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Rusk County News

WLDY-WJBL NEWS                 4-28-17


-Officials were called to a crash on Stein Boulevard in Eau Claire around 5:00 p.m. on Thursday evening after a driver ran into a power transformer.

Eau Claire police officers on the scene told News 18 that no one was injured in that crash. Xcel Energy says about 30 customers will be without power for a couple of hours as crews repair that transformer.


-A semi driver crashed into a concrete median on I-94 in Eau Claire late Thursday night.

The Wisconsin State Patrol says the 35-year-old driver from California is OK. The semi was traveling westbound on the interstate, right over Lowes Creek Road around 11:30 p.m., when it veered off the highway, crossed over the median and hit a concrete barrier on the other side. The semi lost most of its cargo, and its gas tank was ruptured. Crews spent much of the night cleaning up debris and spraying down gas that had leaked across the pavement.

Both sides of the interstate were down to one lane until 6:30 a.m. Friday morning, as crews worked to remove the trailer and debris.


-A man accused of killing a UW-Stout International student has pleaded not guilty.

Cullen Osburn, 27, made the plea Thursday in Dunn County Court. He is charged with felony murder and aggravated battery in the death of Hussain Saeed Alnahdi. Investigators say Alnahdi died from a brain injury following a fight in downtown Menomonie last October. A female witness told police she saw Osburn hit Alnahdi more than once.

Osburn’s cash bond was reduced from $75,000 to $25,000. Osburn will be back in the Dunn County courtroom on June 19th for a status hearing. Any additional motions the defense may want to file will happen at that time.


-SWAT officers were sent to a home in southeastern Sheboygan County after a woman called 911 and said she had killed someone and was suicidal.

Authorities say they responded to a house in the Town of Lima about 2 p.m. Thursday after the 38-year-old woman also told dispatchers she was armed, then hung up.

Officers stayed on the scene until about 5:15 p.m. and have not yet released additional information about the incident.

Rusk County News


Wednesday morning at about 11:30, Ladysmith Police responded to West Corbett Avenue near the Rusk County Public Library on a report of a large fight. According to the report, a large group of individuals met in front of the Public Library and a confrontation took place. Dakota D. Diehl, 21, exited his vehicle with a large machete. A 23 year old male subject was injured during a struggle for the machete. Diehl was allegedly kicked and punched by numerous individuals. Diehl was arrested and will be referred to the Rusk County District Attorney’s Office for recklessly endangering safety and disorderly conduct. Additional referrals will be sent to the Rusk County District Attorney’s Office pending further investigation.

This (Thursday) morning at about 1:15, a City Officer observed a subject driving a female subject’s vehicle with her sitting in the passenger seat. The City Officer knew the driver did not have a valid Drivers License. A Traffic stop was engaged and the Officer found that the driver and passenger switched seats. Citations were issued for Operating after suspension, operating without insurance and obstructing an officer.

(Madison, WI)  —  For the first time in a long time, none of Wisconsin’s 12 metro areas have unemployment rates above five-percent for March. State officials said Wednesday that the actual, unadjusted jobless rates varied from two-point-six-percent in the Madison area to four-point-five percent in Racine. Also, double digit unemployment has disappeared in Wisconsin counties in recent months. Iron County has the state’s highest unadjusted rate, at seven-point-nine percent while Dane County in the Madison area is the lowest at two-point-five. The statewide unadjusted rate for March was three-point-seven-percent — and the seasonally adjusted Wisconsin rate, announced last week, was three-point-four, the lowest since April of 2000.  Rusk County in March ranked 62nd the same as in February.  The March rate of unemployment in Rusk County was 5.9 percent, compared to 6.7 percent in February and 6.4 percent in March of last year.

(Madison, WI)  —  Governor Scott Walker says President Donald Trump has “really gotten Canada’s attention” in a trade dispute involving Wisconsin dairy farmers. There were indications Wednesday that Trump would issue an executive order ending America’s participation in the NAFTA free trade agreement. Trump later told Canadian and Mexican leaders he would not pull out, and the White House says all three countries plan to quickly move toward renegotiating the long running trade pact so all the nations benefit. Walker told reporters in Madison Wednesday that he hopes Trump’s “aggressive actions” will push Canada to offer at least temporary relief for Wisconsin dairy farmers, dozens of whom are losing their main customers for their milk because Canadian processors are no longer taking that milk for a highly specialized cheese product. Meanwhile, state agricultural administrator Daniel Smith says his agency has made a lot of progress the past couple days finding new suppliers for the farmers’ milk.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) — Out-of-pocket costs for some area students suffering concussions may no longer be a concern.

