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A county judge and a lawyer who specializes in immigration and employment law are the candidates as Wisconsin voters select a new Supreme Court judge next Tuesday. The candidates are Annette K. Ziegler, who has been Washington County judge for nearly 10 years, and Linda M. Clifford, a shareholder in the Madison office of Godfrey & Kahn. The winner will be elected to a 10-year term on the seven-member Wisconsin Supreme Court. She will replace incumbent Jon P.
ELLSWORTH -- A failure to communicate cost Pierce County a $13,000 penalty when a certificate of deposit was cashed in early to cover end-of-year bills, according to some sources. But the man who was county treasurer at the time disagrees. In the end, he said, an investment experiment he initially questioned made money for the county despite the penalty. "We were headed for pretty thin ice, so I had to break a CD," said former treasurer Lee Skog.
Citing new statistics, the St. Croix County Board voted Tuesday to renew its request for a fourth judge. In 2005 when the county first asked the state for another judge, a caseload analysis indicated St. Croix should have 4.4 judges, but numbers updated at the end of 2006 bring that to 4.76, said Judge Scott Needham. "The matter, in our opinion, has become more critical," said Needham, speaking for himself and the county's two other judges. A recent study indicated the state needs 18 more circuit court judges, and St.
As the River Falls United Methodist Church celebrates its 150th anniversary, the congregation is taking new steps to reach out, say its pastors. Along with monthly themes celebrating its long history, the church has unveiled a logo and a new newsletter title and format. In recent years the congregation remodeled its building, intentionally looking at designing the addition to complement its ministry, said Senior Pastor Janet Ellinger.
Input offered -- mostly by neighbors -- at a recent meeting on potential uses for county-owned land in Hudson won't be put on St. Croix County's Web site until consultants gather ideas from other interest groups. About 60 people attended the Feb. 28 meeting hosted by Barsness Consulting Group, which has been hired to develop a process that may lead to the sale of excess land around the Government Center. Participants at that meeting used colored dots to indicate their preferences for future uses of four pieces of the property.
After a year of volatility, St. Croix County's sales tax revenues for 2006 were close to the budgeted amount, reported Finance Director Michelle Pietrick last week. The county has received a total of $5,343,640 -- $82,173 more than projected -- for purchases made in 2006. The slight increase is a welcome relief for county finance officers, who are watching the monthly numbers closely as the Wisconsin Revenue Department struggles to find a computer system to accurately allocate sales tax revenue to local governments. In 2003, 57 counties were overpaid while others were shorted.
ELLSWORTH -- Pierce County increased its inspection fees for restaurants, campgrounds and hotels by 15% last week. The County Board took final action Feb. 27 to raise the fees for retail food establishments, taverns, hotels, restaurants, rooming houses and body art shops that are inspected by the Public Health Department. Public Health Director Caralynn Hodgson said 5% is intended to cover increasing county costs and the other 10% is to cover an anticipated increase in the state's share of the fee. Most restaurants will now pay an annual fee ranging from $197 to $387.
ELLSWORTH -- Pierce County spends about $80,000 a year on economic development efforts, but a study committee doubts the county is getting value for its dollar. "The group came to the conclusion that the effort is sort of scatter-shot and defused more than it should be," said Supervisor Jim Camery, town of Clifton, who chaired the ad hoc committee that was formed about nine months ago. Camery said the committee believes economic development efforts would be more effective if there was a more "tightly defined function." He suggested the county "put the eggs in one basket." The report's harsh
About 50 people joined an exercise last week to offer their suggestions for uses for county-owned land around the St. Croix County Government Center. Dennis Welsch, the consultant who hosted the Feb. 28 meeting, said 62 people attended. Most participated in a colored-dot exercise to show their preferred uses for quadrants of the land. The property is at the northwest corner of Carmichael Road (County Road A) and Vine Street (County Road UU) in Hudson.
Like half the town, I stocked up on my way home Friday -- rented movies, filled the car with gas, bought groceries and picked up a couple of pizzas. While I can't say I was looking forward to it, I didn't exactly dread the idea of waiting out a blizzard holed up at home. Saturday was spent cleaning house and washing clothes. The movies and food helped, but by Sunday afternoon even a trip outside to take out garbage and pick up the Sunday paper (which arrived late) didn't relieve the claustrophobia. Heck, the highlight of my weekend was turning on the deck light at 11 p.m.