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Rusk County News





A strong low pressure system is moving to the northeast and the storm’s track will favor a very messy day across our area. Expect a wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow making for a dangerous day out on the roads. Currently the worst of the storm is expected to impact from roughly Rochester up through Eau Claire County and to the northeast.

Conditions will likely deteriorate very quickly once any steadier and heavier precipitation moves into the area with a mix of sleet, snow and rain. Most of the area will see a change to all snow into this afternoon and at times the snowfall could be very heavy. The combination of high snowfall rates and increasing winds will lead to very low visibility at times. Driving conditions will become very difficult at best especially later into the afternoon and evening. It looks to be one of those days that will be best suited to just stay home if you can to avoid what will likely become dangerous conditions throughout the area. Highs will be near freezing, so this will be a heavy, wet snow but temperatures should drop a bit through the afternoon as some colder air slowly arrives from the northwest. Snowfall accumulations may start off a little slow at first, but through the afternoon we should be able to see 1-2″ per hour snowfall rates. This is when the height of the storm will move through and when conditions will be at their worst.

Not much improvement is expected for the evening drive home with still more snow falling and with the height of the storm through the afternoon, it will likely be challenging for road crews to keep up with the conditions so travel during the early evening will still be very difficult. As the storm begins to slide further away to our southeast going into the night, the snow will start to let up and we should see this all come to an end by midnight or just after. By then, storm totals look to be at least in the 6-10″ range across a swath stretching from Southeast Minnesota, on up through the Chippewa Valley. Further north and also south, there should be a rather tight gradient where amounts fall off rather quickly, so the worst impacts from this storm with regards to the highest snowfall totals may only span the width of 2-3 counties from north to south. Temperatures will then drop some through the remainder of the night, with lows in the upper teens.

Once the winter storm moves away, quieter weather will follow but arctic cold will not. The flow will remain mostly from the west, so though it will be a bit colder for a few days, it will only be seasonable. Tuesday and Wednesday will feature sunshine and clouds with highs in the mid 20’s, while another warm up is then forecast by later in the week.


This past weekend in Rusk County news, Friday afternoon at about 1:30 a theft was reported to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office. According to the police log, a male subject reported that someone stole his minnow tank at Rick Grubs bait shop on Highway 40, Bruce early Friday afternoon. It held deer hides fro him. The case is under investigation.

Late Friday night, a caller requested Rusk County authorities to check the welfare on Justin Ramirez at a residence on Highway 27, Ladysmith. According to the report, the caller broke up with him Thursday and she insisted that the county check on him. He was living at the men’s shelter in Ladysmith. Ramirez has a Probation warrant. After an investigation, Ramirez was taken into custody for a DOC warrant.

Sunday afternoon at about 4:45, the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting that Aaron Obryan was drinking at a location on Highway 40, Bruce. According to the report, Obryan has an open Chippewa County Bond which he is not to consume alcohol. After an investigation, Obryan was taken to RCMH to get medically cleared. A PBT showed .32. He was taken to the Rusk County jail.

Friday morning Ladysmith Police responded to the Ladysmith High School for a juvenile complaint. According to the Police log, a 16 year old was cited for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. No other information was available.

A male subject Saturday morning at about 10:15, went to the LEC to report the theft of a vehicle. It was determined the theft took place from a residence on East 3rd Street Ladysmith. The truck is a 2002 Red Chevy Avalanche. The vehicle was reportedly taken in the last week and a half.

Sunday night at about 8;40 PM, a City Officer responded to a report that two individuals were by the air pump at Kwik Trip and were acting very strange. The Officer arrived and first spoke with Evan Gehde, 20, who advised that they had a flat tire. After an investigation, Gehde had an active warrant out of Chippewa County. The Officer arrested Gehde for the warrant and gained consent to search the vehicle. After a search of the vehicle no other drugs were found.

BARRON COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) — A 19-year-old from Rick Lake is hurt after a crash.

It happened just before 12 p.m. on Sunday, January 21 on County Highway M in Barron County.

