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"After all these years, still doing a great job!!" -Ron Hermanson
Feathering 'The Nest' at Luck School
By Lynda Berg Olds
Luck Child Care Director of The Nest, Gretchen Frendt, delivered a thorough presentation to members of the Luck School Board and administration last Wednesday. The program has been going on now for 17 weeks (with the same staff) and began with 17 students.
Each of the two classrooms have been divided into two, right down the middle – with two and three year-olds on one side and threes and fours on the other side, with a common eating area.
“They eat family style and have the option of bringing their own nutritiously-sound lunch or they can eat the school lunch,” Frendt said. “They have a variety and they all eat together and look at each other's food and it works pretty well.”
Frendt made a point of noting they have a very helpful and resourceful administration – as she showed a photo with Superintendent Cory Hinkel on the floor with his little ones.
“I think we have a top notch relationship between administration and the program. And we have had continuous healthy growth. We haven't grown too fast, we've just been growing slowly and it allows the children to get adjusted to staff and vice versa. And we have the ability to go on walks with the kids, so on cold or rainy days you will see us out and about. The kids love it – and I think the teachers like it too.”
Frendt said the parents have three payment options – online, by check or with cash, and noted things are working very well.
She talked a bit then about struggles and said special education kids require some different scheduling and compromises. Finding substitutes on short notice is another area that can be tricky.
“Today was a good example of that. We had one of the teacher's kids get sick at the program – and there was no way we could make an adjustment...I helped out, but you still have to be careful with your hours. You cannot go over the quoted hours.
Frendt said that another concern is she needs an office – with a door. She said there is no place for a private conversation, free of distractions. Storage space is another thing that would help – other than the bus garages, which is so far away.
Frendt said the wrestling room is often available to them and the toddlers love that area to stretch their motor skills.
She moved on to collaborations, pointing out that the parenting class visits every week.
“They came down and made Christmas cookies with us this morning. That has been fun to watch grow. In the beginning there was a lot of awkwardness. Now they see each other and they get excited and they have stories to tell.
“The Leadership class also came at the beginning and made us a couple of stools for the bathroom. Then, the fourth graders, they had a day where just a few of the students came down as a reward and read to some of the students.”
Frendt said she would love to see more collaboration – like reading to infants.
“If you have some students who are struggling – an infant is the perfect person to read to. They are just going to sit there and listen. So we will continue to work on that part.”
Moving on, Frendt informed that there are now 58 students enrolled. She gave the breakdown, as follows: Five infants, five one year-olds, only three two year-olds, threes and fours are at 13 and school years at 27.
“Just since December I have had three new families come through the building, which will equal another five students. We are doing very well. The numbers of infants and ones – if we go anymore – and can't get quite the right schedule worked out, then we will need to hire.
“We are making it work but are right at that point right now. In week one our income was $969. This week was $2185, so we are actually growing quite nicely. When it comes to income, each week is different depending on schedules. Also, right now we only have one family who is behind on their bills. We are doing very, very well and have good, good clients.”
School Board member Todd Roehm wanted to know if Gretchen and the kids felt like “part of the school.” Frendt's answer was “somewhat,” and Roehm encouraged everybody (staff, parents, and all-aged kids, to try to go out of their way to make the youngsters feel a part of the school.
Some of the things Frendt said she would like to work on for the future included: Planning the summer program; retaining good caregivers and encouraging them to further their education; working on Head Start collaboration; alternative funding – grants, etc., work on the playground next spring (Frendt said they need a swing set and it would be nice to have a space for riding toys); work on more collaborations in both the school and the community; and working on screening for early intervention for all the kids.
School Board President Jacob Jensen thanked Frendt for her informative presentation and bade her keep up the good work.
December 27, 2018
Luck’s trash can conundrum
By Lynda Berg Olds
“Discussion and possible action on the trash can locations for Main Street” was prominently featured during the recent meeting of the Luck Village Board. Trustee Ron Steen thought it would be prudent to bring this issue before the whole board as there was some controversy about the trash receptacle placement, which was part of the Main Street Improvement project.
Public Works Director Seth Petersen broached the subject, saying there was concern expressed by two business owners, specifically that didn't like the location in front of their business – or that they are going to have to maintain around them.
“They aren't the easiest to plow around, but it is not impossible. We haven't had a big snowfall yet and we have made some adjustments to get around them. It is just tight in a few areas and it would be nice to made some adjustments in the winter and they can go back on the sidewalks in the summer. I just wanted to put it out there. It got referred to committee and these are my suggestions.”
