Onalaska honors 9-year-old hero

HERO AWARD -- Brian “Trip” Keith Teel III, 9, (front right) was presented with a Hero Certificate and medal during last week’s Onalaska City Council meeting. He is pictured with his older brother, mother and Aunt Kathy.HERO AWARD -- Brian “Trip” Keith Teel III, 9, (front right) was presented with a Hero Certificate and medal during last week’s Onalaska City Council meeting. He is pictured with his older brother, mother and Aunt Kathy.

ONALASKA -- Brian “Trip” Keith Teel III, 9, was presented a certificate and medal Tuesday by the Onalaska City Council for his lifesaving efforts earlier this year when his grandmother fell ill.

During the council’s monthly meeting, Mayor Roy Newport presented young Trip to the council and explained that a couple of months ago, the nine-year-old had been visiting with relatives in Onalaska and was spending time alone with his “Memaw”.

During that visit, Trip suddenly realized that Memaw appeared to be sleeping but when he tried to rouse her she would not respond. The mayor asked him to explain what happened next. The young man said he dialed 911, told the lady who answered his grandmother’s name. The dispatcher recognized the name and he proceeded to give not only the address but the codes to the gate locks in that subdivision.
When the EMT’s arrived, he was able to give them a very accurate report of what had occurred.

Newport congratulated Trip for his heroic efforts and presented him with a certificate and a medal to commemorate this occasion.
In other business during the meeting, Police Chief Ron Gilbert reporting on the department’s activities in November, noting they had 500 calls, responded to 120 incidents, made 19 misdemeanor arrests, issued 66 citations and nine warnings and assisted the Polk County Sheriff’s Office four times. Officers drover a total of 3,734 miles, opened 20 new cases and there were no DWI or narcotic cases in the month.
Fire Chief Jay Stutts reported the volunteer fire department responded to six calls for assistance due to motor vehicle accidents and one grass fire. With the colder weather arriving, there were no lake rescues, but the department did respond to 24 medical calls for a total of 33 calls during the month.

Lee Parrish, who serves as fire marshal, city building inspector and code enforcement officer, reported there were four citations for city ordinance violations issued during the month and eight warnings were issued to residences. There were no fire investigations during the month of November, but the fire marshal did assist the police department on six occasions and volunteer fire department one time.
As building inspector, Parish said there were three building permits issued in the month of November, one for a manufactured home, one for a portable building and one for a new site built home. There were two certificates of occupancy issued. Fees collected for the month were $1,171, which added a value of $86,500 to the city. The total increase for the year is now $322,620 in value.

Librarian Sherry Beechen reported the library had a short month due to it being inventory time. They had 1,307 patrons which is two more than October. The inventory numbers indicated the library now has 9,990 items and holdings on their records. The library was only open 12 days during the month and only 835 books were circulated and only 799 patrons used the facility, including 87 computer users. The computers were moved during the remodeling and now people are able to use of computers even when the library is closed for inventory. Total income for the month was $326.05, volunteers spent 20 hours in helping to do the inventory.

Roy Epperson, who owns a company called BG Recovery, made a presentation to the council to perform skip searching on outstanding warrants that the city has not been able to collect. Epperson said he has two objectives in his business. First is to locate the absconding defendant, have them appear before court and take care of the fines and fees. Second is to keep the outstanding warrant list to a minimum.

Epperson said he knows that there are some cases in which a defendant will never be located, that does not mean that BG Recovery ever gives up they’ll continue to utilize whatever sources to try to attempt to locate the individuals and/or family members. Council asked several questions, and then made a motion to table it for further research. The item is set to come back to the agenda at the January meeting.
The council accepted a letter of resignation from Police Officer Ryan Vasquez. Gilbert requested council approved Gabriel Moore to serve as a full-time officer with the standard six-month probationary period. Moore comes from the Harris County Sheriff’s Department having served as a deputy for 15 years, and is currently looking for a home in the Onalaska area. Council approved the request.

During public announcements Newport said that market days at the city park would be January 5-7.

The business decorating and subdivision decorating contest entries need to be in by Dec. 19. The judges will begin Dec. 20 and will judge for several days so all entries are asked to keep their lights on during that time.

Newport also said Monday, Dec. 18 will be an open house at the new Onalaska High School track at 6:30 p.m, and the public is welcome. They will have an opportunity to walk the track.

The consent agenda consisting of minutes, vouchers and bills was approved. Council entered into executive session and said there would be no action following their return.