Wintermission Eau Claire
Wintermission Eau Claire is pleased to announce our second pilot project for the 2019-20 winter: the Community Winter Gear Share, a program where people can check out winter gear from locations around the Chippewa Valley.
Follow Wintermission Eau Claire on Facebook to be looped in all Wintermission updates: https://www.facebook.com/wintermissioneauclaire
Wintermission Eau Claire is a groundbreaking program to reduce social isolation and support outdoor physical activity in winter. Eau Claire is one of three Wintermission cities and will help set new standards for winter friendly cities in the United States by developing a unique winter city strategy. Wintermission is led by 8 80 Cities, a non-profit organization based in Toronto, Canada and is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Global Ideas Fund at CAF America. The Eau Claire Wintermission core team involves participation from the Cities of Eau Claire and Altoona, the Eau Claire City County Health Department, UW-Eau Claire, Visit Eau Claire, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
UW-Eau Claire to celebrate Black History Month throughout February
Please join the campus community as we dedicate the month of February to honor and recognize the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans. Black History Month kicks off with an MLK Celebration and ends with a national leader in antiracism. Full story.
On-campus Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration set for Feb. 5
UW-Eau Claire will host a Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration for the campus and community at 5 p.m. Feb. 5 in Schofield Auditorium. The evening of music, talk and inspiration will honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. Full story.
Artists Series welcomes 'Brave New Voices' performer Austin Dean Ashford Feb. 11
The UW-Eau Claire Artists Series welcomes Austin Dean Ashford, a poet, playwright, author, hip-hop artist, actor and one-time National College Debate champion, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 in Schofield Auditorium. Full story.
UW-Eau Claire – Barron County student teams win top prizes in Foxconn-sponsored competition
Two student teams have excelled in the Smart Cities – Smart Futures Competition. The projects focused on energy-efficient homes and smart traffic signs, earning a top-10 finish and a grand prize. Full story.
HSHS Sacred Heart and HSHS St. joseph's Hospitals
HSHS hospitals offer free hands-only CPR classes to the public
Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls – Seconds count in an emergency. The communities of Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls are encouraged to participate in one of two FREE hands-only CPR classes at HSHS Sacred Heart and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospitals.
These classes will teach you how to perform hands-only CPR to help deliver life-saving care until professional responders arrive.
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals’ training center coordinator, Peggy Pendergast said CPR can double, even triple a person’s chance of survival. “Cardiac arrest can happen anywhere, at any time, so being prepared is easy,” she said. “Being familiar with the process makes the situation less intimidating if you ever find yourself in a position to help someone. You never know when it could be your own loved one you are able to help.”
HSHS Community Health will host these free events:
Saturday, February 22, 10 a.m. in HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital’s Monsignor Klimek Auditorium on the lower level, 900 W. Clairemont Ave., Eau Claire
Saturday, February 22, 1 p.m. in HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s McDonald Hall on the lower level, 2661 County Hwy. I, Chippewa Falls.
Refreshments will be provided. To register, call 715-717-7300 or visit: www.sacredhearteauclaire.org/Event-Management/Hands-Only-CPR or www.stjoeschipfalls.org/Event-Management/Hands-Only-CPR
HSHS hospitals host free Adult Mental Health First Aid class
Eau Claire – It’s easy to recognize the signs of a heart attack or choking, but what about the signs of anxiety or a panic attack? HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals’ Community Health is hosting a free all-day Adult Mental Health First Aid class, open to anyone who would like to learn the common risk factors and warning signs of mental illness and substance use disorders.
The free session will take place Friday, February 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital (900 West Clairemont Ave.) in the Monsignor Klimek Auditorium (lower level). Lunch will be provided. To register, call 715-717-7479 or online at www.sacredhearteauclaire.org/Events-Classes.
Merchants Financial Group Inc.
L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
ACT Prep Workshop
The L. E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire is offering high school students a free, three-hour workshop designed to help prepare for the ACT. The workshop will be held on Sunday, February 2, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Eau Claire room on the library’s lower level. The workshop will be presented by Ruth Harris, M.S., Director of the Northwest Reading Clinic. Specific ACT strategies presented include: basic test-taking skills, analysis of directions, pacing, practice samples, when and what to “guess,” and essay writing.
Registration is required. Contact Youth Services at 715-839-5007 or email@example.com to register. Participants should bring a notebook and pencil. Light refreshments will be served.
For more information, stop at Youth Services on your next visit to the library, call 715-839-5007, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about library programs, check the library’s website at www.ecpubliclibrary.info.
If you have a need for a sign language interpreter or other special accommodations, please notify Youth Services (715-839-5007) at least 48 hours before the program
Wisconsin Public Radio
The Chippewa Valley Rally on “The West Side” February 3
The Chippewa Valley Rally, in which government and business leaders from western Wisconsin visit legislators and staff about issue that matter to the region, will be previewed on “The West Side” at 10 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 3 on The Ideas Network Stations of Wisconsin Public Radio: 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls.
Host Dean Kallenbach will welcome Amy Forcier-Pabst, chair of the Chippewa Falls Chamber of Commerce; Scott Rogers, governmental affairs and workforce director for the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce; and Melissa Janssen, who supervises high school youth apprentices for Royal Credit Union. The group will preview points of emphasis delegates plan on bringing forward to legislators during their meetings on Feb. 25 in Madison. Workforce development is a key theme for the 2020 Chippewa Valley Rally.
“The West Side” is a call-in program focused on issues specific to western Wisconsin. The show is broadcast at 10 a.m. Mondays on The Ideas Network stations 88.3 WHWC-FM Menomonie/Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM River Falls and via an online live stream on 88.7 WRFW-FM University of Wisconsin River Falls via wrfw887.com/listen-live.html. Listeners may call in with questions and comments during the program at (800) 228-5615. Archives of “The West Side” are available at wpr.org/programs/west-side.
On behalf of the Eau Claire Chamber Educational Foundation, we are proud to announce the transition of the “Real Life Academy” program to Royal Credit Union’s “Test Drive…Next Stop Reality.” The transition will be complete by the end of 2020. Over the last several years, Royal has been the major supporter of Real Life Academy and operates its own reality fair, Test Drive, for high school students in other communities like Rice Lake and Eden Prairie, MN. Both programs share the same mission and objective, to provide high school students a real-life simulation of money and finances. By partnering on this initiative moving forward, the two organizations hope to expand the use of technology and the ability to positively impact even more local high school students.