According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, a trooper responded to a one vehicle crash where the driver, Kelly Anne Sieja, was trapped inside the vehicle.

The state patrol said Sieja was driving north on County Highway M when she lost control, the vehicle went in the ditch, and hit a tree.

Sieja was flown to the hospital with what appear to be non-life threatening injuries.

ABBOTSFORD, Wis. (WSAW) — A 26-year-old man arrested following the death of two people is expected to be formally charged Monday in Marathon County Circuit Court.

The Colby-Abbotsford Police Chief said two people were killed and one person was injured following a shooting early Saturday morning. A man and a woman were killed as result of the shooting and another woman was injured. The shooting happened on the 400 block of East Maple Street in Abbotsford.

Police say they got a call about the shooting minutes after 3 a.m. When officers responded, they found the two people dead. Officers have not released any of the victim’s ages.

Chief Jason Bauer said the sole suspect was found near the crime scene and was taken into custody. Bauer said the male suspect knew the victims, but wouldn’t say how. The suspect has not been identified, but is being held in the Marathon County Jail.

Police do not plan to release the names of the victims until their families have been notified.

In a press conference Saturday afternoon, police said the victims and the suspect were not the only people inside the home at the time of the shooting and that there are witnesses to the shootings. They continue to interview those witnesses, so their investigation continues.

Rusk County News


Thursday afternoon at 1:45, a Ladysmith Officer observed Kristina Marie Tamaski, 29, and Justin A. Sitter, 32, standing behind a White Mustang at a residence on Corbett Avenue East, Ladysmith. According to the report, the City Officer knew about both Sitter and Tamaski had active Probation Warrants. Probation and Parole responded to the residence. Both were transported to the Rusk County jail.

After a stretch of unseasonable warmth to end the work week we will see two very different days this weekend.

Highs near 40 and partly sunny skies Saturday. Changes will begin to arrive on Sunday as a warm front to our south begins to lift up into the area while low pressure develops in the Southern Plains. Total snowfall for this winter season is still running about six and a half inches below average in Eau Claire and it looks like we will be chipping away at that deficit by the end of the weekend.

A Winter Storm Watch is in effect from 6 PM Sunday evening until 3 PM Monday afternoon for Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Pierce, Polk, Rusk and St. Croix counties.

As is the case most times in winter, the details remain unclear. A storm is likely to develop over Eastern Nebraska followed by an increase in strength and a track up to the northeast. How strong this storm ends up getting seems to be an important factor on the eventual track. One possibility is this strengthens quite a bit and slides up across the southern part of the state towards Green Bay. This would be too close to our area for an all snow event but we would still likely see some snow as the storm begins to move to our east and away on Monday. The other possibility would keep the storm a bit weaker and the track would stay further south, towards the Milwaukee area. After a brief mix, this would shift the heavier snow threat further south, over the Chippewa Valley. Either solution or one in between have merit at this point since this system hasn’t even developed yet and the upper level energy that will lead to it forming is still out in the Pacific! So at this point it is still a wait and see situation.. but this system certainly carries the potential to bring a 6-12″ swath of heavy snow accumulation north/west of the track.


31 Year old Jake M. Wendt is being held on a 30,000 dollar cash bond as a result of last nights 5 hour long standoff with Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputies.

At approximately 4:54 p.m.  Wednesday evening Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on Allman Ave near Medford on the report of a man with a gun. Wendt barricaded himself in the residence and threatened to shoot law enforcement officers. Numerous shots were fired by Wendt while officers were on scene. A Taylor County Sheriff’s Office Negotiator established phone contact with Wendt who ultimately agreed to come out of the residence unarmed and he was taken into custody.

No injuries to Wendt or responding officers have been reported , the incident remains under investigation.

