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Area continued advancing in new world last year

Pierce County residents, like those nationwide, learned to cope in a new world last year, created in the aftermath of terrorist attacks on the U.S.

Advancement and changes for this area continued. Among the significant events of 2002, as reported in the Herald's pages, were the following:


Jan. 2

A Christmas Day fire ruined the home of Aaron and Amanda Hinzman in Spring Lake Township...The first unscheduled, random compliance calls at juveniles' homes under the Pierce County Juvenile Justice Unit's new Proactive Community Supervision program were made last month...Last month, 91-year-old Ed Melstrom received an award from the Pierce County Solid Waste Department recognizing his long-time service to area recycling.

Jan. 9

A traffic accident New Year's Day morning on Hwy. 35 wound up with an armed stand-off and the arrest of Howard Hoffman, 49, Bay City, by Pierce County Sheriff's officers...Selmer Swenson of Martell Township has entered his property into the Wisconsin Farmland Conservancy program...The former Hinck's Supervalu moved from the Midway Shopping Center to a building just west that previously housed D and K's Foods and became Hinck's Economart.

Jan. 16

Mark Rogowski, 18, Spring Valley, was struck by a van while reportedly standing in the lane of traffic on Newman Avenue near Cleveland Street and his home...The Ellsworth School Board approved changing to a two-tiered recognition system involving "honors" and "highest honors"...Jeannie Thompson has opened Thompson Tax Service in the East Ellsworth building on Main Street that most recently housed Peggy's Ceramics...Matt Feuerhelm has begun his own business, Matt's Electric, Inc., in the Ellsworth area.

Jan. 23

Bay City and Ellsworth fire crews responded to a fire on the Lloyd Anderson farm that destroyed a hog shed and killed approximately 80 pigs...Pierce County Jail administrators are looking at capping the number of inmates held in the jail as a way of dealing with deficiencies identified by the state in-spector..."A Reunion of Saints: St. John's and St. Paul's UCC" will mark the unyoking of the Ellsworth and Prescott area churches after nearly 40 years...John Latchan, a Plum City native, has begun Islander Houseboats in a farming neighborhood southwest of Ellsworth...The Bank Bar was opened in the East Ellsworth building that housed Steven Todd's Bar for 14 years by Randy Hendrickson, who also owns the Pilot House Bar in Prescott.

Jan. 30

A Pierce County jury has awarded a Spring Valley dairy farmer $225,000 for damages caused by stray voltage...Solid Rock Pentecostal Church plans to move from its East Ellsworth building to The Front Porch Party and Auction facilities west of the village in October..."Awkward Silence," an area band which recently earned first place in a "Battle of the Bands" contest at The Quest in Minneapolis, will perform in a benefit concert for Have-A-Heart Farm at Ellsworth High School on Feb. 10...A contest to find a theme for an Ellsworth celebration that will combine elements of several past June and July events locally is underway.


Feb. 6

Fire damaged an outbuilding at the residence of Bill and Luanne Kirby in Spring Valley...What's typically been coyote attacks on lambs and calves in Pierce County in the past has more recently evolved into running entire herds of cattle through fences and going after full-grown adult animals...Pierce County Supervisors okayed night shooting by local law enforcement at the county rifle range...At least three companies hope to expand in Elmwood this year, responding to encouragement from the Elmwood Economic Development Corporation.

Feb. 13

The construction of a pair of 185-foot VoiceStream Wireless communications towers in Pierce County once sparked heated response from neighboring landowners, who complained about them as eyesores. Now, a conflict over rules has led to a standoff between the rural governing body and the telecommunications giant...Ellsworth School Board members declined to make exceptions to extracurricular activity fees...Ron Anderson has continued to be in the public spotlight as a county board supervisor and Ellsworth School Board member, yet it's the theatrical road he travels as "Mr. Magician" that brings him the most enjoyment...The Ellsworth "Funsters February Family Free Festival" will be held for the first time on Feb. 24.

