Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Schumacher elected president of EDC

Patti Robertson received a memento from Tom Schumacher for her service as president of St. Croix EDC from May 2009 to May 2010. She also served on t he board of directors from 2004 – 2010.

St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (EDC) held its annual meeting on Tuesday, May 11, 2010. Baldwin resident Tom Schumacher was elected to a one-year term as president. Schumacher is a business attorney with Bakke Norman S.C. He replaces Patti Robertson who completed her term as president. She will continue to serve on the executive committee.
Ryan Sicard (Somerset) was elected first vice president. He is employed by the Somerset School District and serves on the Somerset village board and the St. Croix County board of supervisors.
Roger Humphrey was elected second vice president. He resides in Woodville and owns Humphrey Engineering and MarketGraphics, both located in Hudson.
Marian Furlong was elected corporate secretary-treasurer. She is the president and chief operating officer of Hudson Hospital and Clinics.
Three directors completed their final terms on the board – Patti Robertson, Willard Moeri, and Jerry Brown.
Three incumbent directors were re-elected – Dawn Hukai, Ryan Sicard, and Tom Schumacher. All will serve a 3-year term. Hukai is an Associate Dean of the College of Business and Economics (CBE) at UW-River Falls. She is also an accounting professor at CBE.
Four new directors were elected to the board. They include Michelle Erdman, Greg Gerard, Paul Schwebach, and Scott Wagner. Michelle resides in Baldwin and is a paralegal at Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing. Gerard is a business consultant. Both Schwebach and Wagner are bankers – Paul is employed as the branch manager at AnchorBank in River Falls and Scott is a business banking manager with Bremer Bank.
At the conclusion of the annual meeting the departing directors were presented with plaques as a token of appreciation for their service to St. Croix EDC. Patti Robertson also received a memento for her service as EDC president from May 2009 to May 2010.

$30,000 donated to band programs
Community Ed going strong since 1995

The Baldwin-Woodville School District is the beneficiary of a $30,000 anonymous donation, which was announced at the board meeting Monday night. Viking Middle School Principal Jon Hinzman said the donation is in memory of Clifford Solstad. $15,000 of the donation is designated for the middle school band and another $15,000 is for the high school band, he said.
Community Education
For the past fifteen years, community education has been a partnership between the Baldwin-Woodville school district and the community it serves. Since 1995 the advisory council of Community Education has been offering a wide variety of classes for everyone in the district, according to Jill Goodrich in her report to the school board. Goodrich has been the director of Community Ed for the past four years.
The mission of Community Ed states in part, “A community school is a place used freely and informally for all aspects of living and learning, maximizing the use of publicly owned facilities.”
“We view community ed as a bridge between the community and the schools,” she said. “The programs allow for residents of all ages to utilize the school facilities.”
Goodrich explained that she puts together the class listing booklet each fall and spring. Typically there are 40 to 50 classes offered each session, she said.
“My rough formula for each session is one-third new classes, one-third requests from past sessions, and one-third on-going classes,” said Goodrich.
For the summer session, classes are listed on the new Community Ed web site, which can be accessed through the district’s web site she said. “That’s something new for us,” Goodrich added.
Some businesses and organizations run classes through the program, according to Goodrich. For instance, the EMT classes and Happy Feet Dance Studio classes are offered through Community Ed. Community Ed is a non-profit organization according to the mission statement.
All contracts were approved at the meeting. Administrative contracts increased 3.8 percent total package, teacher contracts increased 3.9 percent total package for 2009-2010 and 4 percent for 2010-2011 school year, and support contracts for 2010-2011 were approved.
Superintendent Rusty Helland explained that all employees are now on the same health insurance. As part of the administrative contract, all insurance costs are paid by the district. For the teacher and support staff, 93 percent of the insurance costs are paid by the district and the employee pays seven percent.
Board President Jeff Campbell said that the negotiations committee tried to take into account the increase in health insurance costs for support staff and adjust wages accordingly.
Campbell commented that a goal of the board to include Health Reimbursement Accounts in the teacher contracts was achieved. Helland agreed, explaining that all teachers hired after July 1, 2010 will be included in this benefit and any hired since 2006 may opt in at this time. Currently, teachers have two options: an annual stipend or regular health insurance. The new employee benefit is $2,000 annually toward the HRA for the first 15 years of service and $2,500 a year after that. The HRA will phase in over time to cover all teachers. The fixed cost of long-term debt to the district is beneficial and decreases its post-employment liability by nearly one-third, said Campbell.
Following a closed session the board approved an agreement with the teachers’ union regarding the new 4-year-old kindergarten program. Helland explained that due to the high numbers of students and only two community sites, part of the Jr. Hawks facility located at Greenfield Elementary may be used for 4-K. The agreement stipulates that a certified 4-K teacher at the Jr. Hawks facility would not be included in the BW teacher master contract. That teacher would be considered part of the community-based program and compensated as such, Helland said.
A motion to approve courses in agriculture which would qualify as science credits was approved.
A motion to increase school breakfast by ten cents and lunch by fifteen cents was approved.
High School Principal Eric Russell announced that scholarships to seniors were awarded last week. $30,000 of local money and $120,000 in national money was awarded to Baldwin-Woodville seniors.
Russell also announced that Adam Christianson and Evan Lebo won Exemplary Solo at state competition, which is the highest award at the state level.

