Skip to content

2017 – A Year in Review: A look back the top news stories in July, August, September

COLFAX —  The Colfax Messenger celebrated its 120th birthday in 2017.

And, as the newspaper did 120 years ago, the Messenger continues to bring news to its subscribers.

Here is a look back at the top news stories in 2017 from July, August and September.

July 5, 2017

• The Village of Colfax is in the process of setting it up with Dunn County to use the county’s Code Red mass notification system for emergency notifications in Colfax. After the boil water order was issued earlier this year and village residents did not find out fast enough, village officials began exploring the possibility of using Dunn County’s Code Red notification system.

• With the help of an experimental drug, Jeremiah Harder of Colfax is doing much better these days. Harder, a 2013 graduate of Colfax High School, was diagnosed with Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS) in the fall of 2015.

• Michaela Liebfried and Spencer Herrick, who will both be seniors at  Colfax High School in the 2017-2018 school year, will compete in two separate multi-national tournaments in Orlando this summer.

• Nearly $23,000 in sales occurred at the Colfax FFA Alumni meat animal auction Sunday, June 25, during the Colfax Free Fair.

July 12, 2017

• Three generations of owners are now working at the car dealership in Colfax: Dave Hovre (Hovre Chevrolet), Karl Rynish (Karl’s Chevrolet) and new owner Scott Psak (Colfax Chevrolet). Psak and his wife, Shannon, bought the business earlier this year from Karl Rynish.

• A Dunn County jury has found 19-year-old Chandler James of Elk Mound not guilty of the repeated sexual assault of the same child.

• The Elk Mound Board of Education learned Fund 10 had an extra $150,000 in revenue, which allowed the district to spend $115,000 on instructional staff; $25,000 on support staff; and $10,000 on non-program expenses.

July 19, 2017

• The remodeling project at Colfax Health Mart Pharmacy is expected to be finished soon.

• Neighbors in the area of the village’s salt-sand shed on Evergreen Street attended the July 10 village board meeting to say they had a petition with more than 100 signatures asking the village board to zone the lot residential.

• Mikaela Leibfried, who will be a senior at Colfax High School, was the top seed and lifted her personal best of 341.72 pounds at the Northern American Powerlifting Federation’s Pam-American Championships in Orlando, Florida, July 6. All together, she totaled 814.48 pounds to bring home a gold medal.

• Colfax Cub Scout Pack 42 raised almost $600 for Ronald McDonald® House Charities at a bake and brat sale in May.

July 26, 2017

• The Livestock Operations Study Group report is ready to be presented to the Dunn County Board. The 50-page report is culmination of more than seven months of work by a large group of participants.

• The Dunn County Fair starts today and runs through Sunday.

• The Colfax Founder’s Day Main Street Block Party August 5 will feature bluegrass and jazz music by the Sue Orfield Band and a chicken dinner.

• After being on the job for just over a month, Elk Mound’s interim police chief reports he has dug out from under the backlog of paperwork.

• All together, 60 students participated in the 6th Colfax Elementary “summer saunters.”

August 2, 2017

• Residents of Colfax can relax now — the juveniles who have been responsible for a rash of thefts and a variety of vandalism over the past few months have been caught. “Damage occurred all over town,” said Colfax Police Chief William Anderson.

• The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has approved re-issuing a Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit (WPDES) for Cranberry Creek Dairy in southern Dunn County that will allow the dairy to expand to 7,250 animal units.

• A resolution was approved at the Colfax school district’s annual meeting to increase the salary by $5 per meeting for school board members and by $50 per year for the board president, the clerk and the directors. School board members will receive $90 per meeting. Directors also will receive $650 per year, and the board president and clerk will receive an additional $1,000 per year.

• The Colfax Village Board has approved paying for the new salt-sand shed that will be located at the lift station out of the undesignated fund. The shed is expected to cost about $30,000.

August 9, 2017

• John Riebe of Colfax, a member of the Colfax Comets 4-H Club, sold his rooster at the Dunn County Fair small animal auction 11 times July 29 to raise more than $1,575 for juvenile diabetes. Each buyer donated the rooster back so that it could be sold again.

• A celebration in honor of the 50 anniversary of David Solberg’s ordination will be held at Big Elk Creek Church August 13.

• Dunn County Sheriff Dennis Smith visited the Elk Mound Village Board August 2 to talk about the village’s police department and the hiring of a new police chief.

• The Colfax Community Fire Board has authorized Don Logslett, Colfax fire chief, to being searching for a replacement tender.

• During a listening session in Menomonie August 3, U.S. Representative Ron Kind said the first proposed federal budget is a “declaration of war” on rural America. Many of the programs that are proposed to be eliminated benefit people living in rural areas.

