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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Week in and week out, since April of 1897, the Colfax Messenger has delivered local news, local features and local sports. And, as an added benefit, the newspaper archives will be around one hundred years from now when your future family members are working on their genealogy projects.
Here is a look back at the top news stories from October, November and December of 2018.
October 3, 2018
Former Green Bay Packer player LeRoy Butler spoke to elementary, middle school and high school students in the Colfax High School gymnasium September 26. Butler played for the Packers for 12 years and is credited with inventing the Lambeau Leap.
The Colfax Village Board is considering authorizing a committee made up of representatives of the Colfax Public Library, the Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group, the Colfax Woman’s Club, the Colfax Commercial Club and a member of the village board to look into fund raising for the municipal building elevator project.
Approximately 30 volunteers from the 3M Company, organized through the Dunn County United Way, worked on laying ballast in the railroad bed for the miniature train ride at the Colfax Railroad Museum September 26.
Construction is expected to begin soon on the beer garden fence at the Colfax Fairgrounds, on repairing the ceiling in the Department of Public Works building and on establishing the spreading garden at Evergreen Cemetery.
October 10, 2018
For Colfax resident Wendy Lausted, fund raising and completing the Walk to End Alzheimer’s every year for the past 15 years is personal. Wendy’s mother-in-law died of Alzheimer’s Disease on June 21, 2005. Her aunt died September 27, 2007, on David and Wendy Lausted’s wedding anniversary, and several of Wendy and David’s cousins also have been diagnosed with the disease.
An engineering report about the proposed Albertville Valley sand mine includes a number of recommendations pertaining to incomplete sections of the mine license application. The report was prepared by SCS Engineers Environmental Consultants and Contractors out of Madison for the proposed 1,300 acre mine Northern Sands Wisconsin is proposing to develop southeast of Colfax.
The Town of Howard sent out nearly one hundred letters to town residents informing them of the public hearing on the proposed Albertville Valley sand mine. The first public hearing on the mine license application from Northern Sands Wisconsin LLC was scheduled for October 8 at 6 p.m. at the Howard Town Hall.
The Elk Mound Village Board has approved a three-year audit contract with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause for $53,335.
October 17, 2018
To help provide safe, clean water wells for the people in Malawi, Colfax Lutheran is collecting money for “Wells for Malawi” as the congregation’s participation in the current capital fund drive of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Marge Hernandez is the fund-raising chair for the “Wells for Malawi” project.
The Howard Town Hall was filled to standing room only with people who wanted to hear more about the Albertville Valley sand mine proposed by Northern Sands Wisconsin. Many of the people who attended the public hearing October 8 took the opportunity to express their concerns about groundwater, stormwater run-off, noise, air quality, the landscape, the processing facility, train traffic and their property values.
The Colfax Village Board has appointed Margaret Burcham to serve on the steering committee dedicated to obtaining funding for the Colfax Municipal Building elevator project.
Ezra J. McCandless, 21, who is accused in the stabbing death of Alexander Woodworth in the Town of Spring Brook in March of this year, may change her plea to “not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.”
October 24, 2018
Members of the Colfax chapter of the National Honor Society and teachers in the Colfax school district made between 70 and 80 bowls for the “Soup” er “Bowls” event held prior to the girls’ volleyball match on October 11. NHS sold the soup and bowl combinations to raise money for families who have lost a parent this past year.
The Dunn County Board has reviewed a proposed balanced budget for 2019 of $85.6 million, representing an increase of $5.1 million over the the 2018 budget and which includes nearly $6 million in borrowing.
Although it initially appeared that Dunn County was going to donate acreage on the Red Cedar River near Colfax in the Town of Colfax for a park, the status of what is known as the “Ferry Pit” is now in limbo. Gary Bjork, county board supervisor from Colfax, broached the issue of the Ferry Pit at the Dunn County Board’s October 17 meeting during a discussion of the proposed budget for 2019.