Feb. 20

Brad Verges has been named the new recreation officer for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department...Mike Waltz of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department has switched from recreation officer to investigator...Rich O'Connell of The Service Agency in Ellsworth has begun operating TSA Financial Services.

Feb. 27

Jeffrey Burr, 15, Welch, Minn., has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the beating death last March of a Minnesota man whose body was found along a logging road in Pepin County, southwest of Lund...A donation of fish filets has been made by the Department of Natural Resources to the Ellsworth Care Center following an overfishing violation last fall...A 70-by-60 foot addition to Zion Covenant Church in Ellsworth will be built on the church's west side, primarily as a multi-purpose facility...Susan Amann is Pierce County's new Partners in Tourism coordinator...Getaway Travel moved last week from the Holden Real Estate building to office space next to The Service Agency, both in Ellsworth's west business district.


March 6

Pierce County supervisors looked at a plan to deal with the loss of nearly $1.5 million in state funding this year alone; meantime, Pierce County supervisors approved 3.5 percent salary increases for 52 non-union workers...Julie Graber, physical education teacher at Ellsworth High School, has been named a Kohl Foundation Teacher Fellowship recipient...Referendum questions about maintenance, a levy override and athletic fields will be presented to Spring Valley School District voters at the spring election...The former Berg Restaurant on Ellsworth's northwest side has been purchased by Heidi and Allan Albarado and is being renamed the Eagle's Nest.

March 13

Noah White III and Arlo White were sentenced to serve 20 years in prison on charges in connection with the beating death of Ronald Ross, whose body was found on a logging road in Pepin County, southwest of Lund, in March of last year...Jeremy and Katie Peterson, owners of a tiger that once looked like a pioneer animal in a wilderness park for Martell Township, allegedly haven't complied with the town's new exotic animal control ordinance...Pierce County Forester Gary Zielske received the 2001 Forester of the Year award at the Department of Natural Resources' Forestry Statewide Conference.

March 20

Prescott Police Chief James Schneider was convicted of obstructing an officer after an automobile accident involving UW-River Falls Football Coach John O'Grady...The non-renewal of Gordy Geurink's contract as superintendent of the Elmwood School District will be the topic for a hearing next month...Opinions on plans to improve the Hwy. 63-35 intersection near Hager City were given by members of the Pierce County Highway Traffic Safety Commission...The parents of a teenager who died after being struck by a van while on a Spring Valley street have filed a civil lawsuit against the van's driver.

March 27

Fire destroyed the home of Ed Gill, 113th Avenue in Maiden Rock Township...The body of John Sims of Bruce was found in his pickup truck in Spring Valley, the victim of an apparent heart attack...A provisional charter has been issued for a new Ellsworth Rotary Club...Tricia Stokes has been assigned to game warden duty in Pierce County, based in Ellsworth and succeeding Martin Stone.


April 3

Gary Pittman, 41, Arkansaw, was killed and Alejandro Vargas, Maiden Rock, severely hurt in a two-car accident on Hwy. 10, one-tenth of a mile east of 170th Street, just west of Plum City...Doctors amputated the foot of David Stein, 13, from Maiden Rock after a farm accident...Elmwood School Superintendent Gordy Geurink submitted his resignation to the school board...The space shuttle Columbia launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida was photographed by Chris Tyler, an Ellsworth Middle School teacher...Scott and Sheryl Hirman are the new owners of the Lawton Bar and Grill.

April 10

Shane Cernohous was taken into custody after he allegedly violated a restraining order by showing up at the residence of Cheri Cernohous with a gun and began to break items in the home, a domestic dispute to which the Pierce County Emergency Response Unit responded...Eighteen recommendations to ease an expected budget crunch were accepted by the Ellsworth School Board...Write-in candidate Dick Hines defeated 14-year incumbent Pierce County Board Chairman Dick Wilhelm in the spring election...Amanda Rasmussen brought home trophies from the Cities of America competition...Kevin and Teresa Huppert, 10-year owners of the T-Bar southeast of Ellsworth, welcome the public to dine in a newly renovated portion of the establishment.

