People had high hopes for a return to normalcy in 2021, but it wasn’t quite what people expected. With the introduction of a COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021, and children ages 5-11 becoming eligible for vaccination in late fall, vaccination rates have lagged behind health experts’ expectations/hopes and hospitalizations related to COVID19 continue to soar. We end 2021 with concerns about Delta and Omicron variants, a strained health care system and few to no hospital beds available in western Wisconsin. Many of us have lost loved ones or struggled financially.
However, the pandemic didn’t deter, but perhaps inspired student athletes to achieve new heights. Area teams saw many state appearances and athletes broke many records. New businesses sprouted across the county, from people who decided to take a leap of faith and pursue their dreams, despite an uncertain future. Students continued to amaze with success stories such as publishing a book, celebrating a “liverversary,” starting a school store, raising thousands of dollars for Afghan refugees, and more. We met people who beat the odds, such as Pierce County’s own Sheriff Nancy Hove, who defeated brain cancer and helped others in their cancer journey, or Prescott High School graduate Trenten Williamson, who graduated despite a Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy diagnosis that said he wouldn’t make it to high school.
The Journal was there with you through it all, covering gloriously happy to tense and stressful moments at sporting events, contentious school board meetings, graduations, crime scenes, celebrations and government proceedings. Our goal in 2022 is to continue to grow as your hometown, local newspaper and to tell the stories in the communities we know and love, good and bad. We are the documenters of your history. We wish our readers a prosperous, healthy, peaceful and joyful New Year 2022!
January Jan. 7
Pierce County Public Health vaccinated 60 local EMS and pharmacy workers today with the first dose of the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine.
Lots of people in these parts are crazy about their Green Bay Packers, but none of them more so than Jeanne Beardsley of Ellsworth. Beardsley was nominated by friends and named a finalist for inclusion in the Packer Fan Hall of Fame.
Recently the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association presented Dennis Gagnier the State Award_ for Distinguished Service. The award is given to people who have helped promote baseball in the state of Wisconsin and in their communities. Individuals receiving this award have shown years of dedication and exemplary service to the game of baseball.
With the spring election, more than 70 years of experience will step off the Ellsworth Village Board. Village President Gerald DeWolfe isn’t seeking re-election, nor are village board members Neil Gulbranson and Curt Wandmacher.
It was another night of progress for the city of Prescott, as housing plans are taking root and it appears the city is helping its food pantry with a permanent home that could feature a senior center in the other half of the building.
The Town of Martell wants in on the City of River Falls EMS agreement with Allina Health Emergency Services. The River Falls City Council will act on a resolution at its Jan. 12 meeting to allow city staff to execute a contract addendum with Allina to put together an EMS agreement with the town of Martell.
Sheriff Nancy Hove has dedicated her life to making Pierce County a better place.
See 2021, Page 10