Jason Schulte has been with the Herald since 2006. He covers County government and anything else that happens in Pierce County on a daily basis.
- Member for
- 1 year 7 months
The Pierce County Board of Supervisors reached its first agreement with one of six labor unions Tuesday night. The board unanimously approved the collective bargaining agreement with the Labor Association of Wisconsin (L.A.W.) - Community Health Association (CHA). The agreement begins Jan. 1 and expires Dec. 31, 2012. CHA is made up of 16 members and consists of public health personnel. "We truly felt negotiations took place," said CHA representative Dianne H-Robinson, who made up the negotiation team, along with Sara Sabelko and Michelle Williams.
An accomplice in the River Falls Econo Foods burglary last September pled guilty Tuesday to two counts of misdemeanor theft in Pierce County Circuit Court. Ashley M. Schuh, 21, Mondovi, pled guilty to the counts as part of an agreement. She was originally charged with four counts of credit card fraud, misdemeanor theft and two counts of burglary. According to the criminal complaint, Schuh caught the eye of law enforcement when she and Joleigha Johnson, 30, were found in a stalled vehicle on Interstate 94 in Eau Claire County the early morning hours of Sept. 20.
The current computer system for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department is behind the times. "It's not current for today's standards," Sheriff Nancy Hove said. "It's not user-friendly and it's very outdated." That's because its' their old, old system. The company for their previous system ran into financial hardship and closed last summer. Yet, hope is on the horizon. Department officials presented to the County Board Tuesday night their recommendations of going with Computer Information Systems (CIS) based out of Skokie, Illinois.
As he begins his first full year on the bench, Pierce County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Boles offered his thoughts on the local judicial system and more to the County Board during Tuesday's night meeting. "The transition from private practice to Judge has been smooth," Boles said, a lawyer in River Falls before winning the election last April. "I feel very welcome here in the courthouse and throughout Ellsworth. "I feel very happy to have the job I have which is serving the citizens of Pierce County." Boles talked about recent changes, both involving video conferencing.
The housing market has been one of the biggest victims of the current economic structure, both locally and state-wide. The slide continued in 2010, as the Wisconsin Realtors Association reported a 7.5 percent state-wide drop in sales from 2010 compared to 2009. Locally, Pierce County was even worse, as there were 425 sales in 2009 to 382 in 2010, a 10.1 decrease. "It's the state of the economy," said realtor Dave Murphy, who works for RE/MAX in Ellsworth.
The status of agriculture in Wisconsin in 2011 could be dependent on whether or not you're an optimist or a pessimist. Both viewpoints had plenty of rationale following Wednesday's economic outlook forum held in Madison, which was webcast throughout the state, including at Ellsworth. First, the optimist side, as explained by Greg Andrews, Pierce County Agriculture Agent, who hosted the forum locally: --In 2010, the agriculture industry was one of the few industries, local, state or national, which had an increase in job growth.
The year is only 20 days old, but there have already been two notable animal cruelty cases in the county. On Saturday, Evelyn Halvorson of River Falls reported "Thunder", her 14-year-old Arabian gelding horse was shot and killed. According to the police report, Thunder was found next to six other horses enclosed in a pasture with woods and open land surrounding it. The Halvorsons, who live on County Highway W, believe the shooter was a coyote hunter as Thunder was shot right between the eyes with a rifle bullet. Thunder was a gelding raised from a colt, Halvorson explained.
Expansion of departments in the Pierce County Courthouse will likely not happen in the foreseeable future for two reasons: money, as evident by the budget cuts made last year, and space, as there is hardly any of that, either. That is the opinion of a recent building summary done by KKE Architects, the architectural firm specializing in interior design and architectural planning. The company, with locations in Minneapolis and throughout the United States, did an overview of the judicial portion of the courthouse.
PRESCOTT--Prescott Mayor Mike Hunter updated the Prescott Chamber of Commerce on an assortment of topics city-related Thursday at Great Rivers Printing. --Pride of Prescott: The most recent city-wide meeting drew between 15-20 people. Themes were discussed, including economic development, community pride, natural resources, history of Prescott and city management. He said at the next meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, at the high school library, the topics will be discussed more. He asked for more participation from chamber members in these meetings.
A recent building summary of the Pierce County Courthouse has confirmed what those who work or visit have known all along: "Among many physical and operational problems with the facility, the most severe and immediate issues revolve around space needs, efficient operations, accessibility and security," representatives of KKE Architects said. The architectural firm, specializing in interior design and architectural planning, with locations in Minneapolis and throughout the United States, praised the complex for being attractive and well-maintained for being over 100-years-old.