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.
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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Now that a River Falls supervisor has withdrawn from consideration for the job, Pierce County officials are again evaluating the need for a fulltime administrative coordinator.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.
A district court has denied the appeal of a convicted River Falls sex offender who got a longer prison sentence after successfully challenging his original sentence. In a decision released Dec.
EllSWORTH -- After deliberating 3 1/2 hours, a Pierce County jury of three men and nine women found a former River Falls teacher aide not guilty of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy. The trial took two days. The verdict was returned shortly before 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19. The boy had accused Rebecca O'Malley-Tietz, now 35, of having sex with him 30 to 40 times at her home and in a parked car after they met when he attended the Harbor program for special needs students at the River Falls Academy during the 2007-08 school year.
In a decision released Nov. 16, a Wisconsin appeals court upheld the conviction of a man accused of raping another inmate in the St. Croix County Jail six years ago. "This is a classic case of zero plus zero equals zero," concluded the District III Court of Appeals in denying Ronald H. Wagner's request that his conviction be reversed. The court ruled that none of Wagner's arguments have substance and adding them together still equals nothing. In January 2005, a jury found Wagner, now 45, guilty of second-degree sexual assault/sex organ injury.
A slide show of family members in the military, original speeches by students, patriotic music and a guest speaker will be among the highlights when Meyer Middle School celebrates Veterans Day. Citizens are invited to the program that begins at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, in the gym of Meyer Middle School, 230 N. Ninth St. "The event last year was probably my most memorable experience of the entire school year," said Acting Principal Mark Chapin.