Rusk County News



A mostly sunny sky today though at least some mid and high level clouds may push through with a clipper passing by to our north. Southwest breezes will again increase some during the day, leading to a milder afternoon with highs in the mid 30’s expected. It will still feel a bit colder though with a 10-15 mph breeze. Another “milder” night is then likely as more clouds begin to arrive from the west and we should be starting off Friday morning around 20 degrees. These clouds will be increasing more Friday and into Saturday as milder air also arrives in the mid levels of the atmosphere but it will remain dry. Our peak temperatures with this latest thaw will likely come during this time with highs near 40 Friday and still well in the 30’s Saturday. These conditions will lead to at least some snow melt, but for those having the itch to get out and not freeze while enjoying Wisconsin winter recreation, you will certainly benefit. The Silver Mine Invitational is this Friday and Saturday here in Eau Claire, and for those going this year, you will be in for a real treat with temperatures mostly in the 30’s so you won’t have to be huddling inside the whole time just trying to stay warm.

While we enjoy the thaw into this weekend, we will also be closely watching a developing winter storm in the Southern Plains. Forecast models have been indicating for days now that this could be a potentially big snow-maker for some of us here in the Upper Midwest, but as is typical being so far out still, specifics vary from day to day. At this point confidence is high that a winter storm will be impacting us in some shape or form by late Sunday and through Monday, but we will just have to wait another few days to be able to start nailing down the expected impacts. This is the type of system however that can drop a foot of snow on the favored northwest side of the low track, and by far the largest and strongest system we have seen showing up on the modeling so far this winter. The track in the last day or so has been shifting closer to our area and this would put the heaviest snow threat up to our north and west, but again this will likely continue to change some until we get closer to its arrival. For now it appears we could start to see a wintry mix of snow/ice/rain develop sometime on Sunday, transitioning to snow on Monday as colder air starts to work into the system. Keep checking in with us through the end of this week for the latest information!

Wednesday evening Ladysmith Police while investigating a different case, was in contact with Kevin R. Kriz, JR., 19. While investigating, it was Kriz who admitted to stealing a prepaid Cell Phone from Walmart. Kriz was arrested for the offense and the cell phone was recovered.

Ladysmith Police at about 10;20 Wednesday night, while investigating a different LPD case, Gary A. Gleason, 57, was found to be in violation of a Rusk County Bond (no drink) when Officers attempted to take him into custody, Gleason had a large wooden cane in his hands and would not put it down. A Taser was deployed on Gleason as a result of his actions. He was arrested for Resisting or Obstructing an Officer.


At approximately 4:54 p.m. the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office received the report of a male individual who had armed himself with a 38 caliber hand gun and bullets. The caller also stated that two adult females and a seven year old child were at the residence.

Taylor County Officers responded to the residence located on Allman Ave just east of the city of Medford. As officers approached the residence shots were fired from inside the house. Officers further radioed that numerous shots had been fired by the suspect. Taylor County Deputies along with Medford Police Department officers secured the immediate  area. A code Red was broadcast to nearby residence to avoid the area and stay sheltered at home. Taylor County Ambulance was notified and stood by as well as the Medford Fire Department who provided help closing down the road by the suspect residence. Taylor and Clark County SWAT teams also responded.

Phone contact was eventually established with the suspect who threatened to shoot officers if they approached the house. A lengthy phone negotiation process took place between the suspect and a Taylor County Sheriff’s Office negotiator. The suspect eventually agreed to come out of the residence unarmed and was taken into custody without harm.

The suspect taken into custody is 31 year old Jake M. Wendt of Medford formerly a Rhinelander resident. The incident remains under investigation but there is no threat to the community.

On behalf of the Salvation Army of Rusk County, the Holiday season has ended for 2017, and we are now beginning a new year. We wish to thank all who volunteered their time to ring the bells, those who graciously displayed the small Red Kettles in their place of business, and those that gave to this campaign either by the Red Kettle, or by sending your donations by mail.

These funds will help many of our citizens that are in need, remembering that 86 cents of every dollar donated stays right here in Rusk County. Thank You again for a successful 2017 campaign.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Preliminary estimates show unemployment in Wisconsin reached a record low in December.

The state Department of Workforce Development released figures Thursday that show the unemployment rate in December was 3 percent. That’s a record for December and matches the lowest rate on record.

The rate was down 0.2 percentage points from November. The national unemployment rate in December was 4.1 percent.

