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A county judge found the Hudson Police and Fire Commission followed proper procedure in firing a police sergeant accused of using excessive force. In a decision filed Feb. 19, Judge Edward Vlack denied Robert D. Oehmke's appeal of the commission's 2006 decision to terminate him. According to background information in the decision, in November 2006, Lt. Paul Larson, who was acting police chief, filed charges against Oehmke. The commission held public hearings Dec. 12-15, 2006. A few days later it issued a decision sustaining four of seven charges and fired Oehmke.
As it does for many women, Lisa Speer's battle with breast cancer started with a lump that she knew hadn't been there before. In the weeks since, she has learned much about the disease, about her disease in particular and about her options. Speer, who is single, has also found herself surrounded with networks of friends, including fellow members of the River Falls High School class of 1980, Northwest Airlines flight attendants, coworkers from St.
Agreeing shorter is better, St. Croix County Finance Committee members voted last week to print concise proceedings of monthly County Board meetings in all seven newspapers in the county. The decision settles ongoing discussions about the value and cost of publishing minutes throughout the county. County Clerk Cindy Campbell budgeted $9,240 to print the proceedings in 2009, but brought the matter to the committee's attention when one newspaper printed minutes too small to read.
St. Croix County's Finance Committee has agreed that requests to use the county's paid-time-off donation program can be approved or denied by the personnel director rather than the committee itself. The policy, adopted nearly two years ago, allows county employees to voluntarily donate PTO to other permanent employees who have used all their paid-leave benefits due to serious illness or injury of the worker, his or her spouse or a dependent child. Since the policy was adopted in March 2007, four employees have benefited, said Human Resources Administrator Tammy Funk.
Federal economic stimulus money may help pay for some of the repair work planned for the St. Croix County Government Center. "It's an outside chance at best," admitted Administrative Coordinator Chuck Whiting last week.
St. Croix County officials are ready to take bids on three Government Center repair projects and expect work will begin in mid-April. The projects include replacing the building's heating and cooling system, replacing large sections of roof and repairing exterior walls. Although actual costs won't be known until bids are taken, the estimated price on the projects is over $3 million. Most of that money was raised by bonds sold last October.
A former pediatric trauma nurse, a state deputy superintendent, a Principal of the Year and two professors are the candidates in next week's primary election for Wisconsin superintendent of public instruction. The statewide vote set for Tuesday, Feb. 17, will trim the number of candidates from five to two. Those two will proceed to the April 7 general election during which one will be elected to a four-year term to replace Elizabeth Burmaster, who has headed the Department of Public Instruction since 2001. These are the candidates: * Rose Fernandez, Mukwonago.
Despite some trepidation that the group might erode the power of other committees, St. Croix County supervisors voted last week to create a long-term building planning committee. The resolution carried on a vote of 18-12. According to the resolution, building issues often require communication and coordination among committees. In the past year, the county has been confronted with several building space and maintenance issues.
Historically Wisconsin has gone after drunk drivers. It should put more emphasis on prosecuting first offenses, says the executive director of MADD Wisconsin. "Obviously what we've been doing in the past isn't working," said Kari Kinnard in a phone interview.
Sentencing repeat drunk drivers is a challenge, say local judges, partly because they can't be sure which penalty will work and partly because they'd like to use some alternatives sooner. "For the most part, you're making a lot of these decisions, and there's no way of knowing if you're making the right one," said Robert Wing, who has been Pierce County judge for 24 years. Wing knows the anguish of sentencing a drunk driver responsible for taking a life. With the family of the victim on one side of the courtroom and family and friends of the offender on the other, the atmosphere is emotiona