Eau Claire Energy Cooperative recently won two awards for presentation of local news in the Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News, the voice of the state’s rural electric cooperatives. Mary Kay Brevig, communications & public relations manager at Eau Claire Energy Cooperative and editor of the co-op’s local pages, accepted the awards at the 2019 Electric Communicator’s Conference in Green Bay August 22.
Eau Claire Energy Cooperative’s magazine pages were adjudged to have been the best overall in the categories of Co-op News and Photography for the previous year. This is the third year in a row that Brevig has won the award for Co-op News and the second year in a row she’s won for Photography.
Founded in 1940, the Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News focuses on statewide issues that affect electric cooperatives, promoting the general welfare of Wisconsin’s electric cooperatives, their member-owners, and the areas they serve. Eighteen electric cooperatives throughout the state are responsible for their own local sections within the magazine, which reaches 174,000 mailboxes each month.
Photo caption: Mary Kay Brevig (left), communications & public relations manager at Eau Claire Energy Cooperative, was presented with two Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News (WECN) awards by WECN Editor Dana Kelroy at the statewide Electric Communicator’s Conference in Green Bay August 22.
Madison, WI – The River Prairie project in Altoona, WI has been selected as a finalist for the Wisconsin Economic Development Association’s (WEDA) Economic Development Initiative award. The award is part of the Community and Economic Development Awards (CEDA) program established by WEDA to recognize businesses, projects and organizations that are making significant contributions to Wisconsin’s economy. The Economic Development Initiative award honors innovative community and economic development efforts that successfully promote growth and prosperity in Wisconsin communities. The $227 million mixed-use River Prairie Development in Altoona, WI situated along the Eau Claire River has provided the community with a tremendous economic spark, quickly becoming the city’s “new downtown” and gathering place. Once undeveloped green space, the site is now a thriving commerce district home to numerous businesses and restaurants, as well as a revolutionary public park that includes three amphitheaters, event space and a cutting-edge playground with its own stream. The park hosts numerous festivals and community events and is the pride of area residents and businesses. The project was financed with private investment secured by local tax increment financing. The River Prairie project is among 17 finalists selected for the 2019 CEDA Awards. There are two to three finalists in the following six award categories: Business Retention & Expansion; Economic Development Initiative; Economic Driver; Private-Public Partnership; Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse; and Talent Development. The League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Wisconsin Counties Association and WEDC have partnered with WEDA to present the CEDA Awards program. Finalists have been screened by an impartial panel of WEDA members and partners, and winners will be unveiled at a ceremony on September 11, 2019, at The Edgewater Hotel in Madison. The event is open to the public. For more information on the CEDA Awards, please visit weda.org/events/awards/.
WNB Financial is pleased to announce that Chris Forcier has joined the Bank as Vice President, Financial Advisor at its office in Eau Claire, Wis. In his new role, Forcier will assist customers with financial planning, retirement planning, legacy planning, and life insurance. He brings 20 years of financial advising experience to WNB Financial, with all 20 years working in the Chippewa Valley. In his family, he’s a third generation financial advisor. “We’re pleased to have Chris join the WNB Financial Advisors Team,” Senior Vice President and Chief Wealth Management Officer Ellen Smith said. “His focus on helping clients achieve their financial goals was a natural fit for WNB.” “I’m ecstatic to join the WNB Team,” Forcier said. “The Bank’s values, culture, and approach to community are a great fit for me. The Chippewa Valley is very fortunate to have WNB.” Forcier volunteers his time with Junior Achievement of Northwest Wisconsin, assisting the Chippewa Valley Schools track and field program, and teaching Sunday School at Bible Baptist Church. Forcier, his wife Andrea, and their children enjoy camping, fishing, boating, gardening, and making maple syrup in the spring.
Get Carded at the Library
Almost 40,000 of your neighbors have an L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library card. How about you? September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month, and the public library in Eau Claire is inviting community members to sign up for a new library card or get a free replacement for lost or damaged cards all month. All you need is proof of your current residential address.
The library will also host a Library Cardholder Appreciation Open House on Friday, September 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Show your library card or sign up for a new card on Library Cardholder Appreciation Day to receive a sweet treat and enter a special prize drawing. While you’re there, why not have a look at the results of the library’s recent space reallocation efforts? Check out the new Teen Lounge on first floor and browse the DVD and music CD collections, which are now conveniently located on the first floor. Curious about the Dabble Box makerspace? Staff will be available to answer questions about Dabble Box equipment and programming, which helps people gain and improve STEAM skills. Drop by the Play & Learn area in Youth Services where young imaginations take flight! It’s a great example of “sneaky learning” — in which kids may only be aware of having fun, but are also learning valuable skills.