August 16, 2017

• Colfax resident Mary Packer, in memory of her brother, Tim, donated solar eclipse glasses to the Colfax Public Library so people can safely view the total solar eclipse August 21.

• The Second Annual J.D. Simons Community Volunteer Award was presented to Geri and Ernie Bates at the Colfax Founder’s Day Main Street Block Party for their work in the Colfax Community Cares monthly food pantry, the Caring Ministries Food Pantry with the Support for Sunday backpack program for school children.

• The Buck Snort Bar & Grill celebrated the 10th anniversary of being under the ownership of Dan and Brenda Dahl and the 50th anniversary in the Dahl family August 1.

August 23, 2017

• Changing from six-inch mains to eight-inch mains and looping parts of Elk Mound’s water system are among the initial findings of a water analysis report presented to the Elk Mound Village Board.

• A company working to develop a frac sand mine in the Town of Howard southeast of Colfax has been sued by an investor for $1.875 million plus interest. Northern Oak Proppants LLC filed the lawsuit against Northern Sands LLC in Chippewa County August 15.

• Activities in the Colfax Public Library’s Summer Reading program drew 314 children and 149 adults.

• The Colfax Village Board met in closed session August 14 for about 30 minutes to discuss buying property. No information was available about which property the village board discussed.

August 30, 2017

• District residents attending the August 21 budget hearing and annual meeting learned that budget projections indicate a slight levy increase but lower mill rates for the Elk Mound school district.

• The Colfax Rescue squad is proposing a budget of $459,819 for 2018, which reflects an increase of $129 over the 2017 budget.

• Timber Technologies is launching the Community Enrichment Program. Employees will select the projects, and the company will pay the employees for their time and will donate materials.

• Elmer C. Shilts Jr., formerly of Colfax, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision on one felony county of first degree child sexual assault. The assaults occurred at the Colfax Fairgrounds and at an apartment building in Colfax.

• The 50th Annual Colfax Firefighters’ Ball is scheduled for Saturday, September 9.

September 6, 2017

• The public safety and employee relations committee for Elk Mound met in closed session late last week to discuss the police chief position.

• The Colfax Rescue Squad’s per capita will be increasing for 2018 by 25 cents to $16.42.

• Fifty years ago, the new fire station on Main Street cost $20,130.15. The first Colfax Firemen’s Ball in 1967 featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new fire station with Assemblymen Al Baldus as the speaker. Miss Lynda Hainstock, crowned as Queen of the Fair at Chippewa Falls, cut the ribbon.

• The Elk Mound school district welcomes six new teachers, and the Colfax school district has seven new teachers.

September 13, 2017

• The Colfax Plan Commission is recommending half lots in the East View Residential Development be sold for $8,000.

• The Colfax Plan Commission is exploring two uses for Soo Park: as a parking garage for Commercial Testing or as a site for a miniature train ride at the Colfax Railroad Museum.

• The Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center has offered to donate the old nursing home building on High Street to the village of Colfax.

• The Elk Mound Village Board, interim police chief Mike Tietz and members of the Elk Lake Blizzard Breakers came to an understanding about needed fixes for snowmobile routes and village ordinances during the September 6 meeting.

September 20, 2017

• Beverly Schauer, who served on the Colfax Village Board for 20 years, passed away Thursday, September 14. Schauer died at the age of 83. She went off the village board in 2015. Past and present village board members and village employees remembered her as a dedicated public servant who always kept the best interests of the community in mind. She was also remembered as a fabulous cook.

• The Colfax Village Board is considering an alarm dialer and other improvements for the water tower.

• The Colfax High School chapter of the National Honor Society has raised over $850 for Hurricane Harvey relief. Hurricane Harvey affected the state of Texas at the end of August, particularly the city of Houston, and produced record amounts of moisture with approximately 52 inches of rain from one storm.

September 27, 2017

• Chad and Holly Berge of Colfax, owners of Berge’s Beef, will be featured on the Wisconsin Public Television program “Around the Farm Table” October 5.

• The county’s nursing home, the Neighbors of Dunn County, has a $4 million cash deficit based on money loaned from Dunn County’s general fund to cover expenses, the Dunn County Board learned at the September 20 meeting.

• Doris Meyer of Colfax has been appointed by the Dunn County Board as treasurer for Dunn County. Meyer was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Dunn County Treasurer Megan Mittlestadt, who resigned in July.

• Dunn County is proposing a budget of $80.5 million for 2018.

• Hoping to breathe new life into the event, this year’s Colfax High School homecoming dance will be held at the Viking Bowl & Lounge instead of in the cafeteria at Colfax High School.