One half down, the other still to recount. With the year 2021 firmly behind us now, here's what happened the last six months:
—Starting out the second half of 2021, it was reported that the Stanley Brethren were reopen on East Maple, after having
Andy Axelson (right) of Fall Creek helps Stanley Police Chief Lance Weiland cordon off the street opposite Wund – row's Auto Repair, as clean up continued December 18. Axelson was in town to help out his brother-in-law, whose house sustained damage in the tornado. Photo by Joseph Back. closed during the pandemic’s height. At the same time, it was reported there was a willow tree issue straining neighborly relations on Highway X. The city police and fire met together with the Mayor, Clerk, and Council member Rick Hodowanic to try and figure out a way forward for staffing issues, with Chief Lance Weiland summing things up: "There just aren't the applications coming in,” he said.
–Going into the second week of July, a front page photo by Travis Wellner showed progress on the duplexes at the former Dodge School site, with foundations poured and outer walls up. At the same time, Elementary Principal Dean Lew gave the annual AGR update to the Stanley-Boyd School Board. Scores were down, but showed progress as the district took fallout from the pandemic era.
Over in Boyd, meanwhile, a cover for the Sequencing Batch Reactor on Boundary Road meant that come winter Boyd residents didn’t have to worry about their sewage plant works freezing, while the DNR could see progress on stated requests it made vis a vis the treatment plant.
—For the third week of July, Stanley finally said 'yes' to golf cart transport on city streets, if your ride could make the cut, that is. With a list of stipulations and police inspection in the mix, residents could finally get the freedom to go about via golf cart, or the equivalent low-speed transport. At the same time, Hannah Hause was named winner of a $10,000 scholarship from the National Association of Theater Owners, while Boyd Fun Night saw ballplayers get to dunk their coaches, along with the umpire, also the village president.
—Marking 47 years of Seed Spittin’ Fun, the Stanley Lions prepared to put on their annual Watermelon Festival, preceding the event with a brat and pork chop sale at Hansen’s IGA on July 16. A Red Cross blood drive was announced for August 6th at Trinity Christian Fellowship on Highway X, and Northwestern Bank donated $5,000 to the St. Joseph’s playground fun at Boyd for new equipment.
—The big news the week of July 29 was a coming convoy by the Military Vehicle Preservation Association. Following the old Yellowstone Trail, the convoy arrived a bit late, but without losing crowds, who waited patiently on First Avenue. Over at Boyd, meanwhile, postal carrier Ray Nawrocki closed out 36 years with the postal service, while the Lions Festival took place as well, with the first ever booth by the D. R. Moon Library.
—Starting out the month of August was news that the City had paid its former fire chief $10,000 to settle a complaint, while the much awaited historic military convoy rolled through town. A fire out on Elm Road took down the Symbal barn after a tractor started on fire, and Citizen's State Bank prepared to take over the building previously occupied by Associated Bank.
—For the second week of August, the news on the front page was that Aspirus had taken over services at Ascension Our Lady of Victory, while a chamber corn feed was scheduled for August 13 at Boyd.
Down on South Broadway in Stanley, meanwhile, it was time to pour and fill in the foundations for the coming police addition, with ABE Concrete doing the job. It would take a while before the foundations rose higher than knee-high, however, as a strategic wait on building supply prices by the city pushed things out to December.
—The third week of August saw Stanley-Boyd students back to school, ahead of their counterparts at Thorp and Cadott. The early start that took a state waiver had a silver lining, however, as Stanley-Boyd students will likewise leave school earlier than their nearby counterparts in nearby communities.
Also of note the third week of August was a drug bust courtesy of K9 Officer Trey, resulting in 85 grams of heroin, 10 grams of meth, and $900 cash being taken off the streets, on Friday the 13th. The corn feed went off at Boyd, and a corn stalk was later removed from the city drain system on South Broadway, being firmly rooted in the nitrate-rich environment, as it were.
—Closing out the month of August was the news that school was off to a good start, while the sidewalk on Park Avenue at the old Dodge School was voted to get jackhammered out by the Council. Serving residents faithfully for years, it marked the final uprooting of sidewalks on Park, after a series of wintertime water main breaks close to the year 2000 resulted in sidewalks being taken out further up the street.
Also of note August 26, the Stanley Area Historical Society presented two history boards to area businesses, one each to Stanley Truck Sales and Wundrow’s Auto Repair. Team Aubree held its first softball tournament at Lotz Park as well.
