Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts.
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PRESCOTT--A full house packed the Prescott Ambulance Hall Thursday afternoon as city residents got to hear a mayoral debate between Mark Huber and Diane House. Huber and House are running in Tuesday's election to replace outgoing Mayor Mike Hunter, who is not seeking re-election. Hunter has been mayor since 2004. Each candidate has council experience, as Huber currently sat on the council since 2009, while House served two terms from 1984-1987 and 1992-2004. Both were also members of the planning commission - Huber from 2002-2009 and House from 2004-2010.
A Prescott man pled guilty to multiple drug charges earlier this month in Pierce County Circuit Court. Matthew P. Simones, 51, 265 Lawrence St., entered into a deferred prosecution agreement March 16 on felony possession of methamphetamine, and received probation for two counts of possession of THC and drug paraphernalia.
Jeff Hines wanted to offer another avenue for his clients beyond auctions. Fred Winkler was looking for a new tenant after Edina Realty left Prescott. The two longtime friends started talking and agreed to go into business together. The end result was Farm Home Land Realty, which opened last month in two locations--Ellsworth and Prescott. Hines explained the real estate business will be a separate entity of the popular auction service. "When I got my broker license last summer, I wanted to expand our business," he said.
Last year, a selected group of Pierce County department heads and county board members met over several months to identify areas "where efficiencies can be created and how county services will be impacted by the Budget Repair Bill." This committee, called the Program Committee, released their findings last fall on where they believed the county could save money. After going through various standing committees, their first finding was approved by the finance and personnel committee Monday: approving the supervision of the emergency management department to the law enforcement committee and th
The new Pierce County personnel policy was up for one final debate during Tuesday's county board meeting and one ensued. A revised policy was created due to last year's "Budget Repair Bill," which made significant changes to public employee compensation and collective bargaining provisions to provide state and local governments with increased flexibility needed to reduce costs. One of the essentials of the bill changes issues such as filling position vacancies and employee benefits be included in the personnel policy, as they are no longer part of collective bargaining.
Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services was named the Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce 2011 Business of the Year during its annual awards banquet Thursday night at the VFW Hall. The co-op service is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. "Thank you for the recognition," President Larry Dokkestul said. He then touched upon their events for the next 10 months, including an open house Saturday, June 9. Ellsworth School Superintendent Barry Cain was named Community Person of the Year for his contributions. Cain is a chamber board member and also sits on the community's 150th year committee.
An Ellsworth man pled guilty to second degree sexual assault of a child Wednesday in Pierce County Circuit Court. Brandon J. Donley, 34, 281 E. Summit Ave., will be sentenced on the Class C felony at 11 a.m., Monday, May 7. Donley was charged last May after police had information he engaged in sexual contact with an underage girl from an April incident. According to the criminal complaint, after initially denying any involvement, Donley told law enforcement the victim sat next to him while he was in a closet and said there was no contact between the two, so he walked out of the room.
The new Pierce County personnel policy is one step away from reality. Tuesday, the board approved the first reading of the policy, meaning it'll be up for final approval at next Tuesday's board meeting. According to county documents, the changes are due to the passage of last year's Budget Repair Bill, as it required issues such as filling position vacancies, employee benefits, etc., be included in the personnel policy, as they are no longer addressed in collective bargaining.
A Minnesota man went on an alleged six-week crime spree last year through Pierce County. On Feb. 10, Christopher J. Stanley, 28, Apple Valley, found out the results of that spree, as he is accused of four burglaries, three operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent, two arsons and three misdemeanor thefts. "Cooperation with Minnesota law enforcement in Pierce County investigations resulted in multiple burglaries, stolen vehicles and thefts being directly linked to Stanley," Pierce County Sheriff's Investigator Doug Ducklow said.
Dennis Sorenson has spent half his life working for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. "Twenty-six years is a lot in this business," he said last week. "It's time for something different." The 52-year-old retired Thursday, spanning a career that started in the jail and ended up as a lieutenant. "Being a law enforcement officer has been a great career," he said.