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Indicating the builders' organization hadn't exhausted administrative remedies, Pierce County Judge Robert Wing dismissed a lawsuit challenging a town's impact fees. In an order signed July 7, Wing dismissed a lawsuit filed by the St. Croix Home Builders Association against the Town of Oak Grove. A spokesman for the builders' group said it still has a suit pending in St. Croix County and hasn't given up its fight. "We respect the decision, but we think it's flawed," said Bill Berndt, the government affairs consultant for the Home Builders Association.
The stepfather of a toddler who died in Pierce County has been charged with murder for allegedly inflicting the injuries that led to death of 17-month-old Nicholas Arthur Miller. Tylar J. Hokanson, 22, who was most recently living with relatives in Northfield, Minn., was charged July 1 with unintentional murder during an assault. A Dakota County (Minn.) judge set bail at $500,000 without conditions or $350,000 with conditions. According to the criminal complaint, at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department received a 911 call from a home in Maiden Rock.
A Minnesota man is a suspect in the death of his 18-month-old stepson, who died last week apparently in Pierce County. Tylar James Hokanson, 22, is being held in the Dakota County (Minn.) jail as authorities from that county and from Pierce County investigate the death of Nicholas Miller. A Northfield (Minn.) News obituary lists the boy's parents as Melissa Hokanson of Northfield, and Brian Miller of Castle Rock, Minn. His step-grandparents are Ruth and Walter Hunecke of Maiden Rock. Tylar Hokanson was taken into custody Saturday.
The Pierce County Board voted last week to confirm the hiring of Assistant Director Sue Galoff as director of the public health department. Galoff, who has worked for the department since 1991, succeeds Caralynn Hodgson, who resigned to take a job as home care supervisor in Polk County. Galoff is now completing requirements for her master's degree in health care administration at the University of Minnesota.
ELLSWORTH - Because apparent owners haven't paid property taxes for several years, the Pierce County Board voted to take possession of a home, a buildable lot and several property remnants. The amounts owed on the eight properties range from $21,743 to $241, said Pierce Treasurer Phyllis Beastrom Thursday. Although the owners of one property still live there and will have to be legally evicted, in six cases the property is so small, the owners may not have been aware they owned it and probably don't want it, said Beastrom. The county hasn't taken a tax deed on any property since 2001, said
EL PASO--About 80 people--members of the Eau Galle-Rush River Sportsman's Club and their guests--gathered June 13 to dedicate a three-pier handicapped-accessible area along the Rush River. The land, over 140 acres in the Town of El Paso, was donated to the sportsman's club last year by the trustees of the estate of Herbert P. Koch, formerly of Hastings, Minn. Along with the property donation came a check for $2,500 to help develop a handicapped-accessible fishing area along the trout stream. Development of the area cost about $9,000, said Sportsman's Club President Arby Linder.
If most of us found hair in our food at a restaurant, we'd probably tell the server. But what do you do if the hair is in take-out food? A River Falls man thought he had the answer: Call 911. In a two-minute call to Pierce County's 911 center after 10 p.m.
Although the general election is 10 months away, at least three local lawyers have set their sights on the Pierce County judgeship held for nearly 25 years by Robert Wing. Wing said he won't be a candidate when his current six-year term expires next April. Three lawyers--Joe Boles and John O'Boyle, both of River Falls, and Bob Loberg of Ellsworth--all say they have decided to run and are actively seeking support. Here is a quick rundown on each: Boles has been practicing law in River Falls since September 1981.
A Pierce County lawyer has been reprimanded by the Wisconsin Supreme Court and assessed $13,690 for failing to supervise an employee who embezzled $104,000 and for running up five drunk driving convictions. In a 17-page opinion filed last week, the Supreme Court rejected an Office of Lawyer Regulation recommendation Warren Lee Brandt, 58, be suspended from the practice of law for 60 days.
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.