April 17

An attorney for Ellsworth auto dealership, Larson-Quinn Company, Inc., pleaded guilty in federal court to wire fraud in connection with submitting false claims for warranty work during a 13-year period...A professional office building could be built on the site of the former Berg Ford in Ellsworth's west business district if Minnesota developer Gordon Awsumb's plans are realized...A new thermal imaging camera went into service at the Pierce County Sheriff's Department...Jennifer Ritchie-Dietzler opened Corner Coffee in a downtown Elmwood building best known for housing the former Corner Grocery...Dena Bawek opened Spring Valley Floral and Coffee Boutique in the village's downtown.

April 24

Calling his plan "The Pierce County Initiative," Dick Truax said he wants the board "to take a look at the fact that we've got too damn much government in Pierce County, the taxes are higher than they should be and we should do something about it"...Efforts to educate him to the meaning of conflict of interest were overkill and may have been an attempt to intimidate him, said new Pierce County Board Supervisor Dale Hines...Bill Schroeder, the vice chairman of the Pierce County Board who is also a member of the county's finance committee, owes nearly $100,000 in delinquent real estate taxes and penalties...John and Crystal Hinrichs and Natalie and Dan Stockwell have developed Father's Farm LLC, a milk bottling plant on a hilltop of Maiden Rock Township...DuWayne's on Main is the new name partners DuWayne Johnson and Carol Blommel have given the former Wally's West in Ellsworth's west business district...Members of the Chestnut Street Birthday Club in Ellsworth celebrated the club's 50th anniversary.


May 1

William Quinn pleaded guilty in Pierce County Circuit Court to a charge of fraudulent writings in connection with submitting false claims for warranty work as the former owner of Larson-Quinn Company in Ellsworth...Soon-to-be former Prescott Police Chief James Schneider was sentenced in Pierce County Circuit Court to pay $2,575 in fines for obstructing an officer...Zach Anderson and Jenna Hines were crowned king and queen of the Ellsworth High School prom.

May 8

A written complaint has been filed with the Pierce County District Attorney alleging that new members of the county board and one continuing member met in a possibly illegal meeting...St. Croix County Sheriff's officials arrested Joseph A. Sortedahl, 35, Wilson, and took away equipment for evidence at the Peniel Christian School, just north of Spring Valley...Tom Springett has a two-time Reserve All-American in "Goliath," his prized stallion, at Rush River Percerons southeast of Ellsworth...Lisa Manor became manager of the Speedway convenience store and station in Ellsworth's midway district this spring.

May 15

The 788th Ordinance Company, U.S. Army Bomb Disposal Unit of Fort McCoy in Sparta, was called to Prescott to deal with several hand grenades found in a woman's home...Four-year-old Jordan W. Cobian, the daughter of Sarah and Ed Cobian of River Falls Township, died due to an apparent respiratory illness...Approximately 60 residents were evacuated from the Ellsworth Care Center after a bomb threat was received at the nursing home; nothing was found...An armed robbery at 63 Express in Hager City was reported to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department...Night vision equipment and a thermal imaging camera are now among the Ellsworth Police Department's holdings...NAPA Auto Parts will occupy the entire space in the Consolidated Energy Co-op building that its predecessor store shared with the former Radio Shack...Martial arts skills he's long practiced and taught are being shared by Dan Morrow of Four Winds School of Self-Defense in Ellsworth...A fireworks display will cap off graduation for the Ellsworth High School Class of 2002...Salvador Andrade is a student from Mexico attending Ellsworth High School while he visits the area through the Educational Foundation this school term.

May 22

George McCall, 43, Greenwood, Minn., and Karla Smothers, 44, Excelsior, Minn., were caught within minutes of a robbery at First National Bank of Hudson's branch in East Ellsworth...Justin Ogden, 17, Ellsworth, Casey Amyx, 18, Hager City, and Jason Westerberg, 17, Hager City, were charged in connection with an armed robbery and phony bomb threat.

