Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jacobsons set to relinquish GM franchise

Mary and Greg Jacobson of Jacobson, Inc. have decided to relinquish their Chevrolet franchise from General Motors but will continue offering near new vehicles, previously owned vehicles and service and body work.

An ad in Saturday’s Bargain Bulletin and a letter to the editor in this issue of the Baldwin Bulletin announce that Jacobson, Inc. will relinquish their Chevrolet franchise starting in November this year.
The Jacobson family has been affiliated with General Motors for the past 38 years, starting in 1972 with a Pontiac franchise in Woodville and continuing in Baldwin when they bought the Zillmann Chevrolet and Oldsmobile dealership in 1992. In 1996 the Jacobsons moved to their new facility on Baldwin’s south side.
General Motors eliminated the Oldsmobile line in 2004. Last year General Motors cancelled the Pontiac line and also notified the Jacobsons that their Chevrolet contract was not being renewed, said owner Greg Jacobson. Since then the Jacobsons and other franchise holders have been engaged in arbitration with General Motors over the elimination of their franchises.
However, the ad and letter say “with GM’s recent history, it has become exceedingly more difficult to maintain the level of service you’ve come to expect. So rather than pursue further arbitration, with the unknown of what would actually be won, we have made the decision to stop selling and warranting New General Motors vehicles effective October, 31, 2010. We will continue to offer near new and previously owned vehicles of all makes and models to better fit with the ever changing needs and wants of our growing community.”
The decision to drop the arbitration process brings mixed emotions, Greg said. “We did pursue the arbitration for a length of time and gave it a good run. But it was expensive to do and was not looking promising.” He added that General Motors was also coming up with many new requirements for their dealers and “we weren’t sure it would be worth the value for the dollars.”
Greg said he will continue to offer the same types of vehicles as he has in the past to keep the business offering what customers have come to expect. He said the service and auto body departments won’t change but the business will have more diversity. “If the need arises, if somebody wants to buy something else, we’ll try to get what people want and there is demand for.” But mostly, said Greg, “we’ll continue to offer the service, honesty and reliability people have come to expect.”

Flood damage hot line

Area residents who suffered flood damage due to the heavy rains on August 25 are urged to call 888-305-3555. A recorded message will prompt you to leave your name, address, phone number and what type of damage occurred, such as sewer backup, flooded or damaged homes or washed out driveways.

Baldwin Telecom approved for more than $9 million from RUS Broadband Initiatives Program

The USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) recently announced Baldwin Telecom, Inc. (BTI) has been approved for a $9 million broadband project in the Town of Troy.
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, BTI will receive $4,533,949.00 in matching grant money for the development of broadband data access in the Town of Troy, St. Croix County, with the remainder in the form of a RUS loand.
Broadband data access helps rural areas take full advantage of the Internet and helpsx create jobs.
Manager Larry Knegendorf said, “These stimulus funds for broadband will help play an important part in bringing 21st century infrastructure to all residents of the Town of Troy”.
BTI has been working with Warren Vollmar, head of the Town of Troy Broadband Committee, for more than two years to find a way to provide high speed Internet to all of the town residents. Vollmar and Ray Knapp, also of the Town of Troy, have played a major role in obtaining the grant money.
The proposed project is a 100% fiber based broadband infrastructure for the unserved and underserved communities in the Town of Troy. A last-mile project, it will provide access to approximately 1,500 households, businesses and other institutions.
“The announcement demonstrates the trust RUS has in our ability to deliver quality broadband services,” said Knegendorf. “We are experienced at providing broadband in rural areas. In fact, 100% of our customers have access to our high-speed Internet service. This money gives us the opportunity to provide service to the Town of Troy.”
In 2002 BTI was recognized as the first independent telephone company in Wisconsin to deploy Fiber-To-The-Home technology in select greenfield areas. Fiber-optic technology can carry data, voice and video signals over longer distances and at higher speeds than other forms of communication.
“By using this technology BTI is able to provide faster Internet speed and offer more services. In addition, we are building a highly reliable network for the future,” said Knegendorf.
Currently BTI provides data, voice and video service in Baldwin, Woodville and the Town of Hudson. In addition BTI provides data and video service in Hammond, Roberts and Knapp. BTI has been providing telephone service since 1900 and added video services in the early 1980s. BTI was selected by the St. Croix Economic Corporation to receive the 2009 Small Business of the Year Award.
BTI looks forward to expanding broadband services in the Town of Troy. At this time Knegendorf was not able to give any details on when the construction will begin in the Town of Troy. He stated that information will be available at
For more information contact Larry Knegendorf or Matt Sparks at 715-684-3346.

