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Leader of Community Foundation of Chippewa County to retire

The executive director of the Community Foundation of Chippewa County, Melinda Haun, will retire in 2018, sometime before the end of the calendar year.

Haun has served in local chief executive leadership roles for over 23 years, a press release said. She plans to work with the foundation’s board of directors to find a new executive director before her retirement.

“The decision to retire was incredibly difficult, however, I will be turning 60 this year and would like more flexibility to travel and spend time with family, who live in various parts of the country,” Haun said. “The exceptional generosity of this community and the visionary thinking and strong commitment of its leaders, has made working for the Foundation a great honor and privilege.”

Haun has worked in the field of philanthropy since 1980, primarily in the Community Foundation and United Way fields, involved both at the local and national levels. She has been executive director of the Community Foundation since 2011.

She also served as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation from 2001-2008, when she was president & chief professional officer of the United Way of Chippewa County (1995-2010).

During her tenure with the Foundation, assets under management have grown from $5.4 million to over $19 million, the press release said.

The Community Foundation works with individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations to benefit Chippewa County communities now and for future generations. The foundation will launch a new website within weeks.

Potential Ron Kind challenger will be extradited to New York to face larceny charge


A La Crosse woman hoping to unseat U.S. Rep. Ron Kind was charged Tuesday in La Crosse County as a fugitive.

Juliet Germanotta, 36, agreed to waive extradition to New York, where she faces a grand larceny charge. The New York City Police Department sought her arrest on Monday and obtained a warrant from a New York judge.

Germanotta bought a $4,800 ring from a New York jewelry store on Sept. 19 and then returned a fraudulent ring, according to New York City police.

Germanotta announced her candidacy in November and vowed to focus on advocating rights for LGBTQ people and health care for people with pre-existing conditions.

She said her felony conviction in California would be expunged.

Racine man allegedly punches neighbor in snowblowing dispute

A Racine man faces criminal charges for allegedly punching a neighbor in the face Sunday after criticizing the victim for how he was using his snowblower.

Jeffrey T. Mueller, 55, of the 2400 block of 20th Street, appeared in Racine County Circuit Court Monday, facing charges of misdemeanor battery and criminal disorderly conduct for the alleged Sunday incident.

According to the criminal complaint:

The alleged victim told police that he had been clearing snow with his snowblower for both his own property and that of a neighbor who was out of town. He said he was confronted by another neighbor, later identified as Mueller, who claimed the man was blowing snow onto the street.

The neighbor operating the snowblower said he told Mueller he was not intentionally blowing snow onto the street. He also said he cleaned up that snow — at which point Mueller came outside and claimed the victim was blowing snow onto the parkway.

The victim said Mueller approached and threw three punches at him with his fist. The victim said he was able to block two, but the other hit him in the left lip/cheek area. Officers reported seeing a small amount of dried blood and two cuts on his lips.

If convicted, Mueller could face penalties of up to nine months’ imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine on the battery charge and 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine for disorderly conduct. He was freed on a $500 signature bond and is scheduled for a pretrial conference on March 22.

Von Ruden re-elected Wisconsin Farmers Union president

WISCONSIN DELLS — Westby dairy farmer Darin Von Ruden was re-elected president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union this weekend in Wisconsin Dells, where 300 family farmers and rural advocates gathered for the organization’s 87th annual State Convention.

Von Ruden is a lifelong Farmers Union member who also leads the WFU Foundation board of directors, serves on the National Farmers Union Board and is chairman of the NFU Membership Committee. Active with Farmers Union at the local, state and national levels, he is a seven-time recipient of the Silver Star Award, the National Farmers Union’s highest recognition of membership development.

In his presidential address, Von Ruden touched on the changing times faced within Farmers Union and Wisconsin agriculture. He noted that though Farmers Union is experiencing a surge in membership and engagement, the farming community is at a low point.

“Many commodities are really struggling right now, and it’s an important time to talk about change,” Von Ruden said. “We’ve been seeing changes over the last few decades — growing consolidation in the ag sectors, outside investment in farm land, and a number of issues that are hurting family farmers. We as farmers need to take these challenges on and work to create a system where we are treated as price-setters rather than price-takers.”

Von Ruden announced that WFU will host dairy meetings around the state in March addressing dairy pricing and featuring a guest speaker from the Dairy Farmers of Ontario: “In order to change the current model where we’re at and shift the direction of where we’re heading to, I think we need to stand up and create change” he said.

Langworthy elected to board

Lauren Langworthy was elected as District 2 Director, representing Dunn, Pepin, Pierce and St. Croix counties. Langworthy and her husband, Caleb, own Blue Ox Farm, a 153-acre grazing farm in Wheeler, where they produce lamb, beef, and hay. Selected as the Wisconsin participants for the Farmers Union Enterprises Leadership Program this past year, they’ve attended trainings with other Farmers Union members from five states while revitalizing the Dunn County local chapter.

In her new role on the board, Langworthy looks forward to taking an active role in addressing the issues facing family farms. When she’s not farming, Langworthy is program director for the nonprofit Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service and also serves on Land Steward Project’s Federal Farm Policy Steering Committee.

“I’m always listening to and learning from other farmers, whether it’s at Farm Technology Days, the MOSES Conference, pasture walks, women farmer events, or county meetings,” she said. “Education, advocacy, and cooperation are not abstract ideals for me; they are a daily reality and a personal passion. I look forward to putting my energy to work for members on the WFU state board.”