May 29

A question about the reliability of a device used to test his blood alcohol level has dealt a blow to the drunk driving case against UW-River Falls Football Coach John O'Grady...Barb Anderson is the new owner of the Ford dealership in Ellsworth...Darren Ekholm is the Ellsworth Police Department's new liaison officer to the Ellsworth School District, succeeding Jody Duda...The home of Dale Tri, Hager City, was extensively damaged by fire.


June 5

Lightning is being blamed for a fire that destroyed eight units at Schoeder Apartments in Bay City...Investigators from the Dunn County Sheriff's Department will look into allegations that new members of the Pierce County Board held an illegal meeting...The Professional Walleye Tournament will make its way to Bay City next year.

June 12

John Mason, 63, Minneapolis, was pronounced dead after reportedly collapsing while bike riding near Bay City...Memories of the death of a 21-year-old UW-River Falls student last July have convinced Pierce County District Attorney John O'Boyle to pursue a drunk driving charge against UWRF Football Coach John O'Grady...The Ellsworth School Board ratified a contract with the local teachers union during a closed session, with salaries increased by 1.58 percent for 01-02 and by .50 percent for 02-03 due to movement on the salary schedule...The Ellsworth School Board denied plans for an Ellsworth High School Choir Caribbean cruise...Barry Rose, who once played for National Football League teams including the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, succeeded Gordy Geurink as the Elmwood School District's new administrator...Ron Brown, former Eau Claire fire chief, announced he will run for state senate in the 31st district.

June 19

Linda Paul, who now heads the Pierce County Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in Ellsworth, previously worked in St. Croix County's FSA office...Sam Blue, who's worked with his father Tom in a plane maintenance service at the Red Wing airport near Bay City, has now begun operating Sierra Bravo Flight Training...Wayne and Diane Gelhar are the new owners of Maiden Rock's Harrisburg Inn Bed and Breakfast...An Ellsworth video producer, Paul Jurgensen, has received six awards for productions he entered in a statewide competition.

June 26

Larson-Quinn Company, a Pierce County auto dealership that made a "pattern and practice" of warranty fraud for at least 13 years, was fined $275,000 in federal court and ordered to pay General Motors and Daimler Chrysler a combined $200,000 for their losses...Mike Perkins, a veteran educator in the Ellsworth School District, died...Farmers could deviate from siting requirements if an amendment to Pierce County's proposed animal waste storage ordinance is adopted...Continuing delivery of anti-substance abuse messages to students in Ellsworth schools is assured with grant awards totalling over $57,000, announced earlier this month...Michelle Wieghart, Leroy Clark and Caleb Clark have begun a micro-dairy at Cave Creek Jerseys farm near Spring Valley.


July 3

Replacement of a portion of the Ellsworth High School roof will proceed following acceptance of a bid of $81,250 for the job from The Roofing Center of New Richmond by the local school board...David Wellington, the new Spring Valley school administrator succeeding Gene Roland, has lived and worked in numerous small communities...Although motorists have long arranged to get their license plates through the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, they're now able to actually pick them up there.

July 10

Ellsworth and Bay City fire departments are moving toward consolidation...A large incoming fifth grade class at Prairie View Elementary School has local school board members wondering if they need to add more staff...A Fourth of July fire that started in the basement forced the closure of the Shady Grove Restaurant outside of Ellsworth...Matt and Amy Wayne have installed a new sawmill at facilities Wayne Industries LLC shares with Grange Hall Hardwoods near Plum City...Dennis Langer has bought Helping Hands from Jim Kenall of Ellsworth and started Langer's Diversified Maintenance with his family...Brian and Nancy Yanish are the new owners of Laura's Bar and Grill in Ellsworth's west business district, to be renamed The Kanyan in the next couple of months...Pastor Sarah Dickinson has accepted interim duties at First Presbyterian Church in Ellsworth and Laurel Presbyterian Church in Hager City.

July 17

Troy Gansluckner, administrator of Pierce County's solid waste and recycling department for nearly six years, turned in his resignation...Pierce County Law Enforcement Committee is forming a special task force to examine the best way to upgrade the county's aging 911 system...Barb Lewis of Beldenville twists different colored wires from inside a 30-foot roll of telephone cable to form hair, arms, legs and bodies for the whimsical beings that people her new line of Harvest Moon greeting cards...Bruce Plante of Bay City for treasurer and Melissa Dettling-Griggs of Ellsworth for county clerk are two candidates challenging incumbents for Pierce County offices.

