Man seriously injured in motorcycle-truck collision
CHISAGO COUNTY - A 32-year-old man from the North Branch, Minn., area suffered severe injuries when the Harley Davidson motorcycle he was driving struck a Ford F150 pickup on I35 at Athens Trail in Lent Township at approximately 11 a.m. today, April 25. The man was taken by ground ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, according to a statement issued by Chicago County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Steve Pouti. The driver of the pickup truck, a juvenile from Lakeville, Minn., was not injured. An initial investigation shows the driver of the pickup truck failed to yield to the motorcycle. There were no other contributing factors at this time. The accident remains under investigation by the Chicago County Sheriff’s Department. Other agencies assisting were North Branch Police, Wyoming Police, Stacy/Lent Fire and Lakes Regions EMS.
Emergency medical detention for driver who fled accident scene
Uncooperative and naked, subject fled into a nearby cornfield
 
POLK COUNTY –  A subject involved in a three-vehicle crash on Hwy. 46 Thursday morning just after 7 a.m., April 23, fled the scene on foot and after being located by a Wisconsin State Patrol trooper fled again on foot into a nearby cornfield.
The subject was uncooperative and threatening harm to the trooper, who requested emergency backup. A good samaritan stopped to assist, according to a statement issued by the Northwest Region Eau Claire Post of the State Patrol.
Multiple officers from the State Patrol, Polk County Sheriff's Office, Amery Police Department and St. Croix County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene on 46 at 20th Ave.The subject was found naked in the cornfield and still uncooperative, failing to respond to officers' commands, the statement said.  A Polk County Sheriff's deputy deployed a taser and the subject was taken into custody. 
The Polk County Sheriff's office handled an Emergeny Medical Detention for the subject.There were no details of the crash itself given in the report.  The State Patrol is conducting the crash investigation and criminal charges related to the incident.
Janet Bewley Selected As New Senate Minority Leade
State Sen. Janet Bewley, D-Mason. Photo Courtesy of state Sen. Janet Bewley

Bewley Replaces Sen. Jennifer Shilling Who Is Not Seeking Reelection

Democrats in the Wisconsin state Senate have picked Sen. Janet Bewley as their new leader.

The caucus elected her minority leader Friday, replacing Sen. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse. Shilling announced earlier this month she won't seek reelection this fall and stepped down as leader Friday.

"I want to congratulate Sen. Bewley and am happy to pass the baton as she takes on this new role," Shilling said in a statement. "I know that Janet’s strong and pragmatic leadership will provide a smooth transition and lead to success over the coming months."

Bewley hails from Mason and has represented far northwestern Wisconsin's 25th Senate District since 2015. She has served as assistant minority leader since 2017.

In an interview with WPR, Bewley said one of her first priorities is shaping the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Having gone through Act 10 as a freshman in the Assembly, I think it was a very good, very good testing ground, very good opportunity for learning how you navigate in troubled times, and I hope I can take advantage of that experience," she said.

She added that she thinks the response to the pandemic has been lacking so far, and hopes to see more relief for small farms and small businesses.

Bewley takes over as Democrats are fighting to recapture the majority in November's election. She said even just picking up a few seats would benefit her party.

"We will keep the Republicans at a point where it will become harder and harder and harder for them to pass the harmful and extreme bills that some in the Republican caucus want to pass," Bewley said.

Editor's note: WPR's Danielle Kaeding contributed reporting to this story.

Area nurse makes impassioned plea for continued social distancing
Elizabeth Riley recently returned to Hayward, Wisconsin home, emotionally impacted by her experiences in treating COVID-19 victims. - Special photo
Spent three weeks treating COVID patients in NYC intensive care unit
 
NORTHWEST WISCONSIN - An area nurse who answered a call for more nurses and who spent the last three weeks working in a Brooklyn Intensive Care Unit made an impassioned plea via a 3-minute YouTube video to keep social distancing measures in place until “robust testing” measures can take place.
 
Elizabeth Riley recently returned to Hayward, Wisconsin home, emotionally impacted by her experiences in treating COVID-19 victims.
 
She said she realizes many people in rural Wisconsin feel they are safer than those living in coronavirus hot spots like New York City.
 
“That’s great - it helps us have a natural kind of buffer because we’re spread apart by geography but if we start allowing people to congregate when and where they want, especially when summer months come up and our beaches are more crowded and things like that - the disease will take hold.”
 
She said as long as we don’t have “robust testing” we won’t know where the disease is.
 
“The virus doesn’t see whether you are a Democrat or Republican or what color your skin is - it fins you and embeds itself and then it will go from you to everybody who disclose to you - your family and friends.
 
Riley said she didn’t want to sound like an alarmist but said what she saw in the ICU at Brooklyn’s Woodhull Medical Center is something she could hardly put to words, but she did attempt to convey the horror of what she experienced.
 
“People in an ICU with COVID don’t slip peacefully away with their family members at their side - they are alone. They are alone and they code and they pound on their chest and its noisy and it’s awful and that’s how people die with this disease.”
 
She added, “You cannot lift this stay-at-home order. If you do you’re not just signing a potential death warrant for yourself but for your children and grandchildren.”
 
Riley was one of six health care professionals who made video statements on Friday, April 24, “to counteract the disinformation being spread through social media and irresponsible national media outlets to mobilize opposition to social distancing.”
The video links are in a story “Health care professionals speak out” on the leaderregister.com website, under COVID-19 stories.
Washburn County starts expanded COVID-19 testing

The Washburn County Health Department reports that starting Friday, April 24, all residents of Washburn County with symptoms of COVID-19will be able to get tested with an order from a medical provider.However, testing is only considered for those experiencing symptoms, after a screening process and on provider orders.

Individuals not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be tested. Individuals must first be screened for testing prior to visiting the clinic you are seeking testing at. Individuals will not be tested without orders from a provider, which are given after screening.

Northlakes Community Clinic in Minong and Indianhead Medical Center/Shell Lake Clinic will only test current patients. Testing is open to anyone through Essentia Health Spooner Clinic and Spooner Health.

Patients who normally seeks care at Northlakes Community Clinic in Minong experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, call the clinic at 715-466-2201 for screening and to speak to a medical provider.

Patients who normally seeks care at Indianhead Medical Center/Shell Lake Clinic experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, call the clinic at 715-468-2711 for screening and to speak to a medical provider.

Patients who normally seeks care at Essentia Health Spooner Clinic and Spooner Health or do not have an established care provider and are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, call 833-494-0836 to be screened for testing at Spooner Health.

Everyone seeking testing must first be screened and have orders for testing from a provider. For screening, call 833-494-0836 or start an online screening visit.

Do not show up to a clinic or ER without calling the facility prior to your arrival.

If you have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results,you must isolate at home until you receive your results. Follow DHS guidance on self-isolation and self-monitoring while waiting for test results.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and have been denied testing after Friday, April 24, call the Washburn County Health Department at 715-635-4400.

 

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