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After years of trying, the Freund family of the town of El Paso came home big winners from the 2007 Minnesota State Fair. While his father Michael did most of the advance work, 13-year-old Patrick showed the family's pigs, winning the titles of Senior Champion Swine, Senior Champion Boar and Senor Champion Gilt. "We came in dead last for years - we honestly did," said Jeanne Freund.
In a couple of weeks, the Pierce County Board will vote on a request to release $54,000 from its Park Development Fund to help the town of Diamond Bluff develop and improve Sea Wing Park. Though this is only a small share of the nearly $860,000 sitting in the park fund, it's a good use of the money. For about two decades, Pierce County collected a park fee - ranging from $100 to $600 - each time a new residential lot was created in a rural area.
MADISON - The Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery doesn't pay some of its production workers overtime pay, including one employee since 1968, according to a lawsuit filed recently in federal court. According to the complaint: Fourteen employees allege ECC requires them to be in uniform and at their work areas 10 minutes before the start of their shift but doesn't pay them for pre-shift duties including changing into their work clothes. The employees need to be present before each shift change to receive current production conditions from co-workers, which allows production machinery to opera
The Pierce County Board will vote later this month on a request to donate $54,240 to help the Town of Diamond Bluff develop and expand a three-acre park with frontage on the Mississippi River. The funds will come from the Park Development Fund, money that was collected over the last two decades as a park fee-which ranged from $100 to $600-was charged each time a new residential lot was created in the county's rural areas. Pierce County's Park Development Fund contains nearly $860,000. State law no longer allows counties to collect the fee.
The Pierce County Board voted last week to lend the highway department $400,000 to build a new storage building -- but the loan won't be interest-free. Along with interest, Supervisor Ben Plunkett, River Falls, also proposed charging the department a $37,500 penalty, claiming highway department representatives lied about funding for an older building. Highway Commissioner Ross Christopherson had estimated the new 20,000 square foot building -- which replaces smaller off-site buildings--would cost about $800,000.
In an eight-page decision filed early last week, Trempealeau County Judge John Damon rejected all of Pierce County's motions to end a lawsuit in which Trumpeter Development is asking for over $4 million in damages. The judge found Trumpeter's property interests were denied without legal basis, and he is allowing the developer to make claim for damages related to all the lots in the development. "Trumpeter invested money to install an infrastructure to comply with obtaining (approval for development)," wrote Damon.
The reports range from a high profile case in which an accountant stole over $150,000 from an elderly widow to a call from a person worried about her neighbor's hygiene. The term "elder abuse" covers a lot of territory, but most often it's a case of a family needing help with simple basic needs, according to Pierce County Office on Aging Supervisor Kathy Hass. By the end of July, the Pierce County Office on Aging had received 11 reports of suspected elder neglect or abuse.
Despite worries that residents might misinterpret the precaution, Pierce County Board members voted to adopt a plan to distribute potassium iodide (KI) pills to people who live near the Prairie Island nuclear power plant. Tuesday's vote adopts a Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services plan to pre-distribute the non-prescription tablets to county residents who live within 10 miles of the plant.
Not long ago, some Pierce County supervisors were interested in attempting to buy the M&I Bank building next to the courthouse. Now, the county is giving up its lease on the building's upper level and moving 10 human services department workers to the county office building behind the courthouse. The county has rented the M&I space for over 10 years and was most recently paying $50,100 a year to rent approximately 5,000 square feet. The lease expires Aug.
After 36 years as an educator, 35 of which were spent teaching third-graders at Lindgren Elementary School, Jane Reis is retiring. "I try to get them to think for themselves, to see more than what they read on the page," said Reis, who has taught about 700 children over the years and sees her role as that of a guide. One of her favorite parts of the school day is the 15 minutes she spends reading aloud to the children. "I would like to think they learn to love reading on their own and don't just get caught up in the fads of the day," said Reis. While her students may choose fantasy books t