Thursday, August 24th


The Black River Falls Common Council held its second August meeting on Aug. 16.

Highlighting the agenda was the introduction of new police chief Kelly Bakken, who introduced herself to the council and the citizens in attendance.

Her first day of service will be Sept. 5 and she already knows of the work ahead of her.

She noted in her introduction that the drug problem is a particularly big issue to tackle in Black River Falls.

The council also got a K-9 demonstration by officer Jeremy James and Mattis who are continuing their training.

James hid some cotton balls around the council room that were marked for Mattis to find so he could show off his tracking skills.

In the four months they’ve been working together, James said he’s gone out on about 50 calls with Mattis and had a lot of hits.

Gardeners and interested members of the public are welcome to attend a workshop on small scale fermenting and kimchi, presented by UW-Extension Master Gardener volunteers at the Jackson County Farmers Market. 

The workshop will be held Thursday, Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 9 at 11 a.m. and provide demonstrations of small scale fermenting and making of kimchi, the traditional Korean spicy fermented pickled vegetable dish. 

Health benefits of fermented foods will be discussed as well as safety considerations and recipes. 

There is no cost to attend the program.

Copies of the recipes will be provided and samples of the kimchi made at Thursday’s workshop will be available on Saturday. 

The Jackson County Farmers Market is located on Diploma Drive across from the Lunda Community Center.

The Alma Town Board approved a mining agreement, resolution and road use agreement with Wisconsin Proppants Wednesday, Aug. 16 at the Alma Town Hall, formally accepting the variances Wisconsin Proppants was seeking from the ordinance.

Wisconsin Proppants had been working on a mining agreement from the town for more than 18 months for a sand mine that is at the juncture of the towns of Garden Valley, Alma and Cleveland in Jackson County and the town of Mentor in Clark County.

Wisconsin Proppants has a license to mine in the town under the current ordinance, but they are seeking variances from the ordinance. The vote was 2-1, with the dissenting vote coming from Thomas Gearing.

“The people that have spoken to me about this particular mine would choose not to have another mine in the county and our township,” Gearing said.

The Jackson County Health Department reports that a horse in the county has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection reported the positive test result to the Wisconsin Division of Public Health.

WNV is transmitted to humans, horses, birds and other animals during bites from infected mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes acquire WNV by feeding on infected birds. The virus is not transmitted person to person or directly between animals or between animals and humans.

Presence of a WNV positive horse confirms that there are mosquitoes in the area infected with the WNV that can transmit the virus to people and other animals.

The majority of people (80 percent) who are infected with West Nile Virus do not get sick.

On July 19, the Hiring Committee for the city of Black River Falls named Kelly B. Bakken as the new chief of police and criminal investigator for the City of Black River Falls Police Department. 

Bakken has been employed with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department since 2005 as a patrol officer from 2005-2010, a detective from 2010-2016 and most recently as a captain.

She has 19 years of law enforcement experience previously serving two years as chief of police for the Village of Merrillan, four years as patrol officer and investigator for the City of Baldwin and three years as a deputy sheriff jail officer with the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department.

Bakken earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Upper Iowa University and her Associate Degree in Police Science from Chippewa Valley Technical College.