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St. Croix Animal friends will hold its annual dinner dance Saturday, March 23. A social hour begins at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6. Activities and contests start at 7:30 p.m. and the dance is from 9 p.m. to midnight. "A Night of Country" with music by The Ricks will feature a silent auction, raffle prizes, line dancing lessons and awards for the best Western cowboys and cowgirls. Those whose behavior is questionable may find themselves in the Dog House Jail. Tickets for the dinner and dance are $25.
The Phipps Dance Company is preparing for their eighth annual performances on Friday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 16, at 2 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts. The company is led by artistic directors Barb Suick and Stephanie Campbell. The current company is comprised of 13 auditioned dancers who range in age from 13 to 18 years old. Included in the concerts this year are modern, ballet, hip-hop, tap, and Bollywood selections.
The St Croix Valley Master Gardeners are hosting Garden U on Saturday, March 16, at Ready Randy's Conference Center in New Richmond. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and the $30 fee includes lunch and speaker handouts. Pre-registration can be done by mailing a check payable to SCVMGA to Barrette-SCVMGA at 1358 County V, Houlton, WI, 54082.
The Western Wisconsin Photography Club will meet on Wednesday, March 6, 7 p.m., in the River Room at The Phipps Center for the Arts. As a follow up to a special meeting on judging photographs, attendees will break into small groups to discuss a set of supplied images. The focus of the discussion will be on deciding how successful the images are and how they could be improved. Later the monthly salon images submitted by club members will be shared and discussed. This meeting is free and open to the public.
A preschool program on squirrels and chipmunks will be presented at the Willow River State Park Nature Center on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 12 and 13, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and Thursday, March 14, 1:30-3:30 p.m. The classes are free, but vehicle admission fees apply.
As the River Falls Reads program winds down and folks who have read and enjoyed Michael Shaara's Pulitzer-Prize winning novel about the Battle of Gettysburg, "The Killer Angels," are looking for new reading material, I'm happy to report that although Shaara died in 1988, his family lives on in the person of his son, Jeff Shaara, who also writes about the Civil War and has completed his father's trilogy with "Gods and Generals" and "The Last Full Measure." His new book is "A Blaze of Glory," a novel about the Battle of Shiloh.
Gov. Scott Walker Friday appointed Department of Health Services (DHS) Deputy Secretary Kitty Rhoades of Hudson as secretary of DHS. The appointment came shortly after Walker received former secretary Dennis G. Smith's resignation letter. "I would like to thank Dennis for his service to the state of Wisconsin--because of his efforts Medicaid is now on a sustainable path," said the governor.
A series of exhibitions featuring mixed media collage by Carol Adleman, Luck; mixed media abstract expressionism by Charles A. Condon, River Falls; soda-fired stoneware by Jude Ryan Reiling, Minneapolis; mixed media sculpture by Mark D. Roberts and Denise Rouleau, Minneapolis; and acrylics and colored pencil drawings by Michael Tarr, Menomonie will be on view Feb. 15 through March 17 in The Galleries of The Phipps Center for the Arts. An opening reception will be held on Friday, Feb. 15, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The Phipps Children's Theater will hold auditions for area students in grades 7 through 9 for the spring production of "The Adventures of a Comic Book Artist," with book and lyrics by Pat Lydersen, and music by Wendy Woolf, on Tuesday and Thursday, Feb. 26 and 28 at 6 p.m. in the Black Box Theater of The Phipps Center for the Arts. Callbacks will be held on Friday, March 1, at 6 p.m. All will be asked to read from the script, do some improvisation, and sing a few bars from a song of their choice. Sheet music should be provided for the accompanist, if possible.
Gov. Scott Walker was at the Hudson Community Daycare on Tuesday afternoon to discuss a series of initiatives designed to protect children against internet crime, fund services for sexual assault victims, provide monitoring of domestic abusers and other dangerous individuals and fund DNA collection for felony and some sexual-related crimes. The new initiatives are being funded through a $14 million budget allocation. "One of the basic functions of government is to ensure public safety and health," said Walker.