Langworthy replaces Dennis Rosen of Emerald, who stepped down from the board after a 41-year run. Rosen served as WFU president from 1988 to 1994 and led the family farm organization on issues like property tax relief, trade, bGH and dairy pricing. He was recognized for his dedication during a ceremony at the convention.

Next year’s WFU State Convention will be Jan. 25-27 at Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton.

Gregory B. Cigan

Gregory B. Cigan, 53, of Chippewa Falls died unexpectedly at his home Monday, Feb 12, 2018.

He was born Dec. 11, 1964, in Chippewa Falls, to Peter and Betty (Baumgardner) Cigan. He grew up in the town of Anson and graduated from Chippewa Falls High School.

Greg worked at Ojibwa Golf and Bowl and then at Gordy’s Market in Chippewa Falls, and enjoyed taking walks through Irvine Park. He was the caretaker for his mother until her death May 10, 2016.

Greg is survived by his siblings, Michael (Linda) Cigan, William (Corrine) Cigan, Nick (Jackie) Cigan all of Chippewa Falls, Martha “Marty” (Rod) Raatz of Jim Falls, and Mary Denning of Chippewa Falls; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, George Cigan; sister, Marie Yeager; nephew, Jason Denning; and infant nephew, Cary Cigan.

A funeral service will be held at noon Friday, Feb. 16, at Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel, Chippewa Falls with the Rev. Robert B. Hoekstra officiating. Interment will be at St. John’s Orthodox Cemetery, town of Colburn, Chippewa County.

Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services, Chippewa Falls is serving the family. Visit to express online condolences.

Wilfred J. Morning

COLFAX, Wis. — Wilfred J. Morning, 88, died Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bloomer with visitation two hours prior to service. Olson Funeral Home in Bloomer is assisting the family.

Police-Sheriff calls

Law enforcement and emergency response agencies in Chippewa County responded to the following calls:

Friday, Feb. 9

2:02 a.m. Driving while intoxicated, Chippewa Falls. Dalton C. Kranz, 22, in custody for OWI first offense.

7:51 a.m. Gas drive off and theft of items, 5000 block of 33rd Ave., Eau Claire.

1:53 p.m. Theft, 4000 block of 45th Ave., Elk Mound.

3:39 p.m. Identity theft, 800 block of Peck St., Chippewa Falls.

3:44 p.m. Theft of sap pails, 29000 block of County Highway MM, Cadott.

4:16 p.m. Fraud, 4000 block of 137th St., Chippewa Falls.

4:52 p.m. Retail theft, 2000 block of Prairie View Rd., Chippewa Falls.

Saturday, Feb. 10

12:22 a.m. Driving while intoxicated, Central St./Bridge St., Chippewa Falls.

1:22 a.m. Driving while intoxicated, 133rd St./W. Park Ave., Chippewa Falls.

2:00 a.m. Driving while intoxicated, Highway 29, Chippewa Falls.

10:45 a.m. Gas drive off, 26000 block of Highway 27, Holcombe. $83.25.

12:14 p.m. Retail theft, Walmart, Lake Hallie.

3:30 p.m. Domestic, 16000 block of 50th Ave., Chippewa Falls.

5:58 p.m. Driving while intoxicated, County Highway X/E. 192nd St., Cadott.

Sunday, Feb. 11

2:19 a.m. Driving while intoxicated, Highway 124, Chippewa Falls.

8:00 a.m. Structure fire, Highway 27/County Highway D, Holcombe.

9:58 a.m. Domestic, 900 block of Pearl St., Chippewa Falls.

10:10 a.m. Garage fire, 18000 block of County Highway Q, Bloomer.

12:52 p.m. Retail theft, Walmart, Lake Hallie.

12:53 p.m. Driving while intoxicated, 17th Ave./Highway 53, Bloomer.

1:38 p.m. Drug abuse, 800 block of Woodward Ave., Chippewa Falls.

8:25 p.m. Domestic, 18000 block of 52nd Ave., Chippewa Falls.

8:51 p.m. Outdoor fire, 300 block of 27th St., New Auburn. Fire under control by 9:09 p.m.

8:58 p.m. Drug abuse, 50th Ave., Chippewa Falls.

Monday, Feb. 12

11:19 a.m. Battery, 400 block of Chippewa Mall Dr., Chippewa Falls.

11:26 a.m. Fraud, 800 block of Peck St., Chippewa Falls.

3:25 p.m. Fraud, 1000 block of Asplund Ct., Bloomer.

3:58 p.m. Fraud, Walmart, Lake Hallie.

6:32 p.m. Fire response, 800 block of Coleman St., Chippewa Falls.

8:21 p.m. Theft of purse and money, 100 block of W. 4th Ave., Stanley.

8:37 p.m. Domestic, 5000 block of 160th St., Chippewa Falls.

barbara / TOMMY ENRIGHT, Contributed 

The 2018 Wisconsin Farmers Union board of birectors includes, from left, (front row) Rick Adamski, Seymour; Mark Liebaert, South Range; Darin Von Ruden, Westby; Craig Myhre, Osseo; and (back row) Lauren Langworthy, Wheeler; Ed Gorell, Eleva; Chris Holman, Custer; Tina Hinchley, Cambridge; and Linda Ceylor, Catawba.


Von Ruden