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Last week the Pierce County Board disallowed a claim from a township trying to pay for damage done when county officers diverted traffic over town roads for several hours on Jan. 27, 2006. After a fatal accident occurred on Highway 63 at County Road N, sheriff's department officers detoured traffic onto 690th Avenue and 530th Street, both of which are Martell Township roads.
ELLSWORTH -- Despite worries that residents might misinterpret the precaution, Pierce County Board members adopted a plan to distribute potassium iodide pills to people who live near the Prairie Island nuclear plant. The July 24 vote adopts a Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services plan to predistribute the non-prescription tablets to Pierce County residents who live within 10 miles of the plant.
ELLSWORTH -- Al-though the issues aren't fully resolved, the Pierce County Board stepped in last week to attempt to settle a building issue that has been festering for years. The dispute involves a 100-by-170-foot equipment storage/sign department building -- "the blue building" -- behind the Courthouse on Ellsworth's Grove Street and a Quonset building on the fairgrounds. Highway Department administrators say their department built the blue building in 1961 and the Quonset building in 1952.
ELLSWORTH - The Pierce County Board voted Tuesday to increase hours for the drug court coordinator rather than have her run out of pay before the end of the year. Judge Robert Wing supported adjusting the hours, saying the extra time is "amply justified by the cost savings to the public." An analysis prepared by Coordinator Linda Hoyt estimates that since the program was started in October 2004, drug court has saved the county over $400,000 in jail, foster care and other costs.
ELLSWORTH -- Not long ago, some Pierce County supervisors were interested in attempting to buy the M&I Bank building next to the Courthouse. Now the county is giving up its lease on the building's upper level and moving 10 Human Services Department workers to the Pierce County Office Building behind the Courthouse. The county has rented the M&I space for more than 10 years and was most recently paying $50,100 a year to rent approximately 5,000 square feet. The lease expires Aug.
ELLSWORTH -- Nearly six months after Pierce County departments were given the go-ahead to use a private company to collect debts, little progress has been made. The Human Services Department turned over 250 accounts worth about $185,000 to the collections agency, but didn't do so until the week of May 21. By the end of May, Professional Placement Services had collected nothing on those accounts but reported that letters had gone out and calls were under way. "It should have been turned over sooner," said Human Services Committee Chairman Bill Gilles. He said the department has about $3
A local pastor who returned from the Gulf Coast earlier this month says even though it's been nearly two years since Hurricane Katrina, families in Mississippi and Louisiana still need help. "Every time I go down there, I come back feeling I have to go back," said Shelley Lyksett, who serves the Ellsworth, Hartland and Diamond Bluff United Methodist churches. She was among a group of 19 volunteers who returned May 6 from Gulfport and Biloxi, Miss. This was her third trip to the area.
An Ellsworth man who lost his sight as the result of a traffic accident has been awarded a largely symbolic $6.25 million judgment against the man who caused the collision in December 2005. After Randy J. Truckey, 41, Amery, Wis., failed to answer a civil complaint and didn't appear for an April 26 hearing, St. Croix County Judge Eric Lundell ordered him to pay $6,250,000 plus costs to Gerald Gutting. "He didn't answer the complaint, and this was a default judgment based on the amount of evidence presented to Judge Lundell," said Gutting's attorney, Steve Goff of River Falls.
A special Pierce County Board meeting set for Monday to discuss the Trumpeter Development lawsuit was canceled because a mediation session was not successful, a board spokesman said. The suit involves a county-imposed delay for parts of a 700-acre residential development near Prescott. The parties participated in a mediation session May 2.
In an annual daytime meeting that lasted a little over an hour Tuesday, Pierce County Board members voted to increase a series of sheriff's office fees. At the recommendation of Sheriff Nancy Hove, the board raised the rate charged to work-release prisoners in the jail from $13 to $14.25 a day. Hove said the new rate is still one of the lowest around. Law Enforcement Committee Chairman John Kucinski, who also works as a public defender, said the fees can't be too high because many of the inmates have jobs that pay only $7 or $8 an hour.