Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.
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Those walking along Main Street Saturday, Oct. 21, will see more than the usual offerings in 16 local businesses. Those businesses are hosting a combined total of 26 artists for the River Falls Community Arts Base (CAB)'s annual Main Street Art Crawl, set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 "It's a special time to patronize local businesses and see the work of our wonderful River Falls area artists while getting in some early Christmas shopping," said CAB president Steve Preisler.
Lately, people going to Subway downtown at 201 N. Main St. have been stopping to chat with David Markson and Amy Noonan as they work on a new mural. This new mural is across from the existing mural that's on RiverWalk Square, also painted by Markson. The new mural is the vision of the building's owner, Charla Moore Kusilek. It depicts the scene in front of the veterinary practice that used to operate inside the building on which the mural is being painted. "All these stoppers by remember this time period, so it's been a real memory thing for those people," Noonan said.
Most people don't put much thought into getting into their car and driving off to wherever they need to go. Not everyone has that opportunity. "It seems like a simple thing to do," said St. Bridget Deacon Greg Miller. "But to them, it's like giving somebody who lost an arm a brand new arm back." Miller, in his ministry work, often finds people calling in with no transportation.
Helen Crary Stassen was deeply affected by the loss of her son Benjamin to suicide in 2010. She tried all kinds of therapy. Finally, she and her husband decided to buy a horse, a Paint called Mara B. Having Mara around has made a huge difference in Stassen's world. But Mara hasn't just had an impact on Stassen and her family. Wanting to share Mara with the world, Stassen shares her story via a blog and Instagram. It was through Instagram that Stassen met Anastasia Hirst and John Fulton. Those two are going to make Stassen's and Mara's story reach even further.
Members of Rush River Lutheran Church have been cooking lefse, gearing up to feed a crowd at the70th annual Harvest Dinner, set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24. "The Harvest Dinner is an opportunity to live our mission to 'Reach Out In Love' to each other, our neighbors, our friends, and every guest we serve," said church member Lisa Anderson. "Involvement of the whole faith community nourishes and builds the relationships that we have with each other."
Over the past couple of months, Reubin Herfindahl has seen numbers of people coming into his computer repair shop, Digital Brigade, increase dramatically. Herfindahl said up until recently, he'd see one or two people reporting so-called "Call this number, you have a virus" phishing scams each week. A few weeks ago, he had a dozen customers who had problems related to such a scam. He said numbers have stayed similar. Herfindahl said the "Call this number, you have a virus" phishing scam starts with a phony webpage.
It's been a busy summer of construction at the Spring Valley Middle/High School. The Spring Valley Board of Education heard construction updates Monday, Aug. 21 on the status of the summer facility projects during its regular meeting. "We're running behind schedule in most of the areas," Superintendent Dr. Donald Haack said. "We'll have it ready by the time kids get in, but we'd hoped to have it pretty well wrapped up by now, and it's going to take the next couple weeks." Haack said that weather has been a factor in delaying work.
Ken Phillips was sitting down, watching "America's Got Talent" the evening of June 20, when he heard someone pounding on his door. When he answered it, he found his new neighbor's young daughter asking for his help. There was a fire. He told the girl and her mom to get out of the building. "I'll go in, do what I gotta do and put it out," he said. The fire had started in a pan of chicken the neighbor had been frying on the stove.
Chelsea Fiedler grew up in River Falls. Now she is hoping to give back to the community through her new job as executive director of Have a Heart, Inc. "What I'm looking to do is have more community involvement," she said. "Make sure that the community knows we're here, that we're looking to help, that we're looking to better the River Falls community, in our own way." Her mission is to add services that will better the lives of River Falls and St. Croix Valley area residents.
The Pierce County Sheriff's Office has issued a media release warning citizens of phone scams in the area. According to the release: "In recent citizen reports, the scammer claims to be from the IRS and says that two certified letters have been sent to the taxpayer in the mail but returned as undeliverable. The scam artist then threatens to arrest the victim ifa payment is not made through a prepaid debit card. "Please remember that the first contact you receive from the IRS will not be through a random, threatening phone call."