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home : top stories August 28, 2014


Stroke victim encounters a Brush with Kindness
A Rice Lake resident can now come and go as he pleases from his Boehmer Drive home after the installation of a deck and wheelchair ramp.
It was the first project in Barron County Habitat for Humanity's A Brush With Kindness program, together with Lakeview Medical Center volunteers, who came to the aid of a fellow employee.
Tim Hestad started work at the hospital in housekeeping in 1978 and became an emergency medical technician in 1979.
Gerry Lisi, retired emergency department director, said the hospital trained its EMTs to be paramedics between 1980-1982 and Hestad was among the first crew to receive the training.
Lisi said Rice Lake had paramedics on its ambulances before bigger cities like Eau Claire and Wausau.
He added, "Tim worked at the hospital ...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Boulevard plant demo meets end
The Rice Lake City Council took action on four street projects at its Tuesday night meeting, Aug. 26.
The council also moved to end the native plants demonstration in the Main Street boulevard.
A compromise allowing for a 50-foot project area in the middle of the 250-foot boulevard was recommended to the council by the Rice Lake Rotary Club, Rice Lake Protection & Rehabilitation District and Parks, Recreation and Cemeteries Board. But the public negativity toward the demo proved to be too much to ignore.
"I have never heard anyone say anything positive about the project," said Alderman Dan Lawler.
"People are concerned with the appearance it gives Rice Lake as a first impression and a lasting impression," said Mayor Steve Harrington, adding that the boulevard is the subject of more complaints than anything else.
In June of 2011, approximately 60 volunteers worked to establish the native plant demonstration, which was funded by grants and donations. The project was conceived as a way to show the waterside property owners alternatives to mowing grass down to the shoreline. Compared to cut grass, native plants hold soil and absorb water and nutrients more effectively.
Alderman Genereau said ...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
D.C. Flights honor local war veterans
Ray Rau, 20-year Marine veteran and retired Rice Lake schoolteacher, will be taking the ride of his life on Monday, Sept. 8.
Leaving from Wausau, Rau will be whisked away with 90 other World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. via an the Never Forgotten Honor Flight to reflect on memories at the World War II Memorial and other monuments.
Honor Flight Northland is a nonprofit organization created solely to honor veterans living in northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin for all their sacrifices.
The program started in this area ...

