New Richmond Newsroom
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Six volunteer bikers set out from New Richmond on Wednesday as part of an awareness and fund-raising campaign for Special Olympics. Police Chief Mark Samelstad, Jason Noel, Craig Yehlik, Gayle Freiseis, Beth Thompson and Kristi Severson rode 56 miles to Bloomer, Wis. as part of the 20th annual Special Olympics Torch Run. Dennis Holtz provided support by following in a chase vehicle. Hundreds of law enforcement officials participated in the Torch Run across Wisconsin on Wednesday and Thursday. The torch eventually ended up in Stevens Point, Wis.
Onalie Dennis already has three crowns. Not a bad pageant record for a pre-schooler from New Richmond. The youngster's most recent crowning came as she was named the most beautiful baby in a five-state region during a New Star Discovery pageant. She beat out about 150 other photogenic youngsters to take the top honor. The victory brought with it trophies, free products and scholarships. "We were very surprised," said Onalie's mother, Terina.
When does an offense become a chargeable crime? It's a question that the St. Croix County District Attorney's office has to struggle with every day. The answer to that question can leave potential crime victims scratching their heads. Case in point: S & C Bank employees were quick to spot a suspicious looking character outside their New Richmond facility on a warm and breezy March 30 day.
Fun Fest is officially on the move. In a special meeting last Wednesday, the New Richmond City Council voted 2-2 on a motion to move the July celebration to Cyclone Park. Mayor David Schnitzler broke the tie and voted in favor of the move, which will allow the festival to set up in the grassy median between Highway 65 and the St. Croix Press/WITC buildings on the southern edge of town. "I thought it was a good move," Schnitzler said in an interview after the meeting.
Like so many nearby communities, Star Prairie is finding it a challenge to convince teenagers to run for the Ox Cart Days royal court. Only one or two applicants have signed up to compete for the Miss Star Prairie title during this summer's community celebration Aug. 18-20. Queens Committee chairperson Jenny Gibson said an informational meeting has been set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 21, at Bethany Lutheran Church to pump up interest among potential candidates. "I don't know why the girls don't want to run," Gibson said.
Work on the final leg of the new four-lane Highway 64 into New Richmond could be completed ahead of schedule. "I've heard a rumor that we're more than six weeks ahead," said Jim Bednar, project manager for the state road project. "But I'd say we're maybe one or two weeks ahead of schedule." The official deadline for completion of the highway is the first part of November. Quite a bit of extensive work still remains to be completed before that deadline is achieved. The section of roadway from 110th Street to County Road CC is pretty much ready to go.
The New Richmond City Council was to meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, for a special meeting to consider proposed changes in the location for Fun Fest. Count me as one of the critics of the plan from day one. But the more I look at the proposed new site in front of St. Croix Press and WITC, the more I think it just might work. Initially I was worried about taking the big community festival out of the downtown district.
Greg Franko isn't too worried about the bumps and bruises that will inevitably come out in the real world. The New Richmond High School graduating senior is used to a bumpy ride. Since he was 4-years-old, Franko has been riding farm animals for the thrill of it. "Rodeo has been in my family since my mom," Franko explained. "My mom did other rodeo events, and my sisters and brothers have done rodeo." Traveling to rodeos across the region turned out to be a good training ground for Franko.
Hundreds of high school students learned the lesson of service on Thursday. New Richmond High School had its third annual "Service Learning Day" May 18. Students were assigned to 26 different projects in and around New Richmond and Star Prairie for the morning. "It was awesome weather and an awesome day," said high school teacher Jarrod Hamdorf, one of the organizers for the event. "We got a ton done." After last year's weather dampened the day's events, this year's sunny weather was a welcome change.
A hastily called meeting by New Richmond High School staff members Monday night was filled with passionate pleas for change. Front and center on the evening's agenda was the group's desire to convince Principal Jeff Moberg to stay on the job as the school's top administrator. The meeting's organizers had hoped the entire New Richmond School Board would attend the evening's gathering to hear people's concerns. Worries about proper notice of an official meeting of the board and prior commitments kept some of the elected officials away. The 90-plus employees and community members in attendanc