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

July 4, 2012

• Friends, neighbors, employees, residents, architects and village officials gathered for a reception at the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center June 27 following a groundbreaking ceremony for the new nursing home on the south side of Colfax.

• The Elk Mound School District is doing well on funding retirement benefits for employees as an irrevocable trust. The pay-as-you-go amount for 2011-2012 was around $300,000.

• The Dunn County Planning, Resources and Development Committee has recommended that the county board extend the six-month moratorium on sand mining beyond the end of July.

• The trial for former Wheeler police chief Gary Wayerski, who is charged with 16 felonies related to sex crimes involving teenaged boys, has been delayed until October. The trial was originally scheduled for June 26-28.

• The Colfax Village Board has authorized bidding for the water tower project that will have an estimated cost of $140,000.

• Colfax High School graduate Sarah McMahon (2011) won the Outstanding Athlete of the Year Award from the Bradley Alumni B Club. She is the first-ever female freshman to win the award.

July 11, 2012

• After a closed session June 25, the Colfax Village Board voted not to hire Doris Meyer  of Colfax as the permanent part-time deputy clerk.

• The Colfax Village Board accepted a bid of $8,000 from Cedar Corporation for surveying Evergreen Cemetery.

• Elk Mound High School will show the annual athletic meeting on the Internet for students and parents.

• The Village of Colfax received a perfect score on the Compliance Maintenance Annual Report for the wastewater treatment facility.

• The Dunn County district attorney’s office handled slightly fewer cases in 2011 — a total of 3,037, compared to 3,049 in 2010.

• Jenny Schuler (2008 graduate of Colfax High School) won All American Honors in both indoor and outdoor track as a member of the Division II Winona State track and field team.

July 18, 2012

• Colfax sophomore Matt Shaw graduated on June 16 from Space 301 of Kansas Adventures in Outer Space (KAOS) at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.

• The Village of Colfax was one of the participants in the “Power of 10” workshop on July 11. The workshop was the result of a grant from the Project for Public Places for which the West Central Regional Planning Commission had applied.

• A trial scheduled for a 20-year-old Eau Claire man, Jordan Dickinsen, who has been charged with the armed robbery of the I-94 Mart near Elk Mound last November, has been cancelled for July 19 and 20, and a plea hearing has been scheduled on August 24.

• The Colfax Village Board approved the a Certified Survey Map for the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center’s building project.

July 25, 2012

• Crews started moving dirt on the site of the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center’s new facility just east of Viking Bowl on July 19.

• Lynn and Dick Nehring of Colfax are one of the homeowners who will be featured on the “Flowers for Josie” garden tour July 29. Josie Gorell of Elk Mound was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was 22 months old.

• An attorney for Greg LaPean, former owner of LaPean Implement in Menomonie, said during a hearing in Dunn County Circuit Court that the bank that lost $1 million is not entitled to restitution.

• The 127th Dunn County Fair will run from July 25 through July 29 with the theme, “Out of This World.”

August 1, 2012

• The Dunn County Board approved a three-month extension on the mining moratorium at the board’s July 25 meeting. The moratorium will expire at the end of October.

• Although the developer’s agreement is still in limbo, the Colfax Village Board approved a conditional use permit for the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center’s $10 million building project.

• At the annual meeting of the Colfax School District, a tax levy of $3.3 million was approved for the 2012-2013 school year.

• The Colfax Village Board approved a $93,000 bid from Lane Tank of Menomonie for painting and repairing the water tower next spring.

• Terry Nichols, Town of Colfax, addressed the Dunn County Board during the public comments section of the August meeting about a non-binding referendum question for the November ballot on the manner in which technical colleges are funded. Nichols has contended for many years that because the technical college boards are appointed, but the funding comes from property taxes, that the funding for technical colleges is taxation without representation.

• The Colfax Village Board agreed to an 80/20 split of the cost with homeowners for the process of attempting to remove certain properties from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) floodplain maps.

August 8, 2012

• The new administrator clerk-treasurer for the Village of Colfax, Jackie Ponto, started work at the beginning of July.

