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ELLSWORTH -- A home-based business is what Judy Ortwerth had in mind when she thought about keeping busy in retirement. And Judy's Sweet Treats may happen at her Ellsworth home someday, Ortwerth said. But due to the generosity of Cheryl Johnson at the local Rock N' Roll Café, the retiree has been able to get her venture started much earlier than she originally imagined. "Cheryl offered to have me come in and do some baking," Ortwerth said. She now uses the cafe's downstairs kitchen Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2 p.m.
ELLSWORTH -- Jason Nilssen is being welcomed into the Our Family brand at the same time he's adding Ellsworth's supermarket to his family's grocery businesses. Early this year, Nilssen switched the main supplier at his store in Baldwin, Wis., to Nash-Finch, which has long served the outlet here most recently known as Hinck's Economart.
ELLSWORTH -- Construction jobs are to be done on separate sections of Highway 35 in Pierce County this spring and summer. The targeted portions of what's also known as the Great River Road are in the far southeast corner of the county and on the west side, according to information from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Eau Claire office. One job is a new undertaking and the other is a continuation. The new project is just outside of Prescott, said Wendy Maves, Northwest Region Project Manager.
ELLSWORTH -- A lot of her childhood can be found in the pages of the children's book Tammy Cloutier wrote. Cloutier's idea for "Firefly Freddie" came from her memories of encountering many of the bugs on her family's property while she was growing up in Texas, she said. As for the writing it contains, she inherited that skill from her father, Ron Browne, who enjoys being a writer. "He's written the poems we send back and forth at Christmas," she said. In fact, the Ellsworth resident credits her dad's influence on a dedication page in her book, aimed at ages 2 to 10.
BAY CITY -- Future development near Red Wing Regional Airport is drawing interest from a newly formed joint airport zoning board. The board, comprised of 16 members and a chairperson from entities affected by the airport, is exploring options for officially zoning the area rather than running under a conditional use permit. In Wisconsin, the Towns of Hartland, Isabelle and Trenton as well as the Village of Bay City each have two representatives on the board, along with Pierce County.
ELLSWORTH - Back-to-school items dominated the Ellsworth School Board agenda Monday. The board approved increasing school meal prices. Breakfast prices for the coming school term will be $1.60, up from $1.50. Lunch prices will be $2.20 at the elementary level and $2.40 for grades 5 to 12), also up by 10 cents. Supt. Barry Cain said the increase was necessary because of rising commodity costs. The board also accepted a public records request fee of 15 cents per page, requiring prepayment for requests with an estimated cost of $5 or more.
ELLSWORTH -- The Ellsworth School Board Monday acted on issues regarding the levy override referendum to be held April 5. The board approved two resolutions. The first authorizes the school district budget to exceed the revenue limit by $1.3 million for three years for non-recurring purposes. The second authorized the referendum. The board also set two public information meetings. One will be 6 p.m. March 2 at Prairie View Elementary School. The other will be held 6 p.m. March 10 at Ellsworth High School. Supt.
For the third time in recent history, the Ellsworth Fire Department's service territory has been expanded. Effective this month, Maiden Rock has contracted for fire services. "This first time, we'll go for two years and see how it works," Chief Brent Langer said about the new renewable contract. He said Maiden Rock could no longer support its own fire department, which he found logical considering the high cost of maintaining such a unit today and the small size of the operation in this case.
ELLSWORTH -- Reductions or referendum or both. The Ellsworth School Board and an audience numbering toward 200 people heard proposed budget options Monday from Supt. Barry Cain, including these possibilities. Cain began with a list of budget reductions and enhancements under consideration. They might not be acted upon in their entirety, or at all, he emphasized. But he estimated the adjustments could approach $1 million if followed. "This would structurally change what the Ellsworth schools are," he said. A public forum on the budget options is scheduled for 7 p.m.
TOWN OF SALEM -- A group of 10 former members billing themselves as the Friends of Salem Church joined with other volunteers to restore a cemetery where Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church once stood. Other than mowing, the cemetery hadn't been upgraded since the vacant church was taken down in 1987.