Thursday, August 26, 2010

Woodville teen is St. Croix County’s fourth traffic fatality

On Saturday, August 21 at 12:35 a.m., the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office responded to a one-vehicle crash on 220th St. about a quarter mile north of 55th Ave., in the Town of Baldwin.
Alyssa E. Hagen, age 17, of Woodville, was traveling southbound on 220th St. in a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix when she lost control, went onto the shoulder of the southbound lane and back on the road. The car then rolled and came to rest on the roof in the east ditch. Hagen was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead by the St. Croix County Medical Examiner. Her passenger, Benjamin Joseph Grosz, age 18, from Baldwin, had minor injuries.
Ms. Hagen was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Mr. Grosz was wearing a seatbelt. Assisting at the scene was United Fire and Rescue, Baldwin EMS, and the Baldwin, Hammond and Woodville Police Departments. The crash remains under investigation by the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office.
This is the fourth traffic fatality in St. Croix County this year.

Marie Bosman is Baldwin’s poet laureate

After a presentation by Nancy Hable at the re-scheduled meeting of Baldwin’s Board of Trustees, the Board voted to create the postion of Poet Laureate for Baldwin and appointed Marie Bosman as the first occupant of the position.
Mrs. Bosman was featured in a story in this newspaper in June of this year. She has been a poet from a young age.
According to materials handed out by Hable, a poet laureat is “a poet recognized by a government as the official poet of a country, state or city. The term laureate is related to the laurel wreath which would crown the head of great writers or poets.” The materials noted that the position of poet laureate “first began in England dating back to 1616. In the United States a Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress was established in 1937. The United States Congress created an official post with the creation of the Poet Laureate Consultant to the Library of Congress in 1985.
The Baldwin Poet Laureate “may contribute in the following ways,” according to the materials handed out: “compose a poem for special occasions”; “compose at least two poems relating to the community annually and to present them for publication in the Baldwin Bulletin”; and “function as Baldwin’s ‘literary ambassador’ by sharing his or her poetic celebration of the community with community service organizations”.
According to the biographical information in the handout, Mrs. Bosman is a lifelong resident and a lifelong poet. “She has volumes of poems in her library.”
Two of Mrs. Bosman’s poems were included with the information: “My First Sunday School Class—1958” and “Looking Back.”
Other action at the meeting, included:
-During the comment period of the meeting Scott Plourde requested that impact fees be lowered by the village. The request was sent to a committee for review.
-Village President Don McGee noted that Aaron Olver, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce will be in Baldwin Wednesday morning to present tax credits to J & C Trucking which is in the process of constructing a truck terminal in the new Baldwin Interstate Industrial Park.

St. Croix County Emergency Management releases preliminary flood damage report

St. Croix County Emergency Management reports the damage estimates to public infrastructure including roads and bridges to be 1.3 million from August 10 -11 eastern St. Croix County flood. All roads are now open and passable. Additionally, thus far 160 residents have reported damages to their property on the county’s flood hotline.
The American Red Cross has been on site helping numerous families, individuals including 14 families who were displaced by the flood.
As of Friday, August 20, all calls recorded on the flood line will be forwarded to the Salvation Army for assessment of needs. Anyone needing assistance should contact the Salvation Army at 715-247-2944. If affected residents have not yet reported damage they are asked to call the flood hotline at 1-888-305-3555.
The damage reports are being forwarded to the State of Wisconsin Emergency Management. St. Croix County is seeking to apply for assistance programs that may be available from the State of Wisconsin or Federal Government. These assistance programs become available based on specific damage thresholds.
At the time of this press release the reported damages have not yet met the State or Federal guidelines for disaster relief. Wisconsin Emergency Management is compiling numbers from other counties affected by the August 10 and 11 flooding.
Free water test kits and free laboratory testing are being provided for private wells that are affected by the flood. These wells should be treated and tested before resuming their use for drinking water. The test kits are available from the Land and Water Conservation at 1960 8th Ave. in Baldwin.
Electrical, natural gas, heating and cooling systems that were affected by the flood should be checked by a licensed professional before use.
Mold growth is common in buildings affected by flood waters. Mold testing is generally not necessary. If you can see and/or smell it, you have a mold problem. For complete mold cleaning guidelines, safety checklists, and flood resources visit the flood resource center at
For any further flood information call St. Croix County Emergency Management at 715-386-4719.

