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Rusk County News


(Undated)  —  About 70 Wisconsin districts have closed for the day, as the result of snow and freezing rain. Three dozen school systems in the southwest part of the state tried starting their classes two hours late, but officials changed their minds and closed for the day. Meteorologists say rain moved into southwest Wisconsin and froze as soon as it hit the colder pavements. Three to five inches of snow fell by mid morning in east central Wisconsin and the Fox Valley — and a few schools in north central and western areas plan to send kids home by early afternoon. Much of the state has winter storm watches and warnings until early evening, with up to nine inches of snow predicted in parts of northeast Wisconsin.

Eau Claire, WI (WQOW) – Snow will fall on the Eau Claire area and most of Wisconsin today, gradually winding down in the late afternoon.  Travel will be difficult with many roads completely snow-covered and slippery, and periods of lower visibility.

A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 6 PM for all of west central Wisconsin, including the cities of Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, and Menomonie.

Stormtracker 18 Weather meteorologists say a strengthening surface low will move over the Great Lakes region today, producing widespread snow and a wintry mix in the Upper Midwest.  While most of the precipitation in the Eau Claire area and west central Wisconsin will fall as snow, a wintry mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain will fall on the southern third of Wisconsin.  The heaviest snow will fall in the late morning and early afternoon, then gradually taper off in the late afternoon.  By 6 PM, most of the snow will be east and north of the Eau Claire area.

Today’s snow totals will range from 1 to 4 inches in the Eau Claire area and west central Wisconsin.  Because the air will be warmer, the snow’s consistency will be “heavier” with more moisture.  Some roads could be more icy than usual.  After a break tonight, more snow will fall on the Eau Claire area and the Upper Midwest on Wednesday with additional accumulations of 1 to 2 inches.  Wednesday’s snow will be easier to shovel because the air will be colder, so there will not be as much moisture in the snow.  Still, travel will be impacted with roads at least partially snow-covered and slippery.

A winter storm will bring more accumulating snow to parts of Western Wisconsin Tuesday. The low is expected to track across Iowa and Southern Wisconsin while intensifying through the day. This will likely lead to a band of moderate to occasionally heavy snow north of the track, which would include the Chippewa Valley.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Winona, Houston, Barron, Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Juneau, Monroe, La Crosse, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Taylor, and Vernon counties until 6 PM Tuesday.

An account for donations to Debbie and Joseph Stocklen has been set up at CCF Bank in Ladysmith, due to there home and garage fir that happened last Thursday, Jan. 5th. The address for CCF Bank is 810 W. Miner Ave. Ladysmith, WI. 54848. Thank you for your support.

All customers at the Ladysmith Family Restaurant on Tuesday, Jan. 31, will enjoy great food and help support local emergency services departments! Hami Sabani (owner of the Ladysmith Family Restaurant) has offered 100% of the proceeds from their food sales between 6 AM and 9 PM that day to be divided between the Ladysmith Police Department, Rusk County Sheriff’s Office and Ladysmith Fire Department. This is the 6th year that the Sabani family has generously offered fundraising help to support emergency services in Rusk County.

Eau Claire (WQOW) — A Jim Falls man has been charged with armed robbery after demanding cash from a man he believed was having an affair with his fiance.

Joshua Reedy was charged in Eau Claire County Monday afternoon. According to the criminal complaint, Reedy found Facebook messages between his fiance and the man. Reedy then posed as his fiance to lure the victim to the Holiday Gas Station on Birch Street in Eau Claire.

Police say Reedy put on a mask and held the victim at gun point, demanding money and the man’s phone. The victim was able to escape and call 911. He told police he recognized Reedy because they worked together at Hutchinson Technology.

In a search of Reedy’s car, police discovered a black air soft gun, the bandana used in the robbery, and the victim’s cell phone.

Reedy is out on a $5,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 17.

Chippewa Falls (WQOW) – With less than two weeks until the new Trump administration takes power, Republican members of congress, like Sean Duffy, are getting ready to work with President-Elect Donald Trump. First, Duffy took time to talk with constituents about the issues they hope he champions in Washington D.C.

Duffy was in Chippewa Falls on Monday hosting his first town hall meeting of the year before heading back to the nation’s capitol for the upcoming session.

He spoke with citizens about a number of hot topics, like securing the border, the United States’ relationship with Russia and repealing Obamacare.

He said it is important to repeal the plan, despite a new report from the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, that claims it will cost $350 billion to do so. “Obamacare is not working for people,” Duffy said. “We’re seeing health care costs increase dramatically in the premiums and the deductibles. So, we’re trying to figure out a system as we engage with Democrats, and the American people, that’s actually going to work to bring healthcare costs down, and provide more access and put people in charge of their healthcare instead of the bureaucrats in Washington.”

Duffy said he will work with Congress to establish a new plan, which he hopes includes more transparency, like letting people know the price of medical care before they are treated.

Eau Claire (WQOW) – Our weather may be heating up, but the recent cold spell proved to be deadly. Last week, a Milwaukee woman was found dead in her home of apparent hypothermia. Her heat was shut off by We Energies in August 2016 because bills were not being paid.

As many homeowners may know, state law forbids utilities from shutting off power between November 1 and April 15. But, Xcel Energy told News 18 on Monday, that law does not force them to reconnect any homes that had power turned off before November 1 because of missed payments.

Xcel Energy said starting in September, the utility files a plan with the Public Service Commission that outlines the number of customers that have been disconnected and what steps Xcel Energy is taking to help these customers.

Chris Ouellette, a media relations representative with Xcel Energy, said it typically disconnects two-percent of its customers each year, and the company does whatever it can to get those customers back on the grid during the winter months. “We work as hard as we can. We make as many contacts as possible,” Ouellette said. “We actually have people who go to their homes in person and try to contact them, to get some sort of payment, so we can reconnect their services.”

Ouellette said currently, there are 18 customers, who are disconnected in the Chippewa Valley service territory, and the company has not been able to contact them. She said Xcel is willing to work with customers who cannot pay their full bills.

Xcel Energy also recommends services like Western Dairyland for anyone in need of heating assistance.

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