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Give Darlene Bloomstrand a small town, membership in an organization and a chance to do community service, and she'll be happy. Bloomstrand now has all of that and more as the new coordinator for the Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce. She began the job last month, succeeding Renee Craft. "They had an opening and I was interested," Bloomstrand said last week. She's already become immersed in the variety of duties that are part of her new role.
Putting on a show is a lot like preparing food for a crowd. Both require assembling a crew: actors and backstage technicians in the case of the former, cooks and waiters or waitresses for the latter. Then there's a written plan to follow, either a script or recipes and a menu.
Chad Smeby used to sing while driving tractor on his grandfather Bill Young's former dairy farm outside of Ellsworth. Smeby still sings while driving down the village's main street in his 1997 Chrysler Sebring convertible with music playing in the vehicle. The diesel mechanic spends some of his spare time being part of karaoke events at area bars, entertaining others but mainly enjoying himself. "I like having fun ... just havin' a good time," he said Wednesday. Lately, Smeby's vocal abilities have begun to be tested more seriously, however.
A preliminary 2008-09 budget was presented to the Ellsworth School Board Monday. For the 2007-08 budget, Superintendent Dan Kaler anticipated realizing a fund balance of $3,035,333, as was projected. The proposed fund balance in the preliminary budget for '08-'09 is $3,036,208. "It's a break-even budget," Kaler said about the preliminary one. The '08-'09 budget likely won't be finalized until late October, he said, because needed information about property value and student enrollment is yet to come.
Paul Grangaard has changed his focus several times during his career. The most significant change occurred after Grangaard started working for a certified public accountant firm in the Twin Cities in 1994, he said Friday.
Personnel and guests gathered Thursday to honor retirees and fellow staffers during the Ellsworth School District's 21st annual recognition dinner. Superintendent Dan Kaler, who emceed the event, said those being recognized represent 700 years of combined service.
The song says "Summertime--and the livin' is easy," but for Justin Magill the upcoming summer of '08 might be an exception. The next three months promise to be memorable ones for Magill, and not only because they mark the time when he'll sample the journalism career he's pursuing as the Herald's summer news intern.
For Ellsworth High School graduate Tiffany Koll, it was the next best thing to being there. When illness prevented Koll from attending her class' graduation in person last month, the school and River Falls Area Hospital (RFAH) officials arranged to bring the event to her instead, via computer. "I wish I could have been there," she said Friday, adding, "I'm so thankful I was able to see it." Koll was hospitalized earlier in the month with pneumonia, she said, noting she believed when she entered the hospital it would still be possible for her to attend graduation.
The Ellsworth FFA Alumni are powered up and ready for the third annual "Showdown in Curd Town" this Friday at the Pierce County Fairgrounds. The tractor pull's local appearance is happening earlier this year than in the past to be moved away from the Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival, according to Doug Borth of the alumni. Also, another sanctioned pull in Rice Lake was a factor in the scheduling change. "This will be the first hook of the year for some," Borth said Friday.
Iva Lipke's reluctance to leave her Southern Wisconsin home made the Ellsworth School District an ideal destination for her. Lipke, who's retiring this month from a 32-year career spent entirely as a special education teacher at Prairie View Elementary School, initially stayed close to her native Milton while pursuing a teaching job.