Bill Kirk has been editor at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, Wisconsin, since 1988. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.
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EL PASO--The first time people see them perform, some just sit and stare while others pick up on a spirit so contagious they want to join right in. At least that's the way Dennis Wood, one of the founders of the El Paso Marching Band, described public reaction to this memorable area parade fixture last week. Zany, wacky, crazy and wild would be other appropriate descriptive words for an outfit that's nothing if not spontaneous. Any recognition the group's received over the past 26 years of their existence tended to be tongue-in-cheek.
HAGER CITY--A Minnesota concrete company already serving the Red Wing area has expanded with a second plant nearer that community and situated to do business in Pierce County, too. St. Marc Materials opened the new plant July 13 on a parcel which had been vacant off of 830th Street on a road paralleling Hwy. 35, just northwest of Hager City, according to owner Chris Hanke. Hanke has operated the company's original plant in Kenyon, Minn., since buying it five years ago, he said Thursday. Read more in the print version of the Herald July 27.
PRESCOTT--Gardening is said to be therapeutic and Diane House of Prescott agrees. After a long day of driving truck, House relieves stress by tending to the garden and accompanying decorations which fill her yard. A sitting area and pond with fountain are highlights. "I like the water noise," she said Thursday about a soothing aspect. House, who's been a member of the Minnesota Water Garden Society since 2004, will host a stop on that organization's 14th annual pond tour Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
An increase in school meal prices was approved by the Ellsworth School Board Monday. Breakfast prices for the coming school term will be $1.60, up from $1.50, as a result. Lunch prices will be $2.20 at the elementary level and $2.40 at the secondary level (grades five to 12), also up by 10 cents per meal at each of those levels. Superintendent Barry Cain said the increase was necessary because of rising commodity costs. Otherwise, a public records request fee of 15 cents per page, requiring prepayment for requests with an estimated cost of $5 or more, was accepted.
The late Joanie Forss wouldn't have wanted it any other way. The first American Cancer Society (ACS) Run Walk of Pierce County to be held in Ellsworth since Forss' death will feature her family in the grand marshal role on Saturday, July 23. They'll walk in tribute to the main organizer of the local event's Snowball's Bar team, who died of pancreatic cancer in November. Her husband, Jerry Forss, said Friday early indications are the team will have quite a representation for this year's walk.
Ask any dancer or listener at the Pierce County Fairgrounds in Ellsworth July 7-10 and the polka is likely to be the type of dance and/or music they say is their favorite. That's because the Ellsworth Polka Fest is returning to the community for the 36th year those days. The fairgrounds will be headquarters for the entertainment and related activities intended to appeal to polka fans and fun seekers alike. Two wooden dance floors will accommodate those interested in doing their moves.
Collection numbers recorded for this spring's Pierce County Clean Sweep were down from those at the same event a year ago, according to a report from the county's solid waste department. Two hundred forty-eight vehicles attended the Clean Sweep at the county's recycling center in Ellsworth on April 16 of this year, a decrease of 150 vehicles from the previous spring. Unwanted and unused pharmaceutical waste/medications were accepted, and the 55 participants for that aspect this year compare with a record-high 75 in the spring of 2010. Read more in the print version of the Herald July 6.
A fundraising project for the Ellsworth Rod and Gun Club was presented to the local chamber of commerce Thursday. Lars Loberg of both organizations reported the rod and gun is selling 2012 calendars. The sale will be limited to 1,000 of the calendars. Drawings will then be held weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays next year, Loberg said. Cash or guns will be awarded as prizes, in the total value of $30,000. Calendar buyers who win once will still be eligible to win again in drawings thereafter, he said.
PLUM CITY--Just as in his favorite board game, chess, Father Ambrose Blenker has been contemplating his latest move. At one point, the Milan native who's served as a priest for nearly 50 years thought he might relocate to the Marshfield area, not far from his original hometown. But with retirement in the offing, he seemed satisfied this week he won't be moving at all, now planning to stay in the community where he's been a priest the longest--Plum City. In fact, he won't even leave the rectory at St.
Visiting royalty were no strangers to the Wisconsin Holstein Association's (WHA) annual district show when it was hosted by the Pierce County Fairgrounds in Ellsworth Thursday. WHA Princess Breinne Hendrickson and Wisconsin Fairest of the Fair Alexis Nickelotti both come from dairy farms. Moreover, since beginning their reigns in January, appearances at such events have been part of their duties. Read more in the print version of the Herald June 22.