—Moving into September, S-B alumna Brooke Wozniak was announced to make the UW-Eau Claire Athletics Hall of Fame, as the district moved to masks as the percentage of students in isolation and quarantine crossed a threshold. At the same time, the release of a sex offender who had completed his sentence made the front page, residing south of Thorp.
—Making a sepia-toned entrance from April 12, 1946 and the archives, the Stanley Lions prepared to celebrate 75 years. Over at the West Industrial Park, Steve and Jessica Millen of Lube Suppliers were honored with the 2021 Business of the Year award by the Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation. “It’s nice to see some recognition come back to Stanley,” Steve said, as the Good Ol’ Days Car Show still to come as of press time was slated to add snowmobiles and tractors to its inventory.
—Taking the top of the front page for September 16 was the news that Wisconsin Coaches Hall of Fame legend and Stanley-Boyd sports coach Lee LaFlamme had passed. Remembered for caring and dependability, LaFlamme influenced generations of students. Taking the bottom of the front page for September 16, meanwhile, was a new mural at IGA, put up by Jerry Sockness and Mike Fazendin of Stanley-Boyd Schools.
Finally of note for the week of September 16 was a celebration of 40 years ordination to the priesthood for Father William Felix at Boyd. Ordained in 1981, Felix double majored in philosophy and religious studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire prior to entering seminary.
Spending time at St. Charles in Chippewa Falls and later at Tilden, Felix was appointed pastor at Holy Family in the early 2010s and went on to oversee the coming together of All Saints Parish of Stanley, Boyd, and Cadott. The anniversary mass took place September 12 at St. Joseph’s.
—Coming in for news as of September 23 was the celebration of 75 years for the Stanley Lions, held at the new Community Center at Chapman Park. Further to the north, Almost Forever Goat Dairy was reported to be in the process of rebuilding after a fire June 13, while Boyd found itself at a crossroads as far as police services went, a part-time officer resigning to head for Sawyer County. Boyd would later look at contracting services with Stanley.
September 30 —Moving towards October, the leaves were starting to change color and Stanley-Boyd was putting together its 18th annual Make A Difference Day, with students volunteering to rake leaves around town. Lisa Fleming of Ayres Associates come to the Stanley Council meanwhile, seeking to potentially get projects rolling. Fleming said in part that Ayres was “smart enough to know what we’re not good at,” and could do anything for the city except Wastewater. Mayor Al Haas thanked Fleming for her candor. “We appreciate that,” Haas said.
October 7 —Coming in for news the week of October 7 was a bus crash on Highway X at G. Taking place when the driver pulled out in front of a school bus returning from Boyd, a passenger named Kevin Newill was injured, with a Go Fund Me page with updates set up by mother Barbara Newill under the title “Help for Kevin.” As of the day after New Year’s the fund had raised $2,284 out of a $50,000 goal, after the driver was revealed to have no insurance. Updates on Kevin’s condition and recovery continue to be posted at Go Fund Me, while the family stated at the time that it wanted a road study done on the intersection where the accident took place.
—Of note the week of October 14 was the return of Al Brown to writing Tracks and Trails for the Stanley Republican, with the first column on walleye stocking at Otter Lake. Taking place earlier in the month was the opening of Citizen’s State Bank October 1, while Mike Karlen Jr. broke a personal record by kicking a 52-yard field goal in a football game against Regis. Martino’s held its annual Pizza and Prevention fundraiser for local fire departments, while the Stanley and Thorp Methodists were revealed to have a new pastor in Bill Beaton.
—Marking 60 years since mobilization the week of October 21 was Stanley’s Battery A, a part of the famed “Red Arrow division.” Sent to Fort Lewis, Washington as the Berlin Crisis saw the Cold War ramp up, the men of Stanley’s Battery A would spend until summer 1962 at the base, while the Cuban Missile Crisis would later break out after they returned home, the Cold War continuing until 1991 and the collapse of the Soviet Empire.
—Making the front page the week of October 28 was the news that the Stanley-Boyd varsity girls volleyball team were Regional Champs, having defeated their rivals at Abbotsford.
Also in sports news for October 28 was the Orioles flight to victory over Arcadia, while a season-ending loss to number one Aquinas would curtail the football season the following week. The volleyball team would go on to play Marathon at Marathon and win, before falling to Oconto at Amherst to end the present season.