The Eau Claire Chamber Educational Foundation will conduct the event formally through the 2020 calendar year with the major change being implementation of the curriculum for “Test Drive… Next Stop Reality” immediately. This will be in place for the Spring 2020 event and Fall 2020 event, with a full transition taking place in 2021. Through this partnership, we will continue to ask the business community to support this program by volunteering and interacting with the students, as that is a critical piece to its success.
Please see below for a joint CEO transition letter accompanying this announcement.
If you have any further questions regarding this transition, please reach out to the following:
Casey Schumacher, Young Professionals & Educational Director with the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce (email@example.com)
and / or
Jen McHugh, Director of Public Affairs & Financial Education with Royal Credit Union (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Congratulations to Rural Mutual Insurance: Chippewa Valley Group for their ribbon cutting at their new office location!
CVTC Seeks Board Applicants
EAU CLAIRE, WI— Applications are being accepted for three positions on the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) Board of Trustees. Successful candidates will serve three-year terms beginning July 1, 2020.
The open positions include one member who is an elected official, and two additional members. At least one of the candidates should represent the diversity of CVTC’s 11-county district, based on recent demographic changes.
Applications are due by 4 p.m. Monday, February 24. Send applications to Lauren Sullivan, Chippewa Valley Technical College, 620 W. Clairemont Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54701.
There are a number of requirements all candidates must meet in order to be eligible for Wisconsin Technical College System district board membership. Candidates must be residents of the technical college district, must submit an application/affidavit with a completed questionnaire and at least two written references, and must attend a district board appointment committee public hearing in person to be interviewed. The hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 16, at 1 p.m. at the CVTC Business Education Center.
For more information or to request an application, contact Sullivan at 715-833-6500, email@example.com, or go to www.cvtc.edu/boardappointment.
Chippewa Valley Beekeepers Invited to Participate in Community Apiary
The Chippewa Valley Beekeepers Association, in partnership with Xcel Energy and Beaver Creek Reserve, is offering plots for area beekeepers in a new community apiary in the town of Hallie in Chippewa County.
The apiary is particularly suited to individuals who wish to keep bees, but live in an area that is not suited to beekeeping, or in a community that heavily regulates or taxes beekeepers. Participants in the community apiary will be offered plots of 16 feet by 16 feet, suitable for up to four hives. The plots are set among 32 acres of developing wildflower habitat next to an Xcel Energy substation located just off Business 53 and 40th Ave. in the town of Hallie.
Beekeepers can rent a plot in the apiary for $20 per year. They must provide their own equipment and bees. Other requirements include a commitment to keeping bees safe and healthy and a commitment to follow access and safety guidelines. Plots will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications are available through the club’s website chippewavalleybeekeepers.com.
Participants in the program are required to be members of the Chippewa Valley Beekeepers Association. Annual dues for a family to join the club are $10, and association president Galen Klisiewicz said the benefits of club membership are well worth it, especially for first-time beekeepers.
“Mentorship is critical for any new beekeeper,” said Klisiewicz, “and the club is full of individuals excited to share their knowledge with fellow beekeepers. The club also builds camaraderie, and we have honey extraction equipment that is shared within the club.”
Klisiewicz said the community apiary will have something to offer for beekeepers of all ranges of experience, including access to what will become prime bee habitat, avoidance of city beekeeping permit fees, and the promotion of pollinators of all kinds.
First-time beekeepers are eligible to rent a place in the community apiary, but are required to take a beekeeping class. Club vice-president Corey Grotte pointed out that the Chippewa Valley Beekeepers Association partners with Beaver Creek Reserve to offer training sessions.
“Our Beekeeping 101 course in March is a day-long course that covers basic beekeeping skills, bee biology and needed equipment,” said Grotte. “The second class take place in May, and focuses on handling bees, bee health and hive-maintenance – and includes a hands-on experience with the hives the club keeps at Beaver Creek. The August class features presentations on preparing hives for winter, and class members will extract the honey from the Beaver Creek bees.”
The day-long classes at Beaver Creek in 2020 will be held on March 7, May 2 and August 8, beginning at 8:30 a.m. each day. Cost of each session is $40 for Beaver Creek Reserve members, $45 for non-members.
Prevea Health Expands Pediatric Offerings in Altoona
Two more physicians join pediatric team at the
Prevea Altoona Medical Office Building
Altoona, Wis. – Prevea Health is pleased to welcome two more pediatricians to the Prevea Altoona Medical Office Building: Dr. Oludayo Sarumi and Dr. Naghma Husain.
Drs. Sarumi and Husain specialize in routine care for children and adolescents, preventive medicine, well-child visits and sick visits. They are both certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Sarumi is seeing patients in Altoona now, and Dr. Husain will begin seeing patients in February.
The addition of Drs. Sarumi and Husain mean that there will now be four, full-time pediatricians seeing patients at the Prevea Altoona Medical Office Building located at 3119 Woodman Dr. in Altoona. Appointments for routine care for children and adolescents, preventive medicine, well-child visits and sick visits are also available with Dr. Katie Udenberg and Dr. Allison Schneider.
Appointments with any of the four pediatricians at the Prevea Altoona Medical Office Building can be made by calling (715) 717-6850 or online at: www.prevea.com
Prevea Health Now Offering MRI in Menomonie and Ladysmith
Eau Claire, Wis. – Residents in Menomonie, Ladysmith and nearby communities in need of MRI will now have another option closer to home as Prevea Health is now offering MRI at the Prevea Menomonie Health Center, 2919 Stout Road, and at the Prevea Ladysmith Health Center, 1101 Lake Ave. W.
MRI services are provided in a mobile unit, which travels to both health center campuses in partnership with Shared Medical Technology. The unit is staffed by an accredited MRI technologist and images are read by board-certified radiologists at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls. Similar to receiving MRI in a hospital setting, services offered in the mobile unit are billable to insurance.
“Patients who receive MRI in our mobile unit are able to receive the same high-quality care and comfort as they would in a hospital setting, all while avoiding unnecessary travel ,” said Marlene Miller, Executive Director of Diagnostic Imaging at Prevea Health. “This is much more convenient for our patients and we are proud to be able to offer it to the Menomonie and Ladysmith communities.”
MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, provides detailed images of soft-tissue, organs and vessels within the body. Radiologists and physicians use MRI to navigate a variety of conditions such as back, joint and extremity pain, and to diagnose a variety of diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and tumors. To learn more about mobile MRI services offered by Prevea Health, in partnership with Shared Medical Technology, please visit: www.prevea.com/mri
The Jig's Up Ice Fishing Contest set for Feb. 8
The seventh annual Jig's Up Blugold Ice Fishing Contest — a day full of ice fishing, food, friends and cash prizes — will be held Feb. 8 on Lake Wissota, east of Chippewa Falls. Full story.
Special Forum presentation Feb. 27: Ibram X. Kendi
Ibram X. Kendi, a bestselling author and founding director of The Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, will appear as a special Forum speaker at UW-Eau Claire Feb. 27 with his "How to Be an Antiracist" presentation. Full story.
Cabaret 2020: 'Game Over,' a gamer's fantasy tale
The annual campus "Cabaret" production opens Thursday, Jan. 30, and runs through Feb. 8. The show, a sort of "Jumanji meets Mario Bros." concept, takes three teen gamers into a realm within the games from which they must work to escape. Full story.
Matinee STOMP Performance Added due to Popular Demand
Addition of STOMP and several other performances brings Pablo Center’s second season to over 300 events
(EAU CLAIRE, WIS. January 17, 2020) - Although STOMP, the international percussion sensation, makes its Eau Claire premiere at Pablo Center for two shows on March 20-21, it’s already making enough noise that a third performance has been added on March 21, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. From its beginnings as a street performance in the UK, STOMP has grown into an international sensation over the past 20 years, having performed in more than 50 countries and in front of more than 24 million people.
Created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, STOMP continues its phenomenal run with four global productions: the ongoing sell-out production at New York’s Orpheum Theatre, a permanent London company, and North American and European tours. Throughout its life, the show has continued to change by creating new material; this year, it will incorporate two new pieces. It is safe to say you will never again look at supermarket carts or plumbing fixtures the same way… or paint cans, or kitchen sinks.
The performers “make a rhythm out of anything we can get our hand on that makes a sound,” says co-founder/director Luke Cresswell. A unique combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy, STOMP has created its own inimitable, contemporary form of rhythmic expression: both household and industrial objects find new life as musical instruments in the hands of an idiosyncratic band of body percussionists. It is a journey through sound, a celebration of the everyday and a comic interplay of characters wordlessly communicating through dance and drum.
Tickets for the STOMP matinee performance on March 21, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. go on sale to Pablo Center members on January 20, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. General public tickets go on sale January 24, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Tickets can be found online at PabloCenter.org or by calling the box office at 715.832.ARTS.
With the addition of the STOMP matinee performance and several others, Pablo Center’s Season Two lineup now totals over 300 events. New additions include classic rock tribute show, Arch Allies whose performance features the music of Journey, Styx, Bon Jovi, Boston, REO Speedwagon, and Def Leppard. Minneapolis-based Arch Allies will perform in Pablo Center’s RCU Theatre on February 21, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. Other mid-season additions to the Season Two lineup include: James Ignacio and Shane Leonard on March 27, 2020, The Secret Sisters on April 4, 2020, and S. Carey with Humbird on May 22, 2020. For more information about Pablo Center at the Confluence’s offerings visit PabloCenter.org.
For more information, please contact Stephanie LaBair, Marketing and Communications Manager at Pablo Center at the Confluence, at 715-471-6138 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Royal Credit Union Announces Vice President-Small Business Lending Manager
Eau Claire, WI – Royal Credit Union (Royal) has named Karlee Wallin Vice President-Small Business Lending Manager. She is responsible for leading the development of Royal’s Small Business Division and managing a team of small business lenders across the communities that Royal serves. The new division will provide the opportunity to build deeper relationships with Royal’s small business members and allow Royal a greater capacity to serve small business owners with custom solutions that fit their needs.
Wallin joined Royal in 2006 in a business support role. She quickly transitioned into the role of Business Loan Representative, Business Loan Analyst I & II, and Small Business Lending Officer, her most recent role prior to her promotion. Wallin has over 17 years of experience in the banking industry. Along with a technical degree in accounting, she has also received her Shockproof Credit College certificates in Commercial Business C&I Credit Decisions and Commercial Real Estate Credit Decisions.
Wallin participates in a variety of Royal committees focused on topics like corporate wellness and business to business relationships. She is also involved in Royal’s exploring leadership program, the business lending strategy team, and the social media team. Wallin stays active in the community by volunteering for the Red Letter Grant organization, serving as an Advisory Board Member for Western Dairy land’s Women’s Business Center, and serving as the Vice President of the Just Local Food Co-op Board of Directors. She enjoys educating the community about finances, business planning, and leadership and has been asked to speak on these topics to a variety of community groups.
Wallin currently resides in Eau Claire with her husband Tom and two daughters, Elise and Gwyneth.
Royal Credit Union and Chippewa Valley Technical College bring Income Tax Assistance to the community
Eau Claire, WI – Royal Credit Union is partnering with Chippewa Valley Technical College and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to provide assistance to community members with their tax returns. VITA was created to provide free income tax return assistance to taxpayers who cannot afford to pay for professional help. VITA volunteers provide free tax assistance to anyone with an adjusted gross annual income of $54,000 or less including disabled, non-English speaking, senior citizens and special needs taxpayers.
This service will be available on Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. from February 6 until April 9. Services will be provided at the Royal Credit Union Southwest office at 1049 West Clairemont Avenue Eau Claire, WI. The service will not be available the week of March 19. Appointments for VITA are required; to make an appointment please call 800-341-9911 and dial extension 6.
Royal Credit Union is among a number of credit unions in Wisconsin who are taking the initiative to help build financially strong, self-supporting families and communities by offering innovative services like VITA.
Tax returns are prepared by student volunteers from Chippewa Valley Technical College who have taken the steps to become certified by the IRS and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. VITA offers free basic income tax return preparation and e-filing. Taxpayers with complicated returns or questions will be referred to an IRS publication, to the IRS, or to seek private professional assistance. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis by the VITA volunteer. If you decide to take advantage of this unique service, please bring photo ID, Social Security cards for taxpayer and all dependents, earnings statements, a copy of your tax return from last year, forms 1095(A, B or C) affordable health care statements, rent certificates from landlord or property tax statement, financial institution’s routing and account numbers for direct deposit.