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association says it is setting up a policy to cover concussion insurance for every student-athlete in member schools.

The WIAA says it oversees programs for 511 senior high schools and 38 junior high/middle schools in its membership.

The organization says it’s looking to make sure all its around 80,000 student-athletes are better protected.

WIAA Board of Control President Pam Foegen explained, “When a child or a young athlete experiences a concussion that can be devastating for a family and in the past sometimes they’ve been brushed over. What we’re seeing is longer term results for a concussion that need to be taken care of; this will insure they get the right care.”

The WIAA purchased an around $125,000 policy annually through the HeadStrong Concussion Insurance Program developed by Dissinger Reed Insurance.

Foegen added, “Concussions are occurring more frequently and families don’t have the resources to help cover that.”

The policy costs about $1.50 per student although it’s at zero out-of-pocket cost for families and covers every WIAA student-athlete in grades 6-12 but only while participating in sanctioned practices or games

Senior Vice President Scott Lunsford with K & K Insurance Group explained, “A claim form will be required to be completed by the school as well as the physician’s office and submitted either online or through the mail through K & K Insurance group. K & K will then work directly with the physician regarding settling up on the payments.”

The maximum benefit per injury is $25,000 with no deductible.

“We’re secondary insurance so primary will pay its portion and then this program is set up to for the most part fill in all the gaps. There is zero deductible with this program so if there is no primary coverage in place this one will drop down and become primary for the parents,” added Lunsford.

The insurance policy is set to effect on August, 1st of 2017

Wisconsin is the fourth state to provide this coverage for student-athletes according to the WIAA.

Rusk County News


(Ashland, WI)  —  It appears that much of northwest Wisconsin will not get as much of an ice storm as originally predicted, but it will cover more ground. Ashland and Hayward reported freezing rain at six this (Thursday) morning, and forecasters say rain elsewhere in the far northwest will change to snow and sleet in the afternoon. Ice of up to one quarter inch is expected, with strong winds. Xcel Energy reported about 70 customers without power in the Ashland area as of six a-m, and there were no significant outages elsewhere in the region. Winter weather advisories that were supposted to run until tomorrow (Thursday) will end at seven p-m in Douglas and Bayfield counties — but Ashland and Iron counties have been added to the advisory list, and those advisories run from seven p-m through ten Thursday morning.

Just before 11 AM Tuesday, the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office received a Disorderly complaint at a residence on Highway 27, Conrath. Rusk County deputies and the Ladysmith ambulance responded to the scene. According to the report, a County deputy was out with one of the subjects who was not reportedly following directions. The County had the subject at taser point and had the subject in custody. After a couple of minutes the subject had become resistive again and was directed to the ground. Probation was contacted and they would place a hold on the subject who was transported to the Rusk County jail.

Rusk County dispatch at about 7:15 PM Tuesday night, received a 911 from a female advising that her 18 year old son was yelling and out of control. According to the report, while on the phone the son went outside and was walking around. Rusk County deputies arrived at the scene. After an investigation, the male subject was taken into custody and transported to the LEC.

(Undated)  —  A move to support Wisconsin dairy farmers might hurt state residents who buy new homes. The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on imported lumber from Canada, saying the U-S could not sit quietly while Canadian dairy processors cut off their milk purchases from Wisconsin due to that country’s new pricing policies. W-K-O-W T-V of Madison says the state imported almost 200-million dollars last year of the softwood lumber used for making house frames and furniture — and new houses with Canadian lumber could soon cost one-thousand dollars more as the added import taxes are passed onto consumers. But officials of Wisconsin’s logging industry say the tariffs are justified, saying Canada provides what they consider as unfair subsidies to their lumber companies. The U-S Commerce Department says Canada’s subsidies were improper, and tariffs of three-to-24-percent will begin as early as next week on lumber that crosses into the U-S.