—Marking the week of November 4 was news that the Chippewa County Sheriff's Office and Stanley Police would be presenting dueling offers of service to Boyd, as the Friendly Town continued to deal with a part-time officer shortage that saw service from Cadott to fill in the gaps. Also reported the week of November 4 was news that the school board had decided to prioritize classroom space in ongoing architectural improvements to the district, while it was revealed that Winter Wonderland was returning with the decoration of Chapman Park Campground, numerous school groups participating on November 13. Also of note was the first ever Trunk or Treat sponsored by the Stanley Community Association and held at Courtesy Ford.
—Taking off quickly the week of November 11 was a backyard burn that turned into a spreading brush fire off County Highway X at the intersection with H. Compounding the response was the fact that the parcel in question was technically located in the Town of Delmar, cut off to the west and north by the municipal limits of Stanley. Fire doesn't respect artificial municipal boundaries and spread as fuel allowed, being put out when it threatened buildings as opposed to dry grass.
In the meantime, Our Lady of Victory geared up for its Love Lights Fundraiser, while Boyd favored Stanley in the dueling set of offers placed before it.
—Reported the week of November 18 was a Veteran’s Day gathering in the Stanley-Boyd Gymnasium, while the Boyd Lions had new signs donated by Ron’s Designs of Cadott, with installation by Boyd public works. Meanwhile, Stanley public works operator- in-charge John Hoel called for door openers on the glass doors at the Chapman Park Community Center, lest the heavy glass come crashing down and result in injury.
November 25 —Roaring back to consciousness Thanksgiving week was the news that COVID-19 infections were on the rise, while the City hired Keeping Safety Simple to take care of its safety training. The Stanley Sportman’s Club was noted for a $10,000 donation to the Community Center, while Ron Haas doled out the $8,500 in funds raised by the Pizza and Prevention fundraiser—half for Stanley, and half for Boyd. Forward Bank was listed among the best banks to work for the fifth year running.
-The first week of December saw the passing of Tom Thornton on the front page, as the one-time Stanley police chief who was first hired at Stanley in March 1978 succumbed to cancer. Remembered as a gentle giant who could often defuse a situation just by his presence, Thornton will be missed in the Stanley area.
Also reported for December 2, meanwhile, was the forming of a Joint Committee of Stanley and Boyd representatives to look into a possible joint department or contracted services, the better to meet their mu- tual staffing challenges. Down at the school the state’s report card came in, with an overall score of 85.4, NOT equivalent to a letter grade.
—For the week of December 9, it was reported that cooperation would make for safer T-ball at Lotz Park after donations by the Boyd Lions, Northwestern Bank, and Boyd Little League helped fund field development along with an all important safety fence to the back near Highway D. Not yet complete, the field is a work in progress though it should open sometime next year.
Meanwhile for December 9, Winter Wonderland was set to debut at Chapman Park December 11, while the meeting of the Joint Committee to look into solutions to the police staffing problems at Stanley and Boyd took off at the Stanley Fire Hall December 16
—Making headlines the week of December 16 was the departure of long-time nurse Jon Mitchell from Aspirus, after Mitchell declined a mandated company vaccination. Winter Wonderland opened with Pastor Ken Schmidt of Our Savior’s reprising his role in dedication of the Memory Tree, while a Friday night storm dumped inches of white on Stanley- Boyd.
—Making history the week of December 23 was a tornado on December 15, similar to tornados in the American South, if less prominent nationally. Tearing the depot roof off and damaging several buildings to varying degrees, the out-of-season tornado also saw people come together in an effort to clean up, the hashtag #StanleyStrong arising in the aftermath.
—Closing out the year for 2021 was news from the school board meeting of a student-led mentorship program entitled 'Orioles Achieve Before and After School.” With applications open for the Stanley Relief Fund from the tornado, no disaster declaration had been posted to the governor’s website, a necessary prerequisite for any federal aid to individuals, as opposed to the city itself.
And that’s a summary wrap for what happened locally of note in 2021. For a full recounting with search function, readers can head on over to Wisconsin Badgerlink and the Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers, where only a library card is needed to grant access to a wealth of information, both past and present. Stanley Republican archives can be searched at Badgerlink all the way from 1896 to within just 90 days of the present.