Sunday, April 21st


Authorities in Jackson County are looking for a man who fled after a domestic dispute on Interstate 94.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department was called at 1:13 p.m. Wednesday to near mile marker 122 in the town of Manchester for a report of a possible domestic disturbance.

A woman told deputies that Dale K. Becklin, 58, of Louisiana had run off. Deputies with K9 and state troopers searched and were unable to find him.

Authorities said they believe it was an isolated incident and that Becklin has no known ties to this area.

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Jackson County deputies are urging people to call 715-284-5357 if you see Becklin, and that you should not try to apprehend him.

Treasure lovers still have time to register to get their items appraised at the upcoming Antique Appraisal Event at Black River Falls Public Library.

The Friends of Black River Falls Public Library-sponsored event will be back for its third year on Aug. 25 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The group prefers registrations be submitted by this Saturday, Aug. 18, although they will be accepted until Thursday, Aug. 23, if space permits.

“We are excited to offer this unique event again,” said Joan Zenz, chair of the Friends group. “We welcome people to register and learn more about items they are curious about.”

National Public Radio “Road Show” appraiser Mark Moran will return to evaluate items, including fine art, ceramics, glassware, clocks, advertising, folk art, vintage photos, costume jewelry, metalware, toys, sports memorabilia and musical instruments.

Moran has been an appraiser for more than 20 years and bought and sold antiques for more than 30 years while specializing in vintage folk and fine art and Americana.

There’s been a surge in retail stores and restaurants opening or relocating in Black River Falls, especially downtown.

“I’m not 100 percent sure what the reason is,” said Amanda Gunn, executive director of the Black River Area Chamber of Commerce. “But I think they found a lot of different opportunities for things that we didn’t quite have yet in the area.”

One of the most unique new businesses is First Fruits Common Market, which Michelle and Brandon Harvieux opened June 1 at 25 S. First St. in downtown Black River Falls.

“We call it a bulk, local and specialty foods store, for lack of a better term,” Michelle Harvieux said last week. It sells bulk foods such as baking items, spices, candy and nuts; local foods such as dairy, meats, breads, cheeses, kombucha and maple syrup; and specialty foods such as coffee (from both JBC Coffee Roasters in Madison and Abidance Ovens LLC in Black River Falls) and olive oil.

There are plenty of invasive species in Wisconsin — and I’m not talking about those who live in the cheesehead state and have the audacity to root for those Nordic invaders from Minnesota or the Ursidae sloth from the flatland.

These are botanical invaders who take over gardens, ditches, yards and if left unchecked would no doubt someday show up even on the frozen tundra in Green Bay’s Lambeau Field.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources calls them terrestrial invasives that “affect the health of our forests, prairies, parks, urban landscapes and more.” The DNR maintains a website that lists a plethora of plants that are regulated — 64 of them with glorious living color photos.

Some of those plants are prohibited anywhere in Wisconsin — like kudzu or giant hogweed. Others like Canada thistle — which is allegedly the next tariff target — purple loosestrife or wild parsnip are restricted because they are already established in the state and have the potential to cause significant environmental harm.

Barb Pfaff received the Service Above Self Award from the Rotary Club of Black River Falls Aug. 13 for her work at the Jackson County Animal Shelter.

Her passion for animals is evident in the dedication shown in helping the hundreds of pets she cares for every year.

In addition, Barb has worked tirelessly to raise funds for a new shelter that will replace the existing outdated facility.

The Black River Area Community Band received the Service Above Self Award for its 20 years of performing for the Jackson County area.

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The commitment to music has benefitted many through performances at area festivals, parades and other area celebrations.