Library Announces More Accessible Parking Options
The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire announced today they are eliminating parking fees and time restrictions on most of the parking spaces in the library’s lower-level parking area. The announcement follows a successful amendment to the City Code of Ordinances requesting transfer of operational flexibilities and responsibilities from the City of Eau Claire Police Department to the library.
Under the new rules, a majority of lower-level parking spaces will be allocated for seniors, caregivers with small children, and other persons with limited mobility. “The library serves customers of all ages and abilities, and we want to make sure visiting the library is safe and accessible for each of them,” says Library Director Pamela Westby. Short-term “express” spaces will also be added.
“The ordinance amendment allows for flexibility of changes now and after the proposed Library expansion,” Westby continues, “so we will be able to assess the impact of this change and continue making improvements in response to community feedback.”
Elimination of parking fees in the lower-level lot will take effect immediately. Parking meters will be removed and new signage will be placed. Parking regulations for street-level and adjacent lots will remain the same.
For information, stop at Information & Reference on your next visit to the library, call 715-839-5004, or email the library at email@example.com.
Learn Ukulele for Free at the Library
The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire is offering free ukulele classes for all ages from February through May. All class materials, including ukuleles, are included. “Ukulele for Beginners” will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays February 8, March 14, April 18, and May 16 in the Dabble Box. Registration is required and space is limited. Learn more and register at www.ecpubliclibrary.info/ukulele.
“It’s a great beginner instrument for everyone” says Nicole Cook, who will teach the classes. “If you’re looking for a quick way to start making music, this is it!” Nicole Cook has been teaching music for 25 years. Her love of ukulele began in her elementary music classroom, and since then she has taught group and private lessons. Nicole is a long-term substitute music teacher in the Eau Claire Area School District.
Protect Yourself from Disinformation
The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire presents “Information Self-Defense,” a free two-part program series on Tuesdays, February 4 and 11 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Eau Claire Room on the library’s lower level. The series presenter is Kate Hinnant, Head of Instruction and Communication at UW–Eau Claire’s McIntyre Library. She has been an Eau Claire resident for nearly 18 years and is also the Poetry Editor of Barstow & Grand literary journal. Participants may attend either or both programs.
February 4: Understanding Disinformation and Fake News
Disinformation, false information that is deliberately spread, has a long and storied history that predates our contemporary struggle with “fake news.” The program will include some notable historical examples, as well as a look at contemporary disinformation campaigns. We will look at how the Internet has changed the disinformation game, and whether fake news and other misleading, often viral, tactics have an effect on people’s behaviors and beliefs.
February 11: Tackling the Problem of Discrimination
Efforts to combat disinformation range from national solutions to personal ones. We will discuss the limitations of broad popular solutions, including the drastic Internet shutdowns deployed in several countries, as well as the idea of social media self-regulation. We will also look at a Stanford study that found that professional fact-checkers were better than both college students and history professors at determining trustworthy information, and we will practice some of the key techniques fact-checkers use.
For information, stop at Information & Reference on your next visit to the library, call 715-839-5004, or email the library at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about library programs, check the library website at www.ecpubliclibrary.info.
If you have a need for a sign language interpreter or other special accommodations, please notify Information & Reference (715-839-5004, email@example.com) at least 48 hours before the program.
Attorney Greg Banchy Joins Weld Riley, S.C.
Eau Claire, WI - The Eau Claire law firm of Weld Riley S.C. is pleased to announce longtime attorney Greg Banchy is joining the firm.
“I’m truly excited to be joining the talented attorneys at Weld Riley. This is a great opportunity to help even more people and businesses plan for their future,” said Attorney Banchy.
Banchy comes to Weld Riley from his own practice in Eau Claire. His estate planning practice includes everything from preparing simple wills and powers of attorney to much more complex planning such as asset protection trusts and marital agreements. Greg also helps when guardianships are needed and works with clients to establish their businesses, as well as advising on business succession plans.Banchy attended Marquette University Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 1987. He is very active in the elder law community in Wisconsin presently serving as a director on the Elder Law and Special Needs Section Board of the State Bar of Wisconsin and on the WisPACT Board of Directors. Greg also serves as an advisor to the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Association of Elder Law Attorney (NAELA).
“Greg has so much experience in estate and business planning. We’re grateful to have his insight and talents to help serve Weld Riley clients now and many years into the future,” said firm President and attorney John Robert Behling.
Weld Riley, S.C. has offices in Eau Claire, Black River Falls, Wausau, and Menomonie and serves families, private sector businesses, and public sector clients, including school districts, county governments, and many municipalities around western Wisconsin.
For more information on Weld Riley, log on to www.weldriley.com
For more information and to schedule an interview:
Press Contact: Chris Herzog
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital offers prenatal and breastfeeding classes in February
EAU CLAIRE – If you’re a soon-to-be parent, you likely have a lot of questions about what to expect during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and more. HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital’s Women and Infants Center is offering free prenatal education classes for first-time parents and those who would like a refresher Mondays, Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24, at 6:30 p.m. in the Monsignor Klimek Auditorium (lower level) at the hospital, 900 West Clairemont Ave.
The hospital is also offering a prenatal class Saturday, Feb. 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Monsignor Klimek Auditorium (lower level) at the hospital. This is a one-day class that covers the same information as the several-week series.
In addition, the hospital is offering a breastfeeding education class Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m. in Bishop Treacy (lower level) at the hospital.
These classes are free but registration is required by visiting www.sacredhearteauclaire.org/Events-Classes. For more information, call 715-717-4156.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Brings New, Powerful MRI Machine to Eau Claire – One of Only Two in the Nation with Enhanced Patient Experience Technology
EAU CLAIRE – A four-year collaboration with the National Football League and top research institutions around the world has brought advanced medical imaging technology to the Chippewa Valley.
The GE Healthcare SIGNATM Premier Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was developed after decades of research on the impact of concussion in sports. It’s designed to combine advanced clinical imaging with high-performance hardware that enables faster scanning and enhanced image quality. This device, now in use at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, is one of only three in Wisconsin. Add in enhanced patient-experience suite options, and HSHS Sacred Heart is one of only two hospitals in the nation with this technology.
The GE Healthcare SIGNATM Premier suite of enhancements allows patients to choose specific music, scenery and movies during an MRI procedure.
“We are thrilled to bring this technology to the Chippewa Valley,” said Andrew Bagnall, president and CEO of HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. “We believe the advanced applications will help our clinicians push the boundaries of what’s possible with MRI.”
