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Effective immediately the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and St. Croix County Highway Department are restricting travel on the County J bridge over Intertstate 94 to one lane, indefinitely. Around 6 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, a truck travelling east on I-94 hit the outside girder of the bridge causing damage to the structure. The interstate was reduced to one lane while crews cleared debris from the highway. Motorists who travel on County J will be required to stop on each end of the bridge while it's a single lane. WisDOT is currently exploring repair options.
NEILLSVILLE -- One of every five public school students in Neillsville were home with the flu Wednesday. Superintendent John Gaier said about 200 youngsters either stayed home or were sent home, as school officials tried to contain an outbreak of both stomach flu and respiratory flu. Some kids brought their illnesses to school and the Neillsville district called and e-mailed parents, urging them to keep their children at home if they show symptoms of headaches or sore throats. The same message went on the district's Web site.
Friends and fellow church members are planning a candlelight prayer gathering in support of the family of Collin Fitzgerald, the 4-year-old boy who died at his home last week as the result of a snowplowing accident. The candlelight prayer gathering will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, in front of the Fitzgerald home, 1071 - 238th Ave., in rural New Richmond. Those attending are encouraged to bring along a single rose.
Gov. Scott Walker stopped at Bosch Packaging Technologies in New Richmond Thursday, Dec. 13, for an hour-long visit to the local manufacturer. The stop was one in a series of what Walker's office calls a "Talk with Walker" event.
MADISON -- Gov. Scott Walker's office announced early Wednesday afternoon that the Governor will visit Bosch Packaging Technologies, 869 S. Knowles Ave., at 10:45 a.m., Thursday. Another in a series of what his office terms a "Talk with Walker" event, the governor will visit the production floor to "have a conversation with employees about the future of Wisconsin." Only credentialed members of the press are allowed to attend. The event is closed to the public. On Nov. 29th, he hosting a question and answer session for the employees of Torrance Casting Inc. in LaCrosse.
A death announcement for Collin Fitzgerald, 4, was issued Wednesday by Cullen Crea Funeral Home, New Richmond. Collin died shortly after he was struck by a vehicle plowing snow at the family's property on 238th Avenue in the town of Star Prairie, the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office said. Daniel Fitzgerald, Collin's father, was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident. "This is one of the most tragic events that anyone could ever have to deal with," said St. Croix County Sheriff John Shilts.
Parts of northwest Wisconsin could get up to six-inches of snow Saturday night and Sunday - and the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch. Forecasters say a storm system will bring snow to the western part of the Badger State Saturday night. Then on Sunday, snow accumulations are possible in northern Wisconsin - while rain, possibly mixed with snow, is expected in southern areas. Whatever snow falls could stay around for a while.
Three individuals have stepped forward to carry on the tradition of St. Croix County's 30-hour bell ringing marathon. Jeremy Lilyquist of Hudson, Derek Gilbert of Hudson and Linda Lewis of New Richmond will all be camping out Tuesday and Wednesday in an effort to collect maximum donations for the Salvation Army. Lilyquist and Gilbert will be ringing at in Hudson at County Market starting at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, and continuing on Wednesday, Dec. 12, until 9 p.m. to complete their 30 hours.
Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but some media reports have indicated that the Stillwater bridge is set to open back up again. The reports are apparently premature. Some reports have the span, which has been closed for maintenance for several months, opening on Wednesday or Friday of this week. But according to Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Gutknecht, the date for the reopening of the bridge is still Friday, Dec. 14.
About 120 rabbits died in a rural Somerset barn fire early Friday morning. The Somerset Fire Department was called out to a barn fire at about 2:40 a.m. at the the Michael and Deanne Ray farm at 1615 57th St., Somerset. Mutual aid was provided by the St. Joseph and New Richmond Fire Departments. Crews were on the scene until about 9 a.m. Friday. About 30,000 gallons of water was trucked in to fight the fire. According to Somerset Fire Chief Travis Belisle, the homeowners were awakened by the noise of the fire.