• Elk Mound resident Lisa Hassemer appeared before the Elk Mound Village Board August 1 meeting to talk about the siren lot adjacent to her property and that she and her husband had been told if the village moved the location of the warning siren, they could purchase the 33-foot by 60-foot lot for $1. The Elk Mound warning siren has been moved to the new village hall.

• Elk Mound resident Jeff Wolf was dismayed to discover that a swimming pool he installed in his front yard is illegal and violates the village’s swimming pool ordinance because he needed a building permit, the pool needed to be in the backyard, and the pool also needed a fence around it.

• Colfax resident Jeffrey Sikora filed a civil suit in Chippewa County Circuit Court against Robert J. Schindler and the Robert J. Schindler Revocable Trust in a dispute over an area between the line fence and the property line. Sikora and Schindler have contracted with EOG Resources to operate an industrial sand mine on 185 acres in the Town of Howard along County Highway B.

August 15, 2012

• The overhead truss bridge on county Highway G near Jake’s Supper Club is now gone, and the week of August 6, cranes were beginning to work on installing a new bridge.

• Cpl. Lindsey Schindler of Colfax received the Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal for providing medical assistance in February to a fellow service member.

• A January trial has been scheduled for Roger Thompson of Ridgeland. Thompson was charged with the attempted arson of a building in the Town of Elk Mound in May.

• Craig Conklin, formerly of the Wheeler area, has returned to the area to serve as pastor of the Colfax and Tainter United Methodist Churches.

• The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has scheduled an August 21 public hearing regarding an overall water rate increase of 18 percent for water utility customers in Elk Mound.

• Two Ridgeland residents, Mark David Monson, 37, and Misty D. Cox, 28, have been charged with burglary and criminal damage to property in connection with an incident that occurred at a Town of Sand Creek residence in late June.

• Dunn County Register of Deeds James Mrdutt is retiring in January after 26 years as register of deeds. Heather Kuhn, deputy register of deeds in Dunn County for 16 years, will be running as a candidate in the November election to replace Mrdutt.

August 22, 2012

• A deed for the siren lot in Elk Mound does not show transfer of the property since 1947. A title search will be needed before the village board could sell the property.

• A Dunn County judge refused to delay the trial for former Colfax resident Michael Fodness, who is charged with multiple sex crimes involving teenaged girls. The trial is scheduled to begin August 27 in Rusk County.

• Cindy Kopp, deputy treasurer in Dunn County, has won the August 14 Republican primary against challenger Megan Mittlestadt and will be on the ballot in November.

• Lifelong Colfax resident Dick Toycen, 87, performed his final concert with the Ludington Guard Band on July 31 after 32 years.

• The Elk Mound Village Board agreed to keep the swimming pool ordinance at the August 15 meeting.

• The Colfax School District is checking into the records for Evergreen Cemetery the Colfax Village Board learned at the August 13 meeting.

August 29, 2012

• Crews worked hard the week of August 20 to resurface state Highway 170 west of Colfax out to the Norton area.

• Rand Bates, who graduated from Colfax High School in 1982 and has lived in the Menomonie for the past 30 years, is the new public works director for the Village of Colfax.

• A plea hearing scheduled in Dunn County Circuit Court on August 24 for Jordan R. Dickinsen, 20, of Eau Claire, has been postponed until November. Dickinsen is charged with the armed robbery of the I-94 Mart in Elk Mound last November.

• Ray’s Metal Works was honored for 40 years as a Lennox heating and air conditioning dealer on August 22. Ray and Marlene Johnson received a plaque commemorating their 40 years of service from a Lennox representative.

• At the Colfax Rescue Squad’s annual meeting on August 21, the proposed budget of $434,988 for 2013 was essentially the same as last year’s budget, reflecting an increase of $340.

• The trial scheduled for former Colfax resident Michael Fodness to begin on August 27 was cancelled because Fodness was taken to the hospital with appendicitis.

• The Colfax girls’ and boys’ cross country teams won the Boyceville Invitational on August 23. Dempsey Fogarty won for the girls with a time of 16:04 — 35 seconds ahead of runner-up Courtney Dressel.

• The Colfax Vikings football team traveled to Ladysmith August 24 and came home with a 53 to 19 win.

