Jason Schulte has been with the Herald since 2006. He covers County government and anything else that happens in Pierce County on a daily basis.
- Member for
- 1 year 8 months
ELLSWORTH -- Bradley Hompe didn't sugar-coat the problems of the Pierce County Jail. Of course, because his job is a jail inspector for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, that's not in his nature. So, when asked last Thursday by the Pierce County Jail Ad Hoc Committee, how bad is it, he didn't hold back. Hompe told the committee, out of the 17 jails he inspects (his area goes from Superior to La Crosse and east to Clark County) Pierce is at or near the bottom. "You have to do something. The county has to make a decision.
ELLSWORTH -- A River Falls man will make his first court appearance in Pierce County Circuit Court next month on charges of second-degree sexual assault and strangulation and suffocation. Ernest Patrick Sharlow, Jr., 22, 162 Kinni Ct., is scheduled to appear at 10 a.m., Monday, April 8, on the Class C and Class H felonies stemming from a December incident in the city of River Falls. According to the criminal complaint: River Falls Police were called to the area of 1450 S. Wasson Lane for a possible domestic dispute Dec. 27.
A Red Wing woman has been charged with three counts of vehicular homicide in Pierce County Circuit Court as the result of an accident last October that caused the death of a Minnesota man. Cassandra Cleo Smith, 20, was charged with vehicular homicide by intoxicated use, vehicular homicide by use of controlled substance and negligent operation of a vehicle causing homicide. The first two charges are Class D felonies, while the third is a Class G. She is scheduled to make her first court appearance at 10 a.m. next Monday. According to the criminal complaint: The accident happened Oct.
The Pierce County Jail Ad Hoc Committee started its round of interviews Feb. 21 with those who deal directly with the jail on a firsthand basis. District Attorney Sean Froelich, Circuit Court Judge Joseph Boles and John Dirkse from Aegis/Wisconsin County Mutual Insurance Company, and Corporation Counsel Brad Lawrence (in closed session) answered questions from the three-man committee over a three-hour session. Froelich told the committee his biggest concern is structural, as inmates are transferred from the jail to court for hearings in the hall between the DA's offices.
A River Falls man was placed on three years' probation late last month for holding a Pierce County employee without her consent last August. Steven J. Schutz, 53, P.O. Box 562, pled guilty to false imprisonment Jan. 28 in Pierce County Circuit Court. False imprisonment is a Class H felony. According to the criminal complaint, Schutz had an appointment with a county mental health therapist on Aug. 1 and, within 10 minutes, he pulled a knife and pointed it at her.
Around 30 business, industry, civic, education and government leaders from the St. Croix Valley made their way to Madison Wednesday, Feb. 6 for the annual Greater St. Croix Valley Legislative Day. Leaders use the day to remind legislators throughout the state of the issues important to people in the St. Croix Valley, comprised of Dunn, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties. Two-to-three-person teams were formed and assigned to 10 to 12 legislators. Their topic discussions were the following: Restore income tax reciprocity with Minnesota.
ELLSWORTH -- The Pierce County Board of Supervisors got some unexpected good news about highway borrowing on Jan. 22. For months, it was projected the interest rate for the $7 million project would be around 1.67 percent. However, it was announced the rate will be 1.359. Joe Murray from Springsted and the county's financial adviser said the county received 11 bids and Robert W. Baird and Co. submitted the lowest rate. Murray attributed the number of bids and the low rate to the county's strong Moody's rating. "The county is in a strong position to move forward," he said.
A man formerly of River Falls was charged Monday, Jan. 14, in Pierce County Circuit Court with first-degree sexual assault of a child and incest, crimes allegedly committed in River Falls. Brian J. Dufrene, 47, formerly of River Falls and now of Oakdale, Minn., will make his first court appearance at 10 a.m., Monday, Feb. 25, on the charges. The sexual assault is a Class B felony and incest is a Class C felony. According the criminal complaint: Pierce County law enforcement became aware of the allegations Dec. 17 when a family member reported it.
Buffalo/ Pepin Circuit Court Judge James Duvall said he didn't get much sleep the night before he sentenced George Derrick Budd. In October, the 54-year-old Beldenville man pled guilty to homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle in the death of Julie Nelson, 47, Hammond, March 17. Budd struck the motorcycle Nelson was riding with her husband, Glen, 48. Glen was seriously injured. Before handing down his sentence Dec. 19, Duvall explained to a full courtroom why he agonized over his decision. "What is the right thing?" he asked.
PRESCOTT - The Prescott City Administrator position is vacant again. In a release dated Dec. 7, Mayor Mark Huber stated the City and Mike Robertson have mutually agreed to end his employment, with his final day being Dec. 6. "This decision was made in a Special City Council meeting on Tuesday, December 4th, as only the full Council is authorized to make decisions like this, based upon recommendations from a Standing Committee and the Mayor," Huber said. In the interim, Clerk Jayne Brand will take over the Administrator duties.