Sunday, January 21st

News

The new Dollar General store in the village of Merrillan is on track to begin construction in the spring after the village Zoning Planning Commission approved rezoning the property for the new store Monday, Dec. 11.

The property just south of Gile Memorial Park is expected to be rezoned from a conservancy district to a business district to facilitate construction of a 7,500 square-foot Dollar General storefront that is expected to be completed in August.

“It is a brand new prototype that the Dollar General corporate office has introduced. The first one that we built in Wisconsin opened up in Shell Lake earlier in the year, and that was the first of its kind throughout the state,” Todd Platt, president of Platt Development Corporation, said adding that the new store in Pittsville is the same size.

The Jackson County District Attorney's office has ruled that Jackson County Sheriff's Office Deputy Justin Wathke acted in self-defense in the Oct. 28 shooting death of Lucas DeFord in the town of Brockway.

The investigation found that DeFord pointed a gun toward Wathke's head during an altercation before the officer shot DeFord in the lower right abdomen and chest.

"Wisconsin law allows all persons, including police officers, to use deadly force in an act of self-defense if the person reasonably believed that he faced an unlawful interference that created a risk of death or great bodily harm.

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The Jackson County Board of Supervisors decided Monday to table signing a resolution to approve American Transmission Company’s easement for the Badger Coulee Transmission Line that will go through several portions of land owned by Jackson County citing forestry practice and environmental concerns.

American Transmission Company is working with Xcel Energy Corp. to build the Badger Coulee Transmission Line that stretches 180 miles from Holmen to Blair and then across to Black River Falls and then follows Interstate 94 to Dane County. The line is expected to be operational in late 2018.

Members of the Jackson County Forestry Committee spoke up during the meeting that they had yet to receive answers from ATC about various environmental concerns that they had.

Another year of Project Christmas is all wrapped up after gifts were wrapped and food boxed last week at Jackson Electric and then delivered to 507 deserving people throughout Jackson County.

“I think this year was probably one of the best years. We had so many people help us out,” Project Christmas Board President Deb Horan said.

Horan figures that there were close to 1,000 volunteers that helped out with various parts of Project Christmas to make it a reality. Most of the volunteers helped last Tuesday to wrap gifts and last Thursday to package food for the families.

“Every single person contributes to Project Christmas. That is what makes it so cool and such a community event,” Horan said.

The Jackson County District Attorney's office has ruled that Jackson County Sheriff's Office Deputy Justin Wathke acted in self-defense when Oct. 28 shooting death of Lucas DeFord in the town of Brockway.

The investigation found that DeFord pointed a gun toward Wathke's head during an altercation before the officer shot DeFord in the lower right abdomen and chest.

"Wisconsin law allows all persons, including police officers, to use deadly force in an act of self-defense if the person reasonably believed that he faced an unlawful interference that created a risk of death or great bodily harm. If, as here, the person’s actions are privileged under the law of self-defense, they cannot be convicted of any crime," according to a statement from the DA’s office.

A Black River Falls attorney accused of trading cash and legal services for sex has been sentenced to 25 days in jail after pleading guilty to three misdemeanor charges in August.

+4 James Ritland

Ritland

James Ritland, a former district attorney, plead guilty to two counts of attempted adultery and one count of disorderly conduct Aug. 9.

In addition to jail time, La Crosse County Circuit Court Judge Todd Bjerke sentenced Ritland to one year of probation including a sex offender evaluation and placement on the registry if appropriate. He is also to comply with any other evaluations his probation officer deems is appropriate.

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