Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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St. Croix County officials now have a clearer financial picture related to hopes for a new or expanded Health Center nursing home. Trenton Fast, auditor with LarsonAllen LLP, presented his "strategic planning" findings at the Oct. 13 meeting of the Health and Human Services Committee. The consultant was directed to look at several scenarios and determine what the likely financial impact on the nursing home operation was if a change were made. "Can we afford to do something or not?" Fast explained as the reason for the report. St.
It's deja vu all over again for Stillwater bridge backers. The long-awaited word from the National Park Service regarding the agency's opinion on the environmental impact of the bridge on the federally-designated Wild and Scenic Riverway has come, and it's not good news for supporters of the new span. In a press release from the National Park Service Friday, officials say that a new evaluation of the project indicates that "adverse effects" from the construction of a new bridge cannot be avoided. In a letter from NPS Midwest Regional Director Ernest Quintana to Derrell Turner at the Federal
St. Croix County might get out of the water business if a joint project with the city of New Richmond materializes. The county's Building Facilities Long-Term Planning Ad Hoc Committee met with New Richmond officials Thursday to discuss a possible partnership to deal with the aging water system that serves the St. Croix Health center campus on the northwestern edge of town. The county property has an old water tower and pipes that provide water to the nursing home, Health and Human Services offices and St.
Can you hear the train whistle coming? It may be a long way off, but officials across western Wisconsin are excited about the prospect of commuter rail and/or high speed train service coming to the Interstate corridor. Several groups are working toward that end. For almost a decade, the West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition has been promoting the idea of extending rail service to the region.
Ever wonder if you're receiving all the gasoline you've paid for at the pump? Or wondered if the scale at the grocery store's checkout counter is accurately weighing your bag of grapes? Wonder no more. For the most part, customers across Wisconsin are getting what they pay for from businesses. That fact is, in part, thanks to a cadre of state-employed inspectors who are assigned the sometimes tedious task of testing equipment around Wisconsin. The inspectors are employees of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. In these parts, Weights and Measures inspe
When it came to air quality last week, western Wisconsin was seeing orange. An air quality advisory for particle pollution (orange level) was issued for five consecutive days for much of Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The advisory went into effect on Sunday and ran all the way through Thursday for many counties, including St.
U.S. District Judge Michael Davis on Thursday, March 11, issued an opinion to stop the proposed new bridge over the St. Croix River after considering the matter since Sept. 14, 2009. On Monday, John Soderberg, a New Richmond banker who has worked on the bridge proposal for years, said he hasn't been able to sleep since hearing the news. "But we're not going to stop," he vowed. "We're going to move ahead until we get this thing done. You haven't heard the end of it." Soderberg said he been talking with national and area leaders about what the next step will be.
Stuart Utgaard was busy cleaning out his office overlooking the Apple River in Star Prairie last week. Utgaard said he will soon lose the impressive commercial building, built in 1993, due to personal bankruptcy and a mortgage foreclosure. Unless a miracle occurs, Utgaard also expects that the nearby Utgaard Hatchery property that has been in his family since 1901 will be taken away. Not only that, it will be a challenge for Utgaard to keep his family's home, he admitted. His family no longer can afford the monthly payments because they have no income. "I got myself into this," he said.
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue is working on draft legislation that would require the state's 72 counties to take over responsibility for the assessment process. Currently 1,851 cities, villages and townships handle their own property assessments. "Wisconsin is really the last state with so many municipalities doing their own assessments," said Stephanie Marquis, communications director for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (WDOR). Most states in the U.S. require counties to handle the assessment task.
St. Croix County is a pretty healthy place to live. That's according to the annual County Health Rankings report released last week by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Of the state's 72 counties, St. Croix ranked No. 2 in terms of healthy places. The local county trailed only Ozaukee County in the state's "health outcomes" rankings. Laurie Diaby, public information officer with St. Croix Public Health, said the report was welcome news for those who strive to improve the health of local residents.