Members of the Popple Creek HCE group (Home and Community Education, formerly Extension Homemakers) have shipped out boxes of supplies for Project Patricia, which sews cloth, washable, reusable maxi pads for women and girls in African countries.
Members of the Keltner family of Colfax ran in the North Face Endurance Challenge in mid-September. Maci Harvey and Meadow Keltner wanted to run a half marathon — 13 miles — by the time they were 13 years old. And they did.
October 31, 2018
The death of the Whitetail Golf Course co-owner, Scot Miller, has left many in the community feeling a profound sense of loss. Miller, age 56, died in a crash on I-90-94 near Lake Delton on Saturday, October 20. Miller was a passenger in a GMC Yukon driven by David How, age 60. Other passengers in the vehicle were Richard Schoenke, age 56, and Thomas Millar, age 62. Millar is a retired agriculture teacher from the Colfax school district.
Children who attended the Halloween Monster Bash II at the Colfax Municipal Building Saturday, October 27, walked across the stage in the auditorium prior to the audience voting for their favorites in a variety of categories. The Halloween party was sponsored by the Colfax Public Library, the Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group, the Colfax Commercial Club and several local businesses.
The Elk Mound Board of Education has set a property tax levy for the 2018-2019 school year of $3,012,408.
The November 6 election will feature a variety of races for Dunn County sheriff, the 67th Assembly District, the 23rd Senate District as well as United States Senate, Representative in Congress, and statewide races for governor, attorney general and state treasurer.
The work has started on plans to move the Dunn County offices in the Government Center on Wilson Avenue in Menomonie to the Community Services Building on Highway 12/29.
November 7, 2018
All together, about 230 trick-or-treaters visited the Colfax Public Library on Halloween, October 31, during Trick-or-Treat hours in Colfax.
Although Joe and Magie Longueville are not new to Anytime Fitness, they are new to Colfax. The Longuevilles purchased Anytime Fitness from Allison Petznick earlier this year and took over operating the business on June 1.
The property tax levy for the Colfax Community Fire department will remain the same for 2019 at $94,700. The tax levy for the fire department has essentially remained unchanged since 2012.
The 4th Annual Colfax Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be held on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, at the Colfax United Methodist Church.
The Colfax school district has been awarded grants totaling $91,367 in Safe Schools grants from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
November 14, 2018
United States Army Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Jesse Boettcher was the keynote speaker at the Veterans Day program at Colfax High School on Friday, November 9. Poppies decorated the CHS gymnasium to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice on November 11 to end World War I.
For four-year-old Colfax resident Payton Brockmiller and his dad, Ricky, and his grandmother, Julie Bosshart-Stansbury, it was the chance of a life to watch a live NASCAR race. What they were not counting on was that Payton would receive the checkered flag from the winning driver, Ryan Blaney. The race was the Bank of America Roval 400 in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sunday, September 30.
Election 2018 is in the books, and a midterms go, it was one to remember. State school Superintendent Tony Evers denied Gov. Scott Walker a third four-year term.
November 21, 2018
The OCD Foundation (Our Communities Deliver) began leasing the former nursing home building on High Street in Colfax November 1. Travis Allen is the founder and Nik Pitzer is the co-founder. Sherry Pitzer is in acquisitions and provides all-around support. The OCD Foundation plans to run a call center out of the building to provide help for the hungry, the homeless and the unemployed.
The “Hidden in Plain Sight” bedroom was set up for the Elk Mound school district’s community awareness night November 8. The event also included presentations on school safety and cell phone and Internet safety. The mock bedroom used to help parents identify drug hiding places and drug paraphernalia was developed by the Altoona Police Department.
Morgan Radtke signed a letter of intent to play volleyball last Wednesday, November 14, during a ceremony held at Elk Mound High School. The Mounders’ star athlete will begin her journey playing for the Michigan Tech Huskies starting in the fall of 2019.
