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Voice Shorts

December 13, 2007

Commencement ceremony announced
UW-River Falls will hold its fall commencement 2 p.m. Dec. 15 in the Robert P. Knowles Physical Education and Recreation Center, and for the first time in the University’s history the ceremony will be streamed live via the Internet. Around 291 bachelor’s and master’s degree recipients are expected to participate in the commencement ceremonies. A commencement concert by the River Falls Brass begins at 1:30 p.m. Commencement speakers include Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Rodney Nilsestuen and James Madsen the 2007 UWRF Distinguished Teacher.

You can view the event live online at http://www.uwrf.edu/commencement/.

River Falls man killed in two-car crash
A two-vehicle crash in Pierce County Sunday afternoon resulted in the death of a 46-year-old River Falls man, according to the River Falls Journal. Gerold Neisius was killed after failing to stop at a stop sign at highways 29 and 63 in the town of Martell, according to the county sheriff’s department. Neisius, heading east in a pickup truck, was broadsided at the intersection by a southbound semi tractor on Hwy. 63 loaded with cattle and driven by Jeffrey Hurtgen, 43, Clear Lake. Chief Deputy Neil Gulbranson said there were indications that Neisius tried to stop before the crash but was unable to do so. Hurtgen received no apparent injuries. Neisius was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident is still under investigation.

Hudson Bowling Center robbed for cash
The Hudson Bowling Center in Plaza 94 was robbed at gunpoint around 2 a.m. Dec. 7., according to the Hudson Star Observer. The bowling alley was closed when two men wearing masks, one armed with a gun, entered the bowling alley through an unlocked door, Hudson Police Chief Eric Atkinson said. The employee inside was held at gunpoint and forced to turn over an undisclosed amount of cash.

Preparation urged for new file system
People are reminded to clean up network file space in preparation for the University’s move to FalconFile. 

Moving during J-term will be file and folders in the S:/Homes, P:/Courses, and T:/Oasis (student organization) file areas. Moving spring semester will be H:/Home and G:/Dept. 

For details on how to get ready for the big move, and to view a FalconFile video for a sneak peek, visit www.uwrf.edu/moving.

Star Prairie man charged in baby’s death
A Star Prairie man has been charged with homicide in connection with the death of a 3-month-old child last Sunday, according to the Hudson Star Observer.

Joshua Alan Schaak made an initial appearance in St. Croix County Circuit Court Thursday afternoon on a single felony count of second-degree reckless homicide. He has been held on $200,000 cash bail since his arrest Tuesday. The criminal complaint said St. Croix County investigators were alerted to a possible child abuse situation by an official at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul Dec. 2.

A New Richmond ambulance was sent to Schaak’s Star Prairie address at 4:40 p.m. for a baby girl who had stopped breathing. The infant was taken off of life support and died at 2:30 a.m. Dec. 4, at Children’s Hospital, as a result of injuries.

Ramsey County Medical Examiner Dr. Michael McGee said an autopsy revealed scattered soft tissue bruises to the face and neck and evidence of closed head trauma, including hemorrhages. She also had multiple healing rib fractures, the complaint said.

Dr. McGee ruled the cause of death as child abuse and the manner of death homicide. Court records said that Schaak was the sole provider for the baby, and she was in his care the entire day Dec. 2.
The mother of the child had dropped the child off at Schaak’s residence some three weeks earlier after finding out a DNA test proved he was the father.

Teen ships music to soldiers overseas
A Hudson teen has stepped up the pace at which she ships hundreds of country music CDs to soldiers overseas, according to the Hudson Star Observer.

Beth Robbins, 19, has been mailing the CDs, T-shirts, beverage can covers and autographed posters, as well as snacks and playing cards to soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Japan.

Musicians, some quite prominent, have sent her 1,300 CDs alone, some of which still are setting in trunks around the house waiting for Robbins, a college student living at home, to pack and send them on their way. She said that she will keep up the pipeline of donations, likely until the troops come home.

Robbins said she has several units that have “adopted” her. She shares letters with one unit of 10 soldiers, and they take those on missions so they have something from home to share. One unit has recently made a request for her to send cake mix, because they are going to have a bake sale to raise money for the Iraqi kids. One of the overseas soldiers with whom Robbins corresponds is Tom O’Brien, who is from the Ellsworth and River Falls area.

Donating to the project are national recording artists such as Neal McCoy, Ray Scott, Blue County, Rockie Lynne and Charlie Daniels.