Messenger Year in Review: July, August, September 2013

Compiled by LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  From the Colfax Messenger archives covering the third quarter of 2013.

July 3, 2013

• Colfax has approved using alum to remove phosphorus from the wastewater at an estimated annual cost of $15,000. Excess phosphorus has been a problem in the village’s wastewater for many years. A mechanical wastewater treatment plant that would remove phosphorus could cost as much as $4 million.

• Dunn County reported 212 cases of pertussis in 2012, compared to six cases for each year in 2010 and 2011, and 150 cases of Lyme disease were reported in 2012, compared to 109 in 2011 and 139 in 2010.

• Richard Boettcher, 60, of rural Mondovi, apparently drowned after falling into the Chippewa River in the Town of Peru near 750th Street and County Road O about five miles northwest of Durand June 24.

July 10, 2013

• Mold is becoming more of a problem in the Colfax Municipal Building basement and in the Colfax Police Department. Jackie Ponto, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, reported to the public property committee that she would obtain quotes for cleaning up the mold and would put the item on the agenda for the Colfax Village Board.

• Shayla Rose Story, 17, of Bloomer, was killed in a one-car rollover east of Colfax on state Highway 40 July 4 in the Town of Cooks Valley.

• A flagpole and a memorial were dedicated in memory of Pete Johnson at the Colfax Rescue Squad building July 3, which would have been Johnson’s 64th birthday.

July 17, 2013

• Former Colfax resident Jacob Foslid was found guilty of four felonies and one misdemeanor while seven other felonies and six misdemeanors were dismissed in Dunn County Circuit Court July 10. Foslid was charged with bail jumping, a variety of drug charges, fleeing an officer and battery to an unborn child and will be sentenced September 20.

• The Colfax Village Board approved site plans for Timber Technologies, Cedar Country Cooperative and Anderson Bridges July 8 following a recommendation from the Colfax Plan Commission at the July 2 meeting.

• The Colfax Village Board approved spending $57,000 on streets July 8.

• A town hall meeting for Sesquicentennial volunteers is scheduled for August 6 in the Colfax Municipal Building auditorium.

• Crew members from Lane Tank of Menomonie worked on painting the Colfax water tower the second week of July.

July 24, 2013

• A June 7 fire at the home of Kim Anderson on West Street damaged all three floors. Anderson and her daughters are living in temporary housing next to the house until construction is finished, which is estimated to be about six months.

• UW-Eau Claire foreign exchange students visited Denmark Dairy July 17.

• The Dunn County Board approved new job classifications for the new health care center July 17 that will result in the loss of six full-time-equivalency positions, going from 152 employees down to 146.

• The Colfax Board of Education approved several resignations and new hires July 15: Kim Knutson (to fill the bus driver position created by Ralph Bradford’s resignation); Nancy Finley, high school and special education secretary, announced her retirement; Julie Duce-Richards resigned as school nurse; Andy Meade, high school varsity boys’ basketball coach, announced his resignation; Lori Halpin was hired as full-time middle school teacher; Christine Williams was hired as a part-time school psychologist; Lacey Sikora was hired for an AmeriCorps position.

July 31, 2013

• At the Colfax School District’s annual meeting July 22, the budget was reviewed for the 2013-2014 school year with projected expenditures of $8.6 million.

• William Zutter, 60, of rural Elk Mound, was trapped in his full-sized Ford pickup truck on U.S. Highway 53 following a head-on collision July 28 with a Ford Ranger pickup truck driven by Aaron Nickels, 26, of Shell Lake. Nickels was going the wrong way on Highway 53 and was pronounced dead at the scene.

• Joshua J. Gibson, 29, of Colfax, was arrested July 22 after being spotted near the back door of Karl’s Chevrolet with a pipe in his hand and then fleeing from the Colfax police chief.

• Butch Jensen, a Vietnam veteran and a resident of Elk Mound, was honored at The Highground in Neillsville with a Legacy Stone ceremony July 13 arranged by his family.

• A reward is being offered following an attack July 14 against a horse named by Leo owned by Tammy Dahlby of Elk Mound. The one-year-old Appaloosa colt was injured so badly that Dahlby made the decision to have him put down two days later. Leo was coerced into an observation room by an unknown person and was then tortured or frightened so badly he broke through a wall.

August 7, 2013

• Clinton and Margaret Jenson celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary August 3.

• The Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center’s Board of Directors held a ribbon-cutting ceremony the morning of July 31 in anticipation of residents moving into the new $11 million building on August 1.

• The Elk Mound Board of Education reviewed and approved a preliminary budget of $11 million for the 2013-2014 school year.