Village Board approves contract for trash pick-up with Murtha Sanitation

The Baldwin Village Board at their regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 12 approved a five year contract for residential refuse and recycling with Murtha Sanitation.
Two other bidders for the contract were Waste Management, which has had the contract for the previous five years, and Veolia, which services some commercial accounts locally.
The Board reviewed a comparison sheet prepared by a review team that looked at the three bids. There were point totals listed, with Veolia scoring 59 points, Waste Management 58 and Murtha Sanitation 42. However, John Murtha of Murtha Sanitation noted that although his firm received less points in several areas it was only because he assumed the village would be familiar with his company and he didn’t go into detail. For instance, the bid asked for a contact person and Murtha said he or his son are the contact persons.
After Murtha’s presentation and discussion, Village President Don McGee commented that “they’re all really comparable.” He added that the village hasn’t had any problems with Waste Management and “it’s not an easy decision.” The prices are nearly identical, within a couple dollars per quarter.
A motion was made and seconded to award the contract to Murtha Sanitation and that passed. Trustee Claire Stein voted no because, he said, Waste Management did a good job and he was concerned about problems during the change over.

Laura Kerr is new Syttende Mai Queen

Laura Kerr was crowned Syttende Mai Queen at the Queen’s Coronation held Saturday night in Woodville. She is the daughter of Carey and Brenda Kerr. Samantha Albrightson, daughter of Doug and Andrea Albrightson, was crowned 1st Princess. Princesses were Brandi Escoe, daughter of Joseph and Theresa Escoe; Maggie Gadbois, daughter of Greg and Liz Gadbois; and Kelsey Lyons, daughter of Ed and Barb Lyons.

Restaurant adds Indian cuisine to menu

Surinder Manak displays a plate of Indian food, Tandoor Murg, which is a spring chicken marinated in a special sauce, blended with garlic and herbs.

It’s still known as Ray’s and retains a truck stop atmosphere, but since April of this year, the restaurant now offers a variety of Indian foods.
Owners Surinder and Parminder Manak bought Ray’s Southside Restaurant and service station in October 2004. Originally the Manaks leased the the restaurant while operating the service station. In October of 2009 the Manaks also took over operation of the restaurant.
Surinder is originally from Punjab State in northern India. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1981 and moved to Minneapolis in 1982, where he worked as a chef. He eventually opened three different restaurants in Minneapolis, Fair Oaks in 1990, Bombay Palace in 1992 and Sher-e-Punjab in 1995.
In October of 2004 the Manaks sold the restaurants and moved to New Richmond and purchased Rays.
“We have a variety of American and Indian food,” Surinder noted. “The American food is most popular. We do serve 10-12 orders of Indian food each day. Indian vegetarian is our specialty.”
Ray’s Indian Mini Restaurant is located at 501 Highway 63, at the southeast intersection with I-94.

News from the Exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

AMERY FREE PRESS: Polk County Sheriff Tim Moore shocked his weekly press conference on Monday, May 10 by announcing that he would not seek re-election to the post of sheriff of Polk County. In making the announcement Moore’s press release states, “I announce today that I will not seek re-election for the Office of Sheriff of Polk County. I have enjoyed serving the citizens of Polk county for the last five years as Sheriff and have spent the last 29 years in the law enforcement field in many different capacities. It has been said that if you love what you do, it is never really a job. I agree with that.” The sheriff went on to say, “While I have enjoyed this position I have never liked the political side or the negativity of campaigns. Everything is considered fair in political races and that is unfortunate. Campaigns should focus on a candidate’s qualifications and professional achievements in their career, not on unconfirmed accusations, mistruths, rumors and blatant lies. In these difficult economic times, much scrutiny has been placed on budgets and financial stability of departments and offices. I am proud to say that the Polk County sheriff’s office has always respected the budget process and the fundamental concept that we operate with your money and I have been under-budgeted expenses for the past four years to a combined total of $1.2 million.” In speaking with Moore informally, the sheriff told reporters that personal health played a part in his decision noting that the job is at least a 60 hour a week job and over.

TRIBUNE PRESS REPORTER (GLENWOOD CITY): At the Village Board Monday Police Chief Dan Wellumson informed the board that another couple from Boyceville lost money to internet forgery. The couple, whom he did not identify, lost $4,270 by sending money grams to a Las Vegas address. Wellumson said that the couple did receive checks from whoever got the money but, as he said before, the checks were no good. Wellumson told the village board that the couple had to take money from their retirement fund to cover the loss. Wellumson noted that this is not the first time local residents have been swindled and said that Boyceville residents have lost $15,000 in fraud. “We have been warning people about this type of thing,” Wellumson told the board. Board member Bill Sempf indicated to the meeting that he had heard about a scam that is going around where a person receives a call that they have an arrest warrant out on them because they did not appear for jury duty. The call then requests personal information about the person.

NEW RICHMOND NEWS: A New Richmond High School graduate is working to clean up the Gulf of Mexico after the recent oil spill disaster. Patrick Keilen who graduated in 1987, is part of the crew on an anti-pollution ship which is dispatched to environmental disasters in the region. According to Keilen’s father Don Keilen, of rural Deer Park, the environmental responder has been stationed along the California coast for years. “He’s been on the water all his life,” Don Keilen said noting that his son worked on Mississippi River barges for a number of years prior to getting into the environmental responder business. Keilen, who lives on a sailboat in California, was dispatched to the Gulf on Sunday, May 2, to help deal with the British Petroleum leak that threatens to wreak havoc on the region for months and years to come. Keilen’s brother Dan said Patrick is the captain of a smaller boat that is launched off a larger ship. The smaller vessel helps to lay oil clean-up booms in the water.

BURNETT COUNTY SENTINEL: A committee organized last October to raise funds to keep the Grantsburg swimming pool operating has raised more than $25,000 to pay for current repairs and help fund maintenance. Grantsburg area individuals and businesses have provided more than $20,000 in donations and pledges. Adding the approximately $8,000 in labor donated by an anonymous Grantsburg contractor, and the first donation of $5,00 from the Grantsburg School District brings total contributions in cash, pledges and labor to $33,000. The school uses the pool and lifeguards to teach swimming lessons during its annual summer school program.