The state added 1,300 private-sector jobs between November and December, including 1,200 construction jobs.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker is calling on the Wisconsin Legislature to pass a welfare overhaul package this year that includes tougher work requirements, additional drug testing and a new photo identification requirement for food stamp recipients.

Walker unveiled the proposals Thursday. They are backed by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and state Sen. Chris Kapenga.

Many of the proposals have been discussed or proposed for years and several would require federal approval before they could be implemented.

Walker says the measures would make it easier for people on public assistance to get a job. Opponents have argued that work requirements and drug tests are counter-productive and make it more difficult for people to get off welfare.

Rusk County News



High pressure will be moving from our west down to our south during the day, leading to increasing breezes from the southwest. This will make it feel chilly once again but temperatures should actually rise back close to average, topping out in the low to mid 20’s. There will be plenty of sunshine by afternoon. The warm up then continues and will be most noticeable late in the week as the upper level pattern shifts and winds at the surface continue a more southwesterly flow. The next clipper will be sliding down from the northwest on Thursday but for now it looks like it will stay to our northeast. This will not only keep us dry, but it will also put us on the milder side of the track. The end result will be a partly sunny day with highs in the mid 30’s.

The mildest air is then expected to be with us Friday and into the start of the weekend. Another cold front will be to our west, keeping southwest flow into the region. Mid and high clouds will be increasing with this pattern but it will be dry with highs in the upper 30’s expected both days. A few spots to the south may reach the 40 degrees mark during the afternoons. Though some sun may still be around on Friday, it looks to be even cloudier on Saturday. For now conditions look good for ski jumping during the Silver Mine Invitational taking place Friday evening and Saturday.

These milder temperatures will lead to some compacting of the snow and a bit of melting but we will then want to pay close attention to the development and track of a bigger storm somewhere in the central U.S. This system may have its sights set on the Upper Midwest and could lead to a significant snowfall for at least a part of the region by later Sunday into Monday.

Tuesday afternoon at about 1:40 the Rusk County dispatch received a 911 call from an employee at Clearwater Paper on Worden Avenue East, Ladysmith, that there was an electrical box fire. The Ladysmith Fire Department, Ladysmith Police, and Ladysmith ambulance responded to the scene. No other information was available and Ladysmith firemen were at the scene for about 90 minutes.

A male subject reported at 3:15 PM Tuesday to Rusk County authorities that somebody damaged his mailbox on County Highway D, Holcombe. No other information was available.

MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) — A Rusk County Deputy was honored Tuesday at the State Capitol as a “Hometown Hero.”

Rusk County Sheriff’s Office

The State Assembly recognized Deputy Matthew Wojcik of Bruce.
Wojcik was nominated by his State Representative for his work in saving the life of a Vietnam War veteran last year. On February 25, 2017 Deputy Wojcik saw footprints in the snow heading towards a swampy area near the village of Bruce. After searching the area, he found a 71-year-old man in need of medical assistance.

Deputy Wojcik received a standing ovation from lawmakers as he accepted his award.

“I don’t know if there are very many ‘Mayberries’ left in the world, but Rusk County comes pretty darn close, even though I’m the recipient of this award I would like to thank all the heroes from our hometowns. Thank you,” said Wojcik.

The Assembly Hometown Heroes program seeks to identify and recognize individuals from around the state who give of themselves to make a difference in our communities and in the lives of those around them.

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) — A man is charged with sexual assault of a child.

Alexander Kenealy, 18 of Hawkins, is charged with one count of first degree child sexual assault, sexual contact with a child younger than 13.

According to a criminal complaint, in October 2016, the victim’s mother made contact with the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department regarding a possible sexual assault.

The victim was interviewed by investigators the following month and it was determined Kenealy sexually assaulted the victim. When investigators interviewed Kenealy, he admitted to the assault.
His initial court appearance is scheduled in March.

