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Melissa Belanger has been making dolls nearly her whole life. But the red stuffed bear she made when she was four is a far cry from the stylish figures she creates in her Hudson studio today. Belanger drew the pattern and stitched her first doll, "Flossy." Her mother applied a second set of stitches to hold the bear's seams securely. By the time she was 15 or 16, Belanger was making dolls to sell. "It's something I just keep going back to," said Belanger, sitting surrounded by her creations in the upstairs studio above her home on Second Street. Her studio will be one stop on the Art Open
The response to the foreclosure lawsuit was handwritten on sheet of lined paper ripped from a spiral notebook. "I don't know what I'm suppose to say except I went through a divorce and my ex-wife went off and left me with the house. I could not afford this on my paychecks. She would not help me pay on the house. I do have the house up for sale. I hope it sells this time." The man and his wife borrowed $97,642 in December 2003 and presently owe $101,405 on this mortgage. He lives at their house in Glenwood City. She now has an out of state address.
Under a plan endorsed by the County Board, St. Croix County will no longer have either a Human Resources Department or a personnel director. Instead a compensation/classification specialist will be hired, and human resource director responsibilities will be divided among Administrative Coordinator Chuck Whiting, Finance Director Michelle Pietrick and Corporation Counsel Greg Timmerman. The compensation specialist won't be hired until mid-year and will be paid less than former Personnel Director Debra Kathan.
In an agreement described as "a mutual effort to avoid potential litigation," St. Croix County will pay longtime Personnel Director Debra Kathan nearly a year's salary although she won't be required to report to work this year. A copy of the resignation agreement between the county and Kathan was received last week through an open records request filed by RiverTown Newspaper Group. Kathan, 52, who was the county's human resources director for over 24 years, will be paid at her current rate of pay from Jan. 6, when she was placed on administrative leave, through Dec. 22.
As the Wisconsin Legislature heads into the last week of the two-year session, Sen. Sheila Harsdorf said she will focus on bills that promote the use of ethanol in automobile fuel. "We're not going away," said Harsdorf, R-River Falls, last week.
St. Croix County supervisors voted last week to study the feasibility of cutting the number of County Board seats by at least 10. That would mean trimming the number from the current 31 to 21 or fewer.
A resolution supporting a state law change to allow school districts to assess impact fees on new houses died a quick death on the St.
The St. Croix County Board has appointed Casey Swetlik, staff supervisor in the emergency communications center, as the county's new medical examiner. Swetlik, who has been working as interim medical examiner since Cindy Litzell resigned last August, will work on contract and be paid $900 a month.
An appraiser says St. Croix County could sell 50 acres of excess land around the Government Center in Hudson for $6.6 million. Jeff White of Valuation Specialists, who reported to the Finance Committee Thursday, suggested the county divide the land to sell 23 acres for commercial development and the other 27 for residential development. He recommended surveying the parcels and rezoning them before putting them up for sale. "This, in our mind, is a great property," said White.