Thursday, June 20th


June storms packing heavy downpours have pushed lake and river levels into flood levels, tossed debris into waterways and accelerated currents statewide, warned the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Captain April Dombrowski, head of the DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement's Recreation Safety and Outdoor Skills Section, said the heavy rain and rapid onset of flash floods in many areas of Wisconsin resulted in road wash-outs, closures and sinkholes.

In addition to roadway issues, heavy rainfall can have a major impact on water-based recreational activities.

Dombrowski said severe weather is a reminder for all to check local water conditions before boating or paddling, swimming or any water activity. Good places to check are local tourism offices, DNR offices, local bait shops, sporting goods stores or the U.S. Geological Survey.

"One quick safety tip is to always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket," Dombrowski said. "Today's models are comfortable versions.

Wetlands of all types play critical roles in flood protection for farmland and municipalities, the water quality of surface and underground water tables and habitat for wildlife.

“Wetlands grab water and slow it down,” said Tracy Hames, executive director of Wisconsin Wetland Association. “They reduce erosion and capture sediment. They support native vegetation and enhance trout habitat. If you lose them (wetlands), you lose the trout stream.”

Hames presented a program about the importance of wetlands at the June 13 Friends of the Black River meeting. As WWA’s executive director since 2012, Hames travels the state to help communities understand how wetlands can be solutions to habitat degradation, diminished water quality and flooding.

“Wetlands are the areas between the places that are always dry and the lands that are always wet,” Hames said, “and isolated wetlands are where water flows in but doesn’t appear to flow out.

The median price of a home in Jackson County rose 6.7 percent in May from the same month a year ago.

For May 2018, the median price jumped to $133,250 from $124,900 in May 2017, according to the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

For the first five months of 2018, the median price increased just four-tenths of 1 percent from the same period a year ago, to $124,500.

Housing sales continue to drop, reflecting the statewide trend of strong demand and weak supply.

For May 2018, 18 houses were sold in Jackson County, compared to 29 in May 2017. That’s a decrease of 37.9 percent.

For the first five months of 2018, the Wisconsin Realtors Association reported 64 houses sold in Jackson County, compared to 83 for the same period in 2017 — a drop of 22.9 percent.

Statewide, the Realtors Association reports that home sales fell 5 percent in May 2018 compared to May 2017, and the median price increased 8 percent to $188,000 over that same period, which represents the third straight month where home sales have failed to increase from their levels in the previous year.

Daniel H. Richards of Fairchild faces a sixth-offense charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated after a weekend arrest in Jackson County.

Richards, 52, also faces charges of operating after revocation and felony bail jumping.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office received a call about 5:30 p.m. Sunday about a white van pulling in front of another vehicle and weaving into the opposite lane of traffic near Hwy. 10 and Townhall Road in the town of Cleveland.

A Jackson County deputy checked the area and located a vehicle matching the description. The deputy observed the vehicle traveling left of center and running a stop sign on Hill Road at Hwy. 10.

The deputy stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Richards.

Richards denied drinking, but a strong odor of intoxicants was detected and open intoxicants were observed in the vehicle. 

Seven FFA Officers from the Melrose-Mindoro FFA Chapter attended the recent state FFA convention in Madison.

The three-day event included convention sessions, workshops, a career show, exhibits, delegate meetings and a tour of the Aldo Leopold Foundation, plus bowling and swimming.

Brady Patterson and Sheradyn Johnson were voting delegates at the business meeting and voted for next year’s section 3 state officer.

The FFA alumni helped finance the trip.

The Mel-Min FFA also has received a $2,500 grant from Monsanto called the Grow Communities program.

Leon Pfaff of Mindoro applied for the grant, and chose our FFA as the recipient of the funds.

Aptiv currently has openings in the Black River Falls Day Service program

Hands-on instructional service focused on skill development

Aptiv has 10 openings for participants in its day services program in Black River Falls.

Adults with disabilities of all ages will have the opportunity to participate in programming Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Aptiv’s day services program offers semester classes based on personal interests and needs.

Services allow individuals to select from a range of activities to help them meet their goals.

Whether they want to learn to cook healthy meals, strengthen social skills or become more physically active. These classes will be offered at the Black River Falls Facility, 720 Red Iron Road, Black River Falls.

“With this program, participants make suggestions and have direct input into their own services.” said Lisa Duncanson, Aptiv’s northern regional service director.