(Eau Claire, WI)  —  Eau Claire police say a standoff at a mobile home park ended Tuesday at 5:30 p-m after several hours.  Police were called to the location about a fight involving several people.  Other residents of the Maples Mobile Home Park were evacuated while police tried to negotiate with the suspect who had fired a shot at them.  The man’s name hasn’t been released and no injuries were reported.  Police were rotating officers in and out of the park so they could stay warm.  A city bus was parked nearby and used as a warming facility in the bitter-cold temperatures.

(Racine, WI)  —  Some health officials say the current flu outbreak is the most widespread problem they have ever experienced.  Wisconsin State Influenza Surveillance Coordinator Tom Haupt says all 50 states are being hit and that “has never happened before.”  In Racine, Wheaton Franciscan All Saints Hospital has handled 650 flu cases since last fall.  That is double the number the hospital had seen at this time last year.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say 20 pediatric deaths have been reported in this flu epidemic.  None of those were in Wisconsin.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The first case of chronic wasting disease has been found in Milwaukee County.

The Department of Natural Resources says the disease was found in a 4-year-old deer in West Allis. The discovery in the state’s most populous county comes 16 years after the fatal wildlife disease was first found in Wisconsin.

The DNR says it will survey other deer within a 10-mile radius to determine if others have been infected. A three-year ban against baiting or feeding deer in Milwaukee County takes effect Feb 1.

CWD has affected 46 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, meaning there have been reported cases of the disease or infected deer have been found close to their borders.

Rusk County News



The trough which brought the snow Sunday and Monday is beginning to move eastward, but temperatures today will remain cool. Highs this afternoon will remain in the teens, about ten degrees below average for this time of year. A light breeze will be around so chill values will remain near or below zero. Clouds will be giving way to some sunshine with a partly cloudy sky going into the night. This should be the last of the really cold nights for a while with readings dropping down a bit below zero.

High pressure will be moving from our west down to our south tomorrow, leading to increasing breezes. This will keep it feeling colder but temperatures should be able to rise back close to average, getting into the low 20’s. The day will be partly to mostly sunny. The warm up then continues and will be most noticeable late in the week as the upper level pattern shifts and winds at the surface become more southwesterly. The next clipper will be sliding down from the northwest on Thursday but is forecast to stay to our north which will keep us dry and it will also put us on the milder side of the track. The end result will be a partly sunny and breezy day with highs in the low 30’s.

The mildest air is then expected to be with us Friday and into the start of the weekend. Another cold front will be to our west, keeping southwest flow into the region. Mid and high clouds will be increasing with this pattern but it will be dry with highs in the mid 30’s expected both days. Though some sun may still be around on Friday, it looks to be even cloudier on Saturday. These temperatures will lead to some compacting of the snow and a bit of melting but we will then want to pay close attention to the development and track of a bigger storm somewhere in the central U.S. This system may have its sights set on the Upper Midwest and could lead to a significant snowfall for at least a part of the region by later Sunday into Monday. Changes are likely in the coming days so of course it’s still way too soon to say more other than there is a chance for some snow!

Monday night just after 10 PM, a Rusk County deputy served a warrant at a residence on County Highway E. Bruce. According to the report, a subject was wanted through Rusk County for child support. The deputy was in contact with the subject and was taken into custody and transported to the Rusk County jail.

On January 13th, at about 1:12 AM, the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office received two calls reporting a domestic disturbance and shots fired at a residence on Valley Road in the Township of Lenroot. Sawyer County Deputies, assisted by the City of Hayward Police Department and the Wisconsin DNR, responded to the scene. Deputies met with the 40 year old female victim, at a location away from the residence. The victim advised that she was physically assaulted by the male suspect, identified as Andrew L. Ahrens,age 39, and that Mr. Ahrens fired a gun inside the residence after he assaulted her. The victim was not harmed by the gunshots, but did sustain injuries during the physical assault. A few minutes later, the suspect, Andrew Ahrens, called the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office and advised that he would be waiting outside the residence with his hands up. Mr. Ahrens was subsequently arrested without incident. Potential criminal charges on Mr. Ahrens for Domestic Abuse Battery and Recklessly Endangering Safety with a Firearm will be forwarded to the Sawyer County District Attorney’s Office for review.

