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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PRESCOTT -- Growing up, David Bays didn't hear much about his father Everett's military service in World War II. Except for one event. On Dec. 17, 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, 81 American soldiers were executed by members of the Kampfgruppe Peiper, a German combat unit, near Malmedy, a Belgian municipality. "They're armed with binoculars and charts," Bays said of the American soldiers.
The former Prescott teacher accused of sexual assault learned her fate Wednesday. Anne Knopf, 39, pled guilty in Pierce County Circuit Court to one count of second degree sexual assault of a child. As a result, she was sentenced to nine months jail and five years probation. Additional terms include no contact with the victim or any male under the age of 18.
The countdown is on for organizers of the 2010 Farm Technology Days, as the event will be coming to Pierce County in two years. Farm Technology Days, Inc., a non-profit organization, has held Wisconsin Farm Technology Days (WFTD) since 1954. It's billed as the "largest outdoor show moving from county to county in North America." The Roger and Beverly Peterson farm, located on Hwy. 29 outside of River Falls, will host the 2010 edition, scheduled for July 20-22, 2010. An estimated 1,400-1,600 volunteers is needed to help serve on the 21 committees.
A River Falls man pled guilty Thursday in Pierce County Circuit Court to repeated sexual assault of child, a felony carrying a maximum penalty of $100,000 and 40 years prison. Matthew A. Bunnell, 27, was accused of committing three or more sexual assaults on a girl, now 15. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 15. According to the criminal complaint, the first alleged sexual contact occurred when Bunnell and the victim, who was 14, were on a camping trip. The two then had sexual relations for the first time at the girl's house in River Falls.
By walking through the Pierce County Fairgrounds last week, two things jump out. One is the quantity of campers/motor homes and the second is seeing license plates of different states such as Oregon, Missouri, Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. They all came for one reason. "We all love to dance," said Audrey Boss, of Cloquet, Minn., who has been coming to Ellsworth for its annual Polka Fest for nearly the last 15 years. This year's version was the 33rd edition. "We enjoy old-time music and love to dance," said Tom Elsen from Coon Valley.
PRESCOTT -- For the last six weeks, guests of the Prescott Historical Society have seen a fresh and unique perspective to the Iraq War. The PHS has been running an exhibit called "Private Soldiers: A Year in Iraq with the Wisconsin National Guard Unit," in which three members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 2-127th Infantry Battalion chronicled their deployment in Iraq from 2004-2005. In conjunction with the exhibit, the PHS is inviting all area military personnel and families who have served to a reception from 1-4 p.m.
PRESCOTT - David Bunn found his calling at an unique time in his life. Bunn was home for Christmas from his freshman year in college at Mankato State University (MN) when he met up with his aunt, Kathryn. David noticed a large pile of Christmas cards Kathryn had gotten and asked her where they came from. Kathryn, who was in the education field, responded the cards were from former students thanking her for being an inspiration to them. "Before then, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but after seeing that, the light bulb went on," David explained.
A 46-year-old man who has been a Pierce County fugitive for over two months was arrested in Minneapolis last week, the Prescott Police Department announced. Michael D. Condon Sr., River Falls, was arrested on 2 p.m. June 24 in Minneapolis by members of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department Fugitive Task Force following a joint investigation into his whereabouts by the task force and the Prescott Police Department.
As the United States prepares to observe its 232nd birthday Friday, our nation's military deserves credit for helping achieve this celebration. And even though their military service may be done, those who have served still give back to their community and country by being a member of the American Legion or Veterans for Foreign Wars (VFW). Eligibility for the two groups is simple, yet complex. For the American Legion, it's open to anyone who has served in a military branch (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Air Force) under wartime period and who has also been honorably discharged.
Four adults and three children were taken to River Falls Area Hospital at around 1:40 p.m. Sunday after they were involved in a two-car accident in Pierce County. Officials with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department reported that Amanda Webster, 27, Spring Valley, was driving a 2007 Pontiac south on Pierce County J when she lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle crossed the centerline and then collided with a northbound 2003 Chevrolet pickup driven by Brian Westenberg, 53, Apple Valley, Minn.