July 24

Pierce County Sheriff's officers arrested five Minnesota residents for stealing anhydrous ammonia, an ingredient used in making methamphetamine...Charles Handy has resigned as supervisor of the Pierce County Land Conservation Department....What originally began as a hobby for Linda Kangas has become a business, Old Shed Treasures in Prescott...The Wisconsin State Holstein Show, featuring more than 270 animals competing in a variety of classes in one of the most intense competitions of its kind, was held at the Pierce County Fairgrounds in Ellsworth.

July 31

A Pierce County committee will look into an alleged rapid turnover of employees...Shawnn Lehmann, 18, Centuria, died after a motorcycle accident in Spring Valley...Bill Lewis, who taught driver's education at Ellsworth High School for 15 years, has opened Bill's Driving School here...Margaret Levenhagen prepared to end 24 years as director of the Ellsworth Public Library...Joe Walter has based his new business, Walter's Electric, at his home along CTH K in Trimbelle Township...Members of the TRAM Addicts team of area bike riders participated in The Ride Across Minnesota ride for the MS Society, which made its way through Wisconsin and Pierce County for the first time.


Aug. 7

Officials told area residents of plans for public safety if a Prairie Island Nuclear Plant emergency occurs, addressing a federal government offer to provide KI tablets to people living within 10 miles of such plants...Jacy Dumermuth, a 1991 Ellsworth High School graduate, has pursued a film career and appears in numerous TV commercials, plus has been in several movies and at least one TV show...A transfer from an Auto Stop store in Hudson to the one in Ellsworth represents a promotion for Bev Horner...Dave Berg will take up his old job as head coach for the girls basketball team at Ellsworth High School for the 2002-03 season.

Aug. 14

Pierce County Sheriff's deputies stopped an escape attempt by felony warrant suspect Raymond Quade, 30, Bay City, who tried to elude officers by swimming across the Mississippi River...Larry Schultz displays flowers and garden items outside his new home furnishings store, Basil's, in Maiden Rock...Patrons of Nugget Lake Park near Plum City will find the lake lowered for the next few weeks while dam and spillway construction on it is being done...Parents of Prairie View Elementary School fifth graders will be surveyed about interest in having those students attend classes at Lindgren Elementary, the Ellsworth School Board decided.

Aug. 21

Gary Hutter of Maiden Rock, Bernard Frederickson Jr. of Plum City and Michael Opelt of Neillsville were arrested after a brawl in the 400 block of Main Street in Plum City was broken up by officers from Pepin County, Spring Valley, Elmwood and Plum City, along with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department...Sandra Thielman is the baking artist and a transformed house previously home to an ice cream parlor is her studio at the Smiling Pelican Bake Shop in Maiden Rock...Linette Greske of Ellsworth became the new director of the Ellsworth Public Library, succeeding Margaret Levenhagen, who retired...Percy Gunderson of Ellsworth is one of four generations in his family to participate in sporting clays.

Aug. 28

Laura Kaeser and her two sons were injured in a fire at an apartment house at Kinne and Chestnut streets in Ellsworth...Angela Bauer, 26, Hudson, was killed in a motorcycle collision on Hwy. 35, just north of Maiden Rock...Karie Oberg is a vocalist with "Barra," a folk band that performed at the farm of her parents, Herb and Jan Oberg of Hager City...Linda Keefe and Orv Walker looked for another good crop of grapes at their Great Oaks Vineyard near Maiden Rock...Pastor Bruce Stunkard of Ellsworth-Hartland-Diamond Bluff United Methodist Church traveled to Scotland seeking his ancestry.


