Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts.
- Member for
- 4 years 6 months
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.
A county man entered into a deferred prosecution agreement for six years after pleading guilty to sexual assault of a child last week in Pierce County Circuit Court. As part of the agreement, David L. Vega, 39, River Falls, must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He was charged in October after Pierce County Sheriff's investigators became aware of the allegations in June, when Red Wing police began investigating a child abuse case from Minnesota authorities. Authorities told Red Wing police the victim, now 16, was sexually assaulted by Vega in 2002.
A River Falls man was sentenced to 2½ years prison Tuesday in Pierce County Circuit Court for bank robbery. Denton Ewers, 49, was also ordered to spend the next four years on extended supervision upon his release as the sentence was handed down by Pepin/Buffalo County Judge James Duvall. "If you rob a bank, bad things happen to you," Duvall said. "You cannot rob a bank and expect probation." Ewers was charged last November for robbing the First Bank of Baldwin-Plum City branch.
A Beldenville man was charged Oct. 2 in Pierce County Circuit Court with vehicular homicide and reckless driving, causing bodily harm. George D. Budd, 54, N7652 650th St., is scheduled to make his first court appearance 10:45 a.m., Oct. 23. Both charges, which stem from a March 17 incident in the town of Martell, are felonies. According to the criminal complaint: At about 8:10 p.m. March 17, Pierce County sheriff's deputies were called to a car versus motorcycle accident on 650th Street, north of County Road J. When officers arrived, Budd identified himself as the driver of the car.
Tuesday's Pierce County Board meeting was so short it was done in 15 minutes. They only talked about four issues, which were: Decided to continue on the next step in strategic planning with two sessions tentatively scheduled for January. The topics planned over those sessions are who Pierce County is - it's values, mission statement, etc.., where Pierce County is today, where Pierce County goes from here (the vision for the future) and how are we going to get there.
Dr. Christopher Tashjian talks often about the entire Ellsworth Medical Clinic being a team when it comes to patient care. Friday, Sept. 14, that team effort paid off big as the clinic received one of two nationwide awards from the Million Hearts Initiative, a public-private effort by the Department of Health and Human Services. The initiative has a goal of preventing a million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The award ceremony took place at the River Falls Medical Clinic. The award was based on the Ellworth clinic's focus on managing hypertension.
PRESCOTT - What was hoped to be a debate between the two candidates for Pierce County District Attorney Thursday at Prescott Kiwanis never materialized. Incumbent John O'Boyle showed up and spent his time talking about what the District Attorney's office does and outlined the reasons why he should get another four years. "This is an important election," O'Boyle said about the upcoming Tuesday election.