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WKEB Local News Archives for 2018-02

New Chair Ski Lift Coming To Taylor County

New Chair Ski Lift Coming To Taylor County    2/27/18


  The highest point in Taylor County is going to be the site of a new chair ski lift.  Representatives of Forest Springs applied for a permit to replace two rope tows with the chair lift.  Because the base of the lift would be 15 feet instead of 75 feet as required from James Lake, Zoning Administrator Kyle Noonan referred the decision for a zoning variance to the Board of Adjustment.  The 3 person board consisting of Arlen Albrecht and substitute members Jim Metz and Patty Smith listened to details of the project from Eric Stolhammer, Mike Harenstein, and Del Kroeker.  Forest Springs has been in existence since 1958 working to improve services to an estimated 14,000 people annually.  The closest concrete anchor for the chair lift would be 15 feet from the high water mark which is farther away from the water than the existing rope tow.  Speaking as a citizen, county board member and Rib Lake School District resident, Rollie Thums spoke in favor of the project indicating there are some students who are unable to utilize the rope tow but would be able to enjoy the safety of the chair lift.
  Area landowner Fred Ebert indicated he also supported the concept and said that barring a rare 4 to 5 inch per hour rainfall, the proposed erosion double silt walls should help to minimize the effects of erosion. 
  Chairman Arlen Albrecht chuckled when he said pieces of his mittens were probably still on the rope tow.  Albrecht felt that safety would be greatly improved.  Jim Metz called the project a progressive move and also supported the increased safety features.  Patty Smith told the group she would rather take steps than a rope tow.  She appreciated the affordable nature of Forest Springs, but expressed her concerns with minimizing erosion during the project.
  Forest Springs officials indicated that the proposed chair lift will be a refurbished system from the eastern U.S.  To assure safety, all fix grips which attach the chair to the cable would be x-rayed to verify tightness after 1 year of use.  Following that, each year 20% of the fix grips would be x-rayed to insure tightness.  The chair lift will have a capacity of 1200 people per hour and will stretch 660 feet up the hill.
  Following discussion the 3 member Board Of Adjustment voted unanimously to grant the zoning variance and allow Forest Springs to install the new chairlift on Taylor County’s highest point near Westboro.


Medford Man Charged For Armed Standoff

Medford Man Charged For Armed Standoff      2/21/18


  The Medford man who was involved in an armed standoff with sheriff’s officers in January has been charged.  

  Taylor County District Attorney Kristi Tlusty has charged Jake M. Wendt with 2 counts of 1st degree recklessly endangering safety, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm-domestic abuse or child abuse injunction, a count of burglary-arm self with dangerous weapon, a count of possession of THC 2nd offense, and 2 counts of battery or threat to judge, prosecutor or law enforcement officer.  Those 8 charges are all felonies.  Other charges include:  Operate firearm while intoxicated, possess drug paraphernalia, and disorderly conduct which are misdemeanors. 

  The charges against Jake Wendt stem from an incident on January 17, 2018.  It is alleged that Wendt armed himself with a hand gun, and as officers approached the home on Allman Avenue, several shots were fired.  After a lengthy phone negotiation between the suspect and Taylor County Officers the suspect came out of the residence unarmed and was taken into custody without any injuries occurring.  Bail for Wendt was set at $30,000 cash.  Initial appearance for Jake Wendt is set for March 6th in Taylor County Court.


Judge Rules In Favor Of Little Black "Super Dairy"

Judge Rules In Favor Of Little Black “Super Dairy”    2/16/18


  Judge Ann Knox-Bauer has made a judgement in a case involving the Town of Little Black and Breeze Dairy Group, LLC.  Breeze Dairy is proposing the construction of a 4,000 cow dairy facility.  Little Black and Stetsonville residents have expressed concern about their drinking water wells as the dairy would require a high capacity well system providing in excess of 100,000 gallons of water per day.  Studies have indicated that Taylor County’s aquifer provides among the fewest gallons per minute compared to other counties in the state.
  In the judge’s decision, she noted that Breeze Dairy applied for the farming operation on February 10, 2017, which was 5 days before Little Black passed a zoning ordinance for agricultural land.  On the day Breeze Dairy applied for permits, the township had no zoning on agricultural land.  Judge Knox-Bauer ruled that the Town may not deny the plaintiffs’ application on the basis of the zoning ordinance enacted February 15, 2017.
  On the issue of the high capacity well system the Judge wrote: "The plaintiffs’ argue that the Town’s ordinance as set forth is preempted by state law and therefore is an invalid attempt to regulate groundwater".  The judge wrote: “The legislature has adopted a complex and comprehensive statutory structure for permitting, installation and use of high capacity wells”.  “The end effect is that the Town could deny the high-capacity well permit, and shut down the use of the well, in violation of an express DNR approval.”   “The ordinance runs contrary to the structure and spirit of the legislature’s grant of this authority to the DNR under WI Stat. section 281.11, and therefore, under the Anchor test, is preempted by state law and therefore is unenforceable against the plaintiffs.”
  Judge Ann Knox-Bauer made the judgement in a 21 page document which was filed February 15, 2018 with the Taylor County Clerk of Courts.




Rib Lake Women Charged With C-Store Theft

Rib Lake Women Charged With C-Store Theft  2/13/18


  Taylor County District Attorney Kristi Tlusty has charged two Rib Lake women for allegedly stealing from the Medford Cooperative Cenex C-store in Rib Lake.  According to the criminal complaint, 66 year old Susan Gutowski admitted to Rib Lake Police Chief Gary Krueger that she needed money and had skimmed money from the cash drawer by voiding transactions.  The complaint indicates that managers of the Medford Cooperative believe that Gutowski stole $5,937.00 in voided transactions according to their review of records.  Susan Gutowski is charged with Theft-Business Setting from $5000-$10,000, a Class H Felony, upon conviction may be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than 6 years, or both.

  Also facing a theft charge is 43 year old Kimberly Kettleson of Rib Lake.  Kettleson told investigators that while working at the Cenex Station she stole money by voiding transactions and skimmed cash off the cash register.  Her statement indicated she was sorry she took the money and didn’t know what else to do to support her family.  The criminal complaint indicates that Medford Cooperative documentation indicates that Kettleson had stolen over $24,000.  District Attorney Kristi Tlusty has charged Kimberly Kettleson with Teft-Business Setting over $10,000 which is a Class G Felony, upon conviction may be fined not more than $25,000 or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both. 
  The initial appearance for Gutowski and Kettleson is set for March 20th in Taylor County Court.  



2018-04 | 2018-03 | 2018-02




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