Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

I encourage everyone to please review the warning signs at Rock County Wisconsin Crisis Intervention Brochure. If you are thinking of harming yourself or you know of someone who is thinking of suicide, please call Rock County Crisis Intervention. They are available 24/7 at 608-757-5025, 608-757-2244 or 911.

Please reach out to someone who has lost a loved one to suicide. In order for them to move forward with their healing process, they are in need of our help and compassion.

One tragedy is one too many.

Tony Farrell, Sr.

Volunteer Executive Director of Rock County

Suicide Prevention Network and Safety Series

Wrong trees cut down?

Ten large Chinese elms met a sudden death by chainsaw recently. They were on the east side of the middle school playground, where they lived for well over a half century. Those trees provided the only shade on the school yard. My wife asked school board member Rick Mullen about it. He was told they were not healthy and presented a risk.

Being a next door neighbor of those trees for well over a half century, I did not see them as unhealthy or presenting a threat. Like most big old trees, they did produce a dead branch from time to time. So do our trees. I simply cut those limbs out, removing the risk of them falling on someone. None of the trees had fungus growth on the trunk, an indication of trunk rot. After they were cut down, there was no trunk rot on any of the ten trees. In my opinion, those trees could have been safely managed.

There are trees on school property which do present a risk. Over 100 dead ash trees, victims of the Emerald Ash Borer, stand on school land north of the high school. Eleven of them have limbs overhanging the cross country course. Another four stand close to the course and could fall onto the course with an east wind. Cross country runners would not be looking up when running a race. Those 15 dead ash trees are the ones which should have been cut down. They still should be for the safety of runners and walkers.

Skip Drew, Milton

School district reply

Since 2010, there have been ongoing concerns with the chinese elm trees in the back of the Milton Middle School, as dead branches have fallen, resulting in multiple close calls with students. We’ve had the trees trimmed to remove the dead upper branches that posed this safety hazard, but even after trimming, the middle of the trees continued to die off and drop their branches. With this in mind, we have decided that the safest route to ensure student and staff safety would be to have the trees removed during the summer.

We always strive to do everything that we can to preserve the trees on our property, and removing trees is a last resort. As a district, we look to save and preserve any trees that we can. With the upcoming additions at elementary schools, we’ve been working with an arborist to determine how to best relocate trees that are in the path of the upcoming building additions. These relocations are tentatively scheduled for this coming Friday.

Richard Dahman,

Interim superintendent

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