September 5, 2012

• The Colfax Rescue Squad is proposing a 4.4 percent increase in per capita and other fees. The per capita would increase from $16 to $16.17 and other fees would increase by 3.3 percent.

• At the Elk Mound Area School District’s annual meeting August 27, electors set the school tax levy at $3,077,839 million, representing a $433,299 increase over last year.

• Of the 20 people who testified before the Dunn County Planning, Resources and Development Committee August 28 on the proposed rezone to industrial for Vista Sand, 19 were opposed and only one was in favor. Vista Sand is proposing to operate a sand mine near Glenwood City and to operate a rail loading facility along state Highway 12 not far from Knapp.

• The Colfax and Elk Mound School Districts have seven new teachers and staff for the upcoming school year: Brianne Link (C); Mae Simpson (C); Sarah Jones (EM); Missy Schroeder (EM); Karin Javanovich (EM); Julie Duce-Richard, RN (C); and Josh Sampson (EM).

• The Colfax volleyball team won three straight games against the Bloomer Blackhawks August 28.

• The Colfax football team lost to Boyceville, 36-14, August 31.

• The Elk Mound football team won over St. Croix Central August 31 on a score of 35-0.

• The Colfax boys’ cross country team won the Bruce Invitational for their second win in a row. The girls placed third.

September 12, 2012

• The Colfax Firefighters’ Ball and Parade was held September 8.

• The Dunn County Planning, Resources and Development Committee approved a draft of a sand mining overlay district ordinance September 5.

• Brooklyn Dressel, a sixth-grader at Colfax Middle School, has been invited to audition at the International Presentation of Performers in Los Angeles January 3 – 6.

• A new trial has been set for former Colfax resident Michael Fodness scheduled to begin February 4 in Rusk County. The Fodness trial had been scheduled to begin August 24 with jury selection, but Fodness was taken to the hospital with appendicitis on August 23.

• King’s Court has been selected as Elk Mound’s street project for 2013 at an estimated cost of $30,000.

• The Elk Mound boys’ football team won 42-7 over Spring Valley, bringing the Mounders’ record to 3-0.

• The Colfax girls’ volleyball team won all four games in a five-team tournament at the Chetek Volleyball tournament September 8.

September 19, 2012

• The Dunn County Planning Resources and Development Committee has recommended no rezone for Vista Sand to operate a loading facility along U.S. Highway 12 near Knapp.

• Tina Bradford has resigned from the Colfax Village Board after being appointed as a trustee on May 29.

• A request to bow hunt for deer in the village limits has been forwarded to the Village of Colfax attorney.

• The Colfax Village Board approved an additional $15,000 for the $234,000 Park Drive project to install an additional water line.

• Both the Colfax girls’ and the boys’ cross country teams placed first out of 16 teams at the Small School Division of the Rice Lake Invitational September 11.

• The Elk Mound girls’ volleyball team remains unbeaten in the conference with a win over Colfax September 14.

• The Elk Mound football team remains unbeaten after winning over Glenwood City on September 14 with a score of 28-12.

September 26, 2012

• Vista Sand withdrew their rezone application from Dunn County only a few hours before the Dunn County Board of Supervisors was scheduled to vote on the application  at the September 19 meeting.

• The Colfax School District will offer season passes for sporting events at $72 per year for adults and $25 for students.

• Sheila Riemer began working as the new deputy clerk-treasurer in Colfax in the middle of August.

• Royed Wollberg, representing the Bremer Foundation, presented a check for $13,350 to the Colfax EMS Association September 20 for the purchase of two LifeStat units that provide consistent hands-free cardio pulmonary resuscitation.

• Elk Mound public school events may soon be broadcast on a community television channel.

• The Colfax Vikings football team ended their chance to get to the playoffs this year with a loss to Glenwood City, 32-21, on September 21, putting the Colfax record at 1-4.

• The Colfax boys’ cross country team beat out 11 other teams to win the Mondovi Invitational September 18.

• The Colfax girls’ cross country team were runners up behind Spring Valley in a field of eight teams at the Mondovi Invitational September 18.