A Year in Review: A reflection on local news events in 2012 — second quarter

COLFAX — During 2012, a variety of news and events were covered in the pages of the Colfax Messenger. The newspaper’s first edition was published on Friday, April 30, 1897.

Here are some of the highlights from the second quarter of 2012:

April 4, 2012

• Girl Scouts from the Colfax area donated 183 boxes of cookies that will be shipped to soldiers overseas.

• A Dunn County judge approved a deferred prosecution agreement for former Colfax resident Amy LaPean, who was ordered to perform 40 hours of community service. LaPean had been charged with one Class E felony of transferring personal property with a value exceeding $100,000. LaPean and her husband, Greg, were charged in connection with taking out bank loans for tractors and other equipment for more than $1 million but not paying off the loan.

• The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has ordered a full rate increase for the Village of Elk Mound, resulting in a 17 percent increase in water rates and a 12 percent increase in sewer rates.

• Eric Stabenow, 33, of Colfax, was arrested on drug charges in Eau Claire. As a result of the investigation, Amy Wagner, 34, formerly of Colfax, also was arrested on drug charges.

• A new trial date has been set in June for former Wheeler Police Chief Gary Wayerski.

April 11, 2012

• Richard Johnson of Colfax, Dunn County Board incumbent for District No. 5, lost the April 3 election for District No. 1 to incumbent Donald Krause. As a result of the redistricting process, Johnson was shifted into District No. 1.

• A trial is scheduled in July for Jordan R. Dickinsen, 20, of Eau Claire, who is charged with the armed robbery of the I-94 Mart near Elk Mound last November.

• Instead of spending $4,000 to $6,000 for an outside company to do the full water rate increase for Elk Mound, the Elk Mound Village Board has authorized the village clerk-treasurer file the paperwork for a rate increase.

• Republican state Senator Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls (23rd state senate district) stopped by the Colfax Messenger office to say he is pleased with the accomplishments of the legislature in the session that ended recently.

• The Colfax boys lost the baseball season opener to Pepin-Alma on a score of 5-4.

• Three Colfax youth wrestlers competed and placed at the 2012 State Youth Wrestling Tournament March 24th in Madison: Walker Retz (3rd grade); Brady Simonson (8th grade); Mitch Harmon (4th grade).

• The Elk Mound girls’ softball team traveled to Baldwin-Woodville to open the season against the Division II Blackhawks April 3 and came home with a 9-3 loss.

• The Elk Mound boys’ softball team began defending their regional and conference titles by starting off the season with three wins: Bloomer (10-9); Cadott (11-1); Mondovi (16-1).

April 18, 2012

• Governor Scott Walker signed four pieces of legislation related to agriculture at Five Star Dairy near Elk Mound on April 12.

• A Dunn County judge granted the stay of a six-month jail term for Greg LaPean pending an appeal. LaPean, 52, was found guilty by a Dunn County jury in September of last year of transferring another’s personal property worth more than $100,000.

• Revising the FEMA floodplain map along Eighteen Mile Creek could cost the village $13,000.

• The Colfax boys’ baseball team won their first game of the season, defeating Glenwood City 12-2 April 13 at Colfax.

• The Colfax girls’ softball team lost their conference opener to Mondovi April 10 5-2.

April 25, 2012

• Colonel Rodger Loofboro of New Auburn auctioned off the old fire station and rescue squad property on April 21 for $240,000 to Cedar Country Cooperative. Thaler Oil/Express Mart also bid on the property.

• The Dunn County Board gave final approval for building a new health care center by accepting low bids for the project totaling $16.4 million at the April 17 meeting.

• A Dunn County judge has ordered DVD interviews in the Michael Fodness case be viewed in a “controlled setting.” Fodness, formerly of Colfax, is charged with multiple sex crimes involving teenaged girls.

• The Elk Mound Board of Education conducted a presentation at the National School Boards Association’s annual convention in Boston April 21-23.

• The Colfax girls’ softball team picked up their first conference win against Elmwood 7-3 on April 17.

May 2, 2012

• Brad Henderson, an environmental engineer with the state Department of Natural Resources, spoke to the Colfax Village board April 23 about his concerns for Colfax providing safe drinking water for residents following Mike Boyd’s retirement (water and sewer utility operator) in December and a new director of public works who does not have water and sewer certification.

• Jonlee Goers, 31, of Minneapolis, was arrested in Pierce County following a car jacking  at knifepoint in the Town of Sherman in Dunn County. The Glenwood City Police Department, St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department, Dunn County Sheriff’s Department and Pierce County Sheriff’s Department were involved in the chase to apprehend Goers.