The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office has released the names of the people who were in a crash that involved a deputy. The sheriff says Evan Clark, 25, of rural Chippewa Falls and Chippewa County deputy, Jason Kestner of Chippewa Falls, were taken to a hospital after the Sunday morning crash, South of Cornell. Kestner was driving his squad at the time of the crash on Highway 27. Both were reported to have non-life threatening injuries. Kestner was released from the hospital Sunday night. The state patrol is investigating the crash.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) — Western Wisconsin is not escaping what has become a national epidemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this season’s version of the flu is not drastically different from past years, but health officials say it is having a different impact on people.

“The thing with this season that makes it different compared to other seasons is that it’s hitting faster. Which means we’re seeing more hospitalized cases of influenza earlier in the season than we would typically see,” said Gundersen Health System Infection Preventionist Megan Meller.

According to the CDC, Wisconsin is one of ten states plus Puerto Rico that are experiencing moderate flu activity.

27 states are experiencing what the CDC calls high activity.

Doctors say the best thing you can do to prevent yourself from catching the flu is to get a flu shot.

The Wisconsin Department of Health says that the worst of the outbreaks are occurring on the eastern side of the state, but activity continues to rise statewide.

This has been the most flu activity since 2014-15 and health officials have no timetable of when it could slow down.

“It’s anyone’s guess how long this peak will continue. Some experts are saying they’re seeing some stabilization in the numbers and so hopefully we’ll start seeing a decline in the number of cases. But it’s a wait and see kind of environment because we can’t control the flu, the flu controls itself,” said Meller.

Both Gundersen Health System and Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare say they have experienced a number of cases involving the flu so far this season.

In Eau Claire, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital has had 21 confirmed hospitalizations and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls has seen 5.

Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire has seen 49 flu cases in Eau Claire County and 12 hospitalizations so far in January alone.

Doctors recommend eating healthy, exercising and getting plenty of sleep to help build a strong immune system to help fight off the flu.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) — A Wisconsin Senate seat is up for grabs today in a special election for northwestern Wisconsin’s 10th Senate District.

Republican Representative Adam Jarchow and Somerset Democrat Patty Schachtner will go head to head on the ballot.

Wisconsin Democrats are hoping anti-Trump backlash gives them a shot to win, but President Donald Trump and Mitt Romney easily won the district in the last two elections.

A victory for Republicans would give the party a 19-13 advantage in the Senate.

This marks the first time a Democrat and Republican have faced one another in a Wisconsin election since President Trump took office.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Attorney General Brad Schimel has launched a new radio ad campaign to raise awareness of elder abuse.

The ads began airing Monday on the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s 200 member stations and will run until March 11. They encourage people to report suspected elder abuse in Medicaid-funded facilities and other senior facilities to the Attorney General’s Fraud and Elder Abuse hotline.

The ads are funded by a $50,000 federal grant.

Schimel said in a news release announcing the campaign that elder abuse largely goes unreported. He created a task force in August to study elder abuse and develop recommendations for solving obstacles in investigations and prosecutions as well as strengthen consumer protection for seniors.


Rusk County News


*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY until midnight for Buffalo, Crawford, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Trempealeau, and Vernon counties*

*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY until 6 PM MONDAY for Barron, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, and Taylor counties*

*WIND CHILL ADVISORY in effect for Houston and Winona counties until noon Tuesday*

Light snow continues to fall but much of the accumulation is already on the ground. So far amounts have varied from generally 1-3″ in the Chippewa Valley to more than 6″ in parts of the Coulee Region. Low pressure over Central Minnesota will continue to slide down to the southeast, keeping occasional light snow in the area. If you are heading out, allow for some extra time not only to clean off the car but to navigate roads which are likely to be slick, especially those not plowed or left untreated.