Sept. 4

Pierce County Board members voted to change the rules for allowing public participation during board meetings, adopting an amendment allowing public input on any issue not on the agenda at the beginning of the meeting...One thousand acres in Oak Grove and Diamond Bluff townships has been targeted for residential development by Johnson-Reiland Construction of Burnsville, Minn....An expressway-type upgrade could be in the future for Hwy. 63 between the Mississippi River and Hwy. 35 near Hager City.

Sept. 11

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department has identified two bodies found in Maiden Rock Township near Lund as those of Michael J. Gannett, 42, and his son, Joshua Michael Gannett, 16...Fire extensively damaged a barn at the Marvin Bamman farm in Spring Valley...The Village of Ellsworth became the only member of the Ellsworth Fire Department to oppose a planned merger with the Bay City Fire Department...Buses picking up one student too early and dropping off another too late were concerns presented to the Ellsworth School Board...Terry Trealoff is ready to harvest a business crop at Spring Valley Floral and Design...Nine people were arrested and seven more received citations after Ellsworth police and Pierce County authorities were dispatched to a fight on West Kinne Street on Labor Day weekend...Bob Zuzek of U.S. Cable received sharp questioning from the Ellsworth Village Board about cable TV service in the village...Four new classrooms opened with the beginning of the new term at St. Francis School in Ellsworth.

Sept. 18

George E. McCall, 44, Greenwood, Minn., who pleaded guilty in federal court to robbing an Ellsworth bank in May, said he committed the robbery "on a whim"...The former fire chief of Elmwood, Ronald Reckin, has been charged in Pierce County Circuit Court with filing a false insurance claim...The cast of "Footloose," this fall's theatre production at Ellsworth High School, will take their show to UW-Whitewater, where they'll perform on the opening evening of the Wisconsin High School Theatre Association Festival...UW-River Falls Football Coach John O'Grady agreed to plead no contest to a reduced charge of reckless driving...Justin Ogden, 17, Ellsworth, and Casey Amyx, 19, Hager City, were sentenced in Pierce County Circuit Court to five years and three years in prison, respectively, after being convicted of robbing the 63 Express in Hager City...Anne Kerfoot of River Falls will hold her first fall art sale at Whistling Swan Gallery in Maiden Rock.

Sept. 25

After being forced out of their old school by mold and spending three days on field trips, about 295 Prescott Middle School students and 25 teachers have arrived in Ellsworth...The amount of delinquent property taxes owed in Pierce County is 27 percent higher this year than last...A former Pierce County Board member, Judy Clement-Lee, who agreed this summer to work temporarily as fair coordinator, quit after receiving a letter of reprimand from the county's attorney...Mark Bechel, 37, Elmwood, died after getting entangled in a piece of machinery while cutting wood on property along CTH G in Spring Lake Township.


Oct. 2

Pierce County Sheriff's Investigator Bob Rhiel told the Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce this area is popular with methamphetamine dealers and users because farmers here keep anhydrous ammonia, an ingredient in the drug's manufacture that's typically difficult for them to get...Brian and Sheralyn Barnes will open the Blue Moment Fine Arts Gallery in Spring Valley...Five Pierce County law enforcement agencies and the Department of Human Services have signed on to a cooperative approach for investigating abuse and neglect of children...Phil Harter of Lakeville, Minn., who operated Harter's Pharmacy in Ellsworth for 29 years, died...Jason Westerberg, 18, Hager City, was sentenced to three years in prison in connection with the armed robbery of the 63 Express convenience store in Hager City.

Oct. 9

Pierce County Sheriff's Investigator Natalie Stockwell was congratulated by Agent Scott Pulver of the FBI office in Eau Claire for a commendation she was presented recognizing her role in the apprehension of a local bank robber in May...Dorothy Halla-Poe welcomes guests to the Land of Oz Bed-and-Breakfast Guest Cottages in Hartland Township...Pat Denzer opened Creative Baskets and Gifts in the Flanders station building on Ellsworth's west hill.

