Northwest Wisconsin News Center

The latest reports from the award winning Northwest Wisconsin News Center

Investigation Into Death of Elderly Woman

posted by Ryan Quinn

Investigators are looking into the circumstances that led to the death of an elderly woman last weekend in Rice Lake. 

According to police, an 88-year-old female resident was reported missing from the Rice Lake Convalescent Center around 330am on Saturday morning.  

Her body was eventually found outside about 100 feet from the door, and officers believe she may have been outside for two hours.  

While an official cause of death has not yet been determined, it is believed the cold weather could have played a role in her death.

Blood Needed

posted by Ryan Quinn

The American Red Cross is issuing a call for type O negative and AB blood donors to make an appointment to give after severe winter weather in some parts of the country caused about 250 Red Cross blood drives to cancel in March, resulting in more than 8,500 uncollected blood donations. 

Type O negative blood and type AB plasma are two of the most in-demand blood products by hospitals. 

Those who give can help patients locally or across the country as the Red Cross has the ability to move blood products where and when they are needed most.  

Eligible donors can learn more, find a donation opportunity and schedule an appointment by visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Former Police Chief Recognized

posted by Ryan Quinn

A former police chief in our area is being recognized for his work by Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimmel and the State Department of Justice.  

Former Chetek Police Chief Mark Petersen served as a law enforcement officer for 39 years, and served the City of Chetek for nearly 37 years. 

During Chief Petersen’s tenure, he was known for his strong leadership, care for the community, and going above and beyond for his officers, countless times. 

It’s estimated Chief Petersen’s career, he worked 78,198 service hours and racked up 256,000 patrol miles. 

Speaking to the legacy of Chief Petersen, Attorney General Schimmel says not only did Chief Petersen keep the community safe, but his leadership has inspired the next generation of law enforcement leaders in Wisconsin. 

Chief Petersen retired earlier this year.

Voucher Schools

posted Mar 22, 2017, 5:34 AM by Ryan Quinn

New data from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows that public schools and students continue to suffer while unaccountable voucher operators get first crack at taxpayer dollars. 

State Senator Janet Bewley says that even as property taxpayers and the families of public school students are promised more, tax dollars are siphoned off to voucher schools and independent charters that take $1,000 to $1,700 more per student. 

The Fiscal Bureau data says that payments to voucher schools under the Governor’s budget would range from $7,757 to $8,403 per student by 2018. 

In contrast, Governor Walker’s proposed increases would see public school students receive an average $6,703.

Wisconsin Dairy Production

posted Mar 22, 2017, 5:33 AM by Ryan Quinn

Wisconsin dairy cows came short of exceeding their year-to-year production levels in February, but when Leap Day was factored in they actually produced more. 

The USDA's monthly milk production report showed that farmers in the Dairy State produced 2.32 billion pounds of milk last month, down 2.1 percent from February 2016, and less than January's 2.54 billion pounds. 

Nationally, 15.7 billion pounds of milk was produced in the 23 major dairy states, which was 1.0 percent lower than in 2016, and less than the previous month's 17 billion.  

California continues to have the highest total production with about 3.12 billion pounds.

WCAHS Fire Investigation Continues

posted Mar 21, 2017, 5:29 AM by Ryan Quinn

The investigation of the fire last week at the Washburn County Area Humane Society continues, but the Wisconsin State Fire Marshal and insurance company's investigators have determined the cause of the fire was accidental and no criminal or suspicious activities were determined.  

The fire occurred last Thursday, and investigators say the cause of the fire is suspected to have been from a plastic cigarette disposal receptacle, located next to the building.

Barron County Jail Inmate Dies from Apparent Suicide

posted Mar 20, 2017, 9:28 AM by Ryan Quinn

An inmate at the Barron County jail has died from injuries suffered during an apparent suicide attempt.  

According to the Barron County Sheriff’s Department, inmates in the jail reported to jail staff, that an inmate, 57-year old Loren Branstad of Cumberland, was trying to kill himself at about 245pm Saturday.  

Jail staff, along with Gold Cross Ambulance, responded and began medical procedures.  

Bronstad was flown to an Eau Claire hospital, where he later passed away.  The incident remains under investigation.

Great Lakes Restoration

posted Mar 20, 2017, 5:49 AM by Ryan Quinn

Governor Scott Walker has joined a bipartisan coalition of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation urging President Trump not to cut funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative that targets the region’s biggest environmental threats. 

Seven Republican and Democratic members of Congress from Wisconsin joined with 40 other lawmakers in signing a letter to Trump asking him to continue funding for the program, which has  pumped more than $2.2 billion dollars into the eight-state region for projects that have removed toxic wastes from industrial harbors and fought invasive species in waterways.

BASD Referendum

posted Mar 20, 2017, 5:48 AM by Ryan Quinn

The Barron Area School District Board will hold the second of three community meetings tomorrow night to discuss and answer questions regarding the $7-million bond issue referendum to renovate the existing High School gym and add an additional gym and associated areas. 

Those living in the Barron Area School District are urged to attend tomorrow night’s meeting at 7pm at the Ridgeland-Dallas Elementary Media Room.  

Next week, the final meeting will be held on March 28 at the Barron High School Commons.  

Voters will decide whether to approve the bond issue referendum on the ballot on April 4.

Election Cuts

posted Mar 20, 2017, 5:47 AM by Ryan Quinn

The six Wisconsin state election commissioners have sent a letter to state lawmakers saying Governor Scott Walker’s plan to cut staff positions at the state Elections Commission would significantly curtail the agency’s ability to provide vital and timely services to candidates, county and municipal election officials. 

The letter was sent to the Legislature’s joint budget-writing committee, and signed by all six state election commissioners, three Democrats and three Republicans. 

Walker’s proposal for the state’s next two-year budget calls for eliminating six position authorizations within the commission that have been funded with federal dollars. Walker’s office has said the cuts simply phase out unused positions.

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