Doug Doll is Heartland Days Parade Marshal

Doug Doll has been named the Parade Marshal for Hammond’s Heartland Days parade which is Sunday, August 15 starting at 12:30 p.m. He is pictured with his dog Jack.

Doug Doll recently lost his bar and grill, a symptom of the current tough economy. But he hasn’t lost his involvement in the Hammond community.
And that’s why Doug has been named this year’s Parade Marshal.
In fact, if anything, being Parade Marshal may make Doug’s life tougher. You see, he will still pull a wagon-load of American Heritage residents to the parade route, meaning he’ll first have to ride through as Parade Marshal and then hustle back to the American Heritage wagon to go through a second time.
“Doug is one of those guys who will help with anything,” said Linda Hawkins, the co-chair of the Hammond Heartland Days Celebration Committee. “I remember asking him about seven or eight years ago if he would help us with the [residents] from the Heritage Care Center. There are a few of them who like to see the parade and he would go down there with a flat bed trailer with sides and roll all the wheel chairs on that flat bed” and take the residents to a vantage point for the parade. “I have never had to ask him again, he takes care of it every year no questions asked. This is just one of many things Doug has done as well as all the fund raisers he hosted at the Doll House. He has done a great deal for the Lions and asks for nothing in return. I guess to sum it up, he gives and gives and hopefully he feels the gratitude for all he has done for the community and we respect him for all he has done.”
“It was a shocker, though, when they asked me,” said Doug. He said he got a call from Linda asking for a meeting and figured they had a job for him to do.
Doug was born in Milwaukee and raised in the Osceola-Dresser area and had rental property there. He worked at Andersen Windows until he bought the Hammond bar in 1989, which he operated until this year. Up until three and a half or four years ago everything was going well with the Doll House, Doug said. But then the economy went sour. “I cut back employees but it was still going backwards,” he said.
Doug also served the Village of Hammond as a trustee on the Village Board for 11 years. “It takes two or three years before you know what’s going on,” he commented about village business. “The village is like a business, you have a budget and you can’t fund everything. Some things get cut. Everyone has a wish list.” Doug said the Hammond village crew has done a wonderful job of late in making Hammond look good.
After losing his bar and grill earlier this year Doug said he has been busy moving. “It took a month to get out of the bar. I’m also moving from out in the country into Hammond. I’ve also been taking care of an older fellow but I recently had to move him into the nursing home.” Doug said he still has his tent and party equipment rental business. He also did a two week stint working at Phantom Fireworks a few weeks back.

News from the Exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

TRIBUNE PRESS REPORTER (GLENWOOD CITY): Citing the need for more office space for the growing Hiawatha National Bank, owners Jim and Jeanene Meisser proposed that the city rent the former Citizens State Bank building on West Oak Street. At present, the city rents five office spaces in the Hiawatha building at Second and Oak Streets in Glenwood City. The city has two offices for the city clerk-treasurer and deputy and two offices for the police department and one for the municipal judge. The Meissers appeared before the city council Monday night at its regular meeting telling them that the bank was growing and that they needed the office space for the bank. “We are trying to be sensitive to the economic needs of the City,” Jeanene Meisser told the council. Late last month the Hiawatha National Bank acquired the Glenwood City branch of Citizens State Bank and will apply to the federal government for permission to close that branch office and Hiawatha would offer a low rent for the Citizens State Bank building to the city to move their offices down the street. The city rents about 1,300 square feet of space in the Hiawatha building and Meisser told the council that the former CSB building is about 1900 feet in size. At present, the city pays about $1,000 a month in rent to Hiawatha for those five office spaces and that includes utilities. The Meissers’ proposal to the city calls for a first year rent of $375 per month with a fifty dollar increase in each of the next two years. After that the city could purchase the building.

