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.
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Leah Lundgaard spent the last three years working retail in Woodbury, but she knew her heart was elsewhere. "For as long as I can remember, I've either drawn or painted," the Ellsworth native said. "It's all I ever done." During that time, Lundgaard had done paintings and pottery work on the side, but sometimes spending an average of 100 hours on a painting, she knew a decision had to be made. As a result, she left retail last November, and since then launched Triple LLL Design, specializing in fine art and inspired design.
BAY CITY -- For almost seven years, Lynn Bender would have to travel to work from her home outside of Bay City to Red Wing. Now, Bender's travel distance to her work is measured in steps as she moved her business, H20 Toyz, from Red Wing to a building located on her property, W6623 Hwy. 35. "You never realize how much stuff you have until you move," she said. The move was completed last winter during the business' slow time. It specializes in above ground pools, spas and accessories. Bender explained money was a factor in the move. She was paying rent for two buildings in Red Wing.
A River Falls man will be sentenced in October for multiple burglaries he committed in both Pierce and St. Croix counties. Jonathan L. Nitchals, 22, pled guilty in Pierce County Circuit Court to five counts of burglary and possession of methamphetamine as a result of a plea hearing earlier this month. The sentencing hearing will be at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2. Nitchals was originally charged in Pierce County with five counts of misdemeanor theft, four counts of entry into a locked vehicle, and criminal damage to property, three counts of burglary and possession of methamphetamine.
Farming has been a big part of the Peter and Lisa Coyne family in Spring Valley. "On our dad's side, they've been pretty active in the dairy industry, while our mom's side operated a cash crop farm," said Willie, the couple's middle child. Added Brian, the couple's oldest child: "We grew up in the barn. When Willie and I were young, we had cribs in the barn. It's been kind of installed in us." So, it shouldn't have come as a surprise to see Brian, Willie and their younger sister, Rachel, at the Pierce County Fair last weekend in the cattle barn showing off their prized possessions.
When Shirley Abrahamson was appointed to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court in 1976, she thought of her new job with excitement. "I really thought it would be interesting on a personal and professional level," she said. "I also thought it would be very rewarding to be a public servant." And just like with any new job, she explained, if she liked it, she would stay with it. Thirty-two years later, it's safe to say she has liked the job, as Abrahamson is the longest tenured member of the Supreme Court and, since 1996, has been its Chief Justice.
A River Falls man was charged last week in Pierce County Circuit Court with arson, a Class C felony bringing a maximum penalty of $100,000 and/or 40 years prison. Mark A. Nicholson, 33, was charged with intentionally damaging a house he owns, but subject to a mortgage held by Country Wide Bank in Dallas, Tex. His first court appearance on the charge is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 25. The Pierce County Sheriff's Department had issued a press release stating they were notified of a house fire at W7250 870th Ave. in the Town of Martell shortly after midnight on June 4.
PRESCOTT -- Thanks to the generosity of the Prescott Foundation, and with the cooperation of the Prescott Emergency Medical Services, the Prescott Police Department had its second patrol car equipped with an Automated External Defibrillator to aid possible heart attack victims. On July 20, that AED was used for the first time and it helped save a life. At approximately 10:14 a.m., Officer C. George Toman was dispatched to St. Joseph's Catholic Church in response to a report of an unconscious person.
PLUM CITY -- Twenty has been a significant number for Jean McDonough. In her two previous jobs, McDonough worked 20 years at both Target and Weiss and Associates. With that in mind, McDonough knew she was nearing the 20-year mark of her current job as Village of Plum City Clerk/Treasurer. "(Village President) Doug (Watkins) wanted me to stay, but I couldn't," she said. "I had reached my 20 years." McDonough's last day is Thursday, with fellow Plum City resident Bonnie Frickson set to replace her the following day.
Forty-five Ellsworth people experienced a trip of a lifetime earlier this month. No, it wasn't a trip to Walt Disney World. The contingent, made up of mostly youth, spent the week in Idaho painting and providing home repairs to an Indian reservation. The trip was coordinated by English Lutheran Church of Ellsworth.
Al Bauer Sr., was loved and respected by those who knew him. "He was a helping, giving person to those in need," said his widow Robin. "If there was something he could do, he would do it. "He was a very compassionate person." Bauer's life tragically ended in an automobile accident, Nov. 23, 2007, on Hwy. 35, near Diamond Bluff. He was 57-years-old. To help remember the man friends and family called Big Al, a fundraiser is planned in his memory Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 9-10, in Bay City.