Thursday, July 15, 2010

Crash closed west-bound I-94 Monday afternoon

A five vehicle crash along a stretch of west-bound I-94 that was one-lane due to road construction resulted in closure of the stretch of interstate and re-routing traffic through Baldwin and on USH 12.
According to emergency personnel on the scene, the crash happened near mile-post 17, just east of the Hammond/CTH T exit and involved five vehicles, including a semi-truck. One of the vehicles involved flipped and another rolled over.
Emergency personnel said a woman in one of the vehicles was transported directly to Regions Medical Center in St. Paul with injuries that didn’t appear to be life-threatening.
East-bound traffic on I-94 was not affected by the accident. The scene took about an hour to clear. Agencies responding to the crash included the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, Baldwin Police Department, United Fire and Rescue, Baldwin EMS and River Falls Ambulance Service.

Ben Orr is Baldwin’s newest officer
Ben Orr, a 2004 Baldwin-Woodville High School graduate and U.S. Air Force veteran, is the Village of Baldwin’s newest police officer.
Orr started his present job at the beginning of July. Previously he worked as a police officer in Woodville. He is the replacement for Officer Brad Coplan who has announced his retirement at the end of this month.
Orr said he was a member of the Air Force security forces. He remains in the Air Force Reserve.

Mandatory 10-digit dialing procedure to debut in the 715 Area Code

Residential and business customers within the existing 715 area code should be prepared for the introduction of the 534 area code. As of July 17, 2010, all customers located in the 715 area code will be required to dial the area code + seven-digit number (10-digit dialing) when making local calls from both landline and wireless phones.
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin ordered an overlay of the 715 area code to ensure that businesses and consumers continue to have access to telephone numbers from their carrier of choice. An area code overlay occurs when another area code (e.g., 534) is added to the same geographic region served by an existing area code (e.g., 715). An overlay does not require any existing customers to change their area code or telephone number. However, when two area codes serve the same region, callers are required to change the way they dial local calls.
The most important facts that consumers and businesses need to know about the upcoming 534 area code overlay are:
Beginning on July 17, 2010, customers in the 715 area code must use the new 10-digit dialing procedure for all local calls. After this date, local calls made without the area code will not complete and a recording will instruct callers to hang up and dial again.
The dialing procedure for long distance or operator assisted calls will not change.
All customers with a 715 area code telephone number today will keep the 715 area code for that number.
Phone numbers with the new 534 area code may be assigned after August 14, 2010.
The price of a call, local and long-distance calling areas and other rates and services of your provider will not change as a result of the area code overlay. What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
You will still dial three digits to reach 911. If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811 are currently available in your community, or from your provider, you will still dial them with just three digits.
In addition to changing their local dialing procedure, customers in the 715 area code will need to reprogram their automatic dialing equipment and any other equipment that is currently programmed to dial a 7-digit local number. These devices need to be reprogrammed with the new 10-digit dialing procedure prior to July 17, 2010. Examples of programmed equipment and features include: PBX systems, life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call-forward settings, voice mail and similar services.

News from the Exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

THE SUN (OSCEOLA): J.J. Kelley took his first strokes in a sea kayak on Balsam Lake. By this time two years ago the Taylors Falls native’s kayaking skills were well-honed enough for him and a friend to spend three months kayaking 1,300 miles from Seward, Alaska to Seattle. They followed the Pacific Ocean’s Inside Passage, which kept them within a mile or so of the coastline most of the time. Kelley, 28, and Josh Thomas filmed their adventure and compressed some 65 hours of footage into an 85-minute feature documentary called “Paddle to Seattle.” The beautifully photographed film has won 13 film festival awards and is scheduled to be aired on Wisconsin Public TV July 22. Prior to that, St. Croix Festival Theatre will show the film at the Auditorium in St. Croix Falls the evenings of July 20 and 21, with Kelley on hand for those screenings. “I think that the film really is a part of me and where I came from,” Kelley said. “My mom [Michelle] worked at the [Minnesota] Interstate Park when I grew up, and my love for the outdoors really developed in the St. Croix River Valley on canoe trips from Taylors Falls to Osceola. That, in a sense is part of the Paddle to Seattle. So I really want to share the film with folks who can relate to that.” Currently, Kelley is an associate producer with National Geographic Television, based in Washington. He and Thomas who now lives in Alaska, met while each was hiking solo on the Appalachian Trail. Later they bicycled across Alaska, from south to north, and chronicled that trek with a documentary film called, “Pedal to the Midnight Sun.” That first film also will be shown at the Auditorium Theater on July 21.

