Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.
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EL PASO--The first time people see them perform, some just sit and stare while others pick up on a spirit so contagious they want to join right in. At least that's the way Dennis Wood, one of the founders of the El Paso Marching Band, described public reaction to this memorable area parade fixture last week. Zany, wacky, crazy and wild would be other appropriate descriptive words for an outfit that's nothing if not spontaneous. Any recognition the group's received over the past 26 years of their existence tended to be tongue-in-cheek.
PRESCOTT--Gardening is said to be therapeutic and Diane House of Prescott agrees. After a long day of driving truck, House relieves stress by tending to the garden and accompanying decorations which fill her yard. A sitting area and pond with fountain are highlights. "I like the water noise," she said Thursday about a soothing aspect. House, who's been a member of the Minnesota Water Garden Society since 2004, will host a stop on that organization's 14th annual pond tour Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Products inside the Ellsworth Co-op Creamery's retail store appeared tempting to the sidekick of a popular Twin Cities outdoors journalist Thursday. But "Raven," the canine companion to Ron Schara of Ron Schara Productions, remained well-behaved. The dog only slightly sniffed a stand where bags of cheese curds and other foods are displayed.
While most people have experienced stress, it's more acute for some than others. Take those who've served in the military, for example. Many are being affected by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) like never before. But Pierce County American Legion Commander Devin Feuerhelm and Pierce County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) David Till want them to know they can get help. "There's a definite correlation between the rising number of deployments and the likelihood of PTSD," Till said Feb.
The battle against bullying behavior among youths is being reinforced by a countywide effort now being brought to River Falls and Ellsworth. As part of its "Surviving and Thriving Parent Workshop" series, the Partnership for Family Teaming in Pierce County will present sessions on bullying this month. The series has already been held in River Falls, where the latest one on this topic is scheduled for Rocky Branch Elementary School on Tuesday, Jan.
A new storage building for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be put up on Ellsworth's northwest side. The 40-by-80-foot unheated building is to be built in a small ravine near the Pierce County Highway Department shop, according to DNR Construction Representative Chris Rehlinger of Madison. "It's for law enforcement, so it will be used by conservation wardens," Rehlinger said Thursday. Read more in the print version of the Herald Jan. 19.
Oake C. Gregory, Plum City, has declared his write-in candidacy for Pierce County Sheriff. Gregory is seeking the position as an independent, stating he is representing the people of Pierce County. The other candidates for the position are first-term incumbent Nancy Hove and Tom Gunderson, a partol sergeant with the Sheriff's Department. The election will be Tuesday, Nov. 2. Read more in the Oct. 6 print version of the Pierce County Herald or the Oct. 7 print edition of the River Falls Journal.
MAIDEN ROCK--A bit of Europe, a touch of Mexico and a generous helping of color await the public at the Secret Heart Gallery in Maiden Rock. Owner B.J. Christofferson promotes her gallery as a place where she intends to explore the heart, which she describes as "the center of life, strength and understanding." "I create small worlds, each with their own reality," Christofferson said about the three-dimensional art she displays. Much of this is found in an indoor porch of the 107-year-old house she had converted for the business.
BAY CITY--Pierce County Historical Association (PCHA) members are offering a trip back in time as one means of saving the area's history. The annual Pioneer Day will return to the River Bluffs History Center in Bay City on Saturday, June 26, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. PCHA President John Norquist said planning meetings for the event began last fall and resumed early this spring. "The children's games have become especially popular," Norquist said Wednesday, noting youngsters enjoy playing with corn husk dolls and the like. Read more in the print version of the Pierce County Herald June 16.
Josh Roubal's experiences while pursuing his mortuary science career around the upper Midwest have taken him from the city to the country. Still in college, Roubal worked at the Cook County (Ill.) Morgue in Chicago as part of his education practicum. After graduation, his first jobs were at funeral homes in the metropolitan areas of eastern and central Wisconsin. But the upper Michigan native has since come to the western side of the state and is getting back to his small-town roots.