August 14, 2013

• Church members and some of the construction crew held a ground-breaking August 6 for the new St. John Lutheran Popple Creek church on county Highway W north of Colfax. The church burned down in January following a natural gas explosion.

• The Dunn County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a red Ford F150 pickup truck that damaged mailboxes on county Highway BB and 800th Avenue near Tainter Lake on Sunday, August 4.

• An arraignment is scheduled in Dunn County Circuit Court August 6 for Jonathan Meyer of Elk Mound, owner of J&M Automotive. Meyer is accused of defrauding another man out of $2,700 for a car repair.

August 21, 2013

• Anderson Bridges of Colfax built a portion of the bridge for the $3.6 million Cannonball Path Project in Madison. Six different sections will be hauled from Colfax to Madison. The first section of the 550-foot long, 17-foot high footbridge left Colfax August 15.

• The Colfax Village Board approved a contract with Air MD Restoration Inc. August 12 for $16,710 to clean the municipal building basement to alleviate mold problems.

• Construction crews began demolishing the cement block portion of the Cedar Country Cooperative gas station and convenience store the week of August 12. The cooperative plans to remodel the convenience store and install new gas pumps.

• The Elk Mound Community Center Committee has been awarded a $130,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation to remodel the old Laundromat building to use as a library and community center.

• The Colfax Village Board approved providing the first cross connection control valve for free to village residents August 12. Each additional control valve needed will cost village residents $3.50.

August 28, 2013

• The Elk Mound Village Board approved a conditional use permit for Elk Mound Seed August 19 to build storage facility 80 feet long by 25 feet wide.

• Three new double-walled fiberglass gas tanks were delivered to Cedar Country Cooperative as part of the remodeling project.

• The Colfax Commercial Club approved bylaws and elected officers August 22.

• The Colfax Board of Education on August 19 approved hiring Tali Eiseth as a special education aide; Kim Myers, high school English teacher as the first girls’ golf coach; and Brianne Link as cheerleading advisor for the football season.

• Penny Noer, who has been the Red Cross Blood Drive coordinator for 40 years, was honored by the American Red Cross during her last blood drive on August 20 at Colfax High School. Pam Arntson of Colfax will take over as the coordinator.

September 4, 2013

• The Colfax Rescue Squad proposed to raise rates by 2.8 percent at the annual meeting August 27 although the per capita rate of $16.17 would remain the same as last year.

• Tanner Nierenhausen, a seventh grader at Colfax Middle School, performed the Heimlich maneuver last week when his neighbor, Brenda Espeseth, was choking at the Myron Park Campground in Sand Creek and is credited with saving her life.

• Air MD Restoration is recommending that the wood floor in the Colfax Municipal Building basement be removed as part of the effort to clean up mold. The building was built in 1915, and the floor is believed to be original to the building.

• New Elk Mound football coach Dave Lew logged his first win as the head football coach on August 29 when the Mounders won their first game over Eleva-Strum 42-0.

September 11, 2013

• The weather was perfect for the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center’s grand opening of the new $11 million facility on Park Drive September 5.

• Former Colfax resident Michael Fodness pleaded guilty September 6 to one felony count of child enticement by giving or selling drugs as part of a plea deal with the Dunn County district attorney’s office. A trial scheduled to begin in September was cancelled. A two-hour sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 8. Fodness has been scheduled to go on trial four different times.

• Electors in the Elk Mound school district approved a school tax levy at the annual meeting August 26 that will be $63,000 less than last year, representing a decrease of 2.2 percent.

September 18, 2013

• The Dunn County Planning, Resources and Development Committee at the September 10 meeting approved forwarding the new zoning code to the county board for approval.

• The Colfax Village Board’s streets committee met September 9 to discuss a five-year capital improvement plan for street work at a total cost of around $1.3 million.

• A 74-year-old Prairie Farm woman who has been charged with 11 counts of mistreating horses in the Town of Sheridan north of Boyceville waived a preliminary hearing in Dunn County Circuit Court September 10.

• The Colfax Village Board accepted a bid of $2,500 from Orville Larson September 9 to remove the wood flooring from the basement of the municipal building.

September 25, 2013

• Elk Mound received a check from the Otto Bremer Foundation on September 18 for $130,000 for the library and community center that will be located in the old Laundromat and beauty shop building.

• The Dunn County Board has appointed Julie Wathke as county clerk following the death of Marilyn Hoyt in June.

• According to an updated natural hazards mitigation plan for Dunn County from the West Central Regional Planning Commission, the village of Colfax needs a storm shelter, a generator for the municipal building and a new warning siren.

• A ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 18 at The Neighbors of Dunn County marked the official opening of the county’s new senior care facility to replace the Dunn County Health Care Center.