Clouds and occasional light snow will continue on Monday, but any additional accumulations should be fairly light with perhaps another 1-2″. As the low pressure system begins to move to our south and east, winds will pick up from the northwest 10-20 mph, enough to blow this grainy, sugar-like snow around and lead to more slick spots and reduced visibility. Highs will again be in the lower teens. A few snow showers may linger into tonight but then we will see these exit around midnight at the latest, leaving us with a cloudy sky and eventually some lighter wind speeds. Lows will be in the single digits. Tuesday will then see some improvements as high pressure arrives to our west. Clouds will give way to some sunshine in time, but it will remain about ten degrees colder than average, with highs again in the lower teens. Our Minnesota counties will be feeling the coldest with wind chill values in the -20s to -30s with a wind chill advisory in effect there until noon Tuesday.


This past weekend in Rusk County news, Friday afternoon just before 2 PM, the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a 2 car accident with injury on Highway 40 near Exland. According to the report, Life Link was called to the scene. Rusk County deputies, Exland Fire Department and Sawyer County first responders were called to the scene. One subject was trapped in a vehicle. The state patrol was notified and also responded to the scene. One patient was taken by Life Link from the scene. No other information was available.

Saturday morning at 3 AM, the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office investigated a slide in on Highway 8 near Van Wey Lane. According to the report, a Rusk County deputy transported the subject to the LEC. The subject was reportedly on Probation. After a field sobriety test the subject was taken into custody for OWI. The subject had a PBT of .16. Probation was contacted and they placed a hold on the subject who was taken to the Rusk County jail.

A Theft complaint was reported at about 11:20 PM Sunday night to Rusk County authorities. According to the report, a female subject advised that there were some items that was stolen from her boyfriends truck that was parked across the street from the LEC. Some of the items stolen were a chain saw, clippers, tools, and a hat and gloves. The case is under investigation.

Friday morning Ladysmith Police investigated a theft complaint. According to the report, a 43 year old male had rented a car from North Dakota and never returned it. Approximately 2 years later, the male later apparently sold this vehicle to a lady in Phillips and handed the victim a fake title. The victim attempted to title and register the vehicle in her name and then found out from the DOT the title on the vehicle the male gave her was fake. She later reported the theft to Phillips PD. The case is under investigation.

Rusk County deputies and a City Officer responded Saturday afternoon shortly before 2 PM to a location on College Avenue West, Ladysmith on a report that a juvenile had just been punched in the face by Robert Johnson JR. 35. According to the report, upon arrival the victim had an approximately one inch Hematoma around her left eye and what appeared to be a small abrasion near the eye. The victim stated she was punched three times in the face by Johnson. Johnson admitted to hitting her after she allegedly kicked at him. Johnson was arrested for Physical abuse of a child.

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) — Thorp native Amanda Geissler was one of 12 people killed in a Costa Rica plane crash on New Year’s Eve. That crash is still under investigation.

A memorial service was held in her honor Sunday afternoon followed by a celebration of her life.

Run a marathon on the Great Wall in China, ride on a Harley, become fluent in two languages – these are just a few of the many milestones Amanda Geissler was able to check off her long bucket list of adventures before her life was cut short.

The 33-year-old died in Costa Rica after her the charter plane she was on crashed.

Sunday, hundreds of loved ones gathered not to remember how she died, but how she lived.

Family members and friends packed the Leinie Lodge in Chippewa Falls to celebrate the life of a young woman who touched so many.

Born in Chippewa Falls and graduating from Thorp High School, Geissler worked for a travel company specializing in outdoor activities.

Those who knew her admired her outgoing spirit.

As a UW-Stout graduate, Geissler was a star athlete and is remembered by her former basketball coach Mark Noll as an adventurous person.

Donations for the the Amanda Geissler Memorial Fund are being accepted through Horan Funeral Home in Chippewa Falls. The family hopes to start a foundation in her honor.

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  • Larry E. Bowers January 19, 2018
    Larry E. Bowers, 78, of Ladysmith, died Sunday, January 14th, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire.  He is survived by his wife, Thelma, brother, Danny of Sandwich, IL., sister, Patricia Anne Hutter of El Paso, TX., 1/2 sister, Constance Campbell of Clermont, FL. Funeral Services for Larry Bowers will be Tuesday, January 23rd, at […]