Friday, September 24, 2010

Fun day at Bailey Park

Among the activities hosted by the Baldwin Woodville Chamber of Commerce at Bailey Park last Saturday were the bed races., pictured at left, represented by Mary Husby, center, Dave DeJong and Tim Myer (and Jay Monson and Gerard Bouchter, not pictured). Lester Halstead, left, acted as judge for the cookie eating/milking drink part of the competition. The award winners for the most entertaining group are pictured above, from left, Lance Van Damme, Aaron Van Ranst, Johnnie Murtha and Brett Stephens and Nicole Huftel, seated. The winning team was from Value Implement and the United Fire Department won the award for best looking bed.

School district receives bequest

“The Baldwin-Woodville school district is the beneficiary of the Mary Giezendanner estate,” announced attorney Tom Schumacher at the regular monthly board meeting Monday night.
Schumacher informed board members that the bequest includes two parcels of land south of Baldwin: one 80 acres, one 20 acres; plus one-eighth of the residue of the estate. The residue of the estate is the remaining value after all obligations are settled, said Schumacher. In this case, the district has received $25,000 from the estate and can expect one more distribution toward the end of the year, he added.
“The appraised value of the land is $220,000 total,” said Schumacher, “and there are no restrictions placed on the district. You could keep land and develop it or sell it, whatever you wish.”
Board member Deb Rasmussen said her husband knew the Giezendanners and they took great pride in creating this woodland. “I’m sure they would like the district to keep the land and use it,” she said. “I think we should check out other school forests in the area before making a decision,” she said.
During the open forum, district resident Jim Lund stated that he lives next to the land and asked if hunting will still be allowed on the managed forest. If so, he requested permission.
Board members wondered if weapons of any sort are allowed on school property, so they will have their attorney research the question.
“If we can’t allow hunting, we’ve got to let people know,” said board president Jeff Campbell.
During the State of the District presentation, Superintendent Rusty Helland reviewed the skills that are important for students to develop in school. These skills include: critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and leadership, effective communication, civic responsibility, and cultural awareness.
The district has several initiatives to assure these skills are taught to students throughout their careers here, Helland said. The data retreat initiative involves the evaluation of test scores and student surveys in order to determine areas that need attention.
A new initiative this year is Professional Learning Communities. Middle school Principal Jon Hinzman explained that these communities are made up of teachers that focus on a specific discipline across all grade levels at a building. The weekly meetings allow staff to communicate what is being taught at each grade level to make sure something isn’t missed or over-emphasized, he said. They also develop goals and discuss best practices.
Director of Pupil Services Patti Phillipps informed the board that the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam test results for the district show adequate yearly progress for the eighth year in a row, since they began. Adequate yearly progress is a benchmark districts must achieve or else they are put on probation.
“Each year it gets tougher,” Phillipps said, “because the state raises the standards.”
Supt. Helland told the board the district will receive over $270,000 in federal dollars from the Education Jobs Fund. The money must be used in local districts for salaries for teachers, not general administrative expenses or other support services. Districts have two school years to use the funds, he said.
Helland said the district would like to hire an additional special ed teacher, a science/math teacher, and a 30 percent tech teacher for two years using the funds. At the high school, these classes are over-booked he explained.
“What happens after two years if we still need those teachers and don’t have the money?” asked board member Ann Hilmanowske.
“We don’t know,” answered Helland. Hopefully the financial picture will be different then, he added.
Administrative reports:
Greenfield Elementary Principal Gary Hoffman reported an enrollment of 599 at that building and 97 students in 4K. The 12th Annual Grandparents Day will be held Oct. 8.
High School Principal Eric Russell announced Homecoming Week which will kick off the 50 Years of Baldwin-Woodville theme.
Athletic Director J.R. Dachel said there will be a tent set up next to the football field for homecoming. Food will be for sale, there will be a bonfire, dance and coronation under the tent as well.
Viking Principal Jon Hinzman announced that the middle school students will be using $1,000 of their ACE funds to purchase food for the Baldwin and Woodville food shelves.

Homecoming events for B-W are this week
Public invited to celebrate 50th anniversary of consolidation

Candidates for Baldwin-Woodville homecoming king and queen are pictured above. In the front, left to right, are queen candidates Erin Booth, Emily Veenstra, Rachel Hanson, Megan Smith and Hannah Kippes. King candidates in the back, from left, are: Jordan Johnson, Sam Miller, Jake Keefer, Aaron Kusilek and Vince Rudesill.
Underclass attendants are: freshmen Jessica Morrissey and Brody Peterson; sophomores Caitlyn Hollabaugh and Ryan McCormick; and juniors Jennifer Willert and Andrew Dahl.
Community members are invited to help celebrate the golden anniversary of the consolidation of the Baldwin and Woodville schools as a part of homecoming. The formal celebration will be Friday, September 24 as part of homecoming prior to the football game against Durand. A tent will be set up and a food stand will be available at which people can purchase hamburgers and bratwurst and the fixings.

