Sunday, January 21st


Over the past five years, Toner has gained a reputation as a versatile, fun-loving rock band, and the Black River Falls-based quartet’s recently released self-titled debut album reflects that.

As singer/guitarist Garrett Gilbertson sees it, there’s no rule that says all the songs on an album have to fall into the same genre or sonic range, pointing to The Beatles’ “White Album” as a good example.

The band plays an unusually wide range of tunes, from Johnny Cash to B-52s to Rage Against the Machine to Nine Inch Nails, and that has made the band sharper.

“We’re really up on our musicianship because we have to be out of our comfort zone, learning everything from Britney Spears to Chicago, anything that might get requested at a wedding,” said bassist William Roberts.

One person is dead after a two-vehicle crash Wednesday on Hwy. 12 in the town of Alma in Jackson County.

Jackson County sheriff's deputies and emergency crews found two vehicles about noon that had received severe damage. One driver was transported to a hospital for treatment, while the other driver was pronounced dead on scene. 

Hwy. 12 was closed for about four hours as authorities investigated.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, Merrillan Police Department, Merrillan Fire and First Responders and the Black River Falls Fire Department responded.

The name of the victim is being withheld pending family notification.

One person is dead after a two-vehicle crash Wednesday on Hwy.

Well hidden beneath Hwy. 12 over Allen Creek to the northeast of Black River Falls is a 152-foot long, 8-foot high and 17-foot wide stone masonry arch culvert built in 1884 that very few people know about.

“It is kind of hidden because there is about 35 feet of overburden or fill to the roadway so it is down there a little ways,” David Koepp, DOT project manager, said. “It is enough room to grow a few trees and vegetation over the years. Over the past 130 years that the culvert has been there, there have been a few trees that have grown up on it.”

Not even the previous 8-year highway commissioner Randy Anderson or new highway commissioner Jay Borek knew about the culvert.

Santa Claus has been preparing all year for Christmas Day, which is set to take place Monday amid a trans-continental sleigh ride.

Children need to be ready Christmas Eve to be sleeping in their beds when Santa comes, otherwise he will not be able to drop off any presents.

Now that the kids are bored of reading this article, we can get on with the real article and stop with the disguise.

Rex Carter has been one of Santa’s helpers in Black River Falls for 25 years, getting his start in 1992 after he was asked to be Santa for the Black River Memorial Hospital Christmas Tea.

“I wore the beard and it was just seeing the ‘mostly’ joy of the kids and the parents seeing their child,” Carter said about why he likes being Santa.

‘Tis the season! As we jump into the thick of the Christmas season, complete with cups of eggnog, meals with family and gifts around the tree, one cannot forget those responsible for the gifts that make our holiday traditions possible.

While many share concerns for snow-covered roads and nights below zero, there is a dairy farmer forging through the storm to care for a newborn calf. At the same time, a milk truck driver carefully navigates country roads to deliver the milk to the creamery. As our families gather around the table to share a holiday meal, remember to thank the dairy industry for the milk in the glass.

While the family’s patriarch carefully watches over the holiday ham in the oven, there is a hog farmer checking piglets under a heat lamp in the barn.

The town of Millston and Meteor Timber signed an agreement Tuesday for safety updates to the Hwy. O intersections at Interstate 94 and Hwy. 12 in exchange for Millston repealing its noise, vehicle idling and emissions ordinances passed in August.

Meteor Timber, one of the largest private landowners in Wisconsin, has proposed building a processing and loading facility along Interstate 94 near the town of Millston in Monroe County to dry and ship frac sand the company will mine from a portion of a nearby site in Jackson County.

Meteor Timber will truck the sand south on Fish Creek Road and then west on Hwy. 0. Trucks would then turn left on Hwy. 12 to get to their processing and loading facility. Meteor Timber has already signed a road use maintenance agreement with the Jackson County Highway Department that would make Hwy.