Wednesday, August 23rd


After some successful spring activities that included our FFA Banquet, FFA Career Development Events, a trap shooting competition and Food For America Program hosted by Clint and Darby Sampson, our summer of 2017 started out fast and went quickly.

A huge thank you to Mike and Karen Houser for selecting us to receive a grant of $2,500 from Monsanto in their name. Their generous donation helped allow us to participate in many of the activities throughout the summer.

The Melrose-Mindoro FFA summer highlights of 2017 began in June with several FFA members volunteering to help at both the Jackson and La Crosse county dairy breakfasts. Members participating were Breanna Feit, Cody Wolter, Gavin Hintz and Brady Patterson.

Also in June was our State FFA Convention where we had six members participate.

Black River Memorial Hospital (BRMH) earned the Excellence in Patient Care award given by Studer Group at the annual What’s Right in Health Care conference held Aug. 1-3, in Chicago, Ill. To be eligible for this honor, an organization must rank at the 90th percentile, or higher, for overall patient satisfaction for communication with doctors.

BRMH chief executive officer Mary Beth White-Jacobs attended the conference with twenty additional staff members.

White-Jacobs commented, “Our doctors take the time to help patients understand the care they are receiving. On behalf of Black River Memorial Hospital, I am very proud to have our organization, and our doctors earn this top award.”

Studer Group works with healthcare organizations across the world to improve the patient care experience and overall performance.

It’s a seemingly antiquated phrase, but in the case of foster care services, it still holds true to this day.

The village is both what identifies a potential foster child, and who takes those potential foster children in. Any neighbor, teacher, relative or concerned citizen who knows of a child that is in a potentially harmful or unsafe environment can contact human services at the county, which also bands up with the school district and local law enforcement to keep track of truancy and juvenile delinquency reports.

“We can’t stress enough the importance of community members,” Monroe County foster care coordinator Laura Mahan-Schmitz said. “They’re the eyes and ears out there, really helping ensure that the children are safe.”

Earlier in the year, county officials put in applications for grants through the Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) program to help battle the drug problems in the county.

TAD programs are intended to help provide non-violent offenders who abuse drugs or alcohol get the help that is needed.

Unfortunately, Jackson County was not one of the 50 counties and tribes selected in the 2017 funding, but the county is quickly moving towards phase two.

Those that weren’t selected as a part of the TAD program still have a chance to receive funding from the state for similar efforts. Jackson County is planning on applying for this grant to help with the opiate issues in the county.

“What we are discussing is putting applications for medically-assisted treatment for opiate abusers or higher OWIs who keep ending up in jail for bond jumping,” Jackson County judge Anna Becker said.

The most important part of any good animal shelter is having a safe and clean space for cats, dogs and pets of all shapes and sizes.

Jackson County’s animal shelter has been looking at possible remodeling of their site to help update the building to better handle the animals they take in.

Over the past few months though, as fundraisers have been held and money has been raised, the better option might be to build a completely new building.

The current facility has serviced its volunteers well, but with a number of sanitary, sound and space issues, the better option seems to now be to start from scratch.

Some of the initial problems with this proposal was finding a place to go, moving outside of Black River Falls means the city would no longer pay for the utilities of the building.