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Ed and Betty Hanson descend from their carriage after a birthday ride to church Sunday. Their daughter and son-in-law, Kristi and Scott Teigen of rural Glenwood City, picked the Hansons up at their home east of River Falls, delivered them to the entrance of the United Methodist Church, and after the service gave them a ride around town and then home. The Hansons both have September birthdays. He'll turn 86 and she is 85.
In the primary election Tuesday, a Republican legislator won handily over her same-party challenger, Martell town residents voted against more money for roads, and Beth Pabst won the primary for St. Croix County register of deeds. Rep. Kitty Rhoades easily fended off a challenger in the Assembly District 30 Republican primary. She won with 87% of the vote.
Five former St. Croix County Board members are backing a referendum to cut the board from 31 to 19 members, a reduction that failed to get board support two years ago. Tom Caflisch, River Falls, said the former supervisors and the volunteers they've enlisted have filed petitions with 2,027 signatures, enough to force a referendum in November. He said he expects the group will turn in more signatures by the Tuesday, Sept.
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.
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.
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.