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Staff photo by Steve Kinderman  

What’s that, mom?

Ashley Cain of Chippewa Falls holds her seven-month-old son, Vincent, during last weekend’s 15th annual Kids Expo held at the YMCA Sports Center.

April Fire Facts

Editor’s note: Following is a monthly column submitted by the Eau Claire Fire Department.

Following is information pertaining to burning permits and campfires:

• All outdoor fires must be attended to at all times with a water source readily available.

• Burning permits are required any time leaves, grass, yard vegetable matter and small brush are burned.

• Burning permits are available at five fire stations from their red self-help burn permit boxes in the city of Eau Claire except for Station No. 10 on Malden Avenue.

• Burning permits cost $5 per day, or $10 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, or $10 for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

• Call 715-839-3882 to find out if burning is allowed for a particular day.

• Check all smoke and CO detectors monthly.

For questions or more information, call the Eau Claire Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau at 715-839-4825.

Around Town Briefs 4/13/19

FUN NIGHT: The 3rd annual Family Fun Night, in recognition of Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Eau Claire County Exposition Center, 5530 Fairview Drive.

The free community event features games, balloon animals, face painting and a free light meal.

The event is hosted by the Chippewa Valley Child Advocacy Center, Eau Claire County sheriff’s office and the Eau Claire County Department of Human Services.

• • •

EARTH CLAIRE: UW-Eau Claire will host the second annual Earth Claire event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, on the campus mall east of Schofield Hall.

The student-led event, which is free and open to the public, will celebrate both Earth Day and Arbor Day.

Guests driving to campus can obtain a parking permit at the university’s Visitor Center, 127 Roosevelt Ave.

More than 20 campus and community organizations and businesses will participate, promoting sustainability through activities for all ages.

Educational booths also will provide information on getting involved in sustainable initiatives on campus and in the community.

At 1 p.m., UW-Eau Claire will celebrate its second year of Tree Campus USA certification with an award presentation and conifer walk.

A tour of campus conifers will be led by Joe Rohrer, UW-Eau Claire professor emeritus of biology; Matt Staudenmaier, forestry supervisor for the city of Eau Claire; and Daria Hutchinson, landscape architect in UW-Eau Claire’s facilities department.

For more information about Earth Claire, contact Hutchinson at or 715-836-3865.

• • •

AG DAY: The UW-River Falls chapter of the Collegiate Farm Bureau will host the fourth annual Ag Day on Campus on Wednesday, April 24.

With interactive events taking place all day, students, faculty and community members are invited to learn more about agriculture, interact with animals and enjoy food grown and raised by local farmers.

The theme for this year’s free event is “Field Gate to Dinner Plate.”

Student organizations in the UW-River Falls College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, along with local agricultural businesses, will have educational and interactive booths set up outside the University Center in the middle of campus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The public is also invited to a short ceremony at noon featuring Kaitlyn Riley, the 71st Alice in Dairyland.

A free meal will be served in the Agricultural Science building beginning at 5:30 p.m.

At 6 p.m., Annaliese Wegner, an online advocate, better known as Modern-Day Farm Chick, will speak about her personal experience in agriculture.

Wegner graduated from UW-River Falls in 2010 with a dairy science major. She met her husband, Tom, at a UW-River Falls Dairy Club event and they currently operate a dairy farm in Wisconsin with his parents.

In the event of rain, the outdoor portion of Ag Day on Campus will be held Wednesday, May 1.

For more information, send an email to Ariel Graveen at or Nicole Schommer at">

From staff reports

Work Zone Awareness Week

Editor’s note: Following is a column submitted by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Gov. Tony Evers proclaimed this past week as Work Zone Awareness Week, and the state Department of Transportation is taking part in a nationwide campaign to spread awareness about safe driving as construction and maintenance ramps up for the spring and summer months.

“Work zones are temporary, but our decisions behind the wheel can make an impact forever,” DOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said.

“Each moment of focused, attentive driving is a moment that can save a life,” he said.

Preliminary data shows 3,157 crashes were recorded in Wisconsin work zones in 2018, causing nine deaths and 1,274 injuries.

Data shows that Wisconsin averages nine work zone crashes daily in the construction season.

Tailgating is the most commonly identified factor, while distracted driving and alcohol or drug use continue to be prevalent factors as well.

“It only takes a momentary distraction to create a highly dangerous situation on the road,” said Tony Burrell, superintendent of the Wisconsin State Patrol.

“A reduced speed of 55 mph might feel slower compared to 65 or 70, but you’re still going to cover 80 feet per second through areas with narrow, shifting lanes,” he said. “Drivers need to stay focused.”

Drivers and passengers make up the vast majority of those injured or killed in a work zone crash, but workers remain highly at risk as well.

Earlier this year, a Milwaukee Department of Public Works employee was struck and killed while filling a pothole.

In 2015, three highway workers were killed in separate incidents in Calumet, Shawano and Lincoln counties.

One was rear ended while driving a sweeper truck, and two were flaggers who were struck by vehicles.

How can you help?

• Drive safely, avoid distractions and obey posted speed limits. Be courteous and patient.

• Leave the phone alone. Texting and driving is illegal statewide and talking on a hand-held mobile device is illegal in work zones.

• Slow down when you see workers and, if possible, provide additional space by moving over.