Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Storm dropped up to five inches of rain on Baldwin

The intersection of Newton Street and USH 6 was one area inundated by the heavy rainfall that took place Tuesday, June 15. Motorists had to carefully travel though the intersection where water was well over one foot deep.

An afternoon storm that hovered over Baldwin for more than an hour on Tuesday, June 15 dropped various amounts of rain on the village that may have ranged up to five inches.
The heaviest rainfall reports came from the northeast side of the Village, causing huge rushing rivers of water on streets and over grass ways that overwhelmed in some cases the Village’s storm sewers.
The huge amount of water also created havoc with some basements, as both rainwater came into houses through window wells and the failure of sump pumps to keep pace with seeping groundwater, and in some cases through sanitary sewer backups.
Amounts of rain varied greatly, even over short distances. From reports of up to five inches in Baldwin, mostly in the northeast and east side, other reports were up to four inches, three inches and at the village’s wastewater treatment plant, 2.85 inches.
Regardless of location in the village and the rainfall total, “that was a lot of rain at one time,” said Gary Newton, operator of Baldwin’s wastewater treatment plant, “and the most flooding.” He recalled a rainfall of six inches years before, but it was over a longer period of time and didn’t cause as much flooding.
Although there were areas flooded, the damage would have been worse in past years before completion of the major storm sewer pipe that diverts rainwater from the east and north side of town west of town along a large cement pipe along the railroad tracks. That project took place in 2002 and was funded with a Community Development Block Grant.

School board discusses senior volunteer program

Senior citizens have the opportunity to reduce their state tax obligations by volunteering at school districts, according to Superintendent Rusty Helland during the regular monthly meeting of the Baldwin-Woodville Board of Education Monday night.
The STEP Program (Senior Tax Exempt Program) was brought to the attention of Helland by district resident Carolyn Krieger, who requested that the school board consider offering the program at Baldwin-Woodville. Senior citizens who volunteer at the local schools earn five dollars of credit an hour toward tax reductions. An individual can earn up to $400 per year in tax reductions, according to Helland.
“I’ve spoken to a couple of districts that offer STEP,” commented Helland, “and they are positive about the program. Rice Lake has 60 volunteers who earn about $25,000 in tax reductions a year,” he added.
Currently at Baldwin-Woodville there are volunteers at Greenfield Elementary in the mentoring program, according to Principal Gary Hoffman.
Helland said that administrative costs would be funded through the community service fund.
The board decided to place STEP on the July agenda.
Supt. Helland informed the board that board policy requires that credits must be completed at Baldwin-Woodville in order for a student to be awarded a B-W diploma. He said that the State indicates that a school district can chose to a award diploma for an alternative program. The discussion came on the heels of last month’s denial of a request by a student to be awarded a B-W diploma for course work completed through an HSCD program at WITC. Students completing such a program are awarded high school diplomas upon completion of exams.
“I think a Baldwin-Woodville diploma should be earned by attending class at our school,” commented Board President Jeff Campbell.
The diploma policy was sent to the Policy Committee for review.
There was the first reading of three policies regarding student bullying or harassment.
Board member Jody Lindquist informed the board that one teacher has been hired for four-year-old kindergarten, which will begin September 1. More candidates are scheduled for interviews, she said. An open house will be held in the fall.
Principal Gary Hoffman said that 346 students are currently enrolled in Summer School with 21 teachers.
Athletic Director J.R. Dachel announced the Annual Athletic Fund Raiser which will be a golf tournament at Pheasant Hills on July 23. More teams are welcome.

Poetry Group meets every month

Members of the Poetry Group met on Tuesday evening, June 15. From left are Marilyn Lear, Pastor Carmen Peterson, Marie Bosman and Nancy Hable.

