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 3 months
ELLSWORTH -- The Pierce County Board was given three options to balance the 2011 county budget, but a theme in all three was cut, cut and cut. In the end, during the June 22 meeting, the board approved, by a 14-1 vote, the option of directing all county departments to cut 3.4% from their budgets. The state will allow the county to increase its operating levy by 3%, which will mean collecting $240,000 more in property taxes but require the 3.4% reduction in spending, according to a memo from Finance Director Julie Brickner.
When a class project called for coming up with solutions to help those that are less fortunate, Carlie Christensen didn't have to look far for ideas. The Meyer Middle School 8th grader had watched her mother Jody previously be a foster mother and saw that foster children had many hurdles to overcome. So, the 13-year-old wanted to do her part. She went around to businesses and people she knew around the River Falls area and asked for donations.
A felony second-degree reckless endangerment charge has been filed in Pierce County Court against a River Falls teenager. Joseph T. Kobs, 17, 1430 Cemetery Road, is looking at a maximum penalty of $25,000 and/or 10 years prison if found guilty. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance June 14. According to court records, River Falls police and a Pierce County child protection worker went to interview the victim, a 13-year-old girl, in March. The victim said three days earlier she smelled marijuana coming from Kobs' room.
Jamison Klair was fighting to stay out of jail May 25. "This situation has made me want to quit drinking and I have," he told Judge James Duvall during a sentencing hearing in Pierce County. "All I have done since is work and spend time with my son. I haven't missed drinking since this incident. "This has been very traumatic for me and it all comes back to the decision I made." The mixed martial arts fighter was referring to a Feb. 2009 incident in River Falls that initially led him to be charged with two counts of felony battery along with misdemeanor battery.
Charges of theft and misconduct/ falsifying records were filed March 18 against Roger L. Billeter, 51, W6207 490th St., Beldenville, a Highway Department worker, is charged with two Class I felonies. Each carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 and 42 months prison if he is found guilty. Billeter's first court appearance is set for 10 a.m.
Lemuel A. Johnson, 55, Bay City, will spend 90 days in jail after brandishing a gun at a couple inside their car at the River Falls Kwik Trip last August. He was sentenced to three years' probation during a hearing Feb. 1 in Pierce County Circuit Court. Johnson pled guilty to the brandishing charge along with a felon being in possession of a firearm charge. The jail term is a probation condition. "This was not an everyday occurrence in Pierce County," said Judge Robert Wing, who ordered the sentencing.
Shannon L. Mull, 31, Somerset, was originally charged with third-degree sexual assault last March after an incident in the city of River Falls. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery in Pierce County Circuit Court Jan. 28. Terms of the probation include undergoing counseling and paying court costs. According to the criminal complaint: The victim told River Falls police she and a couple friends went to Somerset to pick up a friend, later identified as Mull, a person whom she never met.
Evan Bakke, a local teen still facing burglary and arson charges, was acquitted of felony bail jumping and disorderly conduct in Pierce County Circuit Court Jan. 20. It was the first of three felony cases in which Bakke has been charged. The two other cases, each separate incidents, go to jury trial Feb. 4-5. Bakke, who turned 18 this week, was charged with the bail jumping after violating his bond by shouting a profanity at one of the family members involved in the burglary case.
Lemuel A. Johnson, 54, N1357 Katie Ln., Bay City, pled guilty to possession of firearm by a felon in Pierce County Circuit Court and to a misdemeanor of intentionally pointing a firearm at a person. The charges result from an incident last August in River Falls. He will be sentenced at 11 a.m. Feb. 2, 2010. Johnson was facing these charges after allegedly pointing a gun at a couple inside their car at the Kwik Trip on South Main Street in River Falls on Aug. 2, according to the criminal complaint. A 911 call was placed after Johnson left Kwik Trip.
A Minnesota man was sentenced Friday to one year probation in Pierce County Circuit Court for police battery. Ryan Kryzer, 35, Forest Lake, was also charged with obstructing an officer relating to an incident in August in the City of River Falls. That charge was dismissed. Background RF Police Officer Ryan Miller responded to a call on Aug. 13 about two males trespassing at a house on Vine Street. En route, he saw the two, one identified as Kryzer, and a friend, walking south on Main Street, approaching Park Street.