This new medical device brings a higher level of clinical capability and patient comfort. Ken Brown, director of Imaging Services at HSHS Sacred Heart, said this addition supports HSHS’s continued commitment to helping provide patients with improved diagnosis, care and treatment options.
“This will help our patients feel less apprehensive about having an MRI,” said Brown. “The faster and more comfortable procedure may reduce the need for sedation and hopefully reduce the anxiety some patients have about an MRI.”
Brown said HSHS colleagues have noticed a reduction of approximately twelve minutes off the average testing time. “This is particularly helpful in imaging elderly and very young patients who may have felt that the heavier coils of previous machines restricted breathing,” said Brown.
New Numbers Show Home Prices Climbing
Eau Claire, WI - New numbers from December 2019 show homes on the market sold quickly, and for more money than just one year ago.
“These numbers show we’re definitely operating in a seller’s market. If buyers are looking for a home they need to be prepared to move with their REALTOR® quickly, and with a competitive offer,” said RANWW Executive Vice President Brenda Barnhardt.
According to the latest December numbers, Eau Claire County saw median prices on single family homes up 4.6%, with the number of sales decreasing 24.3%, and the average days on market dropping by 5.7%. In Chippewa County, prices were up 30.6%, and homes sales dropped 3.0% with average days on market jumped 21.6%.
According to the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association, closed sales in December increased over December 2018, up 14.8%, and median prices rose 10.1% to $197,000 over that same period. New data also shows the average home in Wisconsin is on the market just 96 days before being sold.
Barnhardt adds the silver lining has been the significant reduction in mortgage rates over the last year, which has served to keep Wisconsin housing affordable. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has remained below 4% since June of last year, and it stood at 3.72% in December. That compares to 4.64% in December 2018.
“Affordable rates are helping buyers get more home for their hard earned dollars. But they need to be ready to identify a great house and move quickly before it’s purchased by another party. That’s where working with a qualified and professional REALTOR® can make the process more successful, faster, and much easier,” said Gary Brenizer, RANWW board president.
The REALTORS® Association of Northwestern Wisconsin is the professional trade association that all professional REALTORS® residing within the association jurisdiction belong to. The association provides educational opportunities for its members, is active in local, state and national advocacy efforts, engages in community outreach through charitable giving, operates its own private foundation to help homeowners in need and remains a positive force for the members they serve.
Andrew Robertson Joins SFB as Senior Credit Officer
EAU CLAIRE – Paul Rudersdorf, CEO and president of Security Financial Bank (SFB), is pleased to announce that Andrew (Andy) Robertson has joined SFB as senior credit officer for the bank. He will be responsible for the development and enforcement of the credit policy and the credit quality of the loan portfolio for the bank. In addition, Robertson will manage and oversee all credit analysis and loan operations support functions throughout SFB.
“With Andy’s experience in the banking industry, he will be an outstanding asset for Security Financial Bank,” Rudersdorf said. “His expertise will be instrumental in leading SFB as we continue to grow.”
Robertson earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UW-Stout. Before joining SFB, he spent the past nine years with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as a bank examiner. He also has an additional eight years of experience working within the banking industry in Wisconsin and Colorado with positions in the lending and credit departments.
Robertson will work out of SFB’s corporate office located in Eau Claire.
Congratulations to Kyle Yudes from Castle Insurance, as he is the Chamber Ambassador of the quarter! Kyle has volunteered much of his time this past quarter and we appreciate all of his support.
Highlighting workforce development: Bring your interns or apprentices.
26th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally
Tuesday, February 25, Madison
Wisconsin State Capitol and Park Hotel
The Chippewa Valley Rally is a valuable opportunity for business and community leaders from our region to bring important economic issues to lawmakers in Madison. State policies and funding play a major role in Critical issues like workforce, education, transportation and broadband that affect economic prosperity.
A major theme of this year's Rally will be the value of the programs that make internships and apprenticeships possible. If you're an employer who utilizes registered apprenticeships, college internships, or high school youth apprentices, we encourage you to bring one or more of them along to give lawmakers the opportunity to meet students whose futures are being enhanced by these programs.
Photos above: Scenes from the 2019 Chippewa Valley Rally
Click here for more photos
How it works: When you attend, you'll be part of a team of several dozen area business and community leaders traveling to Madison for small group meetings at legislative offices, a luncheon, informal discussions with lawmakers and staff at the closing reception, and networking with others from the area who are interested in state government policy.
If you bring an apprentice or intern, they'll join you at the small group legislative meetings to give lawmakers a first hand opportunity to ask questions about the benefits of the program and their future plans.
Special training opportunity: We'll have a short training session the week before the Rally for interns, apprentices, or anyone who wants to attend, to cover the Rally issues and what to expect when participating.
Rally Training Session
Monday, Feb 17, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Click here to sign up for the free training session
Click here for more event details and to sign up for the Rally. Note that there is a special registration category for interns and apprentices.
Optional round trip same-day bus transportation is available from Eau Claire (choose that option when you register). Bus boarding at 6:15 a.m., return by 9:30 p.m.
Discounted hotel rates are available to those traveling on their own and staying overnight. Call the Park Hotel at 608-285-8000 and ask for the Chippewa Valley Rally Room Block.
More questions? Contact Scott Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Smiar, Schauf Discuss "Speak Your Peace" Project, Transportation, Public Safety, Health & Social Services
On Friday, January 17, 2020, the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual State of the County address, presented by Eau Claire County Board Chair Nick Smiar and County Board administrator Kathryn Schauf. Addressing its many constituents gathered, The county took the opportunity to explain the ups and downs of 2019 and the trajectory of the county moving forward into 2020. When the new Board is seated in April, it will begin work on the Strategic Plan alongside the normal services it provides. Throughout the address, efforts to increase transparency in decision making and magnify the voices of constituents through greater civic engagement were emphasized heavily.
Speak Your Peace: The Civility Project
Rob Karwath of Speak Your Peace: The Civility Project was brought in by the County to discuss the importance of civic engagement and how it will factor in heavily to the upcoming Strategic Plan. Karwath observed that change is happening, increasing in speed and intensity, and its influence is destabilizing communities who fail to adapt. Change has led to feelings of instability in the economy, jobs, and culture, which can feed into a “scarcity mentality” which causes conflict and infighting. He invites the Board to ask how relationships with constituents and business partners are changing, as well as how community needs and expectations are changing, when creating the new Plan.
