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Citizens in local areas will elect a U.S. congressman, a member to the Wisconsin Senate and representatives to the state Assembly when the general election is held Nov. 7. Candidates for these positions as well as county district attorneys, governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state treasurer must register with and deliver nomination papers to Wisconsin Elections Board in Madison. The filing deadline is 5 p.m.
HUDSON -- St. Croix County's judges are asking to move up full implementation of a drug court by hiring a coordinator this year. Judge Eric Lundell reported that the county's drug court is up and running.
Two women have announced their candidacies for Pierce County treasurer. Both Tami R. Langer, N5640 670th St., Ellsworth, and Fay C. Owen, 1901 140th Ave., Maiden Rock, are running as Republicans. Lee Skog, treasurer for the last 12 years, said he will not seek re-election. Skog turns 68 this summer and is retiring. Langer, a lifelong resident of Pierce County, has a background in banking and finance. A graduate of Ellsworth High School, she began working for M&I Bank right after graduation.
Christy Spindler spreads the pictures on the table. The four young people smile out at her, looking full of life and full of promise. All were Wisconsin residents, all were college students, all died within 18 months of one another, and all died of bacterial meningitis. The young man on the left is Spindler's son Erik, a junior at UW-River Falls. He died Nov. 11, 2002. Another list records six other University of Wisconsin System students stricken with meningitis earlier in 2002.
Winning $50,000 was the first step.
WAUSAU -- In a decision filed Tuesday, the District III Court of Appeals found that a former New Richmond zoning administrator can't be fined for violating the open meetings law because there was no meeting. The appeals panel ruled that it would be "absurd" to require officials such as Wallace Habhegger, the only member of his department, to hold open meetings to discuss the reasoning for denying a building permit.
ELLSWORTH -- Concern about property tax levy limits and, apparently in some cases dissatisfaction with the sheriff, led Pierce County supervisors last week to limit pay raises for elected officials. The resolution on the May 23 County Board agenda would have given 2.5% raises to the clerk of court, county clerk, register of deeds, treasurer and sheriff in 2007 and 2008.
As assessors and other officials become familiar with the process, Pierce County is collecting more farmland conversion fees, reported Treasurer Lee Skog last week. Skog said his office has billed out $101,840 in conversion fees this year and so far has collected $63,024. Half of the money collected goes to the townships. "The county is making some money on it at the expense of a lot of hassle," said Skog. He called Wisconsin's farmland penalty statute "a poorly designed law." First, he said, the statute calls the fee a penalty. "In this case, nobody did anything wrong," said Skog.
ELLSWORTH: Following a heated discussion, the Pierce County Finance and Personnel Committee voted Monday night to recommend that an $81,000 Sheriff's Department overrun be covered by the county's general fund. About $35,000 of the costs above the 2005 budget were attributed to higher gasoline costs, and there was little objection to that.
A year after a Pierce County department head filed a grievance saying his parent committee publicly undermined his authority and credibility, he resigned and county officials agreed to give him over $73,000. According to documents received through an opening meetings request, Land Conservation Supervisor David Sander hasn't worked since April 1, but will be paid his regular wages and benefits, except health insurance, through May 31, 2007.