After more than three years of fundraising, the BRF Fire Department has a new heavy rescue truck in its fleet.

Steve Schreiber, the fire chief of the BRF Fire Department says this is a needed upgrade.

“It is replacing our 1993 heavy rescue truck that is underpowered and getting tired. It is time for a replacement. It is the busiest truck of the department because it responds to motor vehicle crashes and highway incidents,” Schreiber said.

Schreiber says the new truck includes several upgrades including having headsets for each of the firefighters in the truck, which allows everyone to be on the same page before they arrive on-scene.

“Instead of trying to yell over the sirens or not being able to hear the radio, each firefighter will be wearing a headset so they can hear communications clearly,” Schreiber said.

In anticipation of the 2017 tourism season, the Black River Area Chamber of Commerce has released its 2017 Official Visitors Guide.

“The visitors guide is the handy catch-all tool that helps to promote the Black River area and is a tool visitors can use to find their way around and a way for them to find all of the recreational things and businesses that we have to offer,” said Chris Hardie, executive director of the Black River Area Chamber of Commerce.

The visitors guide is placed in several locations throughout the county and at Wisconsin Department of Tourism visitor and information centers around the state.

The 44-page magazine features information about annual events, the Ho-Chunk Nation, outdoor recreation, the state forest, parks and much more.

In conjunction with Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Jackson County Emergency Management will be conducting drills in conjunction with the Statewide Tornado Drill on Thursday, April 20.

This year, there are two drills scheduled, one at 1:45 p.m. and another at 6:55 p.m. The National Weather Service will be issuing a mock tornado watch at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. and a statewide mock tornado warning will be issued. In conjunction with the mock tornado warning, Jackson County will be testing the outdoor weather sirens and the mass notification system.

These drills provide a perfect opportunity for schools, businesses and family to practice safe procedures for severe weather.

“The first time to practice your emergency procedures should not be when you are in the middle of an emergency situation,” said Kristina Page, Jackson County emergency management coordinator.

In the first meet that Blair-Taylor has golfed at in nearly seven years, the young squad was up for the challenge in Whitehall Tuesday at a Dairyland Conference meet.

Tyler Kirchner had the low score for the team, coming in at 58 strokes. He birdied hole three, which is a par four and made a par four on hole nine.

Coming in right behind him with 60 strokes was Nick Shepherd. He hit a par five on hole seven and par four on hole eight.

Rounding out the team was Noah Shepherd chipping in with a 72. He had a par on hole three and hit a bogey on hole nine, which was a par four.

All dairy farmers directly affected by the recent Grassland announcement are invited to attend a meeting to explore your thoughts on possible solutions. The group is being led by Mark and Beth Heinze, Farmers from Portage, Wis. who were also affected by Grassland’s announcement, with support from Dairy Girl Network and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

The purpose of this forum is to discuss the emergency placement of the 1.3 million lbs. of impacted milk per day. We want to use this time to bring together affected families, as well as discuss and explore what options or help your family or farm needs most. We will give updates on meetings being held with processors and emergency relief efforts being pursued by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), and any federal options being explored.

A 16-year old girl from Merrillan ran away from home earlier this week and has still not returned.

Ashleigh Thurman was last spotted in Black River Falls on Friday, April 7 after leaving work at Donna K's at around 2 p.m.

Police say she fled with her boyfriend and she is not believed to be in any danger. Thurman is said to be running away voluntarily.

Her mother's vehicle was found in the Chippewa Falls area, but the license plates were removed.

Thurman might also be with another runaway from the Chippewa Falls area.

She has been speaking with her friends and seems to be OK, but she is refusing to come home.