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In a decision filed Tuesday, the District III Court of Appeals affirmed a Pierce County jury's decision finding Michael Anthony Knudson guilty of stealing a pickup from an Ellsworth dealership. In August 2007, the jury convicted Knudson, 25, of stealing a vehicle Sept. 10, 2005. He was found not guilty on a separate charge of burglary. In September 2007, Judge Robert Wing sentenced Knudson to three years in prison, to run concurrent with a Minnesota sentence, and to a subsequent three years on extended supervision.
Sentencing repeat drunk drivers is a challenge, say local judges, partly because they can't be sure which penalty will work and partly because they'd like to use some alternatives sooner. "For the most part, you're making a lot of these decisions, and there's no way of knowing if you're making the right one," said Robert Wing, who has been Pierce County judge for 24 years. Wing knows the anguish of sentencing a drunk driver responsible for taking a life. With the family of the victim on one side of the courtroom and family and friends of the offender on the other, the atmosphere is emotiona
Although not all county negotiators are happy with the results, Pierce County supervisors approved three-year union contracts trading pay raises for employees paying a larger share of health premiums. Negotiations began in September 2007, and while both sides have agreed on the terms, final signatures still aren't on two of the contracts, said county Personnel Specialist Sandy Langer last week. The new contracts for 2008, 2009 and 2010 for the six union groups give two raises a year to 221 employees. The raises are two percent each Jan.
If the federal government distributes economic stimulus money for public projects, County Board Chairman Paul Barkla wants Pierce to get a piece of the action. Last week, the Wisconsin Counties Association forwarded a request from Gov.
Pierce County's Finance and Personnel Committee has made a salary offer to a man members hope will be the county's next highway commissioner. Monday night the committee endorsed a hiring board recommendation to offer the job to Chad A. Johnson, 35, Eau Claire, with an annual salary of $68,182. Johnson, who is currently a project manager for Hoffman Construction Company, Black River Falls, has accepted the offer, said Personnel Specialist Sandy Langer Tuesday morning. She said the hiring board interviewed six applicants. The last step in the hiring process will come at the Tuesday, Jan.
With only a little fuss, last week Pierce County Board members finalized a 2009 budget that will mean a slight tax increase for county property owners. The 2009 budget adds two new employees: a jailer/dispatcher and a lead economic support worker. It also gives most union employees a 2 percent salary increase on Jan. 1 and another 1 percent increase on July 1, 2009. Non-union workers, who are generally department heads and managers, will get 2.5 percent increases Jan.
It wouldn't be honest to say Glenn Nelson lives in the past -- far from it. But it would be fair to say the past lives with the 85-year-old World War II combat veteran. Nelson was a college sophomore at River Falls in the fall of 1942 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army.
A Pierce County judge may have been hasty in failing to give a man convicted of drunken driving, sixth offense, credit in each of two cases for time he was held in jail. Troy Thomas Brummer, 36, Hager City, appealed Judge Robert Wing's decision denying a hearing on Brummer's request for sentence credit. In a decision filed Tuesday, the District III Court of Appeals sent the case back to county court for a hearing on Brummer's motion. According to background in the decision, on Jan. 3, 2006, Brummer was arrested for operating while intoxicated, sixth offense.
Fifty-two workers at Andersen Corporation's Menomonie assembly plant were told today their jobs have been eliminated and were sent home. The plant currently had 245 employees and had a workforce of about 275 at its peak. The jobs that were cut were production workers and office support staff. "We've taken the cuts we need to take for now, based on what we know," said Maureen McDonough, Andersen's director of corporate communications.
Bill Gilles, a member of the Pierce County Board, is hospitalized at Regions Hospital in St. Paul following a traffic accident Wednesday morning. Gilles, N5231 410th St., Ellsworth, teaches agriculture education and science in the Baldwin-Woodville school district. He was reportedly on his way to work when the accident occurred on Hwy. 63. The St. Croix County Sheriff's Department did not have an accident report completed Thursday afternoon. Gilles, who was first elected to the Pierce County Board in April 2004, has served on the board since then.