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The River Falls barn dance series features the western Wisconsin old-time string band the Rush River Ramblers from 7-10 p.m.Saturday, Jan. 12, in the gym of the River Falls Academy (the former Meyer Middle School) on West Maple Street. This acclaimed regional band features musicians from Spring Valley and Martell. Singer-songwriter Sue West plays guitar for the Ramblers. No prior dancing experience is needed. A skilled dance caller teaches steps to newcomers and more seasoned barn dancers alike. Partners are optional and singles welcome.
A high school freshman has been suspended for giving a small noose and what is being called a "KKK symbol" to a black classmate. The boy said he did it as a joke. Baldwin-Woodville High School's principal has confirmed suspending the boy Dec. 14 after he confessed to placing the offending items, which were made in art class, on the victim's desk. The victim's foster mother says the girl is 15 years old and is one of only three black students among the 450 attending the school.
A homeless shelter in Green Bay was given a citation Dec. 28 for violating its occupancy limits. The city took action after a long debate involving the Saint John the Evangelist shelter which is run by the Green Bay Catholic Diocese. Officials from both the city and the church said recently they were committed to working together to solve the concerns. Assistant City Attorney Jim Mueller would not comment on the citation, but he said both sides would keep meeting to resolve the issues.
Sam Lewis, of LoonWatch, a program of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, will be speaking at the Saturday, Jan. 5, meeting of the St. Croix Valley Bird Club. Meetings will be from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Hudson Public Library. His topic will be "72 Years Listening to Loons. A board member of LoonWatch, Sam is also a member of the St. Croix Valley Bird Club. LoonWatch works to protect common loons and their aquatic habitats through education, monitoring and research. The public is welcome to attend this meeting.
"Thirty Rooms to Hide In," by Luke Longstreet Sullivan (University of Minnesota Press, $24.95) has a subtitle that sort of grabs you: "Insanity, Addiction, and Rock 'n' Roll in the Shadow of the Mayo Clinic." Who's insane at the Mayo Clinic? And who's addicted? That would be a prestigious Mayo orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Roger Sullivan. As for rock 'n' roll, that would be the surgeon's older children that play in a rock group around southeastern Minnesota.
A $1 million cash bond was set the afternoon of Dec. 27 for Benjamin Sebena, the Iraq War veteran accused of killing his wife, Wauwatosa police officer Jennifer Sebena. The 30-year-old Benjamin, of Menomonee Falls, was charged with first-degree intentional homicide. He's due back in court Jan. 3, when a judge will decide if there's enough evidence to order a trial. Prosecutors quoted Benjamin Sebena as saying that he was stalking his wife for days.
It's time for Wisconsin agriculture to stand up and be counted in the USDA's five-year Census of Agriculture. Those involved in the industry are getting Census forms in the mail. The law requires people to fill out the forms - and Wisconsin Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel says ag producers help themselves by doing so. The ag Census provides a detailed view of U.S. farms and ranches, and the people who run them - and it's the only comprehensive source of agricultural data for every state and county.
A Racine businessman rescued Christmas for a local family after police say a thief got into Caylie Cunningham's home through an unlocked door while she was away and took all the presents under her tree. Included were Christmas gifts for her 7-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. Businessman Scott Petersen says he read the story about the crime in "The Journal Times" newspaper. Petersen says he has kids of his own and couldn't stop thinking about Cunningham and her children. He sent both of the children a gift-wrapped present and gave their mother Walmart gift cards worth $500.
The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to decide whether two Brookfield high schools violated the Constitution when they held graduation ceremonies in a large church. The Elmbrook School District has filed a petition asking the justices to consider a federal appeals court ruling from August. It said Brookfield East and Central high schools violated the separation of church and state when it held its commencements in the double-decked Elmbrook Church during most of the last decade.
A Kronenwetter woman was found guilty of making illegal copies of movies. Kimberly Maciaz waived her preliminary hearing and entered a no contest plea. Judge Vincent Howard found her guilty of manufacturing counterfeit DVD movies and selling them online. Kronenwetter Police raided the home of Maciaz and 21-year-old Megan Chenier and seized thousands of blank DVDs, plastic cases, hard drives, and some label making machines.