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It's going to be a tough but productive summer as work on several building projects proceeds, predicts Pierce County Building Committee Chairman Dan Reis. "You're going to see some real results in very short order," Reis told county staff and county board members last week. But the progress won't come without pain. "Everyone in here (the courthouse and office building) is going to be disrupted some time, somehow," said Reis. He advised, "Get used to it.
An engineer who has worked for a local company for 33 years and served on a town board for 14 years is the newest member of the Pierce County Board. During their meeting Tuesday, county supervisors elected L. Ronald Bartels, Town of Isabelle, to fill the unexpired term of Bill Gilles, who died in March. Bartels will represent the Village of Bay City, the Towns of Isabelle and Hartland, and parts of the Towns of El Paso and Salem on the county board. County Board Chairman Paul Barkla had asked for applications for the position.
A $950,000 upgrade at the West Central Wisconsin Biosolids Facility will mean three things: Less breakdowns, more capacity and less odor, says plant Superintendent Sam Warp. A search that took WCWBF commissioners to many plants in the United States and Europe ended ironically when they found the equipment they were looking for next door in St. Croix County, said Warp. The major pieces of equipment, made by Schwing Bioset of Somerset, have been installed and are in operation. "The equipment is built heavy duty for pumping sand and gravel," said Warp.
One day this week Marie Demuth will enter St. Francis Cemetery with a stack of white wooden crosses just as she has for the last five decades. Using her memory and a carefully compiled list, the 93-year-old widow and her friend will gently place a cross trimmed with paper poppies on each of the graves of 22 deceased members of the American Legion Auxiliary. "Marie's got it all laid out," said Linda Christiansen, who is Demuth's partner in this project. "She knows where to go." "I knew all of those ladies," said Demuth, who joined the Legion Auxiliary with her mother 63 years ago.
Pierce County leaders working on a plan for high-speed internet access for the entire county are asking residents to fill out a survey to support the need. "With the money out there, it seems like this is worth pursuing," said Brad Roy of the Pierce County Land Management Department. He encourages people to complete a Wisconsin Public Service online survey to reinforce the local need for broadband and thus help the county qualify for funding to get it. Although details won't be released until June, there apparently will be federal economic stimulus money to cover most of the cost of countyw
A Pierce County Board member has been charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly disrupting a UW-River Falls student meeting and using obscenities. Witnesses said Benjamin Plunkett, 35, interrupted a Student Senate ethics committee meeting.
A proposed loss in state shared revenue is among their lesser problems and one they can deal with, say Pierce and St. Croix county administrators. Gov. Jim Doyle is proposing slicing $8.5 million from the $850 million a year fund. While one percent would be trimmed from shared revenues as a whole next year, the cut would hit some local governments harder than others. The impact varies substantially among counties, cities, villages and towns because the distribution formula is based on property values and population. "It's not devastating.
A Minnesota inmate serving time for manslaughter is asking a Pierce County judge to review probation decisions he claims led to him being imprisoned too long. In a civil complaint filed Feb. 24, Randall Arthur Radunz, 47, alleges a warrant that led to revocation of his probation was obtained under false pretenses.
A state commissioner was justified in denying parole to a man who shot his wife to death 22 years ago, ruled Pierce County Judge Robert Wing last week. In May 1987, Wing sentenced Richard John Kusch, now 65, to life in prison. A jury had found Kusch guilty of first-degree murder for shooting his wife in front of their son and an employee of Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Abuse. In a single-page ruling filed Feb.