The old adage of when it rains it pours is certainly true when it comes to the weather that has been assailing the region over the past week or so.
Major weather fronts have moved through, and for the most part Polk County has been spared the most severe weather. Residents who eagerly watch radar, waiting for a good window-rattling thunderstorm have watched as most of the fronts seem to part around us, or just head straight north like Canadian geese headed for home.
While grateful for the lack of direct storm damage and rampaging floods, Polk County has been more fortunate than our neighboring counties to the north. Burnett, Douglas and Pine Counties have all been hit hard this season. So much so the Radigan Flowage Dam on the Tamarack River west of Dairyland has given way and roads have been washed out.
Highway 77 and Highway 48 west of Danbury, have been closed at the St. Croix River bridge.
This weekend marks the 70th anniversary of the Milltown Fishermen's Party and it is only fitting on this auspicious occasion that pillars of the community Marie and Milt Sogge have the honor of being the village's grand marshals. Each is a Milltown native and the duo has lived (and worked!) together for the better part of their 52 years of marriage.
The Sogge's theoretically “retired” five years ago upon selling Milltown Appliance and Heating, which they owned and ran for 23 years, but they remain as busy as ever – particularly now with the big community celebration rapidly approaching.
Marie is everywhere during the festival, a whirling dervish of the Community Club (for 28 years), which she currently presides over, and who helps to coordinate the massive volunteer effort it takes to pull off the weekend events. She said there are literally about 100 volunteers who help in one way or another. Marie is in her second year as Community Club President – and has served several other terms over the years.
With so many folks supporting the Fishermen's Party, the Community Club members wanted to give something back to the community. To that end, the Sogges raise all the pumpkins for the Pumpkin Fest, which are given out free to all the children. The Community Club also puts on the village's annual Santa Day. The Sogges were also instrumental in the push to get the concession stand in the park re-done, as well as building the gazebo.
Of note, Marie said for the first time in a very, very long time, there will be no street dance on Saturday night on Main Street. There will be live music however at Bering Park from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. - The Groovin' 60s.
The Sogges have three adult children and one step grandson who is serving in the Air Force. Although they very much enjoy traveling, Marie said she loves the town motto: “A great place to call home,” which she said Village President LuAnn White came up with.
Bob Coleman of the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association – Superior had high praise for St. Croix Falls Wrestling Coach Dan Clark and his team citing increased participation, and a much improved team.
“This year has been a very successful year for the Saint Croix Falls Wrestlers with Head Coach, Dan Clark. Clark has been coaching for 24 years and has always put out a quality team, but this year's team was special,” observed Coleman.
This year St. Croix Falls went 18-1 in duals, with only one loss to Stratford, in the Team State Semi Finals. SCF also qualified five kids for the Individual State Tournament, with one runner up and one placing third. The Saints won several tournaments including: Northern Badger, WI Dells Duals, Ogilvie, MN and West Lakeland Conference.
“Clark has spent countless hours working with kids in the wrestling room as well as outside of the wrestling room. Whether it be checking on kid’s grades, cheering them on in other sports, providing rides or during the summer months taking kids to camps, Dan is always there,” noted Coleman. “He is a teacher, coach, friend and sometimes a father to his wrestlers. Dan is the true meaning of a coach."
Coach of the Year:
District 1: Dan Clark - St. Croix Falls
District 2: Joe Schwabe - Stratford
District 3: Jason Lulloff - Holmen
District 4: Chas Treml - Luxemburg Casco
District 5: Bob Empey/Dan Spilde - Stoughton
District 6: Chris Graziano - Slinger
District 7: (t) Tom Dineen - Marquette High School, Randy Ferrell - Nathan Hale
District 8: Ben Chapman – Lakeland
State Coach of the Year: Joe Schwabe - Stratford
State Assistant Coach of the Year - Kane Krummel - Stratford
Wrestler of the Year: Peyton Mocco - West Allis Nathan Hale
Addressing system called a “black hole”
By Lynda Berg Olds
County Board Chairman Dean Johansen acknowledged the loss of life from the flash flood in Ashland County on Tuesday night at the onset of the Polk County Board of Supervisors regular meeting. He said that so far the northern brethren have not called for mutual aid from Polk County, according to Highway Commissioner Moe Norby. Norby told Johansen they do have disaster relief in place.
“Let's hope that all works out for the best,” Johansen said. “They've had six to 10 inches of rain in 72 hours.”
Public comments came next and Joel Hazzard took to the podium to appeal to the board to put a moratorium on address changes, evidently mandated by the county. This is not a new subject and several residents who live on Homes Court, on Big Lake, in the Osceola area, were present to express solidarity in terms of their serious concern with regards to the prospect of changing everybody's address. Not the just financial concerns, which are somewhat staggering, but also in terms of safety.
“You all know that we've provided several documents about hardship and cost, things like that, but today what I want to talk a little bit about is the safety concerns, because that is really the focus.”
Hazzard then showed his first of 15 slides in a power point presentation, which showed the area of concern - a horseshoe-shaped road along Big Lake.