The Civility Project works to increase civic engagement to help constituents believe that their ideas, if voiced, will be heard and considered fairly.This environment fosters civil engagement by letting people know they are welcome at the table and be part of the solution to problems. The Speak Your Peace approach to increasing civic engagement has been utilized in Duluth, resulting in greater attraction of citizens, and business investment due to less infighting and greater community solidarity. This approach has been further utilized in Sisters, Oregon, and locally in Eau Claire after the referendum vote on the Confluence Center. The next step with Eau Claire County is to integrate Speak Your Peace into the Strategic Planning process.
The three biggest components in 2019 expenditures were Health and Social Services, Transportation and Public Works, and Public Safety. These areas are made up of different types of funding-- yes they have property tax funding, but they also use grant funding, medicaid, and other types of dollars. County government is unique from other local governments because the city government has home rule authority, meaning they have more discretion in providing services. Counties are state and locally constituted government, so many of the services are those provided on behalf of the state of Wisconsin.
Transportation and Public Works
The county maintains roads on major arterial routes like interstates and highways on behalf of the state, as well as its own county roads, and shares responsibility with other roads with the cities of Eau Claire and Altoona. The county announced that the transportation PASER rating, measuring road conditions, rose from 5.4 in 2017 to 5.9 in 2019. That half point difference makes a big impact, says Schauf. She continued to explain that when the PASER ratings begin to reach approximately 6, that the year over year investment the county needs to make in maintaining that infrastructure actually becomes lower than the cost of simply letting roads degrade and then rebuilding them. The rising PASER rating is a direct result of rising registration fees and the investment the county has made in infrastructure.
Though tax levy and vehicle registration help fund roads, the majority of county highway funding comes from borrowing.To continue this level of service, the County will have to continue to borrow, and invites the the community to ask if continuing to borrow at these rates in order to maintain the roadways is something worth doing.
The Sheriff’s Department patrol covers 655 square miles, serving mostly the low-population rural areas and regional areas outside of Eau Claire and Altoona, leading to lower caseloads than these cities themselves have. Most cases tackled by the County in 2019 dealt with drugs, and the incidence of meth related cases has increased by nearly 5% from 2018-2019. Overall, there has been a 4.4% decrease in the number of criminal cases opened by the Sheriff's Department and an increase of 1.5% in the number of criminal cases closed. Schauf said the improving case turnover means the Department is being efficient and serving the community well.
There has been a year-to-year decline from 2018-2019 in the jail population, which Schuaf said is good, but there remains pressure on the county jail system as the current secure population of 281 exceeds the recommended capacity of 206 inmates, requiring some inmates be shipped to other jurisdictions for housing. The county is working on the criminal justice system to reduce pressure by lowering the recidivism rate through treatment courts and social worker placements within the jail.
Health and Social Services
The two highest cost areas of health and social services in county government are abused and neglected children and behavioral health/crisis services/treatment court. Placement of troubled children costs hundreds of dollars a day and the country has a shortage of adequate mental health services for them. There were 1,342 reports and referrals in 2019, but through rigorous alternate care programs working with households to try to reduce the rate of child removal, only 419 of these moved on to the assessment stage. From 2018-2019 there has been a 53% decrease, because of alternate care, in out-of-home residential placements of children. The county hopes to continue its programs helping children stay in homes as much as they can and provide services to increase their quality of life.
The Chamber’s next Eggs & Issues will be on Friday, February 21, 2020 at The Lismore. The discussion will be centered around the State of the City of Eau Claire. For more information and to register, click here.
Link to download State of the County Presentation (Eau Claire County)
County leaders discuss 2020 priorities, civility (Leader-Telegram)
Eau Claire leaders look to expand broadband, discuss mental health in 2019 (WQOW News 18)
Posted by Clayton Cavanaugh, Chamber intern
L.E Phillips Memorial Public Library
The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire will be closed Monday, January 20 to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.
Employees will be participating in development sessions throughout the day. The library will resume its normal hours on Tuesday, January 21.
Race to Your Library!
The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire is off to the races this winter with its adult winter reading program, the IditaREAD Winter Reading Race. The program runs from Monday, February 3 through Friday, March 20. Adults ages 18 and up are invited to register starting February 3 at www.ecpubliclibrary.info/iditaread, or at Information & Reference.
Read or listen to three books and assign them a “Tails Up” or “Tails Down” rating to complete a reading slip. All completed reading slips will be entered into a drawing for fun prizes at the end of the program. This year’s grand prize is a Triple Play Membership, which grants the winner an annual membership to Beaver Creek Reserve, the Children’s Museum, and the Chippewa Valley Museum.
The Eau Claire County Humane Association will also be joining in the fun. Find your new mush pet at a special “Books & Beasts” adoption event from 2–4 p.m. on Sunday, March 15 at the library. Unable to adopt at this time? You can still enjoy book time with furry friends. Read for 20–30 minutes to “mush pets” at the shelter to get your Mush Pet reading slip initialed. Mush Pet slips will be entered into the prize drawing, just like reading slips.
For information, stop at Information & Reference on your next visit to the library, call 715-839-5004, or email the library at email@example.com. To learn more about library programs, check the library website at www.ecpubliclibrary.info.
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
Community, campus events honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day
UW-Eau Claire commemorates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with two community events on Jan. 20 and a campus event on Feb. 5. Full story.
'Ask a Scientist' series resumes Feb. 13 with new focus
The long-running campus/community series called "Ask a Scientist" launches its spring lineup with a new area partnership, a new coordinator and a renewed purpose — cutting through today's mixed messaging to bring facts and understanding to our community. Full story.
UW MBA Consortium program among top online programs in the nation
U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium program among the top 10 programs in the nation in its 2020 Best Online MBA Programs rankings. Full story.
Cyberbullying experts propose new strategies to address teen sexting
A growing number of teens are participating in sexting, an indication that current efforts to discourage these behaviors are not effective, says a UW-Eau Claire cyberbullying expert. New strategies are needed to minimize harm to teens who do sext, he says. Full story.
Successful, sustainable farming to be focus of 'Thursdays at the U'
Author and journalist Brian DeVore will present "Wildly Successful Farming: Public Policy and the New Agricultural Land Ethic" from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Feb. 6 to open the spring lecture and performance series at UW-Eau Claire – Barron County in Rice Lake. Full story.