On the annual review of school district performance for student achievement in 2017-2018, also known as the state report card, the Colfax school district has “exceeded expectations.” The overall school district score was 74.2, compared to an overall score of 65.3 in 2016-2017, which is “meets expectations.”
November 28, 2018
A Dunn County judge has ordered the mental health medical records of Ezra McCandless, the woman suspected in a Spring Brook homicide case, be released to mental health experts.
Your child has been begging for a smart phone for a while now. Should you give in? Chris Hahn, Elk Mound school principal, says “not so fast.” Hahn was one of the presenters at the Elk Mound school district’s Community Awareness night November 8.
The Elk Mound school district has “exceeded expectations” with a score of 77.2 on the annual review of school district performance for student achievement in 2017-2018.
The Howard Town Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed developer’s agreement with Northern Sands Wisconsin on November 29. The company plans to develop a 1,300 frac sand mine a few miles southeast of Colfax.
December 5, 2018
Colfax is in a “good position” for general obligation debt capacity with about $1.2 million remaining that could be borrowed. Sean Lentz and Christ Hetland with Ehlers, Inc., the village’s financial consultants, spoke to the Colfax Village Board at the November 26 meeting.
Construction is expected to begin next spring for the Timber Technologies expansion after the weight limits are taken off local roads. The company is planning to build a 25,000 square foot expansion to enclose the yard where the lumber is stored.
The Colfax Village Board has approved a different option with the Western Wisconsin Municipal Consortium WEA Trust for employee health insurance that is expected to save the village about $10,000 per year on health insurance premiums.
Town of Howard residents indicated they were less than impressed with the proposed developer’s agreement with Northern Sands Wisconsin for the Albertville Valley sand mine at the public hearing November 29.
December 12, 2018
The Colfax fire department assisted by the Elk Mound and the Menomonie fire departments, attempted to put out a barn fire east of Colfax in the early evening of Saturday, December 8. The property belongs to Tom Niska.
The Colfax football crew refereed a state championship game at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison November 15. The referees included Travis Logslett, Tim Prince, Rick Prince, Jeff Prince and Clark Yolitz.
Members of the Colfax Rural Lutheran Parish youth group, IMPACT!, set up a “Winter Care Unit” at Kyle’s Market in Colfax December 3. The unit is stocked with mittens, hats, socks, hand-warmers, children’s coats and quilts. The premise is, “If you need something, take it. If you have extra, leave it.”
Demolition crews worked on bringing down the old apartment building on First Avenue in Colfax behind Express Mart on December 10. The building was believed to have been a store on Main Street in its early history.
December 19, 2018
The Colfax Village Board has approved a sewer rate increase of 10 percent to help pay for the Red Cedar River Bank stabilization project near the village’s wastewater treatment lagoons.
After going back and forth on the issue for several months, the Colfax Village Board has approved contracting with the Dunn County Humane Society as a place to take stray animals found in the village.
Remembrances of Christmas Past include interviews with Don and Rayola Herman, Vergene Viets, Ilene Pingel and Ted and Carol Erickson as well as with Susan Hill, owner of the Tapestry Trunk Bed & Breakfast, describing her nativity set collection.
December 26, 2018
Colfax Elementary kindergarten students, under the direction of Carrie Christensen, sang at the Colfax and Health and Rehabilitation Center the morning of December 14. For one song, the youngsters donned their reindeer hats with shiny red noses.
The Colfax Village Board’s public property committee declined to make a recommendation as to whether the village should bid on the Arvold building at the corner of Main Street and East River Street.
The Colfax Board of Education has approved a safety plan that is one of the requirements for receiving nearly $92 in school safety grants from the Wisconsin Department of Justices.
A bench warrant has been issued a 47-year-old Menomonie man found in a Colfax garage in August with methamphetamine, marijuana, gem Baggies and drug paraphernalia. Steven O. Johnson failed to appear before Judge Rod Smeltzer December 17 for a preliminary hearing.