Oct. 16

A jury trial has been set for Feb. 19, 2003, for Alfred J. "Alfie" Huppert, 54, formerly of Prescott, who was charged with second degree recklessly endangering safety, resisting/obstructing officer and criminal damage to property, and was shot by a Prescott police officer, all in a traffic stop incident on Sept. 29, 2001, in Oak Grove Township...Franziska Kleinhempel, a 16-year-old visitor from Germany, is being hosted by the Pete Huppert family of Ellsworth...Wilson Mills has this area's only pasteurization equipment for apple cider at Circle K Orchard in Beldenville...Pat Hines Jr. of Elmwood was bow hunting in the Waverly area with a neighbor, Derrick Borst, shortly after Sept. 11 when they found six balloons tied together on the ground and later discovered tags written in tribute to victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the East Coast...Luella Dettling, organist/pianist for Lund Covenant Church for 50 years, was saluted by the congregation at a surprise party following a Sunday worship service.

Oct. 23

District Attorney John O'Boyle announced he won't pursue any type of action against eight Pierce County Board members who met privately twice in April...West Nile Virus has been found in three birds sent by the Pierce County Public Health Department to the state for testing...Tammy J. Johnson, 40, Prescott, died in an apartment fire in Prescott...The Peter Carr family is hosting Marie Poth, an 11th grader from Germany, at their residence southeast of Ellsworth...Alfred "Alfie" and Bardea Huppert, Thousand Oaks, Calif., have filed a civil lawsuit in Pierce County Circuit Court against two Prescott police officers, the City of Prescott and Wausau General Insurance Company regarding a Sept. 29, 2001, traffic stop incident in which Alfred Huppert was shot...Pierce County and other river communities will host some large boats when the 150th anniversary of the Upper Mississippi River's opening to development is celebrated the summer after next.

Oct. 30

Three Pierce County Board members failed to convince fellow supervisors the county has an employee reduction problem...A bomb threat resulted in the evacuation of Ellsworth High School...Tarek Ali and David Lassell, who've successfully operated Ray's Southside Restaurant in Baldwin for the last couple of years, are opening a second eatery

the 63 Diner

in the East Ellsworth building that most recently housed Jimmy's Pizza...Bernard H. Frederickson Jr., 40, Plum City, was found guilty in Pierce County Circuit Court on a charge of disorderly conduct related to a fight on Plum City's main street in August...Linda Hines has opened her new Employee Benefit Administration Services office in space at a west Ellsworth business district building previously housing Northwest Counseling Services...The Pierce County Board voted to increase the budget for a recycling center renovation from $975,000 to $1.3 million...Tony and Eric Huppert are establishing a convenience store at Team Oil, just west of Spring Valley on Hwy. 29.


Nov. 6

Don Frandrup of Hager City shot a 200-pound 10-point buck, which may be a state record, near Diamond Bluff...Michael G. Opelt, 35, Neillsville, was found guilty in Pierce County Circuit Court on a charge of disorderly conduct in connection with a fight on Plum City's main street in August...Former part-time Officer Jesse James was hired as a second full-time officer for the Spring Valley Police Department, made possible by a $75,000 grant from the federal Community Oriented Policing System (COPS) program...Last month, Pierce County Forester Gary Zielske and his family went to Winston-Salem, N.C., where the Society of American Foresters presented him with its Presidential Field Forester Award at its annual convention...A new lab to help students with their writing has opened at Ellsworth Middle School...Travis Catura of Plum City has begun Catura Construction and Carpentry, an area residential building service.

Nov. 13

A meeting of officials from Ellsworth, Bay City and several area townships with the Ellsworth Fire Department was held to discuss the creation of a new fire department association...Chad Blodgett, 36, Maiden Rock, who pled no contest to charges in the 1997 shooting of two of his brothers, was denied termination of a conditional release by Pierce County Circuit Court...David Sander is the new Pierce County Land Conservation Department supervisor, succeeding Charles Handy...Amy Fetzer, administrator of the Plum City Care Center, was presented the Administrator of the Year award by the Wisconsin Health Care Administrators organization at its convention in Green Bay.

