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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
A local pastor, who returned from the Gulf Coast earlier this month, says even though it's been nearly two years since Hurricane Katrina hit, families in Mississippi and Louisiana still need help. "Every time I go down there, I come back feeling I have to go back," said Shelley Lyksett, who serves the Ellsworth, Hartland and Diamond Bluff United Methodist churches. She was among a group of 19 volunteers who returned May 6 from Gulfport and Biloxi, Miss. This was her third trip to the area.
An Ellsworth man who lost his sight as the result of a traffic accident has been awarded a largely symbolic $6.25 million judgment against the man who caused the collision in December 2005. After Randy J. Truckey, 41, Amery, failed to answer a civil complaint and didn't appear for an April 26 hearing, St. Croix County Circuit Judge Eric Lundell ordered him to pay $6,250,000 plus costs to Gerald Gutting, N4914 Hwy. 63, Ellsworth. "(Truckey) has simply not responded," said Gutting's attorney, Steve Goff of River Falls.
A special Pierce County Board meeting set for Monday to discuss the Trumpeter Development lawsuit was canceled because a mediation session was not successful, a board spokesman said. The suit involves a county-imposed delay for parts of a 700-acre residential development near Prescott. The parties participated in a mediation session May 2. Corporation Counsel Brad Lawrence said the May 7 special meeting was scheduled in the event mediation resulted in anything that needed County Board attention, but it didn't.
In an annual daytime meeting that lasted a little over an hour Tuesday, Pierce County Board members voted to increase a series of sheriff's department fees. At the recommendation of Sheriff Nancy Hove, the board raised the rate charged to work-release prisoners in the county jail from $13 to $14.25 a day. Hove said the new rate is still one of the lowest around. Law Enforcement Committee Chairman John Kucinski, who also works as a public defender, said the fees can't be too high because many of the inmates have jobs that pay only $7 or $8 an hour. The charge is for meals, laundry and housi