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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Pam Pazdernik acknowledged it's the devotion she has to the Girl Scouts that's behind her interest in community beautification. The former local Girl Scout leader, a long-time backer of that organization, reminds the Scouts' mission includes making a difference for others. "Whenever I can, I want to give back (to the community)," she said Thursday. Her opportunity to do just that arose when the self-professed "lover of plants" took a 12-week Master Gardener class from Pierce County Horticulture Educator Diana Alfuth here over three years ago, Pazdernik said.
A two-year comparison of local crime statistics with those statewide shows violent crime here decreased dramatically last year while property crime was slightly higher, according to the Ellsworth Police Department's annual report. The report, presented to the village board early last week, refers to information submitted to the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance (OJA) through the Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
Helping others is a theme carrying through most of what Sarah Ries has done with her life. From tutoring to being a nanny to managing an office or self-employment, Ries has strived to serve individuals as well as groups.
Thanksgiving is a holiday meant for people to be mindful of what they're thankful for and an Ellsworth church gives local residents an opportunity to do something about it. The Community Missions Team at English Lutheran Church successfully conducted another of its Thanksgiving Baskets program this month. Pastor Dawn Lindberg, who experienced the effort for the first time, called the response "generous." "Thirty-one 'baskets' went out," Lindberg said, explaining the containers filled with donated goods for needy families are actually boxes. Read more in the print version of the Herald Nov.
It's said being around youths can make an old person feel younger. There are benefits for young people under this arrangement, too. The elderly have developed a lifetime's worth of skills and experience to share. Ellsworth School District officials intend to tap into what senior citizens have to offer by making the Senior Tax Exchange Program (STEP) available in the district.
Renovation of the high school track was discussed by the Ellsworth School Board Monday. A report from Board Member Rick Kornmann of the buildings and grounds committee indicated that committee met with a consultant at the track earlier, saw its degree of disarray and decided to proceed with some borings. The consultant from Inspect, based in Golden Valley, Minn., said Monday the EHS track is over 20-years-old and, like others at many public schools, hasn't had much maintenance. Six soil borings were taken, finding two inches of bituminous pavement and three-to-four inches of an underlay.
The service of veterans was praised during Ellsworth Middle School's annual Veterans Day program Friday. Leading off the "Freedom Is Not Free" theme, EMS Principal Paul Uhren said the school's Freedom Wall is a constant reminder to all of the sacrifices vets have made so U.S. citizens can enjoy the freedoms they do today. Many families have lost members in times of war, Uhren said, inviting those gathered Friday to view their names posted around the EMS cafeteria. Read more in the print version of the Herald Nov. 16.
A common misperception suggests people who live on farms are naïve about some issues. When it comes to youths abusing drugs, Thursday's "Down on the Pharm" town hall meeting in Ellsworth aimed to make that not be the case--for farmers or anyone else.
The elderly have been a constant in Heather Conway's often-changing career. The frequent subjects of her caring are again part of Conway's responsibilities as she succeeded the retiring Kathy Hass in the directorship of Pierce County's Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) earlier this month. Hass established the center approximately five years ago, having previously headed the former county Office on Aging. "People tell me I've got big shoes to fill," Conway said Wednesday in recognition of her predecessor. The new ADRC director said she explains the center as having two sides.
The Ellsworth School Board finalized the district's 2011-12 budget Wednesday. The total school levy in the final budget is $8,597,688, down from the projected total of $8,619,845 presented at the district's annual meeting in August. The final levy figure represents a 9.27 percent change from last year's budget. It was approved for certification by the board, along with the final budget overall. Superintendent Barry Cain told board members, meeting in special session, some of the budget numbers were still estimates in August.