Rusk County News


(Washington, DC)  —  Both of Wisconsin’s U-S senators want the nation’s new agriculture secretary to act quickly to help resolve the milk trade dispute with Canada. Democrat Tammy Baldwin says Sonny Perdue should visit Wisconsin to see what dairy farmers are going through. And she wants Perdue and the Trump administration to convince Canadian provinces to drop new pricing policies, and take U-S milk again to process ultra filtered milk for cheese. Baldwin and Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson both voted to confirm Perdue Monday as President Donald Trump’s new agricultural chief. Johnson also wants “swift action” from the administration, after dozens of Wisconsin farmers lost buyers for their milk after Canadian processors cut off U-S purchases.

Late Monday morning a female subject reported to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office the theft of gas from her property on Old 8 Road, Ladysmith. According to the report, she advised that they believe they know who may have done this. A Rusk County deputy advised that a house guest took approximately 32 gallons of gasoline without permission on April 23rd. The case is under investigation.

Rusk County authorities received a theft complaint at about 4:30 PM Monday. A male subject requested to speak to a deputy about a theft that occurred on Sunday from his vehicle of some pills and a jacket. No other information was available.

At 6:30 PM Monday, a City Officer and Rusk County deputy went to a residence on East 11th Street South for a warrant service on Jennifer E. Flint,43. According to the report, a juvenile answered the door at the residence and officers asked him if his mother was at the residence. The juvenile stated that his mother wasn’t home and that he didn’t know where she went. The City Officer asked if he could come inside and look around. The juvenile said they could and when stepping inside, the City Officer observed Flint walking out of a room. She was taken into custody has Flint had an active DOC warrant. She was transported to the Rusk County jail.

This (Tuesday) morning at 2:15, City Police located Christopher M. Bodner, 35, at an address on 1st Street South Ladysmith, after following a vehicle to this location that he was believed to be inside. Bodner had an active Probation warrant which was confirmed through dispatch. Probation placed a hold on Bodner and he was transported to the Rusk County jail.

Ladysmith Police at about 9:45 PM Monday, responded to an address on East 2nd Street South on a report that a male subject’s window on his vehicle had been broken out. Upon arrival Officers observed a large shattered area on the front windshield that appeared to be left there by a baseball bat or an object similar to a baseball bat. According to the report, the complainant gave three names of individuals that were outside his residence for along period of time that wanted to talk with him. The subject advised he stayed inside until the individuals left and came outside to see his front windshield broken. This case is under further investigation.

Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation announced 21 school districts throughout the state have been awarded a total of nearly $500,000 in grants to establish or expand local fabrication laboratory facilities. Fab Labs play a vital role in ensuring that today’s students have the skills they need to compete for the jobs of the 21st century by providing hands-on experience in areas such as design, engineering and complex problem-solving said Gov. Walker. This is the latest example of the significant investments we’ve made in education and workforce development over the last six years to ensure that current and future workers have the skills that are in high demand in the job market.

The Ladysmith School district has been awarded a Fab Lab Grant worth $15,000. A fab lab is a high-technology workshop equipped with computer-controlled manufacturing components such as 3D printers , laser engravers, computer numerical control routers, and plasma cutters. Through its Fab Lab Grant Program, WEDC is supporting the purchase of fab lab equipment for instructional and educational purposes by elementary, middle, junior, or high school students.

(Madison, WI)  —  Wisconsin Realtors report their biggest home sales since at least 2005 for the first quarter of this year. The Realtors Association says its members sold almost 13-thousand-400 existing houses from January through March, a three-point-two-percent increase from the same time last year. The figure was largest for the year’s first quarter since the association recalibrated its method for keeping track of home sales in 2005. Realtors’ board chairman Erik Sjowall says the increase comes despite tight inventories for existing homes — and the median selling price was almost 160-thousand dollars, up six-point-four-percent from last year. For March, about 59-hundred homes were sold statewide, about 400 more than the year before.

