Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 1 year 6 months
Following a River Falls Police investigation, Pierce County District Attorney John O'Boyle has filed a criminal complaint against Dennis L. Torkelson, 37, of rural River Falls, for his alleged role in damaging petitions relating to the Wisconsin recall drive of Gov. Scott Walker. The incident occurred just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, on Main Street in front of EconoFoods. Torkelson has been charged with two misdemeanors for falsifying information and for criminal damage to property. He will be asked to appear in Pierce County Circuit Court at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan.
The holidays around Christmas and New Year's don't bring good tidings to the American Red Cross. "We usually see a dip in blood donations from now until after the first of the year," said Sue Gonsior, communications program manager for the regional Red Cross in St. Paul.
Firefighters were called to a town of River Falls house for a blaze that had engulfed the attached garage and had spread to the house at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. Firefighters from Ellsworth and Spring Valley were called to assist. Strong winds hampered the firefighting efforts and the house, at W7678 770th Ave., was a total loss. There were no injuries to the home occupants or to responders. Firefighters left the scene just after 3 p.m.
A personal birthday celebration was transformed into a civic fundraiser. The result was a "party" that has contributed to the health and well-being of residents throughout Pierce and St. Croix counties. On Friday night, Nov. 11 -- Veterans Day -- more than 200 friends and family gathered at the River Falls Golf Course to celebrate a milestone birthday for Mary Conroy Johnson, local nurse, and a cofounder and chair of the Free Clinic of Pierce and St. Croix Counties' board of directors. The celebration began with a moving tribute to veterans.
Over the years Nettie Nolen has been hospitalized and treated for bipolar II disorder. This means she's had to endure reoccurring bouts of severe depression. Beyond vital medical care, Nolen says what a person with a mental sickness often needs most is camaraderie. "It's good to be with peers, those who've been through mental-health issues," Nolen said.
Law enforcement is about to get more complicated. Take this scenario: It's after midnight at a local convenience store. A clerk at the counter spots someone browsing by the magazines. A handgun appears to protrude from the person's jacket pocket. Fearful of robbery, the clerk dials 911. With that information, River Falls Police Chief Roger Leque says his officers would respond quickly to check out the armed suspect. As of Tuesday, Nov. 1, such a response won't be automatic.
Someone broke into Treasures From the Heart, 200 S. Main St., late Sunday night, Oct. 23, and stole $100 cash from a till, a pumpkin light and a Frankenstein dummy. River Falls police have no suspects. Sgt. Jon Aubart said a side door to Treasures was forcibly opened. Officers were contacted about the break-in early Monday morning by store employees. Evidence at the scene was taken. The case remains under investigation. If you can offer a tip to solve this crime, call police at 715-425-0909. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward, call area Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Balanced on a ladder, Karen Marsh was up in tree branches trying to hang a ghoul mask. One of the braces to secure the ladder was unfastened. Marsh swayed and took a spill. She got back up but her right foot hurt. Pah, it was only noon! So much to do! Outdoor Halloween decorations don't just appear by black magic. Marsh swallowed some Advil and kept hobbling, positioning more ghosts, skeletons and grim reapers. Eight hours later and long after darkness, she called it a day. By now her painful foot was throbbing.
A 48-year-old Hammond man's son was badly injured after the boy was thrown from a 2007 Ford Ranger pickup truck. The Hammond driver was going around a curve when he lost control. The truck went into a ditch and flipped several times. The rollover occurred at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, on Hwy. 29 south of 690th Avenue in the town of Clifton. Dale P. Rapp, 48 is the driver. He was not seriously injured. Rapp's son, Zeke Orme, was listed by the Pierce County Sheriff Department as a "minor child." Rapp apparently was eastbound on Hwy.
Robert Hughes, elected to the River Falls City Council in April 2010, has been charged with one count each of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and illegal possession of a controlled substance (prescription pills). All three are misdemeanors.