Prevea Launches Podcast, “Plug in to Health”
Now available on Apple, Spotify and prevea.com
Green Bay, Wis. – Prevea Health is pleased to announce the launch of Plug in to Health, a podcast focusing on various health topics, the latest developments in health and medicine, and more. It is available for free on Apple, Spotify and other podcasting platforms, as well as at: www.prevea.com/podcast
According to The Podcast Consumer 2019, a report conducted by Edison Research, the audience for podcasting has grown significantly in the past year: Today, 51 percent of Americans 12+ has ever listened to a podcast, with 32 percent having listened in the past month and 22 percent in the past week.
“At Prevea Health, we are passionate about improving the health and wellness of our communities,” said Dr. Ashok Rai, President and CEO at Prevea Health. “Plug in to Health is another way to connect with not only our patients and communities, but others across the globe that have an interest in learning more about their health, medicine and those who dedicate their lives to it.”
Plug in to Health is hosted by Angela Deja, public relations coordinator at Prevea Health. Prior to her role at Prevea Health, Angela spent nearly a decade as a television news reporter in Wausau at WSAW and in Green Bay as “Angela Kelly” for WLUK’s morning news program, Good Day Wisconsin. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.
“Prevea Health has numerous experts in primary care and in more than 60 types of medical specialties,” said Deja. “We also have many on the front lines of implementing change across the entire health care landscape – from tackling the opioid crisis to introducing new technologies and treatments. All of these experts have incredible knowledge to share and inspiring stories to tell. I look forward to putting my interview hat back on and diving into the topics our listeners most want to learn about.”
Episodes currently available on Plug in to Health focus on: Creating healthy habits; coping with anxiety known as “The Sunday Scaries”; and how carrying “the mental load” for their families is having a mental and physical impact on women.
“We encourage our listeners to let us know what they would like to learn more about in the world of health and medicine – whether it be about a common or little-known medical condition, or a maybe a new development on the horizon,” said Deja. “This podcast is not about what Prevea Health wants to promote, but rather, what our listeners want to learn about.”
Those interested can submit episode ideas, questions and feedback by visiting: www.prevea.com/podcast
The information provided in Plug in to Health does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to replace interactions with a health care professional. Those who are concerned about their health care should consult with a health care professional.
HSHS St. Joseph's Hospitals
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital offers prenatal class series in February
CHIPPEWA FALLS – If you’re a soon-to-be parent, you likely have a lot of questions about what to expect during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and more. HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Women and Infants Center is offering free prenatal education classes for first-time parents Mondays, Feb. 3, 10 and 17, at 6 p.m. in McDonald Hall at the hospital, 2661 Co Hwy I.
The class series is free and registration is not required. For more information, call 715-717-7421.
Volunteer Partners of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital to offer six $1,000 scholarships
CHIPPEWA FALLS – The Volunteer Partners of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital will once again be offering six scholarships of $1,000 each in 2020 for people who wish to further their education in health-related fields. Applicants must reside in Chippewa County or must be an employee, spouse of an employee, or child of an employee of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital.
The scholarship applications are due to the Volunteer Office at St. Joseph’s Hospital by April 1. The winners will be notified by May 31, and the scholarship will be presented at the annual Volunteer Partners luncheon meeting in July.
To complete an application, visit: www.stjoeschipfalls.org/Volunteer/Scholarships.
For more information, call HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Volunteer Office at 715-717-7439.
Wisconsin Public Radio
WPR Special Election Coverage Features Primary Debate For Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District
Eau Claire, Wis. – Primary candidates for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District will debate live on The Ideas Network of Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR). Democratic candidates Lawrence Dale, Eagle River, and Tricia Zunker, Wausau, will debate on Jan. 30. Republican candidates Jason Church, Hudson, and Tom Tiffany, Minocqua, will debate on Feb. 6. Both debates will air live at 10 a.m. and will be moderated by Shereen Siewert, host of WPR’s Wausau-based talk show “Route 51,” and Robin Washington, host of Superior-based WPR talk show “Simply Superior.” Listeners will also be able to question the candidates by calling 800-780-9742.
Dale, an insurance professional and Vietnam veteran, previously ran for the seat as a Green Party candidate in 2014 and for Wisconsin State Assembly District 34 as a Democrat in 2016. Zunker is an Associate Justice of the Ho-Chunk Nation Supreme Court and president of the Wausau School Board. Church served in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army, retiring as Captain, and was an aide to U.S. Senator Ron Johnson. Tiffany was elected as State Senator for Wisconsin’s 12th District in 2012 and has served two terms. He previously served one term in the State Assembly.
In western Wisconsin, the debates will be broadcast live at 10 a.m. Jan. 30 and Feb. 6 on 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls, and streamed at wpr.org/western. They will be re-broadcast at 7 p.m. Jan. 31 and Feb. 7 on 89.7/Eau Claire and 90.7/Menomonie.
Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District includes Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Clark, Douglas, Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor, Vilas, and Washburn Counties. It also includes portions of Chippewa, Jackson, Juneau, Monroe and Wood Counties.
The special election was called by Gov. Tony Evers to replace Republican Sean Duffy, who resigned for family reasons last fall. The primary election is on Feb. 18, with winners facing off in the general election on May 12.
wisconsin Farm Technology Days 2020
WI Farm Technology Days 2020 Finalizes Innovation Square Exhibits
To Feature Apple, Kidney Bean, Dairy, Organic Greens, Horseradish, and Salmon Farms
Eau Claire, WI (Jan 16, 2020) – The Innovation Square Committee has finalized its farm exhibits for 2020 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days (WFTD) in Eau Claire County, July 21-23. Five Eau Claire area farms representing the wide diversity of farming in Western Wisconsin, including Apple, Kidney Bean, Dairy, Greens, Horseradish and Salmon production, will exhibit in this year’s Innovation Square at the center of the Huntsinger Farms, this year’s host farm.
“The Chippewa Valley area is a truly diverse agricultural area, with deep roots and a proud heritage of innovation and ingenuity across its many different farms,” said Andy Ferguson, co-owner of Ferguson’s Orchards, and chair of WFTD 2020’s Innovation Square Committee. “Farmers and the general public alike will be amazed at the presentations our five exhibitors are putting on for Farm Technology Days.”
The five 2020 Innovation Square Exhibitors are:
· Chippewa Valley Bean Company, the largest kidney bean grower and processor in the world, on the leading edge of nutrition trends providing an efficient plant-based protein;
· Ferguson’s Orchards, one of the Midwest’s largest commercial apple growers with 250,000 apple trees, and Western Wisconsin’s premier fall ‘agritourism’ destination with apple and pumpkin picking, corn mazes, wagon rides, and more.
