A Year in Review: 2022 top headlines from July, August and September
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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax Messenger began publishing weekly in April of 1897 and is still publishing weekly 126 years later.
Here are the top news stories from April, May and June of 2022.
July 6, 2022
The Colfax Village Board reviewed a list of needed repairs to village-owned properties at the June 27 meeting and accepted a bid of $3,200 for repairing the concrete stage at the Colfax Fairgrounds and also gave approval for painting the cemetery workshop.
The Colfax Village Board has approved a resolution to borrow $750,000 for the project to stabilize the Red Cedar river bank to replace the original resolution for borrowing $600,000.
The Dunn County Zoning Board of Adjustment has affirmed the original special exception permit for agricultural entertainment granted in 2018 for the Barn at Copper Creek in the Town of Sherman and stated the special exception does not deny the ability to serve food and alcohol. The Sherman Town Board has approved an above-quota “Class B”liquor license, which according to state law, can only be granted to a full-service restaurant with permanent seating for 300 or more or for a tavern. Dunn County zoning only allows taverns and restaurants in limited commercial zoning.
July 13, 2022
Although Jeffrey and Kelly Lake believed the half-acre parcel was part of a 40-acre parcel they already owned in the Town of Hay River, it was not part of the parcel. Dunn County, which has owned the parcel since 1989, has agreed to sell the half-acre parcel to the Lakes for $18.07.
Dunn County may soon have a contractor storage ordinance that would allow the storage of construction equipment and other materials in residential or general agriculture zoning as a special exception.
The Elk Mound High School Scholarship Fund has awarded five scholarships: Regan Jenson, daughter of Kyle and Cathy Jenson, $1,000; Avery Kaanta, son of Kris Kaanta and Rebecca Livingston, $500; Kyra Hadenfeldt, daughter of Loren and Kristin Hadenfeldt, $500; McKenna Diermeier, valedictorian at Elk Mound High School and daughter of Doug and Darla Diermeier, $500; Isabella Hollister, salutatorian at Elk Mound High School and daughter of Rick and Jodi Hollister, $500.
The following students from the area graduated from UW-Stout in May: Isaac Lee, Colfax, BS Health, Wellness and Fitness; Grant Kjelberg, Elk Mound, BS Criminal Justice and Rehabilitation; Caleb Young, Elk Mound, BS Mechanical Engineering.
July 20, 2022
Friends of the Red Cedar Basin have gathered enough signatures to move onto the next step toward forming a Tainter Lake Rehabilitation District.
The Colfax Cub Scouts made a presentation to the Colfax Village Board July 11 about donating a gaga ball pit to be constructed in a park in Colfax.
The Colfax School District has spent $753,414 out of the general fund to fill in the gap between funding received from the state of $544,062 for special education and the cost of the special education program in Colfax at $1,297,475.
Nidia Lazos is asking local farmers to fill out a survey she has developed as part of the LAKES REU program at UW-Stout this summer. Lazos is a student at the University of Kansas who is majoring in environmental studies.
July 27, 2022
The Colfax Plan Commission is recommending that the village board approve combining two lots into one for three proposed duplexes on High Street next to the former location of Area Nursing Home.
Under the theme of Country Nights and Carnival Lights, the Dunn County Fair starts today at the Dunn County Rec Park, July 27, and runs through Sunday.
Friends and family gathered at the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center Friday, July 15, to pay tribute to Loretta Logslett, who been an employee for nearly 50 years. Loretta passed away December 23, 2021, at the age of 89.
The Dunn County Facilities Committee has given approval for a night shoot at the Colfax Shooting Range September 24.
August 3, 2022
The Dunn County Board has referred the holding of a public hearing on the proposed Tainter Lake Rehabilitation District to the Dunn County Planning, Resources and Development Committee.
The total property tax levy for the Elk Mound School District is expected to decrease by 3.16 percent for the 2022-2023 school year.
The Colfax Railroad Museum has received a grant from the AnneMarie Foundation for over $3,000 to buy 30 tables for displays at model train shows.
The gaga ball pit that will be donated by the Colfax Cub Scouts will be located in Iverson Park.
The Dunn County Board has approved appointing Kristin Korpela, who has served as the director of Dunn County Human Services since 2013, as the new Dunn County manager.
August 10, 2022
The Elk Mound Village Board has approved increasing the fines for parking tickets. Prior to the increase, if a parking ticket was paid within 72 hours, the cost was $10. Following the increase, if a parking ticket is paid within 72 hours, the cost will be $25.
Following six days of testimony and one day of deliberation, a Dunn County jury as found a 39-year-old Eau Claire man, Chad D. Turgeson, not guilty in connection with a Town of Dunn homicide in November of 2020.
The Dunn County Board has approved placing a non-binding referendum question on the November ballot asking whether the United States should provide a national health insurance program.
August 17, 2022
Susan Hill, a member of the Russell-Toycen American Legion Post 131 Auxiliary of Colfax, received an award of excellence for her work with the Ebert Sorkness recognition in June of 2021, from the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Wisconsin presented by Margaret Larson of River Falls. At the time of his death, Sorkness was known as the oldest Civil War veteran in Dunn County.
The Dunn County Planning, Resources and Development Committee held a public hearing August 9 on the proposed Tainter Lake Rehabilitation District, with some of the testimony in favor and some against.
