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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Off-shore drilling, nuclear energy, the cost of health care, illegal immigration and the value of cooperation were among the topics as Sen. John McCain met with several hundred women Friday morning. The event, hosted by J& L Steel Erectors in Hudson's St. Croix Business Park, was billed as a "women only" event limited to 500 people. But a sprinkling of men attended, and when the 500 seats were filled, at least 100 latecomers stood in back. "I learn more, gain more, from these encounters than you do," said McCain, 71, of his question-and-answer sessions.
A former Pierce County man who shot his wife to death in front of their teenage son and a domestic abuse agency worker 21 years ago wants out of prison. Richard John Kusch, 65, who was sentenced to a life term in May 1987, claims his conduct during two decades as an inmate has been exemplary.