· Penterman Farm, a 350-cow dairy farm, home of Marieke Gouda, an international awardwinning cheese company that uses farm-fresh milk from its Brown Swiss and Holstein herd to create farm-fresh, raw-milk cheese every day;
· Silver Spring Foods, owned by Huntsinger Farms, the host farm for WFTD 2020, the world’s largest grower and processor of horseradish; and,
· Superior Fresh, the largest aquaponic farm in the world, specializes in organic leafy greens, and Atlantic salmon and Steelhead, as well as regenerative agriculture to restore the environment on its land. Superior Fresh grows its organic greens year-round, providing Wisconsin and neighboring states fresh, locally grown lettuces throughout the year, regardless of weather.
The five exhibits represent “the best ideas, innovations, and entrepreneurs that Wisconsin’s modern agriculture and farmstead companies have to offer,” said Marieke Penterman, CEO of Marieke Gouda.
Each Innovation Square farm will feature rich exhibits from modern farming equipment, to taste tests, demonstrations, crop plots in different stages of maturity, recipes to take home, and fun games to test your knowledge. Brandon Gottsacker, president of Superior Fresh, said, “We hope to get people of all ages excited about agriculture, by giving everyone an up close and personal experience as to how and why we grow food the way we do.”
Added Cindy Brown, president and co-owner of The Chippewa Valley Bean Co, Inc., “Innovation is what it takes to be successful in farming. We’re excited to be alongside our four neighbors to show the rest of Wisconsin what we’re doing across the Chippewa Valley area.”
About Wisconsin Farm Technology Days
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days is a three-day outdoor event showcasing the latest developments in production agriculture, including practical applications and recent research and technological developments. This is the only farm show of its size in the United States that is organized and run entirely by volunteers. As the largest outdoor agricultural event in the state, it welcomes more than 45,000 attendees, with more than 600 commercial and educational vendors. The first WFTD show was named Farm Progress Days and was held in Waupaca County in 1954. Eau Claire County hosted Farm Progress Days in 1992 and has been chosen as the host for the 67th annual event in 2020.
About Agriculture in Eau Claire County
Agriculture works hard for Eau Claire County every day. Family-owned farms, food processors and agriculture-related businesses generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of economic activity while contributing to local income and tax revenues. Eau Claire County, though dominated by the dairy industry, raises everything from meat goats to milking sheep to apples, grapes and vegetables. The county has seen farm numbers rise, while farm acreage has declined to an average farm size of 155 acres. Migration from the city to rural areas has resulted in smaller farms producing a variety of products. A diverse population has created opportunities to fill ethnic and specialty food niches. Meanwhile, county institutions and farmers have joined forces to produce fresh, healthy products to meet a growing demand for local food.
WNB Financial is pleased to announce Andrew Kieffer, Vice President and Financial Advisor, as the recipient of its 2019 fourth quarter Community PRIDE Award.
Community PRIDE Awards recognize WNB employees for exceptional volunteer service to programs, organizations, and initiatives that contribute to the strength and vitality of the communities served. This includes volunteering efforts made during and outside of work hours.
Kieffer serves the Board of Directors for the Winona Family YMCA, specifically volunteering his time on the Finance Committee and in the area of youth sports. He can also be found at many golf fundraisers in the Winona and La Crosse communities.
As a Community PRIDE Award recipient, Kieffer received $100 to donate to the non-profit organization of his choice, which he chose to donate to Winona Family YMCA youth sports scholarships. In addition, he received a certificate of recognition and a Bank logo shirt.
In 2019, 45 WNB Financial employees donated 2,110 hours of service to 97 organizations. WNB gifted over $375,000 to the community in the areas of education and youth programs, fine arts and culture, health and wellness, economic development, and community service.
Chippewa Valley Technical College
CVTC Board Calls for April 7 Referendum
$48.8 million measure would improve facilities, technology
Eau Claire, WI – The Chippewa Valley Technical College District Board on Thursday, Jan. 16 approved a resolution calling for an April 7 referendum on borrowing $48.8 million to fund projects identified in its facilities plans.
“Our goal is to address workforce and safety training needs throughout the district,” said Paul Bauer of Ellsworth, board president. “We have a growing labor shortage and need to make structural changes to accommodate new technology and meet the expectations of employers. Our training facilities for emergency services workers are in need of an upgrade.
The proposal includes construction of a new Transportation Education Center for $28 million, an addition and remodeling at the Emergency Services Education Center for $9.2 million, the addition of an Automated Fabrication Lab at the Manufacturing Education Center for $3 million, and purchase of land adjacent to the River Falls campus for $2.5 million. Also included are the development of mobile labs, purchase of new technology, remodeling at the Menomonie and Chippewa campuses, a storage facility, and additional labs.
“The projects we have outlined would have a direct positive impact in all of our communities. The new facilities would help ensure a highly skilled workforce for local businesses, as well as opportunities to retrain or upskill employees,” said Bruce Barker, CVTC president. “The improvements in the emergency services area, for example, would not only better prepare students entering those fields, but enable the first responders in your community who keep you safe to update and improve their skills.”
If the referendum passes, the tax impact would be spread over the 11-county district, resulting in an average property tax increase of $13 per year on $100,000 of equalized property value. The projects would be completed over three years, with much of the construction taking place in 2021-22.
The board approved the following wording of the referendum question:
"Shall the Chippewa Valley Technical College District, Wisconsin be authorized to issue pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds or promissory notes in an amount not to exceed $48,800,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of capital expenditures for the purchase or construction of buildings, building additions, remodeling and improvements, the acquisition of sites, and the purchase of fixed and other equipment at District locations, including, but not limited to, Eau Claire, River Falls, Chippewa Falls, Menomonie, the Emergency Services Education Center, the Manufacturing Education Center, a new Transportation Education Center, and land near the current River Falls Campus?"
Prior to taking action, the board authorized a community survey to gauge support for various facilities projects and tolerance for the tax impact and held a public hearing on the proposal.
With over 155 programs offered both online and on-campus, Chippewa Valley Technical College delivers superior, progressive technical education which improves the lives of students, meets the workforce needs of the region, and strengthens the community. CVTC programs are designed with input of business and industry to prepare graduates for today’s jobs, with 95 percent employed within six months of graduation and associate degree graduates earning an average annual salary of $46,816.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.