A local group of poetry lovers and poets meets every month under the auspices of Baldwin-Woodville Community Education.
Most of the regular members of the group come equipped with a poem or poems they enjoy sharing with other members of the group. But one member doesn’t bring poems written by others. She is a poet who has written poetry for decades and has volumes of poetry she has bound up in scrapbooks along with illustrations that match the poem’s topics.
The poet is Marie Bosman of Baldwin. She said of her poems: “Some of them are good and some are not. I’ve written a lot of them.”
On Tuesday, June 15—meeting at a private residence to benefit from air conditioning—instead of at B-W High School as is normal for the rest of the year, the topic for the poets was “animals.” Other members of the group brought with them poems by authors they enjoy and admire. Marie brought poems to read that she had written over the years. One was called “Kleptomania” and was about a bluebird. Another was “Then I Saw Jesus.”
Mrs. Bosman said she believes that she has a gift of writing poetry, that was given to her by God. “I try to write them with a meaning that represents something,” she said. Many of her poems have a religious theme. Mrs. Bosman also is part of a prison ministry and uses her poetry to communicate with prisoners. Prisoners also take lessons from her, and they send her their work which she then corrects.
Another member of the poetry group is Pastor Carmen Peterson who said Mrs. Bosman “has the ability to describe a feeling, a mood. She has the gift.”
Nancy Hable, another member of the group and a neighbor and friend of Mrs. Bosman’s, said she underwent surgery three years ago and Marie “brought me a poem. It was one of the nicest gifts—very special.”
And Nancy, a member of the Baldwin-Woodville Community Education Advisory Council, and Pastor Peterson, another member, believed a poetry group would have an appeal to some members of the community and would be a vehicle for Mrs. Bosman to showcase some of her poetry.
Mrs. Bosman has had a number of her poems published, some of them in her church denomination’s newspaper, “The Banner.”
Marie grew up north of Baldwin near Pine Lake. She was the daughter of Chris and Angeline TeGrootenhuis. She started writing poetry when she was a teenager and has continued over the decades.
Typically, there are six or seven members of the poetry group who are present. But on Tuesday, June 15 only four showed up, perhaps because of the big rain earlier in the day or just as likely because there are many opportunities for activities during the summer.
In addition to Pastor Peterson, Nancy Hable and Marie Bosman, other members of the group include Marilyn Lear, who was present Tuesday evening, as well as Mark Roycraft, Director of Community Education Jill Goodrich and a UW-River Falls student.

News from the Exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

PIERCE COUNTY HERALD: A River Falls teenager was charged earlier this month in Pierce County Circuit Court with felony second-degree reckless endangerment. Joseph T. Kobs, 17, is looking at a maximum penalty of $25,000 and/or ten years prison if found guilty. He was scheduled to make his first court appearance on the charge Monday of this week. According to court records, River Falls police and a Pierce County child protection worker went to interview the victim, a 13-year-old girl, in March. The victim explained that, three days earlier, she smelled marijuana coming from his room. She knew Kobs, who was 16 at the time, wasn’t supposed to be smoking pot and confronted him about it. She said Kobs became angry and threw a butcher knife at her. The knife flew past her head and hit the recliner behind her. She also said he was holding another knife with a shorter blade. The victim also said that, last November, Kobs became angry at her and held a knife approximately one inch from her neck. When police interviewed Kobs, he admitted to having an altercation with the victim and grabbing some knives. He said one of the knives slipped out of his hand and accidentally flew in the direction of the victim.

THE COURIER-WEDGE (DURAND): The Durand Junior and Senior High School were among the 145 Wisconsin schools that failed to show progress in reading in the 2009-10 school year. Under the No Child Left Behind Act, schools that receive Title 1 funding are evaluated on test results, graduation rates, test participation rates. The School must make yearly progress toward the government’s goal or face punishments that include letting parents transfer their children to another school district that has better performance, offer tutoring for students from low-income families and restructuring the way the schools operate. Schools that miss the bar face increasing stiff sanctions, including the potential loss of federal money. But due to the fact that this is the first year Durand has appeared on the list, they will not face any federal funding cutbacks. Even though Durand will not be facing cutbacks for not meeting standards, 89 Wisconsin schools were unable to make progress. 71 of those schools receive federal funding for students in poverty and makes them eligible for sanctions.

BURNETT COUNTY SENTINEL: “Rural Development (USDA) has indicated they could fill the $300,000 gap in financing for the library,” MSA engineer Dave Rasmussen told the Webster Village Board at its meeting last week. Between grants, donations and the donation of the building, the village is about $300,000 short on funding for the projected cost of the library renovation. That’s where the USDA comes in. “It was a very positive meeting,” Rasmussen indicated. “With a $150,000 loan and a $150,000 grant, it fills that gap,” he said. “I’m fairly confident, through our fundraising efforts, we aren’t going to need that $150,000 loan.” Trustee Tim Malone said. “But perhaps we could use it as a ‘bridge’ loan until the dedicated donations come in.” Rasmussen said bidding could take place in July with bids to be opened in early August.