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Helen and Wilbur Falkenthal still shudder at what could have happened on a hot August day last year when their 5-year-old autistic granddaughter wandered away from home. The little girl rode her bicycle three blocks to a New Richmond park, where searchers found her bike with the helmet hanging on the handle bar.
Alison Page, a health care administrator, 17-year member of the River Falls School Board and mother of five, has announced her candidacy for the Wisconsin State Senate seat now held by Sheila Harsdorf. "I've been thinking about it for a long time," said Page, 51, 430 Crescent St., River Falls. "I think the political climate has aligned.
While perhaps not a flood, the requirement for passports for international air travel has a produced steadily increasing stream of applicants -- and income -- in both Pierce and St. Croix counties. St. Croix County Clerk Cindy Campbell reported last week that her office earned $108,180 in passport processing fees in 2007. That's nearly four times the amount earned just five years ago. In Pierce County, the county clerk's office earned $28,080 in 2007 -- almost four times what it earned for processing passports just two years ago. Last year the St.
St. Croix County Board members voted last week to staff and furnish a new court in preparation for adding the county's fourth judge. During their Jan. 15 meeting, county supervisors approved creating three new jobs: Judicial assistant, court clerk and security officer. Total cost for those workers and related equipment is budgeted at $87,702 for the last half of the year. The new judge will be elected in April and seated Aug. 1.
St. Croix County Board members got estimates last week on the cost of building a brand new nursing home in New Richmond, but still weren't ready to make a decision to either stay in or drop out of the business. In the motion that ended discussion Jan. 15, the Health and Human Services Committee was directed to get estimates on the cost of remodeling the current 72-bed facility to a 50-bed home on the existing building's first floor. The board hasn't normally met in February, but the committee was asked to report back in February.
BALDWIN -- The technology-related business sector in west central Wisconsin has seen a steady, though not phenomenal, growth. But the communities need to work together to develop and maximize talent and investment capital, advised a consultant last week. "I heard more about what divides you than what connects you," said Jerry Paytas of GPS Consulting. He said the cities and nine counties in the corridor must develop a regional orientation.
The Hudson area will apparently have at least two new representatives on the St. Croix County Board come April. Peter Post, 1718 Laurel Ave., and Steven Hermsen, 813 Harbor View Road, are candidates, respectively, for the District 20 seat now held by Ronald Troyer and the District 26 seat now held by Don Jordan. Neither Troyer nor Jordan is seeking re-election. District 20 represents Hudson's Wards 1, 6, 7 and 9.
St. Croix County Judge Edward Vlack has assessed sanctions against an Eau Claire attorney for filing a frivolous claim that Woodville violated its police chief's constitutional rights when it fired him. Harry R. Hertel of the law firm of Hertel & Gibbs was ordered to pay $3,263 to cover the Woodville Police Review Board's costs in fighting the suit over the firing of Kevin Sheridan in September 2006. The Sheridan lawsuit, filed in St. Croix County Court Oct. 5, 2006, was dismissed March 22, 2007.
St. Croix County supervisors rethought an earlier decision and agreed last week to add another lawyer to the corporation counsel's office. Child Support Administrator Katie Kapaun urged the addition, saying her office needs more legal help to keep up with its caseload, which has increased 13 percent in the last two years. County judges now devote eight hours a month to child support collections.