Monday, June 25th


The smell of pancakes and sawdust was in the air as I walked toward the large machine shed on the Nate and Karen Kling farm in rural Taylor on June 2.

Volunteers were busy directing cars and walking paths were lined with wood shavings. It was the 37th annual Jackson County dairy breakfast.

If you’ve never eaten breakfast on a farm before, this is the month to do it.

The tradition of Wisconsin dairy breakfasts is in full swing as part of June Dairy Month. Each weekend this month there are opportunities across the state to visit a farm, eat breakfast and learn about how today’s dairy operations are run.

Even though Wisconsin lost 500 dairy farms in 2017, there were still 8,801 active cow dairy farms in the state as of Jan. 1. While most dairy farms have gotten larger, they are still nearly all family-owned businesses.

BLACK RIVER FALLS — The school district has received a $57,273 grant as part of $7.8 million granted for broadband infrastructure upgrades to 252 school districts.

The grant is part of the Technology for Educational Achievement Information Technology Infrastructure grants. Since the program was created in 2016, it has awarded more than $13 million in grants.

“We are pleased to announce 252 school districts across the state will receive grants to increase and improve technology in their classrooms,” Gov. Scott Walker said. “We are investing more actual dollars into public classrooms than ever before, increased technology in the classroom will help our students excel and further position Wisconsin to win the 21st century.”

Through an application process, grants for fiscal 2018 were available to eligible school districts with 16 or fewer students per square mile.

Funding amount available to a school district was determined by the number of students within the district.

BLACK RIVER FALLS — An Altoona man who pleaded no contest in the shooting death of a friend in 2015 in Jackson County was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison.

Michael O. Nelson was tried for shooting Randall Perry in November 2015 at a Jackson County home, but the trial ended in a hung jury last year.

Prosecutors were set to re-try Nelson, but in he pleaded no contest in March to second-degree reckless homicide.

He was credited 520 days of time served and 10 years of supervision after his release.

Nelson shot Perry in the chest after visiting his Arrow Road home with a group of friends. Nelson called 911 and told a dispatcher he didn’t know the rifle was loaded when he pulled the trigger.

Nelson was observed taking out the clip and extracting a round from the chamber of the AR-15-style rifle in the living room at the home, according to the criminal complaint.

BLACK RIVER FALLS — A threat written on a wall in Black River Falls High School put the city on edge; however, classes went ahead Thursday morning at the school without incident.


Shelly Severson

Superintendent Shelly Severson said school officials found a note in the boys’ bathroom after school Wednesday threatening a shooting at the school. School officials immediately notified local law enforcement and reviewed the plans already in place in case of a threat against the school.

Severson credited the interagency collaboration between the Wisconsin State Patrol, Black River Falls Police Department and Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, along with safety protocols practiced by the school district for easing the anxiety around the situation.

“It was far more calming, because everybody knew how the systems were going to work together,” Severson said.

Law enforcement officers swept the buildings for weapons and the school held classes as usual.

Rep. Treig Pronschinske, R-Mondovi, was honored this week by the American Heart Association as its legislator of the year during a ceremony at the Black River Falls Fire Department.

The American Heart Association is recognized Pronschinske’s leadership in passing the law that ensures all 911 dispatchers can give CPR coaching over the phone.