PIERCE COUNTY HERALD (ELLSWORTH): Dan Hines and Jessica Lansing were originally going to spend the night of June 25 going to River Falls for supper. Instead, it turned out to be a night the Ellsworth natives are never going to forget. “We jumped in the (Dodge) Durango about 6:30 p.m. and headed out toward River Falls on the scenic route, both because we like to take our time and to avoid the road construction and traffic of a Friday night,” Lansing said. Hines, 22, who was driving, was eastbound on 570th Ave, crossing CTH O (north of Hwy. 10) when the heavy rains let off enough to reveal a funnel cloud. “Dan put the truck in reverse in an attempt to turn around and get out of there and head home, but it was too late,” Lansing, 21, said. The next thing the couple knew, they found themselves in a ditch inside the flipped SUV. “Neither of us really felt the sensation of flying or anything until the impact of hitting the ground upside down.” Lansing said. She continued, “I can remember hitting the ground and thinking we were done moving, but then the rest of the truck rocked onto the roof so it was completely flat. The storm was so loud that we couldn’t really hear the crunching of metal or breaking of glass. When they said tornadoes sound like a freight train, they aren’t kidding.” That’s when Hines took over, his fiancĂ©e said. First he turned the Durango off, preventing a fire. Then, making sure she wasn’t hurt, he kicked the far window of the passenger side the rest of the way out and cleared the glass away so they could escape out of it. He then helped Lansing get out of her seat and led the way out of the window.

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: The yearlong $250, 000 project by the River Falls Wildcat Soccer Association to fix up the Golfview Soccer Fields is complete. Now the focus is turf care so soccer play can resume. “Our players and coaches are very excited to begin playing on the new fields,” says Jeff Bump, RFWSA president. “The fields have been designed with a sand base, which will maximize player performance and minimize potential for injury. The turf is the latest genetics, designed for high durability, low water requirements and low-vertical growth, promoting thickness without a high-mowing demand.” Bump said the soccer field renovation includes surface and turf upgrade for eight new fields, storm water control design, in-ground irrigation and a new parking lot for the east side fields. Bump said local soccer play at Golfview is just two months away.

HUDSON STAR OBSERVER: Owners of Ellie’s On Main (Sharon Horne-Ellstrom and Brian Ellstrom) have filed a lawsuit against the city of Hudson because of recent restrictions imposed on the business, including the restricted use of a deck built behind the business to allow for smoking after the recently imposed state smoking ban. According to the complaint, the business has had a Class B liquor and beer license for Ellie’s on Main since August 2007. In May 2009 when Wisconsin adopted its Clean Indoor Air act (which became effective July 5, 2010), Ellie’s petitioned the city to amend the description of its licensed premises to include a deck that would be built to the rear of the building where customers could smoke. On September 8, 2009, the city council approved the request contingent upon completion of the project and issuance of an occupancy permit. The business spent about $40,000 to build and outfit the deck. On June 9, a group of citizens and neighbors filed complaints that Ellie’s on Main was “a disorderly house.” The group complained about noise, problems with urine, vomit and beverage cups, fights and other things. The council held a hearing, received evidence, deliberated in closed session and approved in open a session a motion saying Ellie’s is not “a disorderly house.” But on June 14, when it renewed Ellie’s license, the council added these conditions: no alcohol may be served or consumed on the deck, a bouncer must be on the deck while customers use it, no live or recorded music may be played on the deck, and windows and doors must remained closed. The complaint alleges that by prohibiting drinking on the deck, the council either revoked or failed to renew Ellie’s license as it pertains to the deck. The suit says the council didn’t have the legal authority to do that. The suit alleges that conditions put Ellie’s at an unfair competitive disadvantage and impose a “significant economic burden.”