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For two decades, the Hunger Prevention Council of Pierce County and its six area food pantries have fed families and individuals who need an extra helping hand. With the times comes inevitable change, including some change that is out of the Council's control. Learning to adapt The recent government shutdown greatly affected the ebb and flow of the Council's average fluctuations at food pantries, but the nearing future is still unknown.
Two Spring Valley first responders were honored at a Jan. 19 annual gathering and awards dinner for Spring Valley Area Emergency Services. Jacob Gilles was named Firefighter of the Year and Melanie Jorgenson was named EMS Person of the Year. Gilles, a Spring Valley native, has served as a Spring Valley firefighter for five years. He said he was quite surprised and honored to receive the award.
Two Prescott women were preparing for bed and about to watch the ten o'clock news Friday night, Jan. 25, when the lights went out at their home on 1100th Street. Both women, Joyce DuBois and mother-in-law Sharolynne "Sherry" Atkins fiddled with the breaker for awhile. Joyce, needing her glasses from the north-facing bedroom, left. There in the bedroom, she was faced with flames. "I heard her yell, 'fire!' and I just picked the phone up and called 9-1-1 and said 'fire!' and gave them my address," Sherry said in a recent interview. "Flames were coming up the walls."
A tradition for about 15 years, the River Falls community and surrounding areas have come together for an annual barn dance series. On Feb. 16, the barn dance held in the River Falls Academy gym will feature the local acoustic band Rush River Ramblers. Ramblers fiddler Eric Hatling said the four dance events held each year throughout the fall and winter bring people closer in a time when togetherness is needed.
Wisconsin is known as the dairyland, Packerland and especially most recently, a winter wonderland. But now it has the privilege of being the land from which national royalty hails. Twenty-year-old Maiden Rock native Hannah Sjostrom has the sweet responsibility of being named the 2019 American Honey Queen after competing against three other states. Sjostrom said she won her title after a week-long "job interview" at the American Beekeeping Federation Conference and Tradeshow in South Carolina, where her knowledge of beekeeping and communication skills were tested.
Children ages 12 and younger are invited to ice fish 11 a.m. to noon for free on Feb. 23 at Roger Nelson's Pond on County Road A. All fishing gear and some training will be provided by President of the Ellsworth Funsters Paul Johnson and the rest of his group for this fifth annual fishing tournament. Nearly $2,000 in prizes will be given out which include full fishing gear packages and a boy's and girl's bike. Those who catch the smallest fish and the largest fish will be given prizes, with lots of other prizes given in between.
Despite the possibility of the federal government shutting down again this month, the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) guaranteed states will have funding through March for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The USDA released a question and answer document to states on Jan. 31 which confirmed full funding through March is provided under President Donald Trump's continuing resolution signed on Jan. 25. The resolution also covers state administrative costs.
Scott Hines and Rich Harris, two Ellsworth employees for the Public Works Department have retired after a combined number of 74 years. Hines, who served 40 years, retired officially this January. He was honored for his retirement with a plaque at a Feb. 4 village board meeting. Village Board President Gerald DeWolfe presented the plaque and thanked Hines for his service. Harris retired after 34 years and had his last date of employment in September 2018. He was unable to attend the board meeting to receive a similar plaque from DeWolfe and the board.
It is more than a playground being built in Prescott, it is a story. A story of three young children passing away too soon, of a community coming together in support of hurting families, of parents and friends wanting to remember the lives of the lost for years to come and to give a place for play. This unique playground, to be built as a life-size fairy garden near Ptacek's IGA grocery store, will not be labeled as a memorial park but will hold the memory of the three children from the Prescott area.
An ordinance equivalent to Wisconsin Statute regarding possession of marijuana was approved for recommendation by the Pierce County Finance & Personnel Committee to the full county board for acceptance as part of the Pierce County Code.