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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- 4 years 11 months
After about 36 years of working, Tony Steiner said he's ready to relax. Steiner, the River Falls City Planner, has worked for the city for close to 28 years. When he started with River Falls in 1990, he found the job via an advertisement in "the Planner's Job Mart," Steiner said. "They were looking for a landscape architect with a planner's background," he said. "I'm both, I liked the area, it sounded like a potential fit so I applied and here we are."
June Cicero was just finishing law school when she first ran for River Falls Municipal Judge. She was running for an open seat as the previous municipal judge had moved. On the advice of someone who'd done political campaigning, she invited about 12-14 of her classmates to come and go door-to-door with her one afternoon. That was some 33 years ago. She's been consistently re-elected every four years since then. But now, Cicero said, she's decided not to file for re-election.
Bonny Beyer, 16, comes from a small village in Thuringia, Germany called Schmiderfelt. She said Schmiderfelt is small, like Spring Valley, where she's spending half of her exchange year this school year. "I really like it here," Beyer said. "The people are really friendly and it doesn't matter if I ask in the first days, 'can you help me to open my locker,' or something like that." She said she's felt very welcomed here. Beyer said she gets along well with her host family, Jack Hannack and his wife Bonnie.
As the Spring Valley School Board continues working towards a plan for the district's elementary school building, the board has been reaching out to citizens to ensure whatever plan is chosen meets the expectations of the community. "It's their elementary school," said School District Superintendent Dr. Donald Haack. "I take care of the schools, but the schools belong to the citizens of the Spring Valley district. And we want to do with the schools what they want us to do. So we need to get a really, really good feeling for what they want."
Town of Oak Grove resident Tom Winkler was working at the St. Croix County Jail as a chaplain's assistant. One day, an inmate told him, "it was great that I came in and tried to 'save' the inmates, but maybe I should try to save somebody before they get put in prison," Winkler said. "I came home and I said, hey, this is what this guy said to me," Winkler said, "And we talked about it, and at the time, our kids were gone, and where we are in this big house with not enough people in it, and a desire to help people who need help, and off we went."
After years as River Falls' Emergency Medical Services director, Jeff Rixmann is stepping into a new role. Rixmann has accepted the position of Community Relations Coordinator, said Assistant City Administrator Julie Bergstrom. "It's basically what Jeff has been doing, along with the EMS director duties," Bergstrom said. "And with the growth in the organization, it's just too hard to get everything done." So, Rixmann has stepped into the newly-created position.
Plans are in place for consultants to assess the Spring Valley Elementary building to see what needs to be done to improve it. The options could include some amount of restoration, simply building a new building, or doing nothing at all. Spring Valley School District Superintendent Dr. Don Haack said what is to be done is yet to be determined. The original portion of the elementary building was built in 1929. Additions came in 1950, again in 1968, and finally in 1973.
River Falls and other firefighters and emergency responders were sent to the scene of a structure fire near N7521 Highway 65, in the town of River Falls, Saturday morning, Nov 11. Firefighters were called before 6:20 a.m. At around 7:50 a.m., those driving by could see smoke coming from the address on HIghway 65. Law enforcement redirected traffic around the many emergency vehicles at the scene of the fire. More information will be added as it becomes available.
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.