Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.
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A 65-year-old River Falls man is accused of taking nearly $19,000 that should have gone to his disabled sister in Minnesota. Jon K. Setala, W12741 735th Ave., has been charged with theft in a business setting for allegedly stealing payments from his deceased mother's pension intended for his 57-year-old sister. An initial court appearance was set for Monday of this week.
A 23-year veteran of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, who also ran four years ago, is challenging Nancy Hove for the sheriff's position. Both Tom Gunderson and Hove, who won the 2006 election, have registered their candidacies. The county position of clerk of court is also open for election this fall. The only registered candidate for that job as of yesterday was the incumbent, Peg Feuerhelm. This time, Gunderson is running as an independent rather than a Democrat.
Rescuers used kayaks and a helicopter to find a 16-year-old kayaker, missing on the Kinnickinnic River for several hours overnight. Searchers reached the boy shortly after 3 a.m. this morning after Minnesota State Patrol officers in a helicopter spotted a campfire along the river southwest of River Falls at 2:40 a.m.
SPRING VALLEY--A weekend luxury of brewing fresh roasted coffee has led Pete and Barb Esanbock to an internet sales business with over 8,500 customers. "I've always loved coffee," said Pete, 45, who was born and raised in Spring Valley and still lives on part of the family farm. "I was always looking for better tasting coffee, always wanted a better cup of coffee." For now, the Esanbocks operate Our Coffee Barn from a shop near their house. Except for occasional sales to neighbors, their growing business is over the internet.
A Positive Alternatives group meeting and sections of carpet from an abandoned building now owed by the county led to a sexual assault charge against a River Falls man. Last week Taylor Johnjoonsoo Langer, 21, 5489A Dawes Place, River Falls, pleaded not guilty to sexual assault of a child under the age of 16. He allegedly had sex with a 14-year-old girl in an abandoned house at 388 W. Grove St., Ellsworth, last June 25. Coincidently, the Pierce County Board voted in April to buy property that includes the building in which the alleged assault occurred.
Things got a little tense for a few minutes. After a flurry of shopping, alterations to the floor-length dress and a Saturday spent having her hair, nails and makeup done, Delaine Peterson peeked out her window watching for her prom date. "Do you think he got lost? Do you think he's coming? Should I call him?" she asked. "Don't call him," Katie Rice told her 80-year-grandmother firmly.
The May 8 fundraiser for Verna (Crow) Lifto and her husband Mike was successful beyond organizers' expectations, reports Lorna Ross. "We had 200 people signed up ahead of time, we planned on 250, and we got 300," said Ross. "It brings tears to my eyes," she said.
When Pierce County bought two houses and land last month, it paid over 10 times the amount the seller paid for the same parcel a month earlier. The board voted 16-1 April 20 to buy the parcel--which includes houses at both 388 and 420 W. Grove St., Ellsworth--for $360,000. According to a property transfer recorded March 17 with the register of deeds, Doug and Lori Dodge bought the same parcel from T. Gregory Amann for $35,000.
Creating jobs is nothing new to him and would, though in a less direct way than in his private life, be his priority as governor of Wisconsin, says Mark Neumann. Neumann, one of seven Republicans registered as candidates in this year's race, visited River Falls, Hudson and Menomonie Monday, walking Main Street in all three communities.
In his 25 years as Pierce County judge, Robert Wing has learned a few things, but, like most of those who appear before him, he doesn't think he has changed much. "For some people, being a judge is their identity," said Wing. "But that's not who I am." At age 63, Wing's ready to step down from the bench and focus on the roles he values more: husband, father, friend and, soon, grandfather. So while his term won't officially end for three more months, Wing will retire Friday, April 30. "I'm ready for something else," said Wing firmly.