PIERCE COUNTY HERALD: A Woodbury, Minn., man died early Sunday morning after he jumped from a dock at the Harbor Bar and drowned, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. Pierce County deputies present at the Hagar City bar were alerted to the incident at 2:49 a.m. by a male who told them a man had fallen into the Mississippi River. A civilian search turned up the body of Curtis Allen Golla, 44, in about 10 to 12 feet of water. Deputies attempted life-saving measures, according to a press release. Golla was later pronounced dead at Fairview Red Wing Medical Center. Investigation of the incident revealed Golla was standing on the dock near a houseboat he was visiting and jumped into the river for a swim, Pierce County Investigator Doug Ducklow said in the press release. Witnesses said Golla was seen entering the water, but never resurfacing. Golla owned a concrete construction firm in Woodbury and was a former on-call firefighter. The case remains under investigation.

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: Neighbors credited three young men who happened to be driving past 1260 Sunset Lane around 12:30 p.m. Monday as being heroes of the day. Passersby Keith Romanshyn, Kevin Salmen and Morgan Gieb - who work at Sajan in Whitetail Ridge Corporate Park - were on their way to the park during their lunch hour. They noticed smoke coming from the home’s garage door and heard a dog barking inside. The men banged on the door but got no answer so they called the fire department. The three hung around long enough to see the River Falls’ volunteer firefighters arrive. One kicked in the door to rescue the dog inside. The “good Samaritans” said it was coincidental that the first firefighter on the scene was Mike Nicholson, a person they know from school. Since nobody was home at the time, neighbor Linda Uhls took the dog into her home. She said the miniature breed dog seemed scared but otherwise unharmed.

MONDOVI HERALD-NEWS: A 13-year-old Mondovi boy broke his right leg last week after grabbing a 3-year-old boy who started to run onto a road and into oncoming traffic. Koty Schulte was helping a friend baby sit two young children on Tuesday, July 27 in Mondovi. He says he and his friend were “just playing around” when the 3-year-old ventured onto the road near Mirror Lake Park. Schulte, who will be an eighth grader this fall at Mondovi Middle School, says he took off and was able to grab the child, but he tripped on the curb while doing so and heard something crack. He says he felt no pain in his broken leg until the leg was straightened out. The friend called for an ambulance and Schulte was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire. Schulte’s mother Kari Parr, says she’s just glad everyone is alright. She says Schulte’s right leg will be in a full-length cast for about three weeks and then in a smaller cast for six to eight weeks.

THE SUN (OSCEOLA): Chad A. Wyttenbach, the former manager of an area auto body business who was accused last year in connection with a series of lawn and farm equipment thefts throughout the region, is now facing federal charges for those alleged crimes. Wyttenbach, 35, of Somerset, and two other men, Eric Edward Garvey, 39, of Danbury, and Victor Ernest Trejo, 51, of Prescott, have each been charged with: six counts of interstate transportation of stolen vehicles. All together, the trio faces a maximum of 95 years imprisonment each. Garvey was also named in a related indictment on four counts of distributing methamphetamine. Garvey faces a maximum of 20 years imprisonment on each charge. The indictment alleges that the three men knowingly took stolen vehicles and goods including several John Deere lawn tractors, Polaris ATVs, Ski-Doo snowmobiles, a Triton 2 Place aluminum trailer, a 2005 Chevy Silverado pick-up, and a Bobcat skidsteer and transported them throughout the region.