News from the Exchanges
Interesting items from
surrounding communities

PIERCE COUNTY HERALD: A Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) freight train derailed Monday morning near the Ralston Purina processing facility, west of Hwy. 35 and north of Hwy. 63 in Hagar City. The 72-car train was northbound carrying consumer items from Chicago to Seattle, when 31 of its cars derailed One of the cars had broken through the south wall of the Purina facility, causing damage to the building according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. Another car was pinned under the CTH VV bridge causing the Pierce County Highway Department to close it. It remained closed as of yesterday morning. Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove said no one was injured and none of the derailed cars carried hazardous materials. Ralston Purina was closed for the day and approximately 14 residents from seven nearby homes were evacuated for precautionary measures. The residents later returned to their homes once the area was deemed safe by the Ellsworth Fire Department and Xcel Energy. The sheriff’s department said it’s too early to tell what caused the derailment, but the accident remained under investigation early this week. Around noon Monday, Hulcher Professional Services was in the progress of cleaning up the scene and projected the rail lines to be reopened within 24 hours.

RIVER FALLS JOURNAL: The school board holds its regular meeting this Monday evening and a key topic will be a $38.5-million referendum to renovate and upgrade all the schools. The board’s regular meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the high school library. Late last month the school board received a recommendation from its Facilities Committee for the referendum. The overall aim is to preserve and modernize each existing school so that it functions for another three to four decades. The renovations and additions will focus on energy efficiencies, technology safety, accessibility and maintenance. It’s estimated the referendum would cost business owners and residents 61 cents per each $1,000 worth of property that they own. That would mean for instance, that owners of a house valued at $200,000 would pay an extra $122 a year in school taxes. Superintendent Tom Westerhaus expects the board to discuss the proposal, take public input and act. He didn’t expect the board to set a referendum date.

AMERY FREE PRESS: A search warrant on Broadway St. in the City of Amery was executed by Amery police and Polk county’s K-9 officers on Thursday, September 9. An initial sweep of the area was conducted to determine if any persons were hiding and during the sweep a glass pipe, like those used to ingest illegal narcotics was found. Courtney L. Thompson, 23, was the only one in the residence at the time of the search. Amery police called a judge to expand the scope of the warrant and it was expanded to include illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia. Polk county’s K-9 officer was called in to assist. Found during the search were three sawed off shotguns, one Ducks Unlimited shotgun, which investigation showed was stolen. Also found were several hypodermic needles, a pink plastic storage box containing several items of contraband including a small baggie with a large quantity of small, white, crystalline tocks that tested positive for meth. It weighed about 23 grams, almost a full ounce. Also found was a black tube hollowed out by a threaded end that appeared to be a silencer for a firearm. Charged in this case are Thompson and Matthew J. Savoy, 28, both of the same address.

CENTRAL ST. CROIX NEWS: Village resident Mary Rivard kept the Hammond Board on their toes Monday night. During the public comment portion of the evening’s agenda, Rivard, a former Hammond trustee herself, voiced her displeasure at the Board’s failure to post the agenda of the August 9th meeting at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. Rivard said she checked the Village website, was well as the other regular posting locations and found no information on what would be discussed at the August meeting. She accused Board members, as well as Village Attorney Tim Scott, of illegal actions regarding the posting of the agenda. “Everyone who attended that meeting was breaking the law,” Rivard said. She went on to ask the Board if they planned to pay themselves for the improperly held meeting, and if they were going to void any action taken at that meeting. Village attorney Tim Scott believed an honest employee mistake led to the late agenda posting, and not a malicious attempt to hide information from the public, he felt the Board could go ahead with the meeting as scheduled. There were not any “hot button” issues on the agenda for the August meeting, Scott said. However, Scott also told Board members that there was always the chance they could be fined if the matter was ever taken to court. The final decision about whether to meet was left up to Board members.

TRIBUNE PRESS REPORTER: If all of the improvements were made to Glenwood City’s high school, middle school, elementary school parking lot and athletic fields, the project would cost between $9 million and $14 million, the Board of Education learned Monday night. Tom Hanley of SDS Architects reviewed the site survey and told the school board that the project would fall under two basic categories: the school building; and the parking lot, driveway and athletic fields. The site survey represents preliminary concepts and budgets and the Board of Education would have to align the scope of the project with budget expectations and then decide whether to hold a referendum, Hanley said. The school district will be making the final payment on one referendum project in March and could spend $5 million to $6 million without raising the tax levy, said Tim Emholtz, superintendent. If school district residents approved a $10 million project, the tax levy would increase, he said. Interest rates are at an all time low, and the bidding environment is competitive, Emholtz noted.