Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.
- Member for
- 2 years 10 months
It's early in the process and analyses of Gov. Walker's 2011-2013 budget aren't complete, but local Republican lawmakers say the budget bill and its predecessor, the repair bill, are a good start. Questions were e-mailed to the office of Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, who represents part of Pierce County and is one of 14 Democratic senators who crossed into Illinois to avoid a vote on the budget-repair bill.
A petition drive to force a recall election for State Senator Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, has already collected several hundred signatures, says a Hudson man who registered the recall committee. "It's getting organized and gathering momentum," said Roy Sjoberg, an estate planning and probate attorney with the Woodbury, Minn., firm of Sjoberg & Tebelius. Sjoberg said while petitioners need 15,744 signatures from 10th Senate District voters to force a recall vote, they're aiming for 20,000, anticipating Republicans will challenge many signatures. The group has 60 days to collect the signa
Despite intense opposition, adoption of the budget-repair bill is necessary to help Wisconsin take control of its budget and local governments handle theirs as state aids are cut, said Sen. Sheila Harsdorf. Harsdorf, a Republican member of the Joint Committee on Finance which approved the bill on a party-line 12-4 vote, spoke by phone from her rural River Falls home the afternoon of Monday, Feb. 21.
Perhaps the lesson to be learned from a Roberts woman's experience is if a deputy offers you a ride, check to make sure there's no dog in the back seat. Or maybe ride up front. Denise Carroll, rural Roberts, has filed suit against the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department and Wisconsin Municipal Mutual Insurance Company asking for compensation for injuries she suffered the afternoon of July 2, 2010. According to the lawsuit, Carroll was offered a courtesy ride by a St. Croix County deputy. As she opened the back door to enter the squad car, his police dog attacked her.
Except that they all involved motor vehicles, there seem to be few commonalities in the nine road fatalities recorded in Pierce County last year. Those who died in 2010 ranged from a middle-aged man fleeing deputies at 2 a.m. to an elderly woman crossing a city street with her husband at her side on a Sunday morning. One thing that is consistent is the number -- nine people died on Pierce County roads in each 2010, 2009 and 2008. That compares to 10 in 2007 and five in 2006. Eight of the nine 2010 deaths occurred on country roads. One was on a city street. Seven were men. Two were women.
Now that a River Falls supervisor has withdrawn from consideration for the job, Pierce County officials are again evaluating the need for a fulltime administrative coordinator. Jeff Holst, vice chairman of the County Board and its Finance and Personnel Committee, said last Thursday that supervisors are working with an attorney and considering if the job could be part-time. "We are moving forward, trying to figure out the needs of the county," said Holst in the wake of Rod Rommel's decision. Holst said Bill Thiel, a municipal law specialist who has advised the county in the past, is "looking
Proposed legislation to require citizens to show photo identification each time they vote is either a good idea or a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, say local poll workers. The bill, introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature last week, mirrors Indiana's voter ID law which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, said co-sponsor Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls. This isn't intended to be a process to discourage or prevent people from voting, it's an attempt to make sure a voter is who he says he is, said Harsdorf.
Kitty Rhoades, who represented western Wisconsin's 30th District in the Assembly for 12 years, will be the new deputy secretary of the state's Department of Health Services, according to an announcement made Thursday afternoon. During a noontime press conference with out-state reporters, Scott Walker, who will take office as Wisconsin governor next Monday, announced his cabinet nominees as well as others who will take leading roles in his administration. Walker named Dennis Smith to lead the Department of Health Services. Smith has headed the U.S.
In a brief decision filed last week, a district court rejected an appeal by a man found guilty of two brutal Pierce County murders. Arthur Foster, acting as his own attorney, had filed a motion in October 2009 asking to withdraw the no-contest plea that led to his conviction for the December 1994 shooting deaths of Donald Deiss, 69, and Kathleen Deiss, 68. The couple, long-time residents of Pierce County's Big River area, were found shot to death in their town of Trimbelle home the evening of Dec.