Thursday, August 21, 2014
Fires destroy Barron area barn, business, dairy cows
Sixty-two dairy cows perished in a fire that destroyed a barn owned by a Town of Clinton couple with four children early Monday, Aug. 18. About 20 minutes later and 10 miles away, a blaze destroyed a kiln full of power poles at Bell Timber in Barron.
Two cows were able to break free and exit the barn owned by David and Tricia Yoder at 1222 9 1/2 St. A man driving to work on Hwy. F at about 4:39 a.m. spotted the fire and alerted a Barron County sheriff's dispatcher. "He beat on the door of our house, and woke us up," said Tricia. She said David was able to move items close to the barn with a skid steer.
"There was no going in the barn, it was too late," Tricia said. She said a newer attached feed room and milk house were saved.
The Almena Fire Department ...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Made in Rice Lake rifle targets market
After 6 years of making firearm parts, workers in a Rice Lake manufacturing facility are now producing rifles start to finish.
Assembly began this year for Henry Repeating Arms .30-30 and .45-70 models at the Henry Wisconsin plant on Coleman Street. The guns have been shipping near and far for the past month.
Taking that step up ...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Judge increases pressure on those owing restitution
The newly created Restitution Court aimed at holding offenders accountable when it comes to paying restitution to their victims was held in Barron County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Aug. 12.
Court officials have been taking a long look at ways the court system can be operated more effectively and efficiently. Another specialty court launched this spring is Diversion Court, designed to reduce the number of nonviolent, low-risk offenders on probation.
As a spin-off of that court, it was found that there were a lot of people on probation with a condition to pay restitution. But it wasn't getting paid. "Obviously, what we were doing wasn't working," said Judge Maureen Boyle.
Restitution can be paid up front as part of a plea agreement. If an offender can't pay restitution, they are often put on probation with a condition to pay restitution, and if they are discharged from probation without restitution being paid, restitution can be converted to a civil judgment.
"Civil judgment means ...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Park walk showcases native trees
Trees have been, and still are, important to the economy of Wisconsin. As the second largest employer in the state, the forest industry produces paper products, logs and more.
From a logging camp established by Knapp-Stout between Rice Lake and Cameron called Lousburg, to a sawmill just south of the dam in Rice Lake, the lumbering industry made huge impacts in and on the area.
Industries in the Rice Lake area that continue to use wood products include Birchwood Manufacturing, Mastercraft and American Excelsior.
Highlighting the trees native to the area is a small park south of the dam on Stein Street. Area residents are working to develop plans ...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Chronotype now owned by Adams Publishing Group
Adams Publishing Group, LLC announced Friday that it has purchased the assets of Chronotype Publishing Company. The acquisition includes The Chronotype, Northwestern Wisconsin's largest weekly newspaper, and The Early Bird, a weekly shopper.
The expansion by family-owned Adams Publishing Group follows the July acquisition of Huckle Media located in southern Minnesota, with 10 community newspapers, 17 websites, shopping guides, magazines, a digital agency and commercial printing facilities.
Prior to that, Adams acquired three divisions of American Consolidated Media located in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Maryland, with 34 print publications and related media operations.
Local newspapers in Wisconsin include the Spooner Advocate, Sawyer County Record, Ashland Daily Press, Price County Review and all related shopping guides and websites.
"We are excited to continue our expansion in the wonderful state of Wisconsin," stated Stephen Adams, chairman of Adams Publishing Group.
"It has been an emotional decision ...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Chronotype sold to Minneapolis group
Adams Publishing Group, LLC announced today that it has purchased the assets of Chronotype Publishing Company located in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. The acquisition includes The Chronotype, Northwestern Wisconsin's largest weekly newspaper, and The Early Bird, a weekly shopper.

The expansion by family-owned Adams Publishing Group follows the July acquisition of Huckle Media located in Southern Minnesota with 10 community newspapers, 17 websites, shopping guides, magazines, a digital agency and commercial printing facilities. Prior to that, Adams acquired three divisions of American Consolidated Media located in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Maryland with 34 print publications and related media operations.
Local newspapers in Wisconsin include the Spooner Advocate, Sawyer County Record, Ashland Daily Press, Price County Review and all related shopping guides and websites.

"We are excited to continue ...

Friday, August 1, 2014
Grower overcomes setbacks
Butterfield's Backyard Garden of New Auburn has made a comeback both from weather and health setbacks with 7 acres of produce up and coming and sold at farmers markets in Rice Lake and Chetek.
Weather has a way of wiping out a crop and hopes for a profitable year. That happened again this spring at Roger and Deb Butterfield's place south of Chetek, with them losing nearly one-third of their crop to flooded conditions.
"This spring I had all my produce in and up in the ground," explained Butterfield between customers ...