A preliminary hearing in St. Croix County Circuit Court has been scheduled September 2 for a Minnesota man, Nicolae Miu, age 52, who is charged in connection with an incident on the Apple River that left one dead and four injured. Bail was set at $1 million cash during Miu’s initial court appearance August 1.
August 24, 2022
A nationwide teacher shortage is making it difficult for school districts to recruit and retain teachers, and the Colfax school district is no exception. “The well is going dry,” said William C. Yingst Jr., district administrator, at the Colfax Board of Education’s August 15 meeting.
The property tax levy for the Colfax school district is expected to decrease by $1 million for the 2022-2023 school year. The total property tax levy for this year’s proposed budget is $2,328,800, which compares to last year’s total levy of $3,345,616.
The Dunn County Board has reviewed budget requests of $94.1 million that contains $5.9 million more in expenses than there is revenue to cover the expenses.
Adam Beliveau, 42, of Downing, has been sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison for his attempt to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine. Beliveau regularly traveled to California in 2020 and mailed large amounts of illegal drugs, primarily methamphetamine, to himself in Wisconsin.
August 31, 2022
The Colfax FFA Alumni held their second annual Tractor Fest at the Colfax Fairgrounds on August 27.
Torrential rain earlier in the day make have kept some people away from the event.
Pending final approval from the Elk Mound Village Board and the Elk Mound fire board, one of the Colfax Rescue Squad’s two ambulances will be moving to Elk Mound.
The wages approved by the Colfax Village Board at the August 22 meeting increased the pay for an EMT Basic from $7.25 per hour to $10 per hour, and increased the pay for an EMT Advanced from $7.75 per hour to $11 per hour. The per capita was set at $27.52 for municipalities served by the Colfax Rescue Squad.
The Elk Mound schools district’s $15 million referendum has reached the “punch list” stage for areas in the high school.
A proposed budget of $14.5 million was reviewed during the budget hearing and annual meeting of the Elk Mound school district August 22.
September 7, 2022
The per capita fee for municipalities that are members of the Colfax Solid Waste and Recycling will remain the same at $28.06 for the Colfax side of the Responsible Unit and $40.42 for the Elk Mound side.
The Colfax Rescue Squad is proposing a budget of $511,947 for 2023, representing an increase of $63,909 over the 2022 budget of $448,038. The increase in the budget will go toward increasing the wages for the Emergency Medical Technicians, said Don Knutson, director of the Colfax Rescue Squad.
Author and humorist Michael Perry, who is the host of the nationally-syndicated “Tent Show Radio” on Wisconsin Public Radio, will be appearing at the Cozy Theater at the Colfax Municipal Building September 24.
The Russell-Toycen American Legion Post 131, American Legion Auxiliary and Gold Star Mothers of Colfax will be honored during a ceremony at The Highground in Neillsville September 17.
September 14, 2022
The 54th Annual Colfax Firefighters’ Ball was held Saturday, September 10.
Upgrades to the water system in Elk Mound to provide adequate fire fighting capacity and to maintain water quality for the school buildings and new Settlers Ridge development would cost an estimated $2.1 million.
A draft report on the public hearing for the proposed Tainter Lake Rehabilitation District presented to the Dunn County Planning, Resources and Development Committee answers some of the questions posed at the public hearing on August 9.
The Elk Mound Village Board has decided to hold off for now on providing an administrative assistant for the police department.
The Colfax Scholastic Pistol Team came home from the Scholastic Action Shooting Program’s National Match with second place in the Open Squad Pistol Caliber Carbine.
September 21, 2022
A large solar project, Elk Creek Solar, that would cover 1,700 acres is being planned by Tyr Energy Development Renewables in the Town of Spring Brook.
Instead of charging homeowners the actual cost of restoring the street after a sewer repair, the Colfax Village Board is considering charging a straight fee of $2,500
The Colfax Village Board has accepted a bid of $9,785 for tuck pointing in the municipal building basement and for two well houses.
September 28, 2022
One of the main reasons the company proposing the Elk Creek Solar Project wants to locate a 300 megawatt solar project on 1,600 acres in the Town of Spring Brook is because of existing infrastructure. Xcel Energy has a transmission line running through the Town of Spring Brook, said Dylan Stickney, representing Tyr Energy Development and Renewables, at the Dunn County Board’s September 21 meeting.
Tristan Kittilson’s fifth graders are excited — they’ve got a 3D printer! Kittilson told the Colfax Board of Education at the September 19 meeting that over the summer, he had asked Trevor Hovde, Colfax Elementary principal, and William C. Yingst Jr., district administrator, if a 3D printer could be purchased for Kittilson’s fifth grade classroom. Some of Kittilson’s students attended the meeting to show what they had made with the 3D printer.
“An Evening Dark and Dreary — the Tales of Edgar Allan Poe” will be presented at the Colfax Municipal Building Auditorium’s Cozy Theater Saturday, October 1.
The Elk Mound school district has scheduled an open house for October 27 so that people can see the result of the work put into the $15 million referendum project for construction and remodeling.
The project to reconstruct county Highway B from Highway 12/29 north to just past the Love’s Travel Stop is expected to begin in May of 2023.