Melrose Area Pool undergoes repairs

Melrose Area Pool is now repaired after a broken fill line prompted a short delay in its opening last summer.

Sandy Paisley, pool manager, said work on the broken equipment was finished last week and she hopes the new committee charged with planning for long-term maintenance will begin to put money aside for future needs.

The committee, officially formed earlier this fall, has seven members, although it won’t have a first meeting until it gains tax-exempt status.

Paisley said it will be valuable to have a group solely dedicated to pool issues.

It’s just that more and more (issues) come up and then who do you go to (for making) that decision?

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Black River Falls eyes tax increase

The city of Black River Falls is eyeing a tax increase in its 2015 budget.

The council has OK’d a proposed budget that calls for a 2. 2-percent increase in the tax levy over 2014, which would mean taxpayers with property valued at $100,000 will pay about $24 more on the city’s portion of property tax bills if approved.

The budget is set for a public hearing on Nov. 19 after which the council will approve next year’s final budget.

City Administrator Brad Chown said the approximately $48,700 increase from last year in the proposed $1.

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Ho-Chunk Nation PD settling into new space

Ho-Chunk Nation PD settling into new space

The Ho-Chunk Nation Police Department is looking to the future as the force transitions to its new law enforcement center.

The Nation opened the center, located outside Black River Falls, two months ago, and officials say the move is a promising step in the future of the tribe’s police department.

It is great to have a place we can call our own and to be able to get it set up how we want it set up in the future,” said Ho-Chunk Nation Police Chief Earl Lemieux. It’s great having our own space we can call our own.

The Nation broke ground late last year for the new law enforcement center, which is an addition to its tribal court building at W9598 Highway 54. The move has been considered a milestone and important step for the police department after the initial idea for a sovereign Nation force began about 30 years ago and came to fruition four years ago.

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County to honor WWII vets

Jackson County will honor World War II veterans through a special ceremony next week.

It’s the second year of the county’s efforts to recognize veterans from different conflicts. time officials have planned the Monday, Nov. 10 ceremony in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of D-Day – the June 6, 1944, invasion of the beaches in Normandy, France, by more than 160,000 Allied troops.

I think that it’s great that we’re doing this,” said Jackson County Veterans Service Officer Randy Bjerke.

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Sex offender sentenced to more prison time for assault

A convicted sex offender will spend more time in prison for a 2012 sexual assault.

Robert T. Babcock, 46, recently was sentenced to another two and a half years prison and five years extended supervision for an offense where he sent a female relative sexually explicit text messages before eventually assaulting her.

Presiding Monroe County Judge Mark L.

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Propane supply on track for winter heating season

Propane supply on track for winter heating season

Officials hope a new terminal to bring propane to Western Wisconsin will be part of a better heating season this winter.

A new propane terminal is being installed in Hixton and is intended to help keep up supply to the region despite that a major pipeline stopped bringing the fuel to the region last winter – contributing to increasing prices while temperatures plummeted.

The propane inventories are at or right about where they need to be for that five-year average,” said Jeff Polivka, general manager and CEO of Federation Cooperative, which will operate the new Hixton terminal. The inventories aren’t as low, so the problem isn’t near as bad this year as it was last year. in that October was almost like September – that’s been a blessing.

Plans for the new terminal, owned by Cenex Harvest States and operated by Federation Co-op, got under way last fall because the Cochin pipeline from Canada to the Midwest was halted for repairs and stopped transporting propane to the region.

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Hearings set on high-voltage transmission project

Wisconsin regulators have announced dates in December for public hearings on a proposed high-voltage transmission line to connect La Crosse and Madison.

The hearings, scheduled between Dec. 8 and 15, will be the last opportunity for the public to testify in person for the record that regulators will use in ruling on whether the project is approved and if so what route the lines should follow.

to the Public Service Commission through Jan.

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Jackson County Jail launches new video visitation service

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department announced this week that it will work in conjunction with Legacy Inmate Communications to introduce a new video visitation system at the Jackson County Jail.

This service will make visiting with detained individuals more convenient and accessible for friends and family. Legacy is a nationwide provider of Inmate Communication Services and has been providing inmate telephone service at the jail since December 2011.

We are excited to provide the Jackson County community and our detainees with this new service,” said Capt. Mike Ring.

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School Referendum Passes

The Black River Falls school referendum passed easily Tuesday by a 61% to 38% vote. In a high turnout election, the voters also re-elected Scott Walker and voted yes on the transporation referendum.

Fake hostage, bomb threat under investigation

An individual recently called the local police department to report he’d taken two people hostage at gunpoint and was holding them in a Black River Falls residence wired with explosives.

The individual, who said he was a local juvenile, said he was armed with an assault rifle and that the Third Street home would detonate in one hour if police didn’t turn over $20,000.

BRF officers quickly assembled to prepare for the incident and the Jackson County Emergency Response Team also was called to assist at the scene.

But it was all a hoax.

The Oct. 12 incident has been deemed a case of “swatting,” a trend growing in popularity that involves calling in false bomb and hostage situations that draw law enforcement and SWAT team responses, said BRF Interim Police Chief Pat LaBarbera.

The BRF incident, like other cases of swatting, is a drain on time and resources and poses safety concerns for law enforcement and the public, said Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark Moan.

People need to be held accountable.

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High turnout expected for election

Election officials are expecting a high voter turnout in next week’s General Election that will feature races for governor, Congress and state senators and representatives.

Locally voters also will weigh in on a $22. 5 million Black River Falls School District building and improvement project.

Based on the number of calls of people wanting to vote absentee, I would expect we will have a big turnout for the General Election,” said Jackson County Clerk Kyle Deno.

The last Wisconsin fall election that featured a gubernatorial race was in 2010 when the typically Democrat-supportive Jackson County favored its first Republican governor in 12 years. The county saw 44 percent of eligible voters and 64 percent of registered voters come out to help elect Gov.

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