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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When chili chefs cook up a batch of what they call "red," they look to make it hot. The only thing much hotter about the 21st annual chili feed at The Gas Lite west of Ellsworth Saturday, Sept. 10, will be Corey Stevens' guitar music. Likened to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Stevens is playing the event for the fourth time next month. "We'll go on at 7 p.m. and play a 90-minute set," he said Wednesday about him and his band, including piano, bass and drums. Read more in the print version of the Herald Aug. 31.
Graduating seniors from three of five area school districts who took the leading college entrance exam this year mostly scored higher than their counterparts from a year ago, according to information from the state's Department of Public Instruction (DPI). And while the average scores of this year's grads on the ACT exam were lower than those posted last year from the other two districts, the differences were either within one point (indeed, many within tenths of a point) or the same. Read more in the print version of the Herald Aug. 24.
Communication with residents has been an emphasis in the Ellsworth School District, most recently as part of the strategic planning initiative. Toward improving communication, the district is implementing a new parent notification system this term called Alert Now, according to Superintendent Barry Cain. The new system will be another means of notifying interested people about happenings in the local schools. Read more in the print version of the Herald Aug. 24.
The Ellsworth School Board heard a 2011-12 budget proposal Monday which would include exceeding the state-imposed revenue cap by $500,000, not the up to $1.3 million voters authorized for the coming year and two more in a referendum this spring. Superintendent Barry Cain made the recommendation while discussing a budget forecast model compiled with input from Baird and Associates, district auditors, citing a reduction in expenditures this year. "This would still put us in a positive direction," Cain said, adding, "taxpayers wouldn't see the full impact tax-wise." Read more in the print vers
Something unrecognizable flying low overhead is likely to draw attention. Coincidentally, seven-year-old Johnny Schwan spotted just such an item above his family's Ellsworth residence on July 29, the opening day of the UFO Days celebration in nearby Elmwood.
The transition gap a veteran needs to bridge after returning home from military service can be wide. Having available someone in whom to confide could make that gap narrower and the entire transition process easier for area vets. So Pierce County officials have created a new Veterans Mentoring program and now seek volunteers to serve the mentor role. Read more in the print version of the Herald Aug. 10.
His family knew the late Zachary Siewert as someone who was always helping others. Many of the employees with whom Siewert worked on the family farm remembered how he was willing to loan them money and some never got the chance to pay him back, they said Thursday.
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.