Wednesday, August 23rd

Local

As construction of the Melrose-Mindoro consolidated campus continues, a group of four local stakeholders have been tasked with finding a new use for the two elementary schools that will be left vacant after the 2017-2018 school year in Melrose and Mindoro.

The $24.7 million consolidated campus project was passed by referendum last November. The project started at the end of the 2016-2017 school year and will bring together all students in the school district under one roof at the current high school location.

Melrose board chairman Joel Gilbertson, town of Farmington board chairman Mike Hesse, school superintendent Del DeBerg and Black River Country Chamber of Commerce executive director Chris Hardie are heading the “building re-use team” to help find the elementary buildings a new home.

Black River Memorial Hospital (BRMH) is committed to the health and well-being of people who live in the Black River area. BRMH donates to area organizations however; it must be used to enhance the health of the community.

The Boys & Girls Club – Lunda Center, Black River Falls, also promotes healthy lifestyles. Student programs include a wide variety of activities including a “Smart Moves” program to teach the students the negative effects of drug and alcohol use. Statistics prove that students who attend Boys & Girls Club have higher grade point averages. In addition, students have less bad behavior and have less negative contact with law enforcement. Boys & Girls Club kids provide more community service and are more physically active than those who do not attend.

Fort McCoy invites the public to use its picnic pavilions.

Picnic pavilions and areas are scattered throughout the post for military, civilian and public use. Different rules govern the use of these areas depending on the location and managing organization.

Pavilions run by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation may be reserved in advance, and the fees vary depending on the location. While all pavilions are free to use if they are unoccupied, fees may be required to reserve the pavilion for a unit or other group’s use.

The picnic pavilions at Pine View Campground, which are near a playground and open recreation areas, are open to members of the public as well.

“The picnic area at Pine View Campground is a great place for family gatherings,” said Jeff Uhlig, chief of the Community Recreation Division at DFMWR.

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.

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

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

The elk have been making their way across Jackson County for a few years ever since they were brought to the area in 2015. Ever since then, the DNR has been keeping track of their progress and right now there are about 63 to 65 elk in the county.

One of the ways the DNR has been doing this is by searching for and counting the elk calves born each year. On a cool July morning, the DNR and several volunteers headed out to some thick woods to search for one of the calves.

At the start of the spring calving season, DNR biologist Scott Roepke said there were about 50 elk left on the ground through the previous two releases, but they anticipate between 13 to 15 calves being born which put their estimate at 65 elk at most.