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Rusk County News

Early Wednesday morning, the Ladysmith Police Department and Rusk County Dispatch received multiple calls regarding damage from the storm.

At approximately 3:00 AM, Ladysmith Police responded to a power line on the roadway at the intersection of Phillips Avenue East and 1st Street South. The power line appeared to have broken in half. The Ladysmith Fire Department remained on scene until the power company was able to fix it.

The Ladysmith Police Department received another call, at about 4:30AM, regarding a blown transformer on West 5th Street North. Upon arrival Ladysmith Police discovered that a large tree was across the power line. This incident took power out through most of the city. The Ladysmith Fire Department and the power company later arrived and power was restored without incident.

Rusk County Dispatch received a call shortly after 5:00 AM on Wednesday morning. A Rusk County deputy and City officer responded to the intersection of Highway 8 and Bell School Road where a tree was blocking the road. The Ladysmith Fire Department removed the tree with no incident.

Early this morning at approximately 1:00 AM, the Ladysmith Police Department received a call regarding suspicious activity on East 10th Street North. A male subject reported seeing the “Blue Beast” in the woods and that he wanted an officer to check it out. He told dispatch that he had saw the white eyes of the “Blue Beast” and he stared it down until it retreated back into the woods. Upon arrival a city officer spoke with a man who was standing outside. He told the officer that he had not seen anything peculiar. The city officer walked along the woods before leaving, but failed to locate any signs of the “Blue Beast”.

The man accused of attacking an Eau Claire police officer and then driving off with the officer’s squad car made his first court appearance on Wednesday. Damian Stauffer appeared in Chippewa County Court via video-conferencing from the county jail. The judge set a cash bond of $25,000. Stauffer’s lawyer had requested a signature bond, pointing out that he has no criminal record.

Stauffer is accused of punching the officer through the open window of his squad car, then struggling with the officer before fleeing in the squad car, crashing into several parked vehicles before he was caught. Prior to that, police said he was involved in an altercation at a home on Runway Avenue, which ended with a three-year-old child being hurt. They said he then forced his way into a neighbor’s home in a failed attempt to steal car keys.

If he is able to post bond, he was ordered not to have contact with the victims and not to drink or do any drugs.

Agriculture officials said the recent strain of bird flu confirmed in a Barron County turkey flock is not a major cause for concern. On Saturday, a low-pathogenic strain of the virus was found in a 84,000-bird turkey flock owned by the Jennie-O store in Barron, and that flock is now quarantined. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) said this strain is not related to the 2015 virus that destroyed nearly 2 million birds in Wisconsin alone.

A representative from the state veterinarian’s office compared this strain to a case of the “sniffles”, saying the turkeys will likely recover on their own. Eau Claire County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Mark Hagedorn said the case was verified to let the public know all procedures and protocols are being followed and to emphasize the importance of maintaining good bio-security on all farms and backyard flocks.

DATCP said after hearing the news, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea banned imports of poultry products from the Wisconsin but said those markets only brought in about $500,000 in 2016. Officials said poultry products are still safe to eat, but it is important to wash hands and surfaces after handling raw meat.

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