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WELCH -- Authorities came up empty handed Wednesday after searching Mississippi River backwaters for possible clues related to the March discovery of a baby girl's body near Prairie Island marina. A two-man search team from the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office combed four miles of shoreline between North and Sturgeon lakes. Officials had planned on scouring the area by boat once flood waters receded. The crew spent several hours on the water today. Authorities say they have received more than 30 tips in the case.
Pierce County's human services director announced Monday that he'll be taking a job in Madison as deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. Reggie Bicha said Tuesday that he couldn't pass up the opportunity to be part of sweeping health care changes in Wisconsin. "I enjoy influencing statewide policy and programs," said Bicha, the county's human services director since 2001. "I'm excited about what's happening in our state." Bicha's last day will be March 9. He will replace Sue Reinardy, who is retiring after 30 years in state government.
A Stockholm man with a extensive criminal background is sitting in Pepin County jail, charged with second-degree sexual assault. Christopher W. Schmidt allegedly forced a 40-year-old woman to have oral and vaginal sex inside a farm tractor in the middle of a field in March. Physically and verbally threatening the woman, Schmidt also abused her sexually with a foreign object and made her have anal sex, according to the complaint. The woman, who had a relationship with Schmidt, filed a temporary restraining order against Schmidt less than two weeks after the incident.