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Last week, Pierce County Board members heard a closed-session report on raises for another labor group. The Community Health Association contract package--which includes pay raises and higher employee contributions for health insurance premiums--is set for approval by the board at its Tuesday, Sept. 23, meeting. Similar contracts for Human Services Department support staff, the courthouse union and Highway Department union were approved by the board earlier this summer. The new contract will give Health Association members two-percent raises retroactive to Jan.
The Martell Town Board is asking its residents for more money to improve and repair the town's roads. A referendum question on next Tuesday's town ballot asks voters for permission to increase Martell's 2009 spending on roads by $65,000. That would mean a tax increase of $166 per $100,000 of property value. State law limits town road spending to $5,000 per mile per year.
Five candidates will square off in the Democratic Party primary and two in the Republican Party primary in the 91st Assembly District Sept. 9. The winners will compete in the November General Election when a representative will be elected to replace Barbara Gronemus, who has been 91st District assemblywoman for nearly three decades.
A Minnesota woman died following a motorcycle accident in Pierce County Sunday. Nancy A. Winter, 29, Lino Lakes, Minn., was fatally injured when her cycle left the road on a curve on Hwy. 35 and hit a guardrail on the west side of the road, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. Winter was thrown from the motorcycle. The accident, which occurred near 1220th Street in the town of Oak Grove, was reported at 2:56 p.m. Aug. 24. Winter was southbound. Assisting at the scene were the Ellsworth paramedic unit, Prescott Fire and Ambulance and county deputies.
A growing population and more emergency calls are overburdening a Pierce County dispatch center staffed with too few workers juggling the work of dispatcher and jailer, say local emergency personnel. "It's starting to affect public safety," said Jeff Rixmann, director of River Falls ambulance services. He said Pierce County should add emergency dispatchers even if that means cutting other services' areas. Sheriff's Department administrators agree that more dispatchers are needed.
ELLSWORTH -- A 10-year-old land development dispute near Prescott ended with a phone call last Thursday. Rather than take their chances with a jury, Pierce County Board members voted at 9:30 the previous night to pay $1.4 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Trumpeter Development LLC of Hudson.
Finance Committee members who agreed last month that a geothermal heating and cooling system is too expensive for the St. Croix County Government Center are considering solar panels as an auxiliary power source. Last week the committee approved a contract to have Roof Spec Inc., St. Paul, begin engineering work for a replacement roof for the Government Center. Roof Spec senior consultant Terry Thone will work with Karges-Faulconbridge Inc.
An appeals court ruled that a man who wore spandex pants as he accosted several Hudson area women and forced himself on a River Falls motel desk clerk deserves to spend life in prison. In November 2006, a St. Croix County jury found Michael S. Long, now 39, guilty of false imprisonment and second-degree sexual assault, use of force. Judge Edward Vlack used the persistent repeater enhancer to sentence Long, formerly of Brooklyn Park, Minn., to life in prison. Internet court records show he is currently an inmate at a prison in St.
Most college graduates celebrate earning their degree by updating their resumes. Bob Hughes took on another task: Collecting the hundreds of signatures needed to get his name on the ballot for Wisconsin Assembly. Hughes, 123 1/2 S. Main St., Apt. 204, River Falls, has filed as a Republican candidate to challenge Republican Kitty Rhoades for the 30th District Assembly seat she's held for 10 years. The primary election will be held Sept. 9. "I don't want to be a politician.
ELLSWORTH -- Although revisions on a job description are pending, Pierce County Board members voted 10-5 July 22 to accept a recommendation to hire a fulltime administrative coordinator. A list of 10 recommended qualifications will be forwarded to a consultant, who will develop a position description. After Curt Kephart resigned as administrative coordinator in May, some County Board members questioned the position's role. The sub-committee that looked at the issue agreed a coordinator is needed, reported Supervisor Ron Lockwood, River Falls.