Everyone had a good laugh when Petersen, echoing Police Chief Monte Tretsven said, “My feelings won't be hurt if you say no.”
Village President Dave Rasmussen asked how much work it would be to move the trash receptacles.
Petersen said they can be unbolted where the studs are sticking up out of the ground – and they could be grinded down.
“Then, in the summer we could make just small pads in between the buildings or the landscaping and then put the studs in there and bolt them. They would be outside the sidewalk then.”
So it was basically moving them off the sidewalk. Petersen noted a few of the receptacles were problematic. For instance, for the one by the bank, he said there was no where to put it unless they got permission from the bank to put it into the landscaping.
“Over by the Hog, there is nowhere to put it, so there are a few that would stay out – or maybe because we are noticing, like way down here (by the village hall) we are hardly getting any trash, but by the Post Office, they don't have trash or recycling in their business anymore, that one needs to get done every other day, because people just walk out the door and throw everything away that the Post Office just delivered to them.”
Trustee Sonja Jensen asked if Petersen knew why they took their trash/recycling containers away. He responded that he was sure it cost a lot for the trash service..
Rasmussen asked, “So when we grind this off, what is left on the sidewalk then?”
“There would just be a round small silver spot where the bolt is stuck in the concrete. We will gently grind it down to get it perfectly flush. But you would see it if you looked for it.”
“Well here's my beef,” stated Jensen. “Didn't we just pay for those to get put there? And now we are going to go grind them down because somebody is not happy that it is in front of their business? You are not happy there is a trash receptacle so people can throw trash away? I'm a little concerned about that.”
MSA's Teresa Anderson said she too was going to address that.
“We could not put them back where they were behind the sidewalk. I mean you guys had several places where trash cans were behind the sidewalk. Those are actually on private property and if we had used the project money to pay for those trash cans you would have had to go through property acquisition to get an easement to set the trash can on the private property. So we had to put them on the sidewalk so you could get them as part of the project. I did not realize this would be such a big deal.”
Petersen said when one looks at them on paper it's one thing, but when one is in front of them, it's another.
One trustee wondered about the lumber yard wanting to move the trash “can” from in front of their store to the opposite end of town - to Jensen Furniture or the hardware store.
Petersen said he wasn't sure how the spacing got put out, but there isn't one down that way.
“And there's a lot of stuff right in front of the lumber yard now with the fire hydrant, the light pole and now the trash can. There is a trash can right across the street at Mellons and at the library. So that is one that could be moved either next to Heidi's or across the street at Ben's. I cannot believe how controversial trash cans can be.”
Jensen commented the business owners should be happy to have them.
Rasmussen said his feeling was that most of the businesses had looked at the plans.
Jensen said, “I don't want to be too stubborn about it, but we just paid to have them put there.”
Trustee Mike Broten asked Petersen how he came up with his list. Petersen said he just walked down the street and tried to come up with solutions.
“Maybe you guys want to try it for a year and see if there are any more complaints,” suggested Petersen.
Rasmussen and Jensen both quickly said they would rather do that. Rasmussen noted that each trash receptacle cost $1,660.
Petersen said he was not suggesting getting rid of any of them.
Steen moved to leave the trash cans where they, which was passed unanimoulsy.
January 3, 2019
Referendum resolutions authorized
By Lynda Berg Olds
A special meeting of the Luck School Board was held on Jan. 4 at 7 a.m. On the agenda was further discussion about the referendum, along with the two resolutions the community will vote on come the spring election on April 2, 2019.
The first and most critical resolution, which was approved by the board last Friday, was to authorize the school district budget to exceed the revenue limit by $300,000 per year for five years. This is for non-recurring purposes consisting of maintaining current levels of educational programming and operational costs.”
“I want to make sure people keep in perspective the priority of the referendums is first and foremost the operational referendum,” stated Luck Superintendent Cory Hinkel. He said this question will be separate from the capital improvement question. “The operational referendum is needed to maintain our current level of educational programming.”
The other resolution the board approved on Friday is to authorize general obligation bonds in the amount of $9.5 million for “the public purpose of paying the cost of a District-wide school building and improvement project consisting of capital maintenance and improvement projects, renovations, building infrastructure updates and site improvements; safety and security improvements; conversion of the current gymnasium to an auditorium and construction of an addition for a new gymnasium; and acquisition of related furnishings, fixtures and equipment.”
Hinkel noted the school board members looked at an updated layout for the addition and said Wold Architects will be at the special board meeting Wednesday morning (Jan. 9) at 7 a.m. to answer any questions. He said CESA 10 will also be at the meeting to discuss the best ways for the District to get the information out to the public. Hinkel also said fliers and meetings will be set in the near future.
