Colfax Year in Review 2013 – 1st Quarter

Compiled by LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — From the Colfax Messenger archives — and what a year it was in 2013 …

January 2, 2013

• Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center launches a capital campaign, and volunteers plan to raise $500,000 for the loan requirement to build the new $12 million facility on the south side of Colfax.

• The Colfax girls’ basketball team finished 1-1 at the AAU Classic at UW-Stout December 27 and 28.

January 9, 2013

• Gary Stene, Colfax village president, will not be running for re-election in the April 2 election. The deadline for filing nomination papers at the Colfax village clerk’s office was 5 p.m. January 2, and because Stene did not file a notification of non-candidacy, the filing deadline was extended by 72 hours.

• Colfax will be celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2014, and Colfax historian Troy Knutson is looking for more photographs for a book due out in 2014.

January 16, 2013

• A natural gas explosion sparked an inferno at the St. John Lutheran Church at Popple Creek on Sunday evening, January 13, and the church was completely destroyed by the fire. Popple Creek Church is about ten miles north of Colfax on county Highway W. The church was built in 1913.

January 23, 2013

• Members of the 1978 State Champion basketball team were recognized at halftime of the Colfax boys’ basketball game against Spring Valley January 18. Team members included Robbie Railton, Tim Prince, Mike Kiekhafer, Doug Russell (assistant coach), Dick Diener (head coach), Steve Obermueller, Mark Lofthus, Bob Fehr, Todd Knutson, Greg Dobbs and Steve Cook. Unable to attend were Craig (CJ) Johnson, Jeff Luer and Jay Miller.

• The Colfax Village Board has approved an ordinance to allow a gun shop downtown that will be owned by Dr. L.R. Phillips and located next to the Colfax post office.

• The Colfax Village Board has agreed to trade snowplowing for filling the skating rink at Tom Prince Memorial Park with the Colfax Fire Department. It remains to be seen whether the Colfax Fire Board will go along with the agreement.

• The Elk Mound boys’ basketball team hung onto the Dunn-St. Croix Conference lead with a pair of wins over the Elmwood Raiders and the St. Croix Central Panthers.

January 30, 2013

• A preliminary hearing on drug charges for Colfax resident Jacob Foslid has been cancelled in Dunn County Circuit Court and a plea deal is expected by next month.

• Colfax graduate Ricky Hagen will have a championship ring for each hand as Hagen and his teammates from North Dakota State University won their second straight FCS National Football title January 5 in Frisco, Texas.

• Roger I. Thompson, 52, Ridgeland, was put on probation after being charged with the attempted arson of a garage in the Town of Elk Mound in May of 2012.

• Andrea R. Becken, 45, of Cameron, was killed in accident on state Highway 64 January 27. Slippery road conditions were suspected to have contributed to the accident.

February 6, 2013

• The Colfax Village Board has approved pollutant trading as a strategy to deal with phosphorus discharge from the wastewater treatment facility. At the January 28 meeting, the village board approved a contract for $8,000 with Jeremiah Wendt of Short Elliott Hendrickson out of Chippewa Falls.

• The Dunn County Economic Development Corporation announced a new director, Eric Turner, who has ties to Colfax. Turner’s grandfather, Leon Turner, taught history at Colfax High School for many years.

• Colfax High School was represented by 24 students in the Dunn-St. Croix Honors Band and Choir this year in Elmwood January 26.

February 13, 2013

• Dunn County Judge William C. Stewart Jr. declared a mistrial in the case against former Colfax resident Michael Fodness after the jury saw a videotaped interview in which the interviewer said Fodness has already been convicted of other crimes. The declaration of a mistrial came after only the first day of a seven-day trial scheduled in Rusk County Circuit Court that began February 4. Fodness, 45, was charged with multiple counts that included second-degree sexual assault of a child, child enticement and intimidating a witness.

• Brandon Hurlburt, the 18-year-old driver of a vehicle used in an armed robbery of the I-94 Mart in the Town of Elk Mound in November of 2012 has been sentenced to six years of probation and 90 days in jail.

• Matt Shaw, a Colfax High School sophomore, attended the inauguration of President Barack Obama as part of the National Young Leaders State Conference and spent five days in Washington D.C.