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.
Merchants Bank’s “Swipe Out Hunger” Facebook giveaway has concluded with a donation of $500.00 to Feed My People.
In the bank’s seventh annual campaign, the top three donations were awarded based on the total number of votes for Hastings Family Service ($2,500), the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse ($1,500) and 360 Communities ($1,000). The 10 other local food shelves that participated each received a $500 donation. More than 3,400 votes were cast in this year’s giveaway.
The Food Shelves were nominated by Merchants Bank locations (bank locations making the nomination are noted in parentheses). There were a number of locations that nominated the same organization. The “Swipe Out Hunger” awards break down as follows:
Feed My People (Eau Claire): $500.00
360 Communities (Lakeville & Rosemount): $1,000.00
Cannon Falls Food Shelf (Cannon Falls): $500.00
Channel One Regional Food Bank (Rochester): $ 500.00
Friends in Need Food Shelf (Cottage Grove): $500.00
Hastings Family Service (Hastings): $2,500.00
Hometown Resource Center (St. Charles): $500.00
The Hunger Task Force (Onalaska): $1,500.00
La Crescent Food Share (La Crescent): $500.00
The Open Door Pantry (Apple Valley): $500.00
Randolph Food Shelf (Hampton): $500.00
Semcac (Caledonia, Lanesboro, Rushford, Spring Grove): $500.00
Winona Volunteer Services (Winona) $500.00
This year the bank donated five cents each time a Merchants Bank credit/debit card was used and $100 for every checking or savings account opened from August 1-8 for a total of $10,000. During last year’s “Swipe Out Hunger” giveaway Hastings Family Service received the top donation and more than 4,400 total votes were cast. In its seven-year history, Swipe Out Hunger has donated more than $70,000 to support local food shelf programs in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Merchants Financial Group, Inc. Completes Acquisition of First National Bank of Northfield
WINONA, Minn. – Merchants Financial Group, Inc., the parent company for Merchants Bank, has taken ownership of the First National Bank of Northfield, according to Merchants Financial Group, Inc. President & CEO Gregory M. Evans.
Transfer of ownership took place as of close of business on Friday, August 30, according to Evans. At this time the First National Bank of Northfield will operate as an affiliate of Merchants Financial Group, Inc. until technology projects and system conversions are complete in the spring of 2020. At that time, when system conversions are complete, the bank name will change to Merchants Bank.
“First National customers should look forward to seeing the same friendly faces they’ve come to know at their local branches, including Tim Viere, who will continue to serve as President,” noted Evans. “With more than a decade of leadership at First National and 35 years in community banking, Tim truly understands the important responsibility we have as community bankers to help our communities thrive.
“It’s been a privilege to work with the First National Bank of Northfield through the change of ownership. The staff has been completely focused on taking care of customers throughout the process and that will not change as Merchants assumes ownership.”
Between First National Bank’s two locations in Northfield and loan production office in Bloomington, Merchants Financial Group, Inc. acquired $199 million in deposits, $166 million in loans and $224 million in total assets. Additionally, Merchants acquired all outstanding stock. Terms of the sale have not been disclosed.
Louie Anderson on “Spectrum West” September 5, 2019
Comedian Louie Anderson joins host Al Ross on “Spectrum West,” which airs at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019 on The Ideas Network stations 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls. The show also features guests speaking about three events taking place in Chippewa Falls: a writer’s workshop, an interview of a band that will play at this year’s Oktoberfest and a book signing.
Emmy and Critics’ Choice Award winning comedian and actor Louie Anderson visits “Spectrum West” in anticipation of his upcoming stand-up comedy show taking place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts in Menomonie. Anderson and Ross will talk about his books, movies and hit TV show “Baskets.”
Authors Bruce Taylor and Pattie See join Ross to talk about a writing workshop they are leading at the Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls. They will discuss the practice of life writing for autobiographies, blogs, family histories, journals, memoirs and personal essays. The six-session workshop will take place Saturdays from September 28 to October 12 and October 26 to November 9.
Becky Livermore of the band Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen joins special correspondent Jim Oliver to preview their upcoming performance that will take place on Friday, Sept. 20 at Oktoberfest in Chippewa Falls. The annual event is celebrating its 17th year and takes place from Sept. 20 through 22. Accordion player and singer Livermore joins Oliver to talk about the band’s history and sample some music.
