State boosts prison wardens’ pay while officers languish

Six Department of Corrections wardens recently got new assignments and pay raises of between 8 percent and 13 percent, DOC records show, while correctional officers working for them got 1 percent raises.

Another official, a Jackson Correctional Institution deputy warden, was promoted to warden, earning a 26 percent pay boost, according to the records obtained by Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees’ Union, and provided to the Wisconsin State Journal.

An eighth warden, Bob Humphreys, head of the Racine Youthful Offender Correctional Institution, was transferred but got no raise. Humphreys was appointed warden of Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution.

The raises and new assignment bring the salaries of all eight wardens up to $99,996 a year, or $48.

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Former Three Bears Lodge owner pleads guilty to theft

Edward Van Der Molen pled guilty Friday to theft by contractor before Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Todd Ziegler as part of a plea agreement in the works with the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

The former owner of Three Bears Lodge in Warrens will continue to contest charges of racketeering and securities fraud, according to his lawyer, Thomas Brown.

Essentially, the defendant is going to plead guilty to count three,” Brown said.

With his guilty plea, Van Der Molen, 68, Ruff’s Dale, Pa. admitted to taking $85,000 as part of a contract to build a villa and spending the money elsewhere.

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Area farmers optimistic about 2014

Area farmers optimistic about 2014

Paul Wehrs is optimistic about 2014 and the prospect of making some improvements on his rural West Salem dairy farm.

Milk prices look to be close to a record,” Wehrs said. It should be a good year.

Wehrs said 2013 was a “reasonable” year, but farmers had higher input costs after the drought of 2012 caused high feed prices that extended into the following year.

Wehrs also recalled that “2009 was a disaster” for dairy farmers when milk prices dipped but rebounded the last couple years.

But he hopes this year’s higher milk prices and lower feed costs will allow him to update equipment and facilities in 2014.

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Utility seeks OK for new water tower

Black River Falls Municipal Utilities is seeking state approval to replace its 91-year-old 10th St. water tower with a new $800,000 structure.

Built in 1923, the roof of the 150,000 gallon-water tower is severely corroded and leaks. Bird nests and feathers have been found inside the tank on several occasions, according a March 28 letter to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.

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Fish plan to improve Wazee Lake

Officials are formulating a plan for better management of fish at Wazee Lake in an effort to assist the species, anglers and divers.

The Jackson County Forestry and Parks Department is working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to develop the plan, which will improve the habitat and aid species appropriate for the lake’s cold water.

We were just wondering if there are other things we can do to improve the fish habitat out there because it’s such a popular spot for a lot of people to fish,” said Jim Zahasky, the county’s forestry and parks administrator. nd of a unique resource. We get a lot of comments from fishermen.

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Census Bureau: Jackson among state's fastest growing counties in 2013

Jackson and Trempealeau counties are among the state’s 10 fastest growing counties for 2013, according to the U. Census Bureau.

While gaining fewer residents, Trempealeau and Jackson County both grew by 0. 7 percent, putting them among the state’s 10 fastest-growing counties for the year.

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BRF police, city council discuss open shift issue

A member of the Black River Falls City Council has told the police department he wants the council provided more information on the frequency of open police patrol shifts.

Alderperson Randy Eddy said at last month’s Committee of the Whole meeting the open shifts that came after the resignation of a full-time officer aren’t the fault of the council, and he’d like more accurate reports on where there may be “personnel shortfalls.

There is no person on the council that would say you cannot use part-time officer to fill vacant shifts. That is a decision made internally by the police department,” Eddy told police Sgt. Roger Hackman, who was representing the department at the meeting.

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BRF Mayor Race: Incumbent Danielson says mayoral experience is key for city’s continued success

BRF Mayor Race: Incumbent Danielson says mayoral experience is key for city’s continued success

Black River Falls Mayor Ron Danielson says he plans to keep working on several important projects if he’s reelected to his fourth term next week.

Danielson said his longtime experience in local government and knowledge of its officials will help him lead the city as it continues economic development and addresses housing needs, among other initiatives.

The main thing is the knowledge of people that we need to help to continue to grow and improve our city,” said Danielson, 68. That’s basically the No. 1 thing because I’m working everyday with these people … They’re straight shooters because they know I am.

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BRF Mayor Race: Challenger Molini sees opportunity, several economic prospects

BRF Mayor Race: Challenger Molini sees opportunity, several economic prospects

When Randy Molini moved to Jackson County eight years ago, he saw opportunity.

An opportunity for business.

An opportunity to work with the community.

An opportunity for growth.

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Regional road construction projects ready to begin

Brace yourselves: Road construction is coming.

On March 31, the Coulee Region’s first big project of the season begins on Highway 33. The $10 million project will close Irish Hill between Norsemen Road and Knobloch Road until mid-November.

This will be a big one this season,” said Jim Rohe, project development manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in La Crosse.

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Read more @ Jackson County Chronicle

Regional road construction projects ready to begin

Brace yourselves: Road construction is coming.

On March 31, the Coulee Region’s first big project of the season begins on Highway 33. The $10 million project will close Irish Hill between Norsemen Road and Knobloch Road until mid-November.

This will be a big one this season,” said Jim Rohe, project development manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in La Crosse.

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Read more @ Jackson County Chronicle