Nov. 20

George E. McCall, 44, Greenwood, Minn., was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in prison without parole following his conviction for robbing the First National Bank of Hudson's Ellsworth office in May...Dennis Nelson, 50, Spring Valley, has been charged in federal court with one count of bank fraud and one count of witness tampering, accused of altering bank receipts in an attempt to pay off loans to his trucking company...Dave Rother of Hager City has stopped driving truck and opened Driver Dave's Diner in the former Grandma's Kitchen at Bay City...Transferring responsibility for the Pierce County Fairgrounds from the county's fair department to its buildings and grounds committee drew mixed reactions at the county's fair committee meeting...Jill Sears is offering graphic design services from her Ellsworth area home with a new business, Designs by Jill...Calvin J. Meerkins, 18, Hager City, was found guilty in Pierce County Circuit Court on a charge of possession of marijuana in connection with a fight in Ellsworth on Labor Day weekend.

Nov. 27

It appears Prescott Middle School students presently housed in the former Ellsworth Junior High School won't be returning to their own school any time soon...The Pierce County Sheriff's Department and KWNG-1250 Radio in Red Wing are partnering to develop an Amber Alert system for Pierce County...Alexander J. Castillo, 18, Cannon Falls, Minn., was found guilty in Pierce County Circuit Court for involvement in an armed robbery at 63 Express convenience store in Hager City on Dec. 7, 2001...The underwater environment of the Klaas-Jonas Community Swimming Pool in Ellsworth will be explored by students taking scuba diving lessons there next month.


Dec. 4

Bernard Langer, 81, Spring Valley, who had been missing for two days, was found dead as the apparent result of a one-vehicle accident along Hwy. 128, approximately one mile north of Hwy. 72 near Elmwood...A new fire department association was approved by the Ellsworth Village Board, but not until after a lengthy and sometimes testy discussion over its merits...The number of deer registered at stations in Pierce County for the nine-day gun-deer season was 122 fewer than during last year's season...Gary D. Hutter, 43, Maiden Rock, was found guilty in Pierce County Circuit Court in connection with a fight on Plum City's main street in August...Eric Langer will restore the name Langer's Bar to an establishment east of Ellsworth most recently known as Whip's Inn.

Dec. 11

A Pierce County jury verdict will require Wisconsin to pay $760,223 to a husband and wife injured three years ago when former State Patrol Officer Daniel L. Morrow allegedly ran a stop sign and stopped in the path of their motorcycle...An Ellsworth Ambulance Service crew has received recognition from Hennepin County (Minn.) Medical Center's "The Beat Goes On..." program for its response to Melvin Snow, 87, Ellsworth, who experienced cardiac arrest in August...Ellsworth High School Social Studies Teacher Mark Stoesz will join in a presentation to California educators about the International Red Cross' International Humanitarian Law curriculum...Two Pierce County Sheriff's deputies were removed from an airplane late last month because they were unarmed while escorting a low-risk prisoner...Doug Peterson is operating Peterson's Landscaping and Construction from his home southeast of Ellsworth...Betsy Petersen and Diane Nelson are teaming their social talents and financial skills to help small businesses in a new venture called Tandem Solutions Group.

Dec. 18

Curtis Weiss, 51, Menomonie, died as the result of a gunshot hunting accident in Buffalo County...Rita Goveronski has begun to occupy the Village of Spring Valley's administrator job being vacated by the retiring Don Richardson...Gene and Jane Schommer's farm has been recognized by the Pierce County Land Conservation Department and the Ellsworth Lions Club as an Outstanding Conservation Farm.

Dec. 25

Three mail tampering incidents in Trimbelle and Trenton townships were investigated by the Pierce County Sheriff's Department...Duane J.W. Hoyer, 18, Red Wing, and Nicholas D. Martinez, 20, Ellsworth, were found guilty in Pierce County Circuit Court on charges related to a fight in Ellsworth on Labor Day weekend...Incumbent Kyle Larson won't seek reelection to the Ellsworth Village Board, while Linda Flanders of Bay City will be a challenger for a seat on the Ellsworth School Board...Jay and Kristi Richardson of Spring Valley will participate in next month's state Outstanding Young Farmer Awards Weekend in New Glarus.