With regards to the building referendum, Hinkel commented, “Iit starts from the need to make improvements to our building due to age. The auditorium and gym will enhance our education and limit disruptions to the educational process. The amount of disruptions to physical education classes are numerous - along with subjects like band and choir not getting the appropriate practice time due to the conflicts with space.”
Hinkel further observed, “This does not take in to account the number of times practices are canceled or altered in the evening or morning because of lack of space. The locker room area will get a much needed upgrade as well.”
Finally, Hinkel remarked that at the next meeting, the general space will be finalized so the voters will have a clearer idea of the scope of the referendum.
January 10, 2019
Grand Marshal – 90 years young
By Lynda Berg Olds
The County Ledger/Enterprise Press sat down with Luck Winter Carnival 2019 Grand Marshal Hilda Trudeau in her home on Monday morning. To say Hilda is a dynamo, even at 90, is a gross understatement. The press had to cool her heels for a few minutes as Hilda was just getting back from her water aerobics class, which she has been doing faithfully for about a decade.
Hilda can also dance circles around most folks, but has recently pared down her week to include only two nights of dancing - with her debonair dance partner Joe Claude. And we are not talking about a mellow two-step here folks, these folks polka! Hilda also fielded a call from a friend to get together to play 500 later this week – and of course she had to check her calendar...this is one busy lady!
The press and Hilda chatted a bit and the conversation turned to her recent 90th birthday party at Wilkins on Bone Lake, which was very well attended and a wing-dingy of a time.
“It was so fun!' Hilda exclaimed. “I got to see and talk to so many people that I haven't seen in a long time – and they also said too that they saw so many people that they hadn't seen for a long time. It was a wonderful party. I told the kids, 'I don't know why we are having this party' and they said, 'Well not everyone turns 90!”
When asked about her secret to longevity, Hilda said simply she stays busy and she has been blessed with good health. When she broke her hip not too long ago, she healed so quickly she even amazed the doctors. With all the dancing and aerobics, bowling, golfing, etc., she healed up lickety split.
“Probably at one time I thought 90 was old,” confided Hilda, “but I don't anymore.”
Hilda recently sat down with stepdaughter Jennifer (Seck) Anderson and together they documented some of the highlights of Hilda's life, which was in turn shared with the press:
Hilda Augusta Flater was born on Dec. 16, 1928 in Holcombe, Wis., to parents Harry and Mary (Brainerd) Flater and she is the second of five children.
“We farmed in Holcombe until my Dad bought an old office building in Ladysmith and moved it to the point where the Flambeau and Chippewa Rivers meet. It became known as 'Flater's Flambeau Point Resort.' We all helped to run the bar and clean the cabins.”
The resort is where Hilda's love of dance likely began. She said every Wednesday and Saturday there would be dances at the resort, but the kids were not allowed to participate until they were 15, which was in 1943. Hilda is a self-taught dancer, who likely picked up some moves way back when as she watched the dancers at the resort (which, of note, is still in operation).
“Mom and Dad said we could stand and watch until we were 15.”
Hilda attended Holcombe Schools and graduated as Salutatorian in 1947. Her friend, Shire (Harold) Paulsen came home from the service and they married on May 22, 1948. They lived in Holcombe initially and in 1954 they moved to Cornell, Wis., and raised six children. Shire worked at the Post Office in Cornell until 1976 when he was offered a Postmaster position in Frederic. They moved to Frederic with the two youngest boys and built a house just outside of town. In January, 1981, Shire suffered a heart attack and passed away.
“I had worked at the plastic factory and started working for Arrow Building in Frederic and raised my youngest son, Brian. I met Dorain Jensen from Luck and in 1988, we flew to Las Vegas and got married on my 60th birthday.”
Hilda moved into Dorain's home on Bone Lake. He had four children.
“Dorain and I enjoyed golfing and traveling. Dorain got sick and
passed away on March 2nd, 1992. After that, I moved to Eau Claire for nine months where I had met Cliff Trudeau – and I moved back to Bone Lake and married Cliff in June of 1995. Cliff had six grown children. Cliff and I loved to travel, golf, go snowmobiling, and work on the snowmobile trails. Cliff got sick with cancer and passed away on Feb. 14, 2007.
“I moved from Bone Lake into town and currently live in a townhouse and love it. My hobbies include: quilting, traveling, water aerobics, bowling, golfing, playing cards, visiting friends in the nursing home, and most importantly...dancing.”
