The majority of people who spoke at a veterans town hall meeting at the Tomah Veterans Administration hospital Saturday praised the Tomah VA staff and the care they received.

However, most agreed that a program designed to offer choice outside the VA system remains tangled in bureaucracy, and one person said his brother died while waiting for dental care in Tomah.

The meeting, conducted by Tomah VA medical director Victoria Brahm, lasted nearly two hours and attracted 50 people.

Donald Hildebrandt said his brother, Marine veteran Richard Hildebrandt, died less than a month after a Feb. 2 appointment in Tomah to repair a broken tooth was cancelled. Donald Hildebrandt said the dentist had called in sick that day and that the appointment was rescheduled for mid-April.

The fishing season has slowed down. It’s the in-between period, said Chris Abbott, manager of Hatfield Sports Shop.

“There’s not much happening,” Abbott said. “It’s kind of in-between the ice and everything else, and it’s going to be pretty quiet for the next few weeks until (Lake Arbutus) opens and we can do some crappie fishing.”

In the Tomah area fishing has nearly come to a standstill — the ice is thin and the inland bass, walleye and northern fishing is closed, said Don Roscovius, owner of Rosco’s Live Bait.

Matt Modjeski, Department of Natural Resources conservation warden for Monroe County, said it’s dangerous to be on the ice on Lake Tomah and in the Tomah and Warrens areas.

Jackson County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Julie Dokkestul reminds producers to review available USDA crop risk protection options, including federal crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, before the spring-seeded crop deadline of March 15.

Federal crop insurance covers crop losses from natural adversities such as drought, hail and excessive moisture. NAP covers losses from natural disasters on crops for which no permanent federal crop insurance program is available, including forage and grazing crops, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, bioenergy and industrial crops.

The following crops in Jackson County have a NAP application deadline of March 15, 2017: Sweet corn, snap peas, pumpkins, squash, watermelon, potatoes and any other spring planted vegetable crops or forages used for commercial or livestock feed purposes not already covered by Federal crop insurance.

Wisconsin Land and Water will be holding their annual Conservation Camp this year June 19-23 and is encouraging youth to attend and learn more about natural resource conservation. The camp is located near Manitowish Waters, Wis. at the North Lakeland Discovery Center facilities.

Students will investigate a variety of natural resources including wildlife, soils, forests, lakes and streams, and learn how those resources are managed by professionals. Students can also gain some hands-on experience in the field and find ways that they can use their talents to help protect our natural resources. Conservation Camp also offers a unique opportunity to meet friends from around the state and enjoy hiking, swimming and canoeing.

The Jackson County Land Conservation and Agriculture Committee is sponsoring two WLW camp scholarships for high school youth (entering 9th – 12th grades) in the 2017/2018 school year.

A Merrillan woman faces a charge of first-degree reckless homicide in the heroin-related death of a Black River Falls man more than two years ago.

Harley R. Est is accused of delivery or manufacture of heroin that led to the overdose death of Vernell Pugh on Feb. 2, 2015.

Mikel Koller and Charles Singer have both been charged with being party to the crime of first-degree reckless homicide in Pugh’s death.

According to a report by Deputy Karie Gillett, she was dispatched at about 4:30 a.m. Feb. 2 to an apartment on Main Street in Black River Falls. Pugh was cold to the touch and unresponsive.

Another deputy, Justin Wathke, was already checking on Pugh when Gillett arrived and saw Est in the apartment.