News from the Exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

CENTRAL ST. CROIX NEWS: Paulette Anderson blames Hammond Hotel owner and fellow member of several committees she serves on, Don Fowler for all the attention she received over Hammond Heartland Days beginning on Thursday evening when a reluctant Anderson took center stage with Hammond Lions Club Jay Ditlefsen after he announced her as the 2010 Heartland Award winner. The Hammond Heartland Award is designed to recognize an individual who has been an upstanding citizen, supportive and loyal to the community, shown leadership and sportsmanship is there when needed and has been an outstanding friend or neighbor - in other words - the person with the “biggest heart.” For several weeks boxes are set around Hammond so community members can cast their vote. Anderson said she believes Fowell led the push to get votes cast for her.

THE SUN (OSCEOLA): Without question, the actions of Polk County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Stoffel were not only appropriate, but heroic. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that Deputy (Nate) Ferris or another officer would have been seriously injured or killed were it not for his actions,” Polk County Sheriff Tim Moore said. Last week a seven-member review panel convened the Use of Deadly Force Review panel and concluded that Stoffel’s use of deadly force in the August 1 shooting in St. Croix Falls was justified. The Burnett County Sheriff’s Department investigated the shooting and interviewed the five officers who were on scene during an incident in which William F. Bokenyi, 40, allegedly had armed himself with two large knives and was threatening to harm his wife and son, who had taken refuge in a locked bedroom. After Ferris and a St. Croix Falls officer forcibly entered the apartment, they confronted Bokenyi and told him to drop the knives, even deploying a stun gun to no effect. Stoffel, a 17-year veteran of the Polk County Sheriff’s Department, then fired one round from his service revolver. The bullet struck Bokenyi in the mid-torso area, and he immediately dropped the knives and fell to the floor. Medical attention was administered immediately and ultimately he was transported to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Bokenyi is currently in a Madison area hospital and is being charged with multiple crimes by the Polk County District Attorney’s Office.

BURNETT COUNTY SENTINEL: A North Central Power lineman was electrocuted Sunday, August 8 as he worked to restore power east of Winter after storms had swept through southern Sawyer County. Chuck Parker, 44, Radison, had just climbed a pole near where lines were down when, according to Mark Dahlberg, president of North-western Wisconsin Electric Company, he came in contact with an energized line. North Central Power is a subsidiary of NWEC. A co-worker attempted CPR, but was unsuccessful in reviving him. Parker was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident is under investigation by the department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

AMERY FREE PRESS: A Polk County Sheriff’s deputy executed a traffic stop for expired registration on Tuesday, July 27. Upon contract the deputy recognized the driver, Nicholas J. McPheeters, 22, St. Croix Falls, as matching the description of a subject involved in a theft at the Cushing Laundromat. In addition the deputy also recognized a passenger as the second male involved in that theft. He is identified as Eric John Peterson Christensen, 22, Sturgeon Bay. The deputy had a copy of surveillance video from the burglary which clearly showed the two individuals. When confronted with the video photos both admitted to being involved in the theft. McPheeters stated that he and Christensen were in the laundromat and noticed the change machine was open and he took money from the machine consisting of quarters and bills. McPheeters stated that Christensen retrieved a garbage can from the bathroom and the two placed the money in the garbage can before leaving. He further stated that they went back to his residence where they counted the money. McPheeters went on to state that they went to Grantsburg to finish their laundry, adding that he spent the money on laundry, gas and marijuana amounting to about $40.