parking lot and it was there he was pronounced dead.
A full obituary for Rud is published on page 2A of this issue.

Man sentenced for causing injuries after running stop sign

Thomas R. Olson, 19, now of St. Paul but formerly of River Falls, received a sentence of seven years probation and seven months in jail as part of the probation as a result of traffic crash when he drove through a stop sign and caused a crash that injured two Baldwin women. In addition, Olson must perform 200 hours of community service, pay $2,934 in restitution, write letters of apology to the victims and not use alcohol or illegal drugs.
In November Olson pleaded no contest to the felony charge of causing injury by driving a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance. Two other felony charges and a misdemeanor were dismissed.
According to records, Olson said he was drinking beer and a blood test indicated he had used marijuana on August 1, 2008 when he drove his Honda Civic through a stop sign about 11:30 p.m. at the intersection of CTH M and Saddle Club Road near River Falls and hit a Dodge Neon driven by Sara Anderson of Baldwin. Anderson suffered a broken hand, that required a plate and four pins to repair. Her passenger, Erin Rethmeier, also of Baldwin, suffered a broken pelvis, collapsed lung and serious injury to one of her legs.

From the Exchanges
   Interesting Items from
      Surrounding Communities

PIERCE COUNTY HEARLD (ELLSWORTH): On a 13-3 vote Tuesday, the Pierce County Board gave its 52 non-union department heads, managers and supervisors 2.5 percent raises. “It seems to me it’s a bad time to dish our money now, protested Supervisor John Kucinski, Town of River Falls, one of three to vote no. While the county has good employees, with a weak economy, falling home values, higher taxes, failing businesses and high unemployment, taxpayers can’t afford to give public employees raises, he said. The 2010 cost of the raises and associated benefits for the 52 workers is $91,204. “The private sector’s really hurting. The taxpayers are hurting,” said Kucinski. “I understand there’s angst, but at some point we have to say halt,” he said. “The taxpayers don’t have the money. I think someone has to stand up and say that.” Kucinski, himself a state employee, said they have taken a three percent reduction in pay. “Our employees and non-reps are doing as good or better than our taxpayers,” said Kucinski, speaking of salaries paid to county workers. Kucinski is hardly one to talk retorted County Board Chairman Paul Barkla, who had checked internet state records to learn Kucinski, an assistant public defender, earns over $117,000 a year.

BURNETT COUNTY SENTINEL: Communication. Actually, the lack of communication. It was the underlying theme of the county’s infrastructure meeting last month. “For us to make decisions we need information and we need that information in a timely manner,” supervisor Chuck Awe stated after Burnett County Airfield manager Jeremy Sickler had given his report. “I don’t know why we are not receiving information in a timely manner.” He was referring to the results of a brain-storming session Sickler, committee chair Carsten Endresen and county administrator Candace Fitzgerald attended in Madison with Bureau of Aeronautics officials in April 2009. The results of that session were first disbursed to committee members at December’s meeting. But that was just one instance. “Last year at a policy-planning meeting we received information that the estimate for the airport expansion was less than expected,” Awe pointed out. “I was personally embarrassed because, as a member of this committee, I should have had that information.” In another instance, Sickler said he recalled a time when he was presenting to the county board about the airport expansion project and one of the slides in his presentation contained the results of an economic impact study which had been competed for the project. “I was instructed not to present (that slide) at the time by the administrator,” he admitted. “I thought it was because of the sensitivity of the issue – that it was too much all at once. In the space needs study, we were told we (committee members) weren’t sent the (detailed) information because the engineers thought we might become confused,” Awe noted. “Now I’m hearing information is being withheld from us because maybe it’s too much for us to handle.”

AMERY FREE PRESS: City Administrator Darcy Long said Wednesday that Amery has eliminated fluoride in its water supply. Fluoridation of municipal water supplies has been called one of the 120 greatest advancements in public health in the last 100 years. It has been injected into Amery’s municipal water system for more than 50 years. In minute quantities, fluoride benefits teeth enamel, reducing the incidences of tooth decay. Amery appears to be moving in a different direction. The issue apparently came to light over the need to replace fluoridation pumps and corrosive damage at the waste treatment plant. At the public hearing, held by the city’s Public Works Committee, public support for fluoridation was overwhelming. Practicing, as well as retired dentists, in Amery attended the hearing, as well as concerned citizens. Ken Baillargeon, city employee, said that he is convinced that fluoride in the water is “eating” aluminum equipment and buildings at the waste treatment plant. He estimated replacement at upwards of $100,000. Another concern is that the city injects fluoride and chlorine at two locations in the city. Both locations house the two chemicals in the same room. Administrator Long said that if the two chemicals were to be mixed, it would produce Mustard Gas. He said that empty barrels containing the fluoride compound are recycled at a hazardous waste site.

TRIBUNE PRESS REPORTED (GLENWOOD CITY): It might have been a cold, snowy evening Monday, but at the council chambers things got heated up. About 75 minutes into the meting when the agenda called for the mayor’s report, Mayor John Larson showed his disappointment with members of the council over pay increases for department heads that the council had approved at a special meeting last month. Larson indicated his disappointment that word had spread to the city employees about the salary adjustments. “I would have liked to have discussed it with them,” Larson indicated. Larson echoed what Tribune editor Carlton DeWitt had told the council two months ago that city business should stay at the council table. Larson said that he wanted to discuss with each department head about their salaries, but by the next morning, when he contacted the heads, they already knew the information and apparently, he indicated that it was spread from employee to employee. Larson said that he was disappointed…”I would have expected more from this group.” All members of the council remained silent and not one took credit for leaking the information.