Thursday, March 18, 2010

Behind the scenes at the Olympics

Baldwin-Woodville graduate Matt Leaf, front row, far right, was among the IIHF Referee Superivors for women’s tournament at the Olympics in Vancouver.

Matt Leaf, a1983 graduate of Baldwin-Woodville High School, has long had an interest in hockey. Progressing from a player in the Blackhawk Hockey Association, to a local USA Hockey referee to the Director of Officiating on USA Hockey, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Leaf became Director of Officiating of USA Hockey in 1994. As part of that role he works with the International Ice Hockey Federation on global issues pertaining to officiating. He began as an Instructor and Supervisor back in 1997 and was recently (2008) appointed as a member of the IIHF Officiating Committee.
The IIHF Officiating Committee is made up of five others from various countries (Finland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Sweden and Slovakia) and is charged with overseeing officiating at IIHF World Championships, development camps and other events. Leaf’s role in Vancouver was working on behalf of the IIHF as a Referee Supervisor for the Women’s Tournament. There were four members of IIHF working on the women’s side of the Olympic hockey tournament.
“I essentially work with the officials as one of their ‘coaches’ in assigning and preparing them to work games and evaluate,” Leaf said. “In addition, we take turns serving as the Video Goal Judge for the women’s games.”
Leaf fulfilled the same role at the Olympics in Torino in 2006.

Fusion players receive numerous honors

After winning the second straight WIAA girls hockey championship, members of the St. Croix Valley Fusion were accorded numerous honors.
Selected to the WIAA Girls Hockey State Tournament Team were:
First Team: Forwards: Alice Cranston (junior), and Lily Cranston (senior); Defense: Tanis Klingler (senior); Honorable Mention: Hailey Rock (sophomore), Tara Frey (junior), and Nikki Plunkett (junior).
Selected to the Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association All-State Teams from the Fusion were:
First Team: Forwards: Alice Cranston; Defense: Tanis Klingler; Honorable Mention: Tara Frey. Matt Cranston was named Coach of the Year.
Receiving Big Rivers All-Conference Honors were:
First Team: Tanis Klingler (defense) and Alice Cranston (forward); Second Team: Nikki Plunkett (defense) and Lily Cranston (forward); and Honorable Mention: Tara Frey and Hailey Rock.
In addition, Alice Cranston was named Player of the Year in the Big Rivers Conference. Cranston led the team with 64 points on 44 goals and and 20 assists.
Finally Tanis Klingler was named Ms. Hockey of Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Hockey Coaches. Criteria for the title includes: outstanding performance on the ice, academic performance, community role model and must be a senior hockey player.

Dr. Jonas to retire second time

Dr. Eugene Jonas, an urgent care physician at Baldwin Area Medical Center for two days a week, will retire for the second time at the end of this month.
Dr. Jonas, who started his medical career in 1961 in Ellsworth, remained there until 1994 when he retired from his practice. But after that he worked as an emergency room doctor in hospitals around Wisconsin, until he cut his time to two days a week at BAMC.
Born and raised in Red Wing, Minn., Dr. Jonas said he gained an early interest in medicine from two of his teachers: Edward Powderly, who taught social science and Albert Voltmann, a physics teacher. After graduation from high school he first was an x-ray technician for a few years, working in South Dakota. Then he joined the National Guard and war broke out in Korea, which led to him having a choice of serving in either Alaska or Korea. He chose Alaska but to do so he had to walk a 875 mile route to his post.
It was after his National Guard stint that Dr. Jonas attended the University of Minnesota for both pre-med and medical school. He interned at Hennepin County General Hospital and on July 3, 1961 he went to Ellsworth, where he practiced for 34 years. “I couldn’t get out of the Twin Cities fast enough,” Dr. Jonas said. “At 3:15 in the afternoon I saw my first patient,” he added.
The next 34 years, both in solo practice and with a partner for a time, Dr. F.B. Klass, Dr. Jonas stayed in Ellsworth. “I was in solo practice for 27 years and then got together with my competitor for seven or eight years,” Dr. Jonas said.
During his time in Ellsworth, Dr. Jonas figures he delivered about 1,100 babies, including “several sets of twins but no triplets.” As you might expect, Dr. Jonas did deliver some second generation babies.
Dr. Jonas who recently celebrated his 80th birthday at a party which was attended by 382 people, will finish his medical career on March 30. Dr. Jonas said he remembered the name of every person who came to his birthday party, except one, who he knew but whose name he couldn’t remember.
During his years practicing medicine, Dr. Jonas has enjoyed other interests. He is a Mason and Past Master of Ellsworth Lodge. He is also a Shriner and for many years was liaison between the St. Croix Valley Shrine Club and the Shriners Hospital. “I have helped a few kids with medical care at Shrine Hospitals,” he said.
Other interests of Dr. Jonas over the years include being a member of the American Cancer Society, of which he was named an honorary life member in the late 1970s, a member of the Pierce County Riders Saddle Club since it was formed in the 1960s, Pierce County coroner for 24 years and member of the Pierce County Highway Safety Committee for 24 years.
In retirement Dr. Jonas said he will have plenty to do. He and his wife Theresa have four house dogs. Dr. Jonas is the father of five children and grandfather of 10. He continues to enjoy photography. He formerly printed both black and white and color photos, but now owns a digital camera.
In addition “I’ve got a garbage can full of agates that need to be polished,” Dr. Jonas said. “I’ve always wanted to play the banjo and now I can take lessons.”

