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An emergency dispatch center worker and former police chief has announced his candidacy for St. Croix County sheriff. Jim S. Jackson, a New Richmond Democrat, is challenging incumbent Dennis Hillstead, a Republican, for the four-year term. Jackson, 45, currently works as a tele-communicator in the St. Croix County Emergency Dispatch Center. He previously worked in the Eau Claire emergency dispatch center and was police chief for the village of Fairchild.
ELLSWORTH -- Pierce County's drug court moved closer to becoming a regular county program Monday evening. The County Board's Finance and Personnel Committee voted to consolidate drug court funds into a single 2006 budget, to approve the drug court coordinator position description and to authorize posting and hiring to fill the job. Pierce County's drug court was established in fall 2004 as a pilot program. The coordinator job was filled by an AmeriCorps member assigned to the Human Services Department.
The number of Pierce County children who've committed serious offenses, especially sex offenses, in the last year is extraordinary for a county this size and the cost will be staggering. The count is over twice what his department expected and will cost the county about $500,000 more than planned, said Human Services Director Reggie Bicha. So far this year Pierce County has 16 juveniles who have gone through juvenile court and are in custody for committing serious crimes.
An attorney for the county has asked the judge for a 30- to 60-day delay in a scheduling conference for a lawsuit filed nearly four years ago by Trumpeter Development LLC against Pierce County. In a letter to Trempealeau County Judge John Damon, attorney Robert Horowitz asked for a postponement of a June 28 conference. Horowitz claims the plaintiffs' attorney interrupted a deposition and has put off answering a question that goes to the heart of the lawsuit in which Trumpeter is asking for over $4 million in damages. The case involves the 700-acre Trumpeter Valley development near Prescott.
ELLSWORTH -- The Pierce County Board voted last week to endorse a committee plan directing department heads to prepare 2007 budgets that show how their department's local tax levy spending can be cut 15%. The departments are to also show the impact of potential cuts.
Two more people have announced their candidacy for Pierce County offices, nearly assuring primary elections for two positions. The most recent candidates are Gordon Borner, a licensed real estate agent who registered as a candidate for county treasurer, and Tom Gunderson, a patrol sergeant who registered as a candidate for sheriff. Borner is among three Republican candidates for treasurer. Gunderson (see related story) is one of two Democratic candidates for sheriff. Borner, W6575 630th Ave., Beldenville, farmed for over 20 years in the town of El Paso.
A 21-year-old recent graduate of UW-River Falls is challenging Kitty Rhoades for the Wisconsin Assembly seat she has held since 1998. Dan Gorman, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and finance, said the main thrust of his campaign is "to implement a progressive economic development plan for Wisconsin." The 30th Assembly District includes the western parts of Pierce and St.
ELLSWORTH -- Trying to get control of the 2007 funding process from the start, Pierce County's finance committee voted Monday night to direct each department to prepare a plan to cut its budget 15%. Each department is to set internal priorities, offering cuts in areas less important to the department. The plan must also include an analysis of the impact of the cuts.
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.