Two area businesses and a community organization were honored with awards at the Black River Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner Monday at Max’s Club 95 in Hixton.

Wood Sales & Service was named 2016 Business of the Year, K-9 Country Lodge received the Customer Service of the Year Award and Karner Blue Garden Club received the Service Organization Award. The winners were chosen by the Chamber Ambassadors group and by Chamber board members after a review of the nominations.

“We had an outstanding selection of nominees,” said Chris Hardie, Chamber executive director. “It’s always a difficult job choosing, but each of the recipients are certainly deserving of the award.”

Wood Sales & Service was started in 1968 by Victor Wood in his garage on Hwy. C. Victor sold and serviced Stihl chainsaws. Brothers Harvey and Jeff Wood grew up around the business that was just outside their back door. In 1975 — having outgrown the garage — the business relocated to its present location at the corner of Hwy. 54 and Hwy. C. Harvey and Jeff have been involved with the operation of the business since 1981, along with Harvey’s wife Diane.

Other nominees for the business of the year were Al Muth Harley Davidson, Black River Memorial Hospital, Cell.Plus/US Cellular Agent, Krohn Clinic, Northern Family Farms and Pine View Care Center.

K-9 receives this award for service that goes above and beyond for our four-legged friends. “It’s nice when you leave your pet and don’t have to worry one bit and can enjoy getting away,” one nomination said. “All the staff is courteous and I never doubt each and every one of their love for animals. I know my pet loves it there as well as he will run right through the door when we arrive and doesn’t even hesitate.”

Other nominees for Customer Service of the Year Award were Cell.Plus/US Cellular Agent, Ho-Chunk Gaming Black River Falls, JC Financial Partners, Kwik Trip and Scholze Ace Home Center.

The Karner Blue Garden Club was formed in 1995 with a strong desire to enhance the beauty of the Black River Falls area. Today the club – which has more than 40 members – contributes hundreds of hours each year to maintain some 50 flower beds and dozens of hanging baskets placed throughout the city. The club creates a display at the foot of Main and Water that changes seasonally.

Other nominees for the 2016 Service Organization Award are American Red Cross, Greater Black River Area Safety Council, Jackson in Action and the Republican Party of Jackson County.


Story from Jackson County Chronicle


March 1, 2017 ~  With kids now going to the Red Creek Elementary school, the Black River Falls school board found itself with some extra space at Gebhardt Elementary.

Friends Sharing Food, a local group that helps distribute food to those that need it, has found themselves in need of space and a centralized location.

It was this confluence of needs and haves that led to the school board allowing some empty space to be utilized by Friends Sharing Food.

“They’ve really done so much to help the school before and have been incredibly generous,” school superintendent Shelly Severson said.

Right now, there are some alternative education classes housed in Gebhardt, but a large portion of the building goes unused.

Severson said the space they will be using wouldn’t affect any of the current programs running at Gebhardt, the only issue would come up if the district suddenly saw a massive spike in enrollment and needed the space, but that is unlikely.

The building would need some updating to be able to accommodate the Friends Sharing Food operation, most notably an upgrade to the electrical system since most elementary schools don’t have large freezers and refrigerators for food storage that they would need.

Other than that upgrade, Friends Sharing Food would then only be responsible to pay for the utilities and the school board would allow them to use the space rent free.

“We were definitely willing to do whatever we could to help them, so long as it was a cost-neutral agreement for us,” Severson said.

The building itself will remain within the district’s ownership, the current agreement is just essentially a two-year lease for the organization.



February 2, 2017 ~ After the recent tragedy at the Black River Falls Police Department, it seems there is now a cause for celebration within the department.

Summit Nutritionals, a New Jersey based company, has stepped up to help donate a new canine officer to the Black River Falls police department.

The company will partner with Jessifanny Canine Services, LLC, which operates out of Iron Ridge, Wis, who will provide the new dog and training.

Jessifanny had an established relationship with Summit Nutritionals and so they reached out to the founder, Dr. DePaco, after hearing about the loss of Kilo, the department’s former canine officer.

“I heard about the disaster in Black River Falls by other police officers so I reached out to the Chief,” said Jessie Smith of Jessifanny Canine Services. “Once I got the story, I called my point of contact at Summit and asked if we could help.”

Summit Nutritionals agreed to help out the BRF PD and donated a new dog and training to the department as part of their continuing tradition of helping around 30 police departments across the country in similar situations.

“We have implemented several strategies to combat [drug trafficking and sales] and they have worked,” the Chief said in a statement. “Having a canine unit will take us a step further in keeping Black River Falls a healthy, safe place to live and visit.”

Moving forward, Jessifanny Canine Services will help choose a dog with the department and then provide a four-week training course for both the handler and dog to get them properly certified.

As of now, a dog has not been selected. The BRF PD is excited to have a new dog in the works and is grateful for the support of not only Summit Nutritionals and Jessifanny Canine Services, but of the community as well.



Officer Jeremy James plays with Kilo, a female German shepherd who was recently euthanized.

By: Stephen Knoll / Jackson County Chronicle


Knowing Wisconsin weather, there was bound to be some last bits of winter weirdness to be thrown the County’s way.

After about a week of above-average temperatures, there was a sharp drop that brought along with it a lot of rain and snow.

Between the melting snow and rain in the middle of the week, the Black River became a flood concern and Jackson County was put under a flood warning.

Severe flooding was reported throughout the County including near the Melrose dock to the Black River and it was considerably noticeable in BRF at the dam.

By Friday morning, enough snow had been dumped on the county to shut down schools and delay girls basketball tournaments.

Written by Jackson County Chronicle

Airport Commission appoints new Chairperson

Desiree Gearing-Lancaster was unanimously elected chair of the Airport Commission last week.

Also receiving unanimous approval were Tom Reid, vice-chairperson, and Joel Busse, secretary.

Dale Klevgard was appointed airport manager, and Brad Chown was appointed assistant airport manager.  Also during the meeting, Klevgard provided an update on the lighting project, which replaced the runway lights with LEDs, and also installed a new beacon and wind cone.  The project was funded by the Federal Transit Administration, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Bureau of Aeronautics and local funds.  A new snow blower is also needed for the airport to help protect the new LED lights. One option is to replace the current end loader the airport has or another option is to place a snow blower attachment to the current end loader.

Source: Jackson County Chronicle

UW-Extension offering new classes in Black River Falls

University of Wisconsin-Extension in Jackson County is hosting some new classes in the next few weeks covering gardening and farming practices.  Extension is holding a workshop from 10 a.m. until noon Saturday presented by the Jackson County Master Gardeners on how to start a monarch habitat. The class will cover topics such as how to best plant seeds, different types of milkweed plans, and do-it-yourself methods for setting up grow lights.  People who participate in the workshop will also be able to pick up seeds for four milkweed varieties as well as native and non-native nectar plants.  The monarch habitat workshop is free of charge.  On Jan. 24 and Feb. 21, the extension will be hosting pesticide applicator training at the Jackson County UW-Extension office at 227 S. First St. in Black River Falls.  The training lasts from 10 a.m. until noon with an open book examination to follow.  Pesticide applicator training is required by state law for anyone who uses restricted-use pesticides, but is open to anyone who uses pesticides regardless of whether they are restricted-use or not.

Reservations are required for the training and there is a fee of $30 that includes materials and certification with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection.  Trempealeau and Eau Claire counties will also be hosting classes as well. For times of those classes, check  The classes are a part of the UW-Extension’s broader goal to provide resources and information to the people of the state where they live and work.  To reserve a spot in the pesticide applicator training or for any questions about either class, call 715-284-4257.