(Undated) — An ice storm appears to be brewing in far northwest Wisconsin. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch from this evening through Thursday morning for Douglas and Bayfield counties, plus much of northeast Minnesota. Forecasters say the Superior and Bayfield areas will start getting rain or freezing rain tonight (Tuesday) — and the region can expect up to one quarter inch of ice, as much as one inch of snow, and wind gusts of up to 30. The remainder of Wisconsin can expect rain and thunderstorms on and off for the rest of the week. The Weather Service in Milwaukee says minor flooding is possible in southern Wisconsin, as some rivers may get above their flood stages.

Rusk County News


(Madison, WI)  —  Canada’s trade dispute with Wisconsin dairy farmers is starting to take a toll. State agriculture officials say 40 farms are without buyers for their milk, after Grassland Dairy of Greenwood cut them off because they could no longer sell the milk to Canadian dairies for a specialized cheese product — and the word of the cancellations comes before the May first cutoff date that was originally reported. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says that as of Friday, 58 Grassland farms in Wisconsin had their milk contracts canceled, and 18 found new milk buyers — and another milk plant dropped 14 farmers for unrelated reasons, and some found new buyers while the rest were planning to retire anyway. Officials from President Donald Trump on down have called it a violation of U-S trade deals. The state’s been looking for other milk plants to help those affected.

In Rusk County over the past weekend, a Rusk County deputy made a traffic stop just before 1 AM Saturday on County Highway P, Tony. According to the report, a field sobriety was performed on the subject. The deputy advised that the subject was taken into custody for OWI and transported to the Rusk County jail. During the investigation, the deputy recovered two unloaded firearms from the truck and took possession of them for safekeeping while the vehicle was being towed. The deputy turned over the weapons over to the driver’s daughter.

Saturday afternoon shortly before 2 PM, the Ladysmith Fire Department and the DNR were called to a location on Deerwood Dr. Ladysmith. A grass fire was burning out of control at this sight. The DNR was at the sight for about 1 hour.

The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office at about 4:40 PM Saturday received a report of a structure fire on Hackett Road, Hawkins. According to the report, the Hawkins Fire Department and the Kennan Fire Department was called for mutual aid and EMS was not needed. Later Saturday night about 9 PM, Hawkins Fire Department advised there was a small flare up and there was about 9 acres that burned and a structure. No other information was available.

At 4:45 PM Saturday afternoon, the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office served a warrant at the Gateway Apartment and Lodge on Main Street, Bruce. The deputies made contact with the subject who was taken into custody and transported to the Rusk County jail.

Sunday morning at 3 AM, Ladysmith Police and a Rusk County deputy responded to a location on Tiews Road, Ladysmith, on a report that there were shots being fired South of the Rusk County Memorial Hospital. According to the report, the origin of the shots were located on Tiews Road just outside of the City limits. Upon arrival Officers observed a group of people standing outside of a residence. The home owner did admit that a firearm was discharged at the residence. The Owner was advised that no one should have been shooting at that time of night due to county noise ordinances.

Rusk County authorities received a call just after 8 PM Sunday, from Canadian National reporting a grass fire approximately 1 mile South of a location at 310th Avenue and 370 Street, Sheldon. The fire was about 30 yards off of the railroad tracks. The Sheldon Fire Department was called but this was a controlled burn and the subject had a burning permit.

Friday morning at 11:25, a Ladysmith Officer observed a vehicle at the LEC which matched the description of a theft that occurred in Rice Lake. The Officer met with the occupants of the vehicle. The Officer contacted the Rice Lake Police Department and obtained information along with photos from the theft. The City Officer interviewed a 47 year old man who first denied ever being at the Rice Lake Walmart but then admitted to being at Walmart but denied stealing anything. The Officer found out that the same suspects also committed a theft at the Lake Hallie Walmart. The case was referred to the Rice Lake Police Department.

(Madison, WI)  —  Republican consultant Chris Lato (lah’toe) says Governor Scott Walker is about “as close to bulletproof as you can get,” in assessing his reelection chances for 2018. Two Sunday political talk shows in Wisconsin explored the question of whether a Democrat can beat Walker in his likely bid for a third term, considering things like the state’s solid economy. Some high profile Democrats have said they won’t run, including Congressmen Ron Kind and Mark Pocan, state Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, and former legislators Tim Cullen and Joe Parisi — and that leaves possible hopefuls such as lawmakers Kathleen Vinehout, Gordon Hintz, and Dana Wachs — businessman Andy Gronik — and Jefferson County D-A Susan Happ who ran for attorney general in 2014. On W-K-O-W T-V’s “Capital City Sunday,” Parisi said there’s still time for Democrats to form a positive message, and take advantage of holes left by G-O-P President Donald Trump. Others say a Democrat would need lots of money — something Cullen alluded to himself, when he said it might take 40-million dollars to match what Walker spends.


