The area lost one of its pioneering entrepreneurs last month. Funeral services will be held Monday in Eden Prairie, Minn., for Arden Grudem, who died Dec. 18 at age 95 in Longwood, Fla. It’s been a while since he lived in Chippewa County — he moved to Eau Claire in 1961 — but his legacy remains.

In the mid-1940s, Grudem, with an older brother, founded the Falls Dairy Company in Jim Falls — what was known by many for generations as “the creamery” that is today owned and  operated with great success by AMPI. Grudem was an executive at the creamery, secretary-treasurer and co-owner until the company was sold in 1969.

Grudem also lived a life of service to others and the communities where he lived. He served as president of the Wisconsin State Board of Agriculture and was honored for lifelong service to the Boy Scouts.

Widely known as a man of honesty and integrity, he also had a deep belief in education. Later in life, he donated a large parcel near Lowes Creek in Eau Claire County to Chippewa Valley Technical College. CVTC later agreed to a swap with Eau Claire County, trading the Lowes Creek property for the county farm land. The agreement resulted in the creation of the college’s west campus as well as Lowes Creek County Park.

Grudem also lived in Haugen and eventually moved to Florida. Memorials can be sent to the Orlando Union Rescue Mission, the Boy Scouts (for the benefit of Camp Phillips) or First Baptist of Sweetwater, Fla.

Duffy: Bill lacking

In Wednesday’s Herald we ran a story with the reaction to the “fiscal cliff” bill by Sen. Ron Johnson and Rep. Ron Kind. We were unable to get Rep. Sean Duffy’s take on it by deadline, so we’ll bring that to you now.

"I respect the effort that went into crafting this agreement which will prevent tax increases for many Americans, including many hard-working Wisconsin families," said Duffy (R-Weston), one of three Wisconsin congressmen to vote against the bill.

"While my constituents want lower taxes, they also demand fiscal responsibility. They know that with more than $16 trillion of debt and borrowing $1 trillion a year our country is on an unsustainable path,” he said..”

“I voted against this deal because it does not include a serious, sustainable plan for balancing the budget and reducing our debt."

Only one local primary

There will be  a primary on Feb. 19, but there won’t be a lot on the ballot.

Barring challenges, all Chippewa County voters will be asked to vote on a state Supreme Court race.  Justice Pat Roggensack is being challenged by Ed Fallone, a Marquette University professor, and Vince Megna, an attorney.

And in the town of Eagle Point, there will be a three-way primary for town clerk.

The top two in each race will earn spots on the April 2 spring election ballot.

Boys and Girls Club opens doors in Chippewa Falls

The start of 2013 also means the start of the Chippewa Falls location of the Boys and Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley. The club invites kids between ages 8-18 to join at its location at 21 E. Grand Ave. — the Chippewa Falls Museum of Industry and Technology.

Membership costs $10 per year per child, or $20 max for a family, though scholarships are available based on need. Hours during the school year will be 3-6 p.m. for kids and 3-8 p.m. for teens, with summer hours between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Besides the Chippewa Falls location, the Boys and Girls Club operates in downtown Eau Claire and Black River Falls. The club is also looking to expand into Dunn County.

Tracey Smiskey, director of resource development at the Eau Claire club, previous told the Herald the club’s focus goes beyond offering a safe environment for youth. Programs  are targeted toward character and leadership, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation, and education.

Poll results

Packers kicker Mason Crosby shouldn’t be worried about joining the unemployment line, said most of the people responding to a poll on, the Herald’s website.

Readers were asked what Green Bay Packers should do with its sometimes struggling kicker. Of more than 700 responses, 41.6 percent said nothing had to be done with Crosby, that he would be fine for the playoffs. Another 28.2 percent wanted the Packers to cut him and pick up a replacement, while 23.5 percent said to bring in a new kicker but keep him around.

This week’s question asks if you would ever participate in a polar plunge.

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