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.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sittlow takes command of USS Boise

Cmdr. Paul S. Snodgrass (left) turns over command of the USS Boise to Cmdr. Brian L. Sittlow (right) during a change of command ceremony.

Cmdr. Brian L. Sittlow relieved Cmdr. Paul S. Snodgrass as commanding officer of the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Boise (SSN 764) during a change of command ceremony Thursday, Janaury 21 at Naval Station Norfolk.
Sittlow reports to Boise from Naval War College in Newport, R.I., where he received his Masters of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies in 2009.
Snodgrass will report to the Tactical, Readiness, and Evaluation Team as Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
"For the crew of Boise, I am humbled and honored to be your new commanding officer," said Sittlow following the change-of-command ceremony. "I look forward to serving and sailing with you. As I assume command today, I am forever grateful for many members of the submarine fraternity that have guided me throughout my career, providing leadership, counseling and occasional nudges along the way."
Capt. Frank Cattani, Commander, Submarine Squadron EIGHT, was the principal speaker at the ceremony, which welcomed attendees from Idaho including Boise mayor David Bieter.
The Boise is the second U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of Idaho's capital city. Built by Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat Division, the Boise was commissioned on November 7, 1992. The 360-foot ship has a crew compliment of 13 officers and 121 enlisted Sailors.
Sittlow is a 1989 graduate of St. Croix Central High School and the son of Darlene and Mike Sittlow of Roberts.

Anderson Ford #1 dealer

Anderson Ford of Baldwin topped the leaderboard for the third consecutive year for all select dealers in the Twin Cities Region. The region is compiled of dealers in the Midwest. "It's an honor we are very proud of but it's not possible without our customers both old and new. 2009 presented its challenges but Ford has seen a real bounce. The product is easy to sell and most folks appreciate that Ford is making a go of it on their own. The imports are having there own problems and I believe most people want to buy American first." said Andy Lamb.

Anderson also ranked in the top 20 nationwide. 
Corey Hawkins added, "Our staff remains committed to total customer satisfaction. We can't operate a business unless our customers are happy. Baldwin is a small town and we've always tried to keep a small town atmosphere around here. I think people appreciate that."

Ford took honors with the F-150 being named the Motortrend truck of the year last spring. The Fusion followed it up in the fall with being named the car of the year. Ford is also unveiling a new Super Duty this spring as well as bringing back an all new Fiesta for the current Model year. 

Bridge Investment Group will operate investment office at First Bank

A Hudson independent financial advisory firm of registered representatives has taken over operation of the investment office at First Bank of Baldwin. Prior representative Chris Wicker has left the office and is now independent.
Bridge Investment Group is the new representative at First Bank’s investment office. Bridge was founded in 2004 by Brad Kahley and Duane “Dewey” Swanson, who are the firm’s two principals. They both plan to be at the First Bank office on a regular basis and to have the office staffed at most times. A third representative of the office who will spent time in Baldwin is Rod Brooks.
Bridge Investment Group specializes in financial and retirement planning, including investment allocation, income planning and estate distribution services.
Prior to joining with Swanson to found Bridge Investment group, Kahley managed an investment and pension department for New England Financial/Metlife for Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Before 1991 he was a registered representative with John Hancock Financial Services and before that he was associated with IDS/American Express. He has been working with clients in Baldwin and the surrounding areas since 1986.
Swanson is responsible for financial planning, tailoring investment policy statements, education and client communication. Prior to Bridge Investment Group, he managed the financial planning department for New England Financial in Minnesota and western Wisconsin for over 11 years.
Together, Swanson and Kahley were responsible for the management and support of over 100 representatives at New England Financial and Metlife before they were associated with Bridge Investment Group.
Bridge Investment Group is affiliated with broker-dealer ING Financial Partners in Des Moines, Iowa, for all their compliance supervision.
“We are excited to have this opportunity to meet and service the Bank’s current clients and have a local service office for our existing clients,” said Swanson.

From the Exchanges
  Interesting items from
    Surrounding communities

NEW RICHMOND NEWS: A Somerset man was killed in a Saturday afternoon accident near Stillwater. Shane Erickson, 23, was killed when an errant wheel from a Ford F-350 vehicle bounced across Highway 95, striking Erickson’s Pontiac Grand Am. According to the Minnesota State Patrol report, the crash occurred at about 2:23 p.m. in the southbound lanes of 95 at the intersection of Highway 36. Bradley Wicklem, 39, of New Richmond, was the driver of the pickup. He was reportedly uninjured, as was his passenger.

