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WKEB Local News Archives for 2013-09

  Fire season in the western part of the United States can be a very dangerous time of year for fire fighters.  It takes a special breed to venture into harm's way and confront one of nature's most destructive forces.  Two local fire fighters have joined their fellow fire fighters in battling western wild fires.  Fire fighters Mike Knipfel and Mickey Christianson recently shared their amazing stories with K99's Russ Gowey....



  Can Ten Seconds change a life?  Or even end it?  Ted Goodrich was a star baseball player.  Was doing very well in his chosen profession.  It took only Ten Seconds to completely take away life as Ted knew it!  It took over ten years to get only part of it back!  Based on a true story and actual events.  Ten Seconds is a test of true family faith!  Author Ted Goodrich shares his incredible, inspirational, true story with K99's Russ Gowey....


Russ Gowey w/Ted Goodrich











     The Taylor County Board met Tuesday (Sept. 17).  They adopted a resolution of appreciation to Brad Ruesch for his years of service.  In addition to his involvement on about 300 timber sales, his contribution to the creation of the county snowmobile trail system, and acquisition of the Pine Line Trail system, the group chuckled when the resolution thanked Mr. Ruesch for supplying chocolate to associates.

     The board unanimously approved purchasing the 70 by 70 foot airport hangar from Hurd for $75,000.  It was estimated the hangar was constructed for $300,000 in 1998.

     The board passed an amended resolution requesting that the money returned from the Bureau of Aeronautics be deposited in the airport improvement fund.  Supervisor Zenner amended the resolution to funnel $200,000 to the highway department for paving projects instead of going to the general fund.  Lester Lewis indicated the funds originally were intended to be returned to the general fund.  Larry Brandl indicated that the county spent between $900,000 and 1 million dollars on land acquisition for the runway expansion project.  The amended motion to transfer $200,000 of the returned funds to the highway department passed with 4 no votes.

     The board approved a resolution regarding the management of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.  The resolution expresses concerns about the diminished amount of timber harvests.  It indicated that last year, less than ½ of the timber required to maintain forest health was harvested.   The resolution requests the U.S. Forest Service change their policy to maximize the health of the forest and to harvest at least 80% of the annual allowable timber.

     The board unanimously approved a revised shoreland zoning ordinance to be in compliance with state regulations.

     There was considerable discussion regarding a request from the Village of Rib Lake to utilize powerline impact fees to pay repair costs of $38,525.00 for improvements needed at the Rib Lake Senior Citizen center.  Lester Lewis expressed his opposition indicating the impact fees were intended for recreation and environmental projects.  Supervisor Fuchs indicated he felt that the center provided recreation for senior citizens so he was in favor of the request.  Dave Krug indicated that if the county provides funding, the amount should be matched by the requesting entity.  Supervisor Bizer amended the request to provide matching funds of up to $20,000.  The amended resolution passed on a 13 to 4 vote.

     The Taylor County forest annual work plan passed unanimously.  The plan is expected to offer timber sales on 450 to 500 acres of forest land. 

     Lastly, the county board heard an update on the remodeling of the Perkinstown Winter Sports chalet.  Mr. Ludwig indicated the project should come in under the $100,000 budget.  The project entails an enlarged chalet, improved parking, and maintenance to the existing structure.  Work should be completed on time for the upcoming winter opening date.



Governor Walker Approves More Than $198,000 for Project at Taylor County Airport


  Governor Scott Walker today (September 12) announced a $198,334 project to purchase snow removal equipment and attachments for the Taylor County Aiport in Medford. 

  Eric Johnson, airport development engineer with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said the equipment includes a tractor with blade, blower, broom and loader attachments to keep the aiport pavement clear of ice and snow.


Funding breakdown:


  Taylor County -$9,917

  Federal Aviation Administration-$178,500


  The equipment will be delivered by November, just in time for Wisconsin's winter season.

  Taylor County Airport is one of 98 facilities in the Wisconsin State Airport System Plan (SASP).  The airport is classified as a medium general aviation airport.  It supports most single and multi-engine general aviation aircraft including aircraft commonly used by businesses. 



  One Million Dollars Cash Bond Set for Westboro Shooter


  On Sunday, September 8th at approximately 9:05 P.M., a 27 year old male Taylor County resident was taken into custody as the result of his involvement in a shooting incident that caused injury to a Taylor County Deputy Sheriff.

  The officer, 5 year Taylor County Sheriff's veteran, Chad R. Kowalczyk, had made contact with the individual, 27 year old Alexander Joseph Schneider, as the result of a reported violation of a court ordered injunction.  During that contact, officer Kowalczyk came under fire and ultimately reported to the Dispatch Center that he was injured.

  Emergency medical personnel were dispatched along with additional law enforcement officers.  Officer Kowalczyk also received assistance from concerned citizens in the area. 

  The suspect, Alexander Joseph Schneider, was apprehended, transported to and booked into the Lincoln County Jail. 

  Taylor County received law enforcement assistance from the Medford Police Department, Clark, Marathon, Eau Claire, Lincoln, Chippewa and Price County Sheriff's Departments.

  The Westboro and Rib Lake Fire Departments provided assistance by conducting traffic control.  Rib Lake Ambulance and First Responders along with Medevac and an area Flight For Life Service provided medical treatment and assistance to the injured officer.



  Following his arrest Sunday night, Alexander Schneider was interviewed by WI DOJ DCI special agent David Forsythe.  Schneider admitted to pointing a .22 caliber rifle at the deputy's head and shot at the deputy as the deputy ran around the house to the squad car.

  Schneider admitted to shooting through his bedroom window at the deputy as he was trying to get into his squad car.  Schneider said he was trying to shoot at the officer's center mass at that time.

  Following the shooting, the officer radioed dispatch indicating he was wounded.  As support officers moved to the scene of the shooting at W4945 CTH D, Westboro, the alleged shooter was apparently communicating via Facebook about his cowardly act.  Schneider's Facebook page said that he had shot at law enforcement officers and was preparing to die.

  Schneider was arrested about three hours after he shot the deputy and was taken to the Lincoln County Jail.

  At a bond hearing in Tyalor County Court on Monday, September 9th, Judge Knox-Bauer set bond at one million dollars cash.  Schneider's next court appearance is set for September 24th at 2:30.

  Reports indicate that Deputy Chad Kowalczyk had a bullet removed from his stomach in surgery Sunday night.  He reported to be recovering from his wounds at an area hospital.




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