Cold case investigations heating back up

Cold case investigations heating back up

Authorities are relaunching investigations into two Jackson County cold cases in hopes of solving the decades-old homicides.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and state investigators hope new DNA technology can help identify a man and a woman whose remains were discovered in 1978 and 1990 in unrelated cases to help bring closure to their families.

I’m confident with (DNA capabilities) we’re going to get closer to identifying these individuals,” said Jackson County Sheriff Duane Waldera. idn’t do it now, I don’t know when we were going to do it.

The cases are two of the department’s three long-unsolved homicide investigations and are the only two where the victims have not been identified – one of the reasons Waldera said authorities opted to recently take another look.

The department also was able to solicit the assistance of the University of North Texas Health Science Center where DNA profiles and other testing will be conducted to aid in identifying the individuals.

The department plans to add any DNA profiling results onto a website for unidentified remains and missing persons in hopes that families reported them missing and a match can be established, said sheriff’s department detective Kelly Bakken.

As we all know, technology has changed,” Bakken said.

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Ho-Chunk '18 money' changes don’t win support

The Ho-Chunk Nation’s “18 money” isn’t going away.

A proposal to delay lump-sum trust-fund payouts to 18-year-olds in the tribe failed to win support of the tribal legislature last week, signaling the likely end to a push for changes that started four years ago.

It’s really a no-action vote,” said legislator Robert Two Bears. seems like it’s a dead bill.

Two Bears spoke of the decision in Green Bay to avoid a vote on the proposed changes and instead pass the issue along as an informational item at the tribe’s General Council meeting in September. The measure passed 6-3, with three legislators abstaining.

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City grapples with truck traffic

Black River Falls is facing more strain on Eighth Street with ongoing heavy truck traffic on the designated alternate route.

City officials last month revived discussion of the impact heavy trucks have on the one-mile stretch from Highway A to Main Street, citing increased sand transportation and resident complaints.

BRF three years ago considered but opted against abolishing the stretch as an alternate truck route because of wear and tear and could consider it again.

It’s the abuse now with the truck traffic from the sand trucks,” said Mayor Ron Danielson.

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Farmers having good season despite wet conditions

Farmers having good season despite wet conditions

Many Jackson County farmers are experiencing a good planting season even in the wake of continued wet conditions.

The effect on corn and other crops varies with soil type, but county agriculture agent Trisha Wagner said many farmers recovered from delays the wet spring caused and are seeing good results in their corn, hay and soybeans.

We’ve been doing really good,” she said. s probably been one of the nicer planting seasons since I’ve been agriculture agent in Jackson County.

We did have a slower start, but once people got going a lot of crops got planted relatively on time and we’ve had steady rain every week since then that has really given us a really nice looking corn crop, a really nice hay crop and beans are looking pretty decent.

Jackson County farmers were slightly behind schedule in planting oats and field work as May approached and spring precipitation totals stayed above average.

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BRF High School assistant principal resigns

The Black River Falls School District is searching for a new high school assistant principal after the recent resignation of Jason Janke.

Janke submitted his letter of resignation late last month and has accepted a new position as assistant principal of Ellsworth High School after two years in his BRF role.

Again, thank you for the opportunities over the past 19 years,” wrote Janke, who was a longtime BRF teacher before becoming assistant principal in 2012. It is with a heavy heart that I submit this letter.

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Irving woman has to tear down $60,000 garage, appeals court rules

A town of Irving woman has to tear down the $60,000 garage she had constructed because it is too close to Jackson County Highway H, a state appeals court ruled Thursday.

The District IV Court of Appeals upheld circuit court Judge John A. Damon’s 2011 ruling for the county which had ordered Sherrie L. Wollin to remove the garage which she had built in 2005 within the county’s 75-foot highway setback ordinance.

Wollin lives on the inside of a 90-degree curve on Highway H.

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Ho-Chunk Nation cuts ribbon for General Council Agency building

The Ho-Chunk Nation cut the ribbon on a new facility to house its General Council Agency Friday on Highway 21 in the town of LaGrange.

Finally, we got a place of our own,” said General Council Agency Chair Marvin Decorah.

The agency, which represents the Ho-Chunk General Council, has worked to get its own building for the past nine years. The general council is one of four branches of government in the Ho-Chunk Nation and includes every member of the Ho-Chunk Nation.

Members pass resolutions that the agency then enacts.

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BRF man injured in La Crosse tree accident

A Black River Falls man was seriously injured Saturday when he was hit by a falling limb while doing tree work in the city of La Crosse.

Tyler Henry, 29, was struck on the head when another man working above him dropped a large limb, according to police reports. They were cutting a tree at 1210 Bennett St.

Rescuers found Henry lying in a pool of blood.

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BRF accepted in state's downtown revitalization program

The city of Black River Falls has been accepted into the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s Connect Communities Program, an initiative that works with communities to advance downtown and urban corridor revitalization efforts.

Black River Falls is one of 21 communities around the state that have been added to the program this year. They join 19 communities that were part of the inaugural year of Connect Communities.

The Connect Communities Program provides access to resources and training to help communities pursue revitalization and redevelopment efforts. The program is designed to support and complement the Wisconsin Main Street program, which has supported projects statewide resulting in the creation of more than 4,500 new businesses and 17,000 new jobs since the program’s inception in 1987.

The WEDC congratulates the Black River Falls Downtown Association for being accepted into this program,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

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State supreme court rejects fatal overdose case

The state’s Supreme Court won’t review a La Crosse man’s appeal on his conviction for a heroin overdose death.

Mitchell Perner is serving a 12-year prison sentence for providing the heroin that killed his girlfriend in 2010. He was the first convicted in a string of La Crosse County fatal overdose prosecutions.

Perner tried to take his case to Wisconsin’s Supreme Court after the District 4 Court of Appeals upheld his conviction for first-degree reckless homicide.

Prosecutors argued at Perner’s trial in January 2011 that he twice gave 20-year-old Shelby Perkins heroin he bought from Cory Koopman on May 20, 2010. She collapsed of heroin toxicity early the next day at the couple’s La Crosse apartment.

Perner testified that Perkins — a Black River Falls graduate — bought the heroin that killed her, though he was present at the time.

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Recall effort under way in town of Cleveland

An effort to recall Cleveland Town Board Supervisor Joe Egloff is under way.

A 95-signature petition – which cites malfeasance as a reason for the move – recently was certified by the town clerk and an election is expected to be scheduled for Aug.

The group leading the effort – the Cleveland Can’t Afford to Wait committee – has noted alleged open meetings violations, increased attorney fees and opposition to economic development for the recall against the first-term supervisor.

Egloff’s opposition to frac sand mining only is part of the issue, committee chair Chris Ludwiczak said.

Our town is at a crossroads, and Mr. Egloff stands in the way of the balance between a town that can provide sound and sustainable opportunities and a town that fails to provide not only for today’s residents but also those of tomorrow,” Ludwiczak said in a statement.

Egloff, however, charges his votes against mine rezoning petitions are at the center of the recall.

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