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: With the fastest all-around time as an American in recent Olympic speed skating trials, Maria Lamb is surging toward her second Winter Olympics next month. A town of River Falls native, the 24-year-old will compete in the 5,000 meter race, the longest for women. Her mother, Betty, says Maria skates fastest the longer the distance. Four years ago speed skater Maria had her first taste of the Winter Olympics held in Torino, Italy. Maria didn’t win a medal but competed in the 1500 meter race, finishing 24th out of 35. The USA Women’s team finished fifth overall. By chance Betty turned Maria on to speed skating at the tender age of six. “It was winter, and I was trying to find an activity for her,” said Betty, who has three younger children with her husband Philip. “We went with friends to an outside rink at a park, Maria liked skating but was clumsy like anyone else doing it for the first time. At some point she asked me, ‘Is there such a thing as racing on skates?’ I said I’d check into it. I never imagined that would eventually lead to her being in the Olympics someday.

TRIBUNE PRESS REPORTER (GLENWOOD CITY): Dunn county will be the site of the Nature Valley Grand Prix professional bicycle race June 19 that will include Boyceville as one of the villages on the route. The Dunn County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution at the January 20 meeting approving that the event be held in Dunn County. Mark Lewis, an event coordinator, said the Nature Valley Grand Prix is the highest ranked state race in the United States. The route through Dunn county is one state of a six-stage race. Prior to this, all six stages of the Nature Valley Grand Prix has been held in Minnesota. The portion of the race that will be held in Dunn County is the first stage ever to leave Minnesota, Lewis said. Because of the hills and well-paved town roads, “Dunn County is a premier cycling destination,” he said. The route for the Menomonie Road Race Stage will follow an 82-mile loop through Dunn County that will begin and end at Menomonie, he said. According to a map of the route, bicycle race participants will head north from Menomonie to Boyceville, over toward Downing, back down the western side of the county and up to Menomonie again to close the loop. A total of 200 bicyclists will participate in the race. The bicyclists also will have members of their race caravans following along, Lewis told the county board.

AMERY FREE PRESS: Dr. Anders Ulland and Bradley Byker, certified registered nurse anesthetist, are in Haiti participating in relief efforts. They have been assigned to Hospital Bon Samaritan in Limbe. The two left January 20 and plan to return home February 4. Dr. Ulland is a surgeon at Amery Regional Medical Center and medical director for Wound Healing Center. Dr. Ulland is a board certified general surgeon who specializes in problems related to hernia, gallbladder, breast cancer, the GI tract and laparoscopic colon surgery. Amery Regional Medical Center has established a fund for Haiti Relief and Development Fund through the American Red Cross. The hospital also supplied medical supplies, antibiotics and pharmaceuticals for the trip.

HUDSON STAR-OBSERVER: Kaiti Tiedeman did the near unthinkable. The ten-year-old, fifth-grader at Willow River Elementary School went the entire year of 2009 without watching television. “I got a lot better at reading, because I read more,” Kaiti said of the experience. “You get smarter at school. Most people don’t like school, but I do.” Kaiti’s mother Wendy Kable, put her up to the challenge. She and her brother Jerry Panning of River Falls, did the same thing back in 1984 when they were nine and ten years old respectively. Kaiti and her younger brother, first-grader Jon Kable, were arguing about what to watch on TV late one day in 2008 when Kable thought of making them an offer like her parents had made her and her brother. Kable’s parents said they would give them $200 if they gave up TV for a year. Kable upped the anti for Kaiti and Jon to $500.

SUN-ARGUS (GATEWAY TO PIERCE COUNTY): Anyone traveling through Elmwood has probably noticed that a 60 foot high structure has changed the skyline of this small community. It’s called a feed load-out bin, and it’s just one more improvement for Countryside Cooperative. “What’s gone on over time is that our business model is evolving in harmony with the changes occurring within production agriculture,” said general manager, George Rude. “We have fewer and larger farms, and the Coops have changed to lock-step with these farms in terms of services, technology and products. We have to be more efficient today. We are going to be doing more milling in Elmwood. There will be more emphasis on using the Elmwood mill and less on Baldwin and Ellsworth because this is a more efficient mill, and there is greater productivity here,” said Rude adding, “Elmwood is midsize in terms of facility size, but it’s getting more specialized here and needs greater milling capacity.”