Rusk County News


(Madison, WI)  —  Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has dropped to three-point-four percent, the lowest in 17 years. The seasonally adjusted rate for March dropped by three-tenths-of-one-percent from February. A survey of almost one-thousand households estimates that total employment for the month grew by 16-thousand — but the federal government’s limited survey of employers only showed an increase of 500 private sector jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. During the past couple years, Walker has used the unemployment rate to brag about the state’s job growth, as federal figures show that Wisconsin continues to lag behind other states in the percentage of year to year growth in private sector jobs. Wisconsin’s unemployment is more than one-percent below the national jobless rate, and the Republican Walker says its shows that the state’s doing “positive things” but more needs to be done.


Thursday just before Noon, a single vehicle crash occurred on I-94 East bound at mile post 35 in Western Dunn County. An East bound Ford F350 pickup truck was pulling a flat deck trailer loaded with culverts and concrete slabs when the trailer began to fishtail back and forth. The lone pickup driver, 50 year old Theodore Anders from Sheldon, was unable to maintain control of the pickup which struck a guardrail. The trailer jack-knifed into the cab of the truck. As a result, the securement straps on the trailer load were compromised and broke, and the trailer contents spilled onto the roadway. The pickup, trailer, and trailer contents blocked both East bound lanes. A very brief alternate route was initially utilized but was quickly discontinued as vehicles were able to utilize the roadway shoulder to get by the scene. Mr. Anders was transported by the Menomonie Fire Ambulance to Mayo Health Systems Hospital in Menomonie for non-life threatening injuries. The scene was cleared at 12:56 PM. The crash remains under investigation by the WI. State Patrol.

Shortly after 1 PM Thursday, a Rusk County deputy made a traffic stop on Highway 40, Bruce. After an investigation, the driver was reportedly wanted out of Rusk County. The vehicle was stopped for a defective exhaust. The driver was arrested for the warrant. Citations were issued for no license and no insurance.

(Blanchardville, WI)  —  Governor Scott Walker says he is against cutting state school aid to districts where voters agree to raise their local taxes to keep programs running. It’s part of a package from Senate Republican Duey Strobel of Saukville to limit school building and operating referendums — and it would cut a district’s state aid equal to 20-percent of what it raises in an operating referendum. At an school appearance in Blanchardville Thursday, the Republican Walker told W-K-O-W T-V he hoped schools would not feel the need for as many referendums as a result of his state budget plan to increase school aid by 650-million dollars in the next two years. He says he opposes penalizing schools for having such votes. But he does support a bill to limit school referendums to general election days each spring and fall.

(Madison, WI)  —  Wisconsin milk production is back on the rise, after a 33-month streak of growth ended in February. The U-S-D-A says Wisconsin made one-point-five-percent more milk in March than it did in the same month last year, with almost two-point-six-billion pounds. The state continued to have the same number of dairy cows at almost one-point-three million, despite a reduction in total herds. Each cow made an average of two-thousand-30 pounds of milk, 30 more pounds than in March of 2016. But Wisconsin’s milk production increase was still three-tenths-of-one-percent smaller than the one-point-eight-percent jump in the nation’s 23 major dairy states. In February, Wisconsin recorded a two-point-one-percent drop because the month had one fewer day than the previous February which was in a Leap Year.

(WKOW) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Services is alerting consumers that “BANQUET Chicken Nuggets with Mac & Cheese” may have been contaminated with salmonella.


  • 7.4 oz. vacuum-packed trays containing “BANQUET Chicken Nuggets with Mac & Cheese” with Code 3100080921 and a “BEST IF USED BY” date of July 20, 2018.


The products bear FSIS establishment number “P-9” printed on the side of the box. These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide. For more info on the recall click here .

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