• Dunn County Treasurer Mary Erpenbach of Elk Mound announced she will retire and not seek re-election as county treasurer in the November election. Erpenbach submitted a notification of noncandidacy to the county clerk on April 30.

• The Colfax boys’ track team won all four relays at the Chetek-Weyerhaeuser track meet, and the girls’ track team earned three firsts at the meet.

• The Colfax girls’ softball team won three conference games in a row: Glenwood City (4-2); Boyceville (10-0); St. Croix Central (9-1).

May 9, 2012

• Dunn County’s 46-page nonmetallic mining report is now complete and is available to the public. In January, the Dunn County Board passed a six-month moratorium on nonmetallic mining.

• Jessica Erickson, president of the Colfax EMS Association, and Travis Borreson, vice-president, demonstrated one of two Life Stat units recently purchased for the Colfax Rescue Squad through fund-raising activities coordinated by the EMS association.

• A Dunn County judge has ruled that the prosecution is entitled to ask during a jury trial whether former Colfax resident Michael Fodness has been convicted of a crime or crimes.

• Colfax fifth graders Taylor Meyer and McKenna Yingst won an essay contest sponsored by American Veterans Post 1128 on the subject “What the Flag Means to Me.” The girls received a certificate and a $50 check from Stephen Marris, financial officer of the post.

• Jonlee Goers, 31, Minneapolis, made an initial appearance in Dunn County Circuit Court May 3 on five felonies related to Goers’ alleged involvement in a car jacking incident in the Town of Sherman.

• The Colfax girls’ track team won six events and the boys won three events at a track invitational at Colfax May 3.

• Sarah Holm of Elk Mound is one of six finalists in the 65th Alice in Dairyland selection at UW-Platteville May 17 – 19.

May 16, 2012

• Public meetings are scheduled May 19 and 22 for those interested in commenting about frac sand mining in Dunn County.

• Ally Heidorn, a seventh grader at Colfax Middle School, has won the Wisconsin Troopers’ Association’s essay contest.

• High school graduation is scheduled in Colfax and Elk Mound on May 18.

• The Town of Otter Creek has approved a modified agreement with We Energies for providing natural gas service to part of the township.

• The Colfax Lady Vikings softball team won all three games to place first in the Gilman tournament May 12.

• The Colfax boys’ track team won all four relays at the Boyceville five-team meet May 10, and the girls’ team won three of four and tied for first with Mondovi.

• The Colfax boys’ baseball team pulled off an upset victory on a score of 2-1 in Colfax May 8 over the Elk Mound team. Elk Mound went into the game with a conference record of 8-1, while Colfax started the game at 3-5.

• Colfax senior Ted Marris set a personal record in the discus throw at 110-01 at the Colfax invitational May 8.

May 23, 2012

• Colfax High School graduated 53 seniors in the Class of 2012 on May 18. The graduates collected more than $200,000 in scholarship money.

• A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Dunn County Health Care Center was held in Menomonie on May 16.

• Jim and Ann Heerey of Colfax have been named by the Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee as “Wisconsin Tree Farmers of the Year.”

• The Colfax boys’ baseball team pulled off three big wins in preparation for the regional tournament: 13-9 over St. Croix Central; 8-3 over Plum City; 8-6 over Mondovi to end their regular season.

May 30, 2012

• Several residents who attended public meetings held by Dunn County to gather comments about frac sand mining said that a company called Vista Sand is offering “hush money” and is asking people in the Knapp area to sign “confidentiality agreements.” The company is offering $30,000 to $45,000 for people in the neighborhood “to keep their mouths shut,” according to Barb Flom of Knapp.

• Veterans from the Russell Toycen American Legion Post No. 131 participated in the Memorial Day parade in Colfax that ended at Evergreen Cemetery where nearly 200 veterans have been laid to rest.

• Mariahn Popple, a teenager from Colfax, is planning a trip to Tijuana at the end of June on a church mission to build houses.

• The Colfax Village Board has learned that cross connection inspections of businesses and residences and training for village employees would cost the village about $16,000.

• The Elk Mound boys’ baseball team won 5-2 over Fall Creek May 22, giving them a final record of 15-5.

• The Elk Mound boys’ track team picked up enough 2-8 places to win the regional title at the ten-team meet in Bloomer May 21. The Elk Mound girls’ track team placed third in the meet.

• Three Elk Mound track team members advanced through the Division 2 sectional track and field meet in Medford May 24: Alyssa Buros placed second in shot put with a personal best; Andie Friberg with a personal best in pole vault; and Marcus Mauer with a third place in the long jump.

• Michael Larson, Lachlan Hinwood, Matthew Almquist and Matthew Schneider of Colfax placed fourth in 4×800 relay in the sectional track meet held May 24 in Colfax to move onto state competition.

