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.
- Member for
- 2 years 3 weeks
A referendum asking district voters for authority to exceed the revenue cap by $1.3 million yearly on a non-recurring basis over three years was approved by the Ellsworth School Board at a public forum Monday. Although differences among speakers from the forum's audience about how to address school financial difficulties surfaced during the two-and-a-half hour session, the board ultimately felt the override proposal should go up for a vote at the Tuesday, April 5, election.
The first results of the strategic planning process begun in the Ellsworth School District last year were reviewed by the school board early this week. Nearly 100 people have been working on the plan, Superintendent Barry Cain told board members. The project was kicked off with a three-day session in April, when 24 participants formulated five strategies under the guidance of an outside consultant hired by the board.
A new storage building for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be put up on Ellsworth's northwest side. The 40-by-80-foot unheated building is to be built in a small ravine near the Pierce County Highway Department shop, according to DNR Construction Representative Chris Rehlinger of Madison. "It's for law enforcement, so it will be used by conservation wardens," Rehlinger said Thursday. Read more in the print version of the Herald Jan. 19.
Reductions or referendum or both. The Ellsworth School Board and an audience numbering toward 200 people heard proposed budget options Monday from Superintendent Barry Cain, including these possibilities. Cain began with a list of budget reductions and enhancements which are under consideration. They might not be acted upon in their entirety, or at all, he emphasized. But he estimated the adjustments could approach a total of $1 million if followed. "This would structurally change what the Ellsworth schools are," he said. Read more in the print version of the Herald Jan. 12.
For the third time in recent history, the Ellsworth Fire Department's service territory has been expanded. Effective this month, the Village of Maiden Rock has contracted with the EFD for fire services. Village President Judy Johnson-Daleiden confirmed the arrangement late last month, a pact EFD Chief Brent Langer said Friday is for two years. "This first time, we'll go for two years and see how it works," Langer said about the renewable contract. Read more in the print version of the Herald Jan. 12.
Used to be, the Pierce County Historical Association (PCHA) didn't have much about the history of the Town of Hartland among its holdings. This lack of records on the town's past has been remedied. Hartland native Roland Krogstad has written "Hartland Heritage: A History of Hartland Township," a 462-page book containing information from the town's pre-settlement through 2009. Read more in the print version of the Herald Dec. 29.
Undaunted by a few minor setbacks, Mary Hines keeps on donating blood. Most of the glitches encountered by Hines since she's been giving blood, which dates to after her marriage in the mid-1960s, have been out of her control. Nonetheless, the River Falls native is a regular at American Red Cross Bloodmobile visits to Ellsworth and plans to be there again when the bloodmobile comes to Zion Covenant Church here on Jan. 3, 2011, from noon to 6 p.m. Read more in the print version of the Herald Dec. 22.
Almost unprecedented for this early in the season is what snowmobilers must be saying about the nearly two feet of snow now on the ground in Pierce County. Considering the many winters without much of the white stuff snowmobiling enthusiasts have endured, this month's abundance should be a welcome development.
Any upgrade to the Main and Piety streets intersection in Ellsworth might involve widening and adding a turn lane to the latter street rather than installing traffic signals at the corner, as was suggested earlier. "We'd like to look at other options first," said Greg Helgeson, traffic safety engineer for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's (DOT) Eau Claire office, during a Pierce County Traffic Safety Commission meeting Wednesday. The intersection's location at the bottom of a hill isn't ideal, Helgeson said as one reason for pursuing alternatives to the signals.
Could there someday be students attending Ellsworth schools who never set foot in any of the district's buildings? This was just one of the issues pondered when the possibility of offering a virtual school in the future was presented to the local school board Monday.