Saturday, July 22nd

Local

Passionate. Persistent. Progressive. The 7 Rivers Region is home to countless men and women who have dedicated their careers and everyday lives to the improvement and advancement of the community.

Last fall, the River Valley News Group and the 7 Rivers Alliance honored 19 emerging young leaders at the first ever Rising Stars Under 40 awards, and they once again are seeking nominations for influential people in the area.

Nominations opened in April and will close on July 26.

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The public wants to think that government agencies try to save taxpayer money as much as possible, but hearing that a department is completely self-funded may be a shock.

One Jackson County department has done just that through a mix of tourism and commerce.

Jackson County Forestry and Parks Department manages about 120,000 acres of forestry land and the timber provides significant income. Jackson County has the eighth most county forest land in Wisconsin, according to data from the Wisconsin County Forest Association.

The department also manages recreational spots, including ATV/snowmobile trails as well as park grounds. That's not the end of the department's responsibilities, it takes care of wildlife habitats, battles invasive species, and works with groups to manage the area.

Green Meadows used to be a thriving bar and restaurant near Taylor on Hwy. 95, but it burned down a few years ago. Now there is an abandoned house in the middle of the rubble, leaving local authorities to deal with the clean-up.

This and other abandoned properties can create a potential litany of problems for cities and counties who want to get rid of them. There is no uniform way to handle a case.

Some are simple lots that have been abandoned and left to fall apart and other times the properties come to the Public Health Department as human health hazards.

“Those types of things are things such as communicable disease control, garbage and refuse, air or groundwater pollution, etc.

A Black River Falls man was booked in Jackson County jail after allegedly hitting mailboxes and traveling through residential yards in a vehicle. He then struck a vehicle before he fled on foot at about 6 p.m. Sunday, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident was at Pettibone Pass, in the town of Komensky. During a search, deputies located Edward Mustache, age 44, hiding in nearby woods. He failed field sobriety testing and was arrested, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

He was booked for OWI-seventh offense as well as a parole violation.

A Black River Falls man was booked in Jackson County jail after allegedly hitting mailboxes and traveling through residential yards in a vehicle.

The Wisconsin DOT recently began a nearly $5 million construction project on 15.5 miles of Hwy. 54 between Black River Falls and Melrose.

“There is severe cracking on the pavement all the way down Hwy. 54 to Melrose, so obviously we will adjust that. Everything that is substandard right now is being brought up to standard,” DOT project manager Dave Koepp said.

Most of the project will be repaving the stretch from in front of the fairgrounds in Black River Falls to South of Melrose where there is new asphalt outside of the gas station. There will also be some reconstruction between Hwy. R and 11th Street in Black River Falls to add in turn lanes for that stretch.