• The Colfax girls’ track team placed fourth in the sectional meet May 24 in Colfax to move onto state competition.

June 6, 2012

• An investigation staged out of the Colfax Rescue Squad building in late April has resulted in federal charges against Justin J. Waterhouse of New Auburn, 30, who is accused of stealing night vision monoculars and reflex gun sights from the United States Army.

• The West Central Drug Task Force, the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, and the Colfax Police Department executed a search warrant June 1 at an apartment above the Colfax Health Mart Pharmacy rented by Jacob Foslid, 20. Foslid was arrested for possession of drugs following a routine traffic stop the night before.

• Trent Seibel, 17, of Bloomer, was killed in a traffic accident on State Highway 40 Sunday morning, June 3. Seibel was a member of the Colfax-Bloomer varsity wrestling team this past season and would have been a senior at Bloomer High School in the 2012-2013 school year.

• The Colfax Village Board appointed Tina Bradford to serve as a trustee at the May 29 meeting to fill the open position created by the resignation of Mike Laska.

• The Colfax Village Board at the May 29 meeting approved the sale of beer or liquor for consumption off-premises to begin at 6 a.m.

• The Elk Mound girls’ softball team took the regional title with a win over Colfax 5-2.

• The Colfax boys’ 4×100 relay team placed fifth in the Division 3 race in LaCrosse (Dallin Dahnke; Noah Pretasky; Greg Christoffel; Garrett Miller).

• The Elk Mound boys’ baseball team lost 6-0 to Boyceville on May 29 and ended their season with a 17-6 record.

June 13, 2012

• First Street in Colfax is in the process of being completely rebuilt, including new sewer and water lines.

• A trial scheduled for June 21 and 22 for a 26-year-old man, Daniel Z. Sims, accused of the sexual assault of a mentally ill victim in Wheeler, has been postponed until October.

• The 93rd Colfax Free Fair begins Thursday, June 14.

• Terry Stamm, public works director, reported to the Elk Mound Village Board at the June 6 meeting that rats have invaded the village’s wastewater treatment facility.

• The Dunn County Ad Hoc Space Needs Committee began discussing remodeling the old health care center at a meeting held June 5.

• Jacob H. Foslid, 20, of Colfax, was scheduled for an initial appearance June 5 but was given more time by a Dunn County judge to hire an attorney. Foslid is charged with two felony count s of possessing marijuana and methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

• The Elk Mound girls’ softball team ended their season with a loss to Grantsburg on a score of 6-1 with a final record of 17-8.

• The Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association named the Elk Mound boys’ basketball team as the top team in Division 4 for grade point average with a score of 3.62. The grade point score placed them third in all divisions. Members of the 2011-2012 team were Zac Doll; Dakota Tarnow; Ryan Bridges; Hunter Dicus; Nick Heit; Austin Hanson; Austin DeLong; Skyler Hubbard; Kyle Holzwarth; Andrew Strom; Marcus Mauer; Matt Bridges; Matt Hastreiter; Travis Nelson; Logan Strom.

June 20, 2012

• Juan Carvajal Castro, an 18-year-old citizen of Mexico, was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for stabbing a woman, cutting her throat and leaving her for dead at a Town of Grant residence not far from Colfax in May of 2011.

• Cecil Hayes, a supervisor on the Otter Creek Town Board, has submitted his resignation.

• Jennifer A. Sokup, 40, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft in Dunn County Circuit Court. Sokup was originally charged with a felony and was accused of embezzling $30,000 from Colfax Farmers Union but has paid the money back.

• The top dairy cow in Dunn County is a four-year-old Holstein owned by Windmill Dairy of Colfax.

• In what is believed to be the only wedding ever held in the Colfax Municipal Building auditorium, Troy Knutson and Michelle Riba were united in marriage June 9.

June 27, 2012

• Elk Mound’s 20-year-old wastewater treatment facility has earned a grade of “A” on the Compliance Maintenance Annual Report.

• The Elk Mound Village Board has decided to not allow dogs or other animals in village parks.

• The Colfax Board of Education at the June 18 meeting accepted the resignation of Shara Eckstein, special education instructor; Carl Rudi, middle school football coach; Connie Gibson and Gene Gibson for one year, as advisors for the high school musical.

• The Colfax Village Board’s parks committee met June 20 to discuss Evergreen Cemetery and recommended that the village ask the Colfax School District for the cemetery deed. People’s State Bank deeded 28 acres to the school district in 1943 to be used for a school forest. When the land was no longer being used for trees, the warranty deed states that the land can only be used for a cemetery.

• The bridge on county Highway G near Jake’s Supper Club will closed after July 4 for reconstruction and is expected to be open again in late fall.