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The Martell Town Board is asking its residents for more money to improve and repair the town's roads. A referendum question on next Tuesday's town ballot asks voters for permission to increase Martell's 2009 spending on roads by $65,000. That would mean a tax increase of $166 per $100,000 of property value. State law limits town road spending to $5,000 per mile per year.
A Minnesota woman died following a motorcycle accident in Pierce County Sunday. Nancy A. Winter, 29, Lino Lakes, Minn., was fatally injured when her cycle left the road on a curve on Hwy. 35 and hit a guardrail on the west side of the road, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. Winter was thrown from the motorcycle. The accident, which occurred near 1220th Street in the town of Oak Grove, was reported at 2:56 p.m. Aug. 24. Winter was southbound. Assisting at the scene were the Ellsworth paramedic unit, Prescott Fire and Ambulance and county deputies.
A growing population and more emergency calls are overburdening a Pierce County dispatch center staffed with too few workers juggling the work of dispatcher and jailer, say local emergency personnel. "It's starting to affect public safety," said Jeff Rixmann, director of ambulance services for River Falls. He said Pierce County should add emergency dispatchers even if that means cutting other types of services. Sheriff's department administrators agree more dispatchers are needed.
Pierce County municipalities which used federal funds to buy mandated voting machines two years ago will have to shell out their own money for replacements this year. The new machines -- which have a touch screen, a control pad and a headset -- will cost $4,400 apiece.
A 10-year-old land development dispute will end with a phone call Thursday. Rather than take their chances with a jury, Pierce County Board members voted at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday to pay $1.4 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Trumpeter Development LLC.
During a pretrial hearing held Friday, former members of the Pierce County Land Management Committee were dismissed from Trumpeter Development's lawsuit against the county. Corporation Counsel Brad Lawrence said the county and the committee are the only remaining defendants. A 12-person jury trial is scheduled for Monday through Friday, Aug. 11-15, in Ellsworth.
Although revisions on a job description are pending, Pierce County Board members voted 10-5 Tuesday to accept a recommendation to hire a fulltime administrative coordinator. A list of 10 recommended qualifications will be forwarded to a consultant, who will develop a position description. After Curt Kephart resigned as administrative coordinator in May, some county board members questioned the position's role. The sub-committee looking at the issue agreed a coordinator is needed, reported Supervisor Ron Lockwood, River Falls.
Judge Robert Wing dismissed a lawsuit claiming Pierce County should pay for damage caused when heavy traffic was diverted around a fatal accident and over Town of Martell roads. At the conclusion of a hearing Tuesday, the judge agreed with an insurance company lawyer who argued Wisconsin law gives the county immunity from this type of claim. A jury trial set for Sept. 25-26 was cancelled. Following a fatal accident on Jan. 27, 2006, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department diverted Hwy.
Two Pierce County incumbents will have opposition on the ballot this fall. Jamie R. Feuerhelm, Spring Valley, who has been county clerk since 1997, is being challenged by Heather L. Snook, Ellsworth. Feuerhelm is a Democrat and Snook identifies herself as an independent. Register of Deeds Vicki J. Nelson, Ellsworth, who was elected in 2004, is challenged by Paul B. Webb, Beldenville. Nelson is a Republican and Webb is a Democrat. Treasurer Phyllis J.
Assemblywoman Kitty Rhoades will face another Republican in a primary, Congressman Ron Kind will be in a three-way race in November and 10 candidates are vying for the assembly seat held Barbara Gronemus. First-term assembly members Ann Hraychuck, District 28, and John Murtha, District 29, will also be opposed in November. Tenth District State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, a Republican from River Falls, is challenged by Democrat Alison H. Page, River Falls. That's according to candidate registration reports posted by the Wisconsin State Elections Board.