Thursday, July 31, 2014
Sand boom ups rail use, concerns
Wisconsin's boom in the production of sand used for hydraulic fracturing has fueled a large increase in rail traffic moving the commodity to other states, causing conflicts and raising safety concerns.
While the number of Wisconsin car-train accidents has remained relatively steady in recent years, and derailments actually are down, some residents who live near train tracks used for transporting sand, primarily in western and northwestern communities, complain about noise and traffic delays in addition to safety worries.
Chippewa Falls resident Patricia Popple, an activist opposed to frac sand mining, recalls that train traffic in the area was once much less frequent, and the trains were shorter.
Now, she said, "They ...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Rice Lake Weighing to expand
An iconic local business is continuing to expand.
Rice Lake Weighing Systems Inc., not only carrying the city's name but employing more people than any other business in the city, is adding another 57 jobs and building on to its facility in the Rice Lake industrial park in the next 2 years.
A press release from the office of Gov. Scott Walker announced the expansion last week, noting it would also help preserve more than 400 existing positions in Rice Lake.
"We're out of space," said company president Mark Johnson Jr. in a phone interview on Monday.
An international leader in weight-related products and process-control equipment, Rice Lake Weighing Systems ...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Mother sentenced to 14 years
A mother who allowed her husband to repeatedly rape her young son and daughter was sentenced Thursday, July 17 to 14 years in prison followed by 10 years on extended supervision.
On Monday, , July 21 Tiane L. Anderson, 36, of Prairie Farm filed in Barron County Circuit Court a notice of her intent to pursue an appeal of that sentence. She was transferred from the Barron County jail to Taycheedah Correctional Institution, a maximum and medium security facility for female offenders Tuesday.
The riveting 90-minute sentencing ...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Fair begins 5-day run
The 2014 Barron County Fair features something for everyone during its 5-day run that started today and runs through Sunday.
In addition to the hundreds of exhibitors vying for blue ribbons, crowds are expected to pack the midway for rides and games, as well as fill the grandstand and other venues for entertainment,
Harness horses will race both this Wednesday and Thursday, beginning at 7 p.m. on the track in front of the grandstand. Admission is $5.
On Friday local musician ...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Excitement flows from placemaking event
The initial placemaking event on Monday, July 14 in Rice Lake brought out a bounty of creative ideas from a large, enthusiastic crowd, according to event organizers.
"I was just blown away at the creativity that came out of this," said Dave Armstrong, Barron County Economic Development Corporation director.
More than 80 people attended the event, which was led by the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.
"The mix of attendees provided a diversity of fresh, new perspectives and many thought-provoking ideas.  And the process yielded a mix of low-cost strategies and longer-term ideas," said WCWRPC planner Chris Straight.
Straight explained that placemaking is about making "sticky" places where people want to stay. He advocated focusing and building on community strengths.
Attendees mentioned Rice Lake's educational institutions, service industry, health care center, highway intersections and regional tourist attractions among its advantages.
The crowd was divided ...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Growing a family business in hydroponics
Those who have traveled on Hwy. 8 west of Barron have probably seen the signs for locally grown tomatoes and cucumbers.
Follow those signs to 1399 13th St., Barron, and motorists will make their way up a long, curving driveway to Vermillion Produce, a greenhouse at the residence of the Cam and Deb Goertzen family.
Open the door to the greenhouse and customers are greeted by the scent of freshly picked tomatoes...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Tourism commission likes ATV route idea
The push for ATV routes in the City of Rice Lake took another small step at a meeting of the Tourism & Retail Development Commission on Monday, July 7.
The commission approved a motion to provide $4,000 to cover the cost of signage on a proposed route from the south end of the Wild Rivers to the south end of the city as well as from the trail to a fishing area on the north side of Rice Lake.
Original estimates from the city to cover signs, posts and installation were from $6,000-$8,000.
But Russell Schneider, representing the Rice Lake Snow & Dirt Club, said he found a signmaker in Rice Lake that could produce the needed signs-numbering more than 100-for $1,900. He estimated the cost of posts and hardware would be $500.
"This commission will fully support this project," said commission Chair Butch Lehman, adding that he would like to see ATV route access to all hotels in the city to support the room tax.
Other commission members ...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Commission OKs Kern Extension
The Rice Lake Planning Commission has approved a street extension designed to push development in a large open area of the city.
Known as the Kern Extension, the commission approved a Certified Survey Map of strip of land 100 feet wide extending south from Kern Avenue then curving to Lemler Road near the intersection of Hwys. O and SS for a street and bike paths.
With approval next from the City Council, the project could be constructed in 2016 or 2017.
"This will fundamentally change the south side of town," said Dave Armstrong, director of the Barron County Economic Development Corporation.
The project, which has been in the works for more than a decade, is expected not only to spur new development, but also improve traffic flow in the city by becoming a bypass of Main Street.
According to the ...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
4-H marks centennial with new fair flag
Barron County 4-H celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development with a new flag raised at the Barron County Fairgrounds.  Current members, alumni, and 4-H supporters recently gathered at the Barron County Fairgrounds in Rice Lake to raise a new 4-H flag there.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014


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