Sunday, January 21st


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.

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.

Bjerke denied a request to stay the sentence pending an appeal.

During sentencing, both Monroe County District Attorney Kevin D.

The Jackson County Board of Supervisors approved paying $153,734.68 for three new dispatch radio console systems Monday after the previous system began showing signs of failure due to overheating, causing multiple emergency committee meetings this week to resolve the issue.

A dispatch radio console system is used by dispatchers to page police, EMS and fire responders to emergencies throughout the county. The current system is 10 years old and runs on outdated Microsoft XP computers.

The dispatch console system in place now began showing signs of failure after it overheated earlier in the month.

“To me it looked like it just got hot. Maybe somebody had put something in front of it and blocked the cooling for the system,” Jackson County IT Director Kenneth Lechner said adding that everything on the computer appeared to be working properly.


All As: Abigail Spaulding. A-average: Everestt Bandell, Natalie Fischer, Callie Frey, Mary Hinchcliff, Cassidy Huber, Mitchell Olson, Madison Shramek and Spencer Tollefson. B-average: Chance Boettcher, June Brown, Sean Drinovsky, Erik Estrada-Olvera, Daniela Gorostieta, Fawn Lloyd, Grace McWilliams, Jazmin Medina, Sam Mikel, Kierra Millis-Jordan, Rebecca Nerby, Ryan Parker and William Steindorf.


All As: Ian Hoge, Victoria Johnson, Nathaniel Lehrke, Marena Reich, Emma Rogers and Paige Sheffer. A-average: Qiana Comstock, Sierra Olson, Jordan Parker, William Pierson and Macaid Stanley. B-average: Taylor Buhl, Jennifer Escamilla, Reighlynn Larsen, Hallie Miller, Cade Reich, Fernando Sandoval and Jonathon Tessman.


All As: Austyn Zinn. A-average: Dylan Cooper, Emma Fischer, Elizabeth Gottschalk, Mackensi Janke, Catherine Langan, Sierra Mayer, Elizabeth Stanley, Karissa Staszak and Elise Theiler.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation in conjunction with the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota recognized Hoffman Construction as the 2017 Best in Class for Outstanding Performance in Grading for the Hwy. 1 Eagles Nest project located near Ely, Minnesota.

“What a great recognition for a complicated, accelerated project in a very sensitive environmental area,” James Hoffman, president of Hoffman Construction Company, said.

The project consisted of five miles of relocation and reconstruction of Hwy. 1 in northern Minnesota. With more than 1 million cubic yards of excavation, Hoffman Construction had to work an accelerated schedule to complete the work in the 2017 construction season.

The project also consisted of 150,000 cubic yards of rock excavation, with some rock sulfide bearing.

The village of Merrillan recently signed an agreement with OneEnergy Renewables to purchase solar energy from a solar farm project in Cashton, which is expected to reduce electric rates for its residents.

The deal is part of a larger project between the Upper Midwest Municipal Energy Group (UMMEG), OneEnergy and Organic Valley that will provide 29 megawatts of low-cost solar energy to 13 municipalities across Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

The project will install solar farms in 10 of the municipalities, which will supply electricity to each municipality that signed the agreement. Merrillan is one of three communities that will not have its own solar farm.

“We did look in Merrillan quite a bit and I came up and visited with the folks at the utility up there, but given the way the electrical grid is laid out and the availability of land – we were not able to find a good site for a project in Merrillan proper,” OneEnergy development director Eric Udelhofen said.

The Black River Memorial Hospital (BRMH) executive assistants wanted to do something special to give back to the community during this holiday season.

The group decided to raise awareness and encourage donations for Project Christmas.

They decorated a tree in the BRMH cafeteria with angel ornaments with gift ideas written on the back of each ornament.

The staff was encouraged to select and keep an ornament. In return, they donated a gift.

The result was more than 160 gift items for all ages of youth.

Jane Tande, executive assistant to the chief medical officer said, “We were amazed of the generosity and are so pleased to be able to give these items to families in need in our area.