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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Festive, fun and family. Those three words and more describe what organizers hope guests will get from the first annual Panther Open June 13-14 in Ellsworth. The Open is sponsored by the Ellsworth Community School District Foundation, whose mission is to enrich and enhance education through private funding. "We wanted to get more people involved from the community," said foundation member Steve Hinck, as the open replaces the art auction on the foundation's schedule.
What's the score? It was a question Brad Ristow found he was asking repeatedly while attending one of his children's baseball games last summer. Trying to find out the answer drew the Ellsworth resident nuts. "An older gentleman would always dig through his checkbook when asked, as he kept score on a check blank," Ristow explained. "I thought we can do better than that." So Ristow went to work. With help from Ellsworth area businesses, who either have donated their time, materials or money, three new scoreboards were constructed and unveiled to the public last week.
Recycling newspapers or magazines has been a beneficial way over the years to help save the environment. Now, around the Ellsworth area, another scenario has come about, in which getting rid of paper can be beneficial in more ways than one. Steve and Sue Hinck, owners of Hinck's Economart, along with Wayne Lundgaard of True Value Hardware, have teamed up within the last month to start a paper drive, with proceeds to benefit the Ellsworth Community School District Foundation.
Outdoor enthusiasts had cause to celebrate Saturday night at the Ellsworth Rod and Gun Club. An estimated 400 people were on hand to observe the Ellsworth club's 75 years of existence and the Trimbelle Rod and Gun Club's 50th anniversary. "I love the (Ellsworth) Rod and Gun Club for what it has done and what it is doing now," said Jack Hines, a member of the club for the last 46 years. Ellsworth Over 50 area individuals started the Ellsworth club in 1933.
A River Falls man, who initially said he was carjacked, pled guilty to obstructing an officer last week in Pierce County Circuit Court. James R. Williams, 19, 735 S. Wasson Lane, also pled guilty to theft and receiving stolen property. He was sentenced to two years probation on all three charges. In lieu of jail, Williams was ordered to participate in the Restorative Justice program on the obstructing charge. The incident started on Dec. 10, when, according to the criminal complaint Williams was admitted to the River Falls Area Hospital for a bullet wound to the left shoulder.
Aaron Nelson has a prediction on how his future will shape up. "The goal is to own my business," the Ellsworth High School senior said. "If I'm in a cubicle, I would hate myself because I am not a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. person. "I'd rather work for myself because I want to be an innovator and a leader." Considering how Nelson's high school career has gone, chances are that goal will become reality. "I have high expectations of myself," he added. One of those expectations was being named class valedictorian, a goal he has accomplished.
Kristen Kannel was sitting in a chemistry class at Ellsworth High School one day when her future came upon her. She saw an excerpt in her chemistry book about pharmacy, and it intrigued her. "I love math and science and I wanted to help people," she explained. "This seemed like a good option for me." Kannel will head off to the UW-Madison to study pharmacy in the fall. But first, the EHS senior as class salutatorian will give a speech at graduation Friday evening. "It's starting to sink in," Kannel said about graduating.
With a brother teaching in New Richmond and a sister who works with youth in Red Wing, Steve Albarado's interest isn't surprising. "I've always enjoyed working with youth," the 14-year Pierce County Sheriff's Department veteran said. "I prefer the elementary because the children are so impressionable and listen to every word you're saying." Albarado will get his chance to work with elementary kids when he steps into the county's Drug Abuse Resistance Education position in October. "For as long as I've been employed here, I hoped that my career would take me to the D.A.R.E.
ELMWOOD -- Jason Afdahl was elected as the new Elmwood School Board President at a special board meeting earlier this month. Afdahl succeeds Sue Borgerson, who chose not to seek re-election. Afdahl was vice president last year. Bernie Christman was elected as vice president, while Jennelle Wolf and Steve Thompson were both reelected as clerk and treasurer, respectively. The board welcomed Jeff Riess, as he succeeded Borgerson. He was named a member, along with Jim Maves and Paul Peterson. Riess garnered the most votes in the April 1 spring election.
Don't drink and drive. It's a message generations of youth have heard repeatedly. Friday, junior and senior class members at Ellsworth High School witnessed the consequences of what could happen if they decide to drink and drive. Students arrived to find mock accident scene coordinated by the school's Arrive Alive club. The group aims to help students think ahead with the hope they will make safe and legal decisions relating to drinking and driving a motor vehicle.