June Bug Days approvals given

Even though it’s a couple months off, the planning for 2010 June Bug Days is well underway and the Baldwin village board granted approvals necessary for holding the celebration at their regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 10.
At the request of June Bug Days chairman Rick Coltrain, the Board granted the use of Mill Pond Park for the celebration and approved a $5,000 contribution from the village toward the cost. In the past the village’s contribution has been designated for fireworks.
Coltrain noted that with all the activities taking place during June Bug Days “we’re about as big as we can be because of space limits.” However, one new feature that will be added this year is a “battle of the bands.”

From the Exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: A public hearing on a proposed $366,000 budget reduction package for the 2010-11 school year drew lots of feedback at the high school library. Among the nearly 30 people who took the microphone was former high school teacher Bob Gustafson. He argued against cuts to elementary school paraprofessionals, saying kids will lose out on “individualized instruction” and be the “real losers.” Gustafson also said River Falls is pro-education and that a special referendum should be considered to raise money to protect valuable programs. Among the many cuts: Phasing out the Japanese language course after next year; fewer grade school paraprofessionals, math and reading specialists and reduced middle school band lessons and the elimination of FACE (family education). Superintendent Tom Westerhaus has also volunteered to cut $5,000 from his pay/benefits package.

SUN-ARGUS (THE GATEWAY TO PIERCE COUNTY): The Monday morning Spring Valley coffee drinkers were in a bit of a quandary. They needed a place to sit down, chat and have a cup of coffee, and two local restaurants which they usually frequent were closed. “We have to have our morning coffee and our talk,” said a disappointed Marlene Aamodt who meets regularly with friends on Monday and Friday mornings. Deb’s Country Inn a popular restaurant in Spring Valley is temporarily closed while owners, John and Deb Zimmerman take a well-earned vacation. No problem. The Red Barn Country Café provides plenty of coffee and a spacious but cozy dining room - a perfect place for good friends to get together . Correction: It did provide coffee and coziness. As of Monday, March 8 the Café is indefinitely closed. The blinds were closed, the doors were locked and a sign was posted. It read, “The diner will be closed until further notice.” Jenny Langer, manager of the Red Barn Convenience Store had lots of company on Monday morning as 15 coffee drinkers crowded around the only available table in the store or simply leaned up against the counter or the walls. “It’s a shame the Café was closed this way,” said Langer. “Neither my boss Pat Crownhart nor I knew anything about this.” Dianna Fiergola, part time waitress at the Café, was also surprised. “We just learned about this last night,” she said. “All the employees got a text message on our cell phones.” The message read, “Effective immediately, the diner will be closed until further notice. Sorry for such short notice.”

THE SUN (OSCEOLA): A 69-year-old woman suffered a broken leg and a concussion last Tuesday morning when she was struck by a vehicle in downtown Osceola. Judith A. Jensen, of Osceola, was crossing State Highway 35 at the stoplight intersection with Second Avenue when a pick-up driven by Steve G. Danielowski, 55, of Farmington township, struck her. According to an accident report, Danielowski was turning right onto southbound 35 and told police that he was looking directly into the morning sun and that Jensen “just appeared out of the shade from the building.” Danielowski said he couldn’t remember whether the intersection light was red or green but believes it may have been red. Witnesses likewise couldn’t recall the color of the light. Jensen told police that she remembered pushing the crosswalk button, but didn’t remember if the light turned red while she was crossing. Jensen was transported to the Osceola Medical Center via ambulance and was treated for a broken femur. She also had an injury to her arm.

HUDSON STAR-OBSERVER: The city has found a buyer for the Hudson Municipal Building at 911 Fourth St., current home of the Hudson Area Joint Library. In a special meeting Monday night, the City Council accepted a $475,000 purchase offer for the building from Steven Rorem, an Eden Prairie, Minn., real estate investor. The deal is contingent on the property being rezoned from single family residential use to office use. Mayor Dean Knudson in a phone call Tuesday morning indicated that he didn’t think zoning issue was a threat to the deal. The building has been used for offices since St. Croix County built it in the mid-1960s. “We’re very happy to have found a buyer. I think it’s a very fair offer. And it’s a good building,” Knudson said. The city put the building up for sale after buying the former Nuclear Management Co. headquarters at 700 First St. at the beginning of the year. The library and the city’s police department will be moving into the First Street building in a few months.

MONDOVI HERALD NEWS: A chicken coop and 53,000 chickens were lost in a fire occurring five miles east of Mondovi on Hwy. 10 Sunday morning. The Mondovi Fire Department received the call at 5 a.m. Firefighters were on the scene for three hours and received tanker support from Eleva, Strum, and Eau Claire Townships. Mondovi Fire Chief Dennis Brion says the 60x640 foot building is a complete loss. He estimates the damage may total almost $500,000 including the cost of the birds and machinery. The fire is believed to have started in the office/equipment room. The cause remains under investigation. No one was hurt in the blaze. The building is owned by Tom Forthun.