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The Ellsworth School Board reached a couple of conclusions as members discussed budgeting and options for the 2009-10 term in special session before a large audience Thursday. Although they declined to vote formally, board members will not seek another referendum -- at least for now. The idea of going to voters again following a couple of failed attempts had been presented at a special board meeting last month. Members were receptive to Supt. Barry Cain's suggestion to reconvene the district's Long-Range Planning Committee.
MAIDEN ROCK -- A mining operation in southern Pierce County is exploding and it's not a destructive blast, but a developmental boom. Fairmount Minerals Wisconsin Industrial Sand Co.
ELLSWORTH -- The Ellsworth School Board will consider taking a two-part funding question to district voters in the November. One question would involve money for major maintenance projects. The other would call for a levy override, Supt. Barry Cain said Monday night. The referendum remains to be finalized. The present $250,000 override expires at the end of this school year.
TRENTON TOWNSHIP -- An inspection last month of the Eisenhower Bridge by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation shows the structure is in good condition. "The bridge is in good shape overall," said Greg Haig, structure maintenance engineer for the DOT's District 6 office in Eau Claire. Other than some minor surface rust, the continuous overhead truss-type of span exhibited no problems, Haig said.
ELLSWORTH -- A mill rate of 8.36, a change of 2.57 percent from the past year, was included in the budget proposal at the Ellsworth School District's annual meeting Monday. The mill rate for 2008-09, representing the tax per $1,000 of property valuation, compares to an 8.15 rate for the 2007-08 year. A total school tax levy of $7.68 million is also shown in the budget proposal for the coming year, a change of 5.81 percent from $7.26 million in 2007-08. Supt. Barry Cain told the approximately 25 people attending the meeting the budget figures are estimates at this time.
DIAMOND BLUFF -- When most people see positive results from the use of a thumb along a highway, their first thought is a hitchhiker has gotten a ride. But those encountering the state's "Wisconsin Welcomes You" sign along Highway 63 between Hager City and Red Wing can view the product of a pair of green thumbs. A flower garden occupying the sign's base is being cared for by Lawrence and Marlys Thomas of Diamond Bluff.
Just one fee among those charged students for a variety of activities will be increased in the coming year, following Ellsworth School Board action Monday. Supt. Barry Cain said band instrument repair costs have gone up, so the rental fee for them will be raised from $25 to $40. Board members approved the fee hike plus a schedule of other fees which will remain the same as last year.
The Ellsworth School District has reached a two-year contract settlement with the local teachers union. Both the school board and union members approved the pact last week. The settlement calls for a 4.4 percent increase in salaries and benefits for the 2007-08 school year and a 4.3 percent increase for the 2008-09 year, according to Supt.
Ellsworth High School Principal Barry Cain has been hired as school district superintendent, the Ellsworth School Board announced Monday. Cain takes over July 1. He will succeed Dan Kaler, who is resigning at the end of the school year. Kaler said Tuesday a new principal will now be hired for the high school. A tentative agreement with the local teachers union also was announced Monday.
ELLSWORTH -- Multiple sclerosis patient Mary McHardy visited a "happy place" in her mind last week while planning for the third fundraiser supporting her and sponsored by Team M&Ms, which will take one fortunate participant to the real place in those thoughts. The grand prize for Saturday's event at the Valley Bar & Grill is a week's stay at a Mayan Palace Resort in Mexico. McHardy, who was diagnosed with MS in November 2004, has been to the resort in Acapulco, the one offered the winner during last year's fundraiser.