Doug Hoverson, author of the book “The Drink that Made Wisconsin Famous: Beer and Brewing in the Badger State” will be signing his book at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at the Leinie Lodge in Chippewa Falls. Ross welcomes Hoverson to the show to talk about the book and the history of the brewing industry in Wisconsin.
“Spectrum West” is a weekly program exploring the music, arts and humanities in western Wisconsin. The show includes in-depth behind-the-scenes interviews and stories about area writers, musicians, theater, visual arts and much more. It is heard weekly from 10 a.m. to 11a.m. Thursdays on Ideas 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls. A live stream can be found at www.wrfw887.com and a repeat broadcast plays at 7 p.m. Fridays on 89.7 WUEC-FM/ Eau Claire and 90.7 WVSS-FM/ Menomonie. Archives of the show are available athttps://www.wpr.org/programs/spectrum-west-al-ross.
Fall Legislative Session Preview on “The West Side” September 9
A preview of the upcoming Wisconsin legislative session, and the effect of pending legislation on western Wisconsin will be discussed on “The West Side” at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 9 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 two members of the Wisconsin Assembly, State Rep. Jodi Emerson (D-Eau Claire) and State Rep. Romaine Quinn (R-Barron) to talk about the upcoming legislative session and the possible effects on western Wisconsin.
“The West Side” is a call-in program focused on issues specific to western Wisconsin. The show airs at 10 a.m. on Mondays on 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls, with a live stream at www.wrfw887.com. Listeners may call in with questions and comments during the program at 1-800-228-5615. Archives are available at www.wpr.org.
Prevea Cancer Center at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital earns national accreditation from the Commission on Cancer
EAU CLAIRE – The Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), has granted a three-year renewed accreditation to the Prevea Cancer Center at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet 34 CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process, and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care.
Because it’s a CoC-accredited cancer center, the Prevea Cancer Center at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases that requires consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and other cancer specialists. This multidisciplinary partnership results in improved patient care.
“This level of accreditation reflects the dedication of our team of providers, nurses, therapists, and other professionals who make up our cancer program,” said Angela Quick, director of oncology, Prevea Cancer Center at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. “We’re honored to receive this renewed accreditation, which signifies the high level of care our patients receive.”
Applying for and maintaining CoC accreditation is a voluntary commitment by a cancer program that ensures its patients will have access to the full scope of services required to diagnose, treat, rehabilitate, and support patients with cancer.
“HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital has been accredited by the Commission on Cancer for the past 43 years,” said Andrew Bagnall, president and CEO, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. “This is attributed to the exceptional quality care we provide our patients.”
Prevea Health, a multi-specialty health care organization, began providing cancer care at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in 2016. The Prevea Cancer Center at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital opened for patient care in September 2018.
Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving patient outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive, quality care.
Citizens State Bank is set to open a new full service branch office at 221 Bridge Street, Cornell, WI 54732 on September 4, 2019. The bank is a sound and secure financial institution which has obtained FDIC and Wisconsin DFI approval. Citizens State Bank is a locally owned, independent community bank servicing personal, business, and agricultural needs.
The branch office at 221 Bridge Street in Cornell has been renovated and branded to Citizens State Bank standards. Hannah Cowan, a Chippewa Falls native, will be leading the branch as the Business Development Branch Lead. Katrina Hakes, a Cornell resident, will be operating as a teller in the branch. There will be an additional team member as well.
Citizens State Bank was founded in 1902 in Cadott, Wisconsin. It was created by a group of businessmen, farmers, and workers to not only meet their financial needs but also foster the growth of their small community in Cadott. They are headquartered on North Main Street in Cadott with a drive-up location on South Main Street. In 1985, the company expanded to Chippewa Falls and opened a branch on the corner of Highways 178 and S. In 1995, another branch was opened at highways J and X in Chippewa Falls.
President/CEO, Tim Cruciani, says, “It is with absolute excitement that we pursue expanding into Cornell. We serve a base of customers from the area and our new branch makes us more agile and able to serve those customers with better care, accessibility, and efficiency”. He also stated, “Citizens State Bank is on a mission to grow. We care about our customers and work to find the best solution for them by learning about them, their situation, and their needs and dreams. Growth allows us to continue this mission and help more people and communities”.
Citizens State Bank is an Equal Housing Lender, Member FDIC.