Hilda pointed out again that she likes to keep busy. She is an active member in the Luck Lutheran Church, Rowdy Red Hat Mammas, Luck Cancer Drive, American Legion Auxiliary and involved with the Luck Senior Center.
“A friend of mine gave my name to the Luck Pageant Committee and I was chosen to be the Grand Marshall and feel very honored and happy to be involved in the Luck Community. Thank you so much for this honor.”
January 24, 2019
Milltown is on the move
By Lynda Berg Olds
There's a whole lot of movin' and shakin' going on in the Village of Milltown. At Monday night's regular meeting of the Milltown Village Board, the press learned that the Village Shop is getting a new home; the new cop shop is getting a facelift, and new library plans are moving full speed ahead.
There were also a couple of decisions made in closed session. The first was with regards to facilitating the parking of semi truck (tractor/trailers) for three specific individuals, whose names were not provided as this endeavor is on a trail basis only for now.
The parking will be near the new village shop, which is located at 201 Industrial Avenue, the last place on the left. Going back a bit, in April of 2016, the Village purchased about 26 acres of land to extend the Industrial Park. The Village has been somewhat aggressive in terms of attracting business to town, with great success – and of course now they have more land to develop.
The building, which houses the new village shop is the former home of the Milltown trucking company “Tiger Express,” (abutting Tiger Street). It is the last place on the left as one travels beyond ABC (Arrow Building Center, which is located at 101 Industrial Avenue) and the Endeavors Greenhouses. It is a huge new space for the Village Shop at roughly 8,000 square feet.
In the not too distant, the old Village Shop building will be put on the market and hopefully back on the tax roll.
With an eye to future expansion, village trustees purchased the 26 acres from Carol and Clayton Johnson for $7,500 per acre ($195,000).
Some residents have protested semi parking in their neighborhood(s), so this looks to be a good fit. The village is not going to charge the truckers to park their rigs in this industrial area, but they do need to show proof of insurance – and again, it is on a trial basis for now.
“The guys are really excited about the new space,” confided Milltown Village Treasurer/Clerk Amy Albrecht on Tuesday morning.
The other closed session item Monday night concerned Milltown Police personnel. The decision was ultimately made to hire a 3/4-time officer – rather than multiple part-timers. The position will be for a 32-hour week, which will include retirement benefits – and begins very soon on March 1.
The new address for the Milltown Police Department is 97 Main Street West, which is right on the corner of Main and First Avenue, just down from the Milltown Village Hall. Police Chief Shaun Thayer noted that he recently received the new office furniture and encouraged trustees to pop in and see.
“Come and take a look. We are set up pretty nicely now.”
“Will there be donuts?” queried one trustee amid laughs, but they were encouraged to bring some.
Other than that, Thayer said January was pretty quiet with nothing major going on, although he has been making an effort to slow down what sounded like habitual “speeders.” He also mentioned he is waiting until it warms up a bit before getting all the decals on the new squad.
Public Works' Mike Nutter was next up to bat and he sought input from the board about the move from the old shop to the new:
“I don't know if we want to get a dumpster an start cleaning stuff or if we want to wait and move everything – and then bring a dumpster in?”
Village President LuAnn White observed, “If you are going to toss it, it doesn't make much sense to move it.”
Trustee Lester Sloper asked him where he was going to put the dumpster and Nutter wasn't sure, because he said he needs it to go to both places. Trustees had varying degrees of input on that subject. Then White said, “But Mike and I have already had the conversation – because he is quite the tosser, he organizes – so somebody has to monitor the dumpster.” This also was met with a few laughs and Nutter said he wasn't sure how he gained that reputation.
“He is Mr. Clean,” White said.
“Well that's good,” Nutter said. If it is junk, you get rid of it.”
White simply cautioned there may be items of value and noted she was looking to save money.
Nobody was certain at the moment how long a dumpster could be kept, but they surmised likely longer during these winter months when it is not so busy.
The upshot of the deal is not too much can be done right now as the village doesn't sign the papers on the new shop building until Feb. 19.
The discussion turned to the need for another air compressor, which most everybody weighed-in on. It was finally decided to buy new, rather than used - and Nutter was directed to get some more numbers – and the matter was tabled.
Finally, it came time for Library Director Bea Volgen's report. In addition to all her facts and figures, she indicated there are a lot of moving parts in terms of the new library project. Not the least of these parts is the physical moving of the massive quantity of library books and other materials. Volgren said their best bet would be to rent the vacant bank building (formerly RCU) as one piece of facilitating the move/rennovation.
February 14, 2019