Federal changes could jeopardize Riverfront jobs

About 175 disabled adults employed at Riverfront Inc. and others like them across the state could lose their jobs in coming years under federally proposed changes to a state Medicaid waiver program, Riverfront CEO Mary Kessens said.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is in the process of adopting a ruling from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services defining Home and Community-Based Services, or HCBS.

Based on a U.

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Sunfish biting on local cranberry marshes

Local cranberry marshes continue to be productive waters for anglers pursuing sunfish.

Crappies, bluegills and largemouth bass all have been active during a recent bout of stable weather.

The bite has been pretty good,” said Don Roscovius, owner of Rosco’s Live Bait in Tomah. water level is back to where it typically is.

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Securities fraud charges to be considered in former Three Bears Lodge owner’s sentencing

Charges of securities fraud will be considered in the sentencing of the former owner of Three Bears Lodge in Warrens.

Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Todd Ziegler ruled that the contracts Edward Van Der Molen, 68, entered into with the owners of villas near Three Bears Lodge were investments under federal law.

I’m satisfied that the lease-back contracts do qualify as investment contracts as argued by the state,” Ziegler said.

Van Der Molen built and sold the villas, then entered into contracts to lease the buildings from the new owners.

The ruling requires Ziegler to read in a charge of securities fraud at Van Der Molen’s sentencing Oct.

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Community center construction set to begin

Community center construction set to begin

Construction of a new Black River Falls community center is set to begin after officials broke ground for the facility last week.

Planning for the new Lunda Community Center, which will be situated on the south lawn of the high school, began at least three years ago and the new 113,000-square-foot, multi-purpose building could open as soon as spring 2016.

It’s kind of unbelievable to have this in a city of our size,” said Black River Falls Mayor Ron Danielson after the groundbreaking ceremony Thursday. ll be a huge plus for the community.

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Man dead after scuba diving

A Minnesota man is dead after scuba diving at Wazee Lake last week.

Fifty-year-old Jeffrey Cartensen was pronounced dead at Black River Memorial Hospital Aug. 3 after conducting a practice dive with an instructor earlier that morning. An autopsy was scheduled to be conducted at an Eau Claire hospital last week, but results weren’t available as of press time.

Jackson County Sheriff Duane Waldera said the man came to the surface after the dive about 10 a.

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City developing police firearms training policy

Black River Falls is in the midst of finalizing a policy for police firearms testing after two recent failed tests raised legal liability concerns.

The city’s policy committee mulled policy proposals by BRF Police Department administration and the police union last week and soon will approve rules that could lead to officer firing after four failed certification attempts and a chance for an impartial tester.

In general, I think the meeting was really productive and I think, by the end of the meeting, there was close to a consensus on what the policy would look like,” said City Attorney Dan Diehn. The big thing that was important to me is that … we get (a policy) in place quickly.

BRF Police Chief Dave Frederick and two members of the city council last month raised concerns after two city police officers failed a newly state-mandated firearms course and were placed on leave but reinstated to duty by city administration before successfully passing the course.

The newly enacted law states that no person is allowed to continue as a certified law enforcement officer unless they complete the required certification training that is overseen by the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Training and Standards Bureau.

City Administrator Brad Chown said after the policy meeting committee members and police department representatives agreed on several aspects that should be incorporated into the policy, including using the state-designed and mandated qualification course and allowing officers two attempts to pass on a first day and two hours of remedial training between attempts if needed.

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U.S. trade representative, congressman promote exports

U.S. trade representative, congressman promote exports

Officials say the Obama administration’s trade policy will stimulate Wisconsin’s economy and increase its agricultural exports.

U. S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and U. S.

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State still mulling judicial appointment

The state has yet to name a replacement for Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Lister who stepped down earlier this month.

The court has been served by reserve judges since Lister’s last day Aug. 1. Gov.

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City holds off on releasing cost of sheriff’s department coverage

Black River Falls will wait to disclose how much it may cost the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department to provide law enforcement services for the city.

The Chronicle recently made an open records request for the sheriff’s department’s preliminary cost estimate for providing services, but the city will withhold the figures until it also has received proposals from the police chief and police union.

The proposal is part of public business involving competitive factors and therefore the public interest and public policies against disclosure outweigh the disclosure of the preliminary Jackson County Sheriff’s Department proposal for law enforcement coverage for the city of Black River Falls at this time,” City Administrator Brad Chown wrote in response to the records request.

The city has given the sheriff’s department, BRF Police Chief Dave Frederick and the BRF Professional Police Association until Aug. 19 to provide a “general operating plan” for providing 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week coverage for Black River Falls, including operational and capital expenses.

Chown said all proposals will be released Aug. 20.

The city began looking at options for law enforcement earlier this year in the midst of a potential need for 2015 budget savings.

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Labor wary of Trans-Pacific trade agreement

Wisconsin labor leaders remain skeptical of a major new international trade agreement after a meeting with the United States’ top trade official.

Officials with the AFLCIO, along with trade unions representing workers in the railroad, manufacturing, construction and public employee sectors, met with U. S. Trade Representative Michael Froman Monday to address concerns over the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The meeting was set up by U.

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Prairie du Chien farmer to face Rep. Kind in fall election

Prairie du Chien farmer to face Rep. Kind in fall election

Prairie du Chien farmer and former Army aviator Tony Kurtz emerged from a field of three Republicans seeking to challenge nine-term incumbent Rep. Ron Kind in Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District.

With 440 of 572 precincts reporting, Kurtz had 57 percent of the votes when the Associated Press called the race. Chippewa Falls attorney Karen Mueller trailed with 23 percent and Ken Van Doren of Mauston with 20 in the Aug. 12 primary.

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