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Volunteers and exhibitors worked through the weekend making final preparations for Farm Technology Days, and while rain necessitated temporary closing of some Tent City roads to vehicles, things were rolling along Monday morning. Opening ceremonies will begin at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday with the River Falls High School band playing at the Family Living Tent.
Have-a-Heart Farms will hold its first annual Motorcycle Run to raise money to expand the facility on Hwy. 29-35, southwest of River Falls. The charity bike ride is scheduled for Saturday, July 24, at The Gas-Lite, W8945 Hwy. 10, Ellsworth. The ride will start and end there. Door prizes, a silent auction, pig roast, live music and free camping all weekend will be among the attractions. Registration will be at 9 a.m. The cost is $20 per person. For more information, call 952-432-9052. The organization helps kids and young adults with disabilities.
PRESCOTT--To celebrate the kick-off of their second season, The Great River Road Wine Trail is hosting a "Local Foods-Local Wine Weekend" this Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. Each winery on the trail will feature their wines paired with local foods. Some wineries will also feature live music. Tickets are available. Each ticket holder will receive a wine trail glass and six-pack wine bottle tote at the first winery. The ticket and glass will entitle the holder to free wine and food tasting at each winery. Plan to spend the weekend and visit all 10 wineries.
MAIDEN ROCK--The 11th annual Fresh Art Spring Tour, Friday-Sunday, May 14-16, offers the perfect opportunity to visit 12 galleries and studios and see the work of many of the area's talented artists and craftspeople. Painters, potters, metal smiths, sculptors, weavers and designers produce and will display their wares on the tour. In honor of spring, many studios also have a garden theme and many of the tour sites offer plants for sale as well as art. The tour leads participants from village streets to rural roads visitors may have never seen before.
Many years ago I taught English at UW-Stevens Point, where my office mate was Charley Kempthorne. He was a fabulous teacher, so responsive to students, such a good writer himself, having recently graduated from the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. But then he quit. And I'm very glad he did. Charley quit and moved back to his hometown of Manhattan, Kan. Wisconsin's loss, but a big gain for wannabe writers. That's because Charley started the Lifestory Institute in 1976 and it's still going strong on its 33rd birthday.
From Sporting News.com MINNEAPOLIS - American League MVP Joe Mauer on Tuesday denied a Yahoo! Sports report that said Mauer had set a deadline of opening day for contract negotiations with the Minnesota Twins. Mauer can become a free agent after next season. Mauer texted the Twins' Web site and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune to respond to the report. He told the Star-Tribune, "(T)hat's news to me." He told the team's Web site: "I'm not going to react to every story/rumor that comes out or comment on any negotiations.
Madison is the most charitable city in the nation. That's according to a survey by Men's Health magazine. It ranked cities according to how much residents gave to their Salvation Army's holiday campaign, the Marines' Toys for Tots program, and Goodwill Industries during December. Online holiday donations were also considered. Madison was the only city in the Men's Health survey to get an A-plus for its generosity. Milwaukee got a C-plus. It ranked 46th.
Burglars in the Madison area have been reading the newspapers to help choose their targets. Dane County sheriff's deputies are investigating four break-ins during the past month while the residents were at funerals in which notices were published beforehand. Last Sunday, valuables were taken at a place where the residents had been to an anniversary party. Dane County sheriff's spokeswoman Elise Schaefer says all incidents are still being investigated. Deputies encourage people to lock their homes when they go and have neighbors look out for each other and report anything suspicious.
Wisconsin's dairy cows made more milk in October than a year ago, while farmers nationally made less. Last month, 2.1 billion pounds of milk were produced in the Badger State, up 3.5 percent from the year before. But production dropped by over 1 percent in the 23 major dairy states, to around 14 billion pounds. Wisconsin's dairy herd grew by 5,000 from a year ago, to just more than 1.25 million head. And the production per cow rose by 75 pounds in the state, compared with a national increase of 21 pounds.
Wisconsin employees can expect to pay a larger share of their health costs next year. That's according to a survey of companies by the benefit consulting firm of Mercer. Many small firms kept their costs in check by raising deductibles this year and the survey by Mercer said larger companies would join them in 2010. Forty-one percent of firms said they'll increase their workers' share of deductibles, co-pays, out-of-pocket maximums. And 46 percent said workers would pay a higher share of their monthly premiums.