February 20, 2013

• Mike Schmit of Colfax suffered extensive damage to one hand in a fireworks explosion that occurred February 11 at his residence.

• Several fire departments, including Colfax and Menomonie, responded to a barn fire at the Mike Schmit property on 850th Avenue in the Town of Tainter Saturday evening, February 16. The 80×140 foot pole building was a total loss. An estimated 30 to 40 alpaca died in the fire. Firefighters were told there were 110 alpaca in the barn.

• The Colfax Village Board approved a zoning change from public use to Commercial B2 February 11 that will allow Cedar Country Cooperative to move forward with plans to use the old fire station and the rescue squad building for car repair.

• Freshman Brady Simonson won his 113-pound bracket at the Division 2 Somerset Sectional to secure a place in Madison for the WIAA State Wrestling Championships.

February 27, 2013

• Members of the Elk Mound High School Academic Decathlon team competed in the regional meet January 11 in Rice Lake. The team placed fourth, which was one spot short of qualifying for state competition.

• The Michael Fodness trial has been rescheduled to begin May 13 in Rusk County.

• The Elk Mound Village Board approved at the February 20 meeting purchasing the old Laundromat and beauty shop for $10,000 and putting the property in the village’s name to be used as a library and community center.

• Dunn County has approved $1.1 million for a new building to house Dunn County Transit. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will cover 80 percent of the cost.

• Due to increased enrollment, the Elk Mound Board of Education approved hiring another middle school teacher at the February 18 meeting.

March 6, 2013

• The state Department of Natural Resources says pollutant trading to deal with phosphorus discharge is no longer an option for Colfax. Finding an alternative could cost up to $17,200, the Colfax Village Board learned at the February 25 meeting.

• Members of the Colfax High School National Honor Society held a three-week school-wide penny drive to collect money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Wisconsin and raised $1,550.

• A five-year $400,000 Chippewa County groundwater study includes a study area that extends to the east side of Colfax and includes the Red Cedar River.

March 13, 2013

• For the third time in school history, the Colfax girls’ basketball team will showcase their talents in the WIAA state tournament after defeating Colby 42-34 in the sectional final game March 9 in Chippewa Falls. With a record of 25-1, the Lady Vikings are the WIAA Division 4 sectional and regional champions. This is the team’s fifth straight Dunn-St. Croix Conference title and the seventh title in eight seasons.

• Elk Mound still does not know the status of the village’s wastewater treatment permit amid uncertainties about copper and phosphorus limits that could be enforced by the DNR, the Elk Mound Village Board learned March 6.

• The Elk Mound Village Board agreed March 6 to use village funds to purchase the old Laundromat and beauty shop to use as a library and community center. In February, the village board agreed to put the building in the village’s name if the Elk Mound Community Center Committee provided the funds to buy the building for $10,000.

• The Colfax Vikings boys’ basketball team won the WIAA Division 4 regional championship with a record of 19-6.

March 20, 2013

• The Colfax girls’ basketball team lost to Algoma, 46-30, March 16 at the WIAA Division 4 state championship tournament in Green Bay and took home the silver trophy.

• The Dunn County Planning, Resources and Development Committee recommended a rezone at the March 12 meeting to allow Popple Creek Church to rebuild after the church was destroyed by fire in January.

• The Colfax Village Board approved at the March 11 meeting hiring Patrick Beilfuss of Cedar Corporation to assist the plan commission in reviewing and updating the village’s Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan at a cost not to exceed $15,800.

March 27, 2013

• The Elk Mound School District expects to spend about $22,000 more this year in interest as a direct result of an automatic $85 billion reduction in federal spending that went into effect March 1 known as “sequestration.” The Board of Education learned about the reduction in federal subsidies on interest for loans at the March 18 meeting. The loans were used for the $9.325 million building project in 2010.

• The Fairmount Minerals Foundation has awarded a grant of $16,000 to the Colfax Elementary School and the Colfax Middle School to buy Promethean boards, also known as “smart boards,” for five classrooms.

• The Dunn County Board approved at the March 20 meeting an ordinance designating all-terrain vehicle routes on county roads that includes portions of the following county highways: D, K, P, X, O, Q, F, FF, N and V.