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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There had not been a handwritten Bible commissioned in some 700 years when The Saint John's Bible was commissioned, said Kay Fritz, local calligrapher. Planning and work began on The Saint John's Bible in 1995, and the last word was written in May 2011. The Saint John's Bible was written on vellum using quills, natural handmade inks, hand ground pigments, and gilded with gold leaf, silver leaf and platinum. It is a modern, English translation (New Revised Standard Version) with contemporary scripts and illuminations.
Hudson Middle School orchestra teacher Rachel Knipfer felt a surge of excitement when she first read an article about Mark Wood's "Electrify Your Strings" program. Wood plays violin in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. "Electrify Your Strings" is a music education program through which a team of "teaching artists" work with kids over a two- to three-day visit. Kids will play compositions and arrangements by Mark Wood. Not long after Knipfer read about the program, one of her friends brought Wood to work with her orchestra in Oshkosh.
Spring Valley School District residents will see a referendum on the April ballot this spring. In a Monday, Jan. 7 meeting, held at Spring Valley Elementary School, the school board approved two resolutions that set up a referendum for the issuance of general obligation bonds not to exceed $22.8 million, to build a new elementary school, tear down the existing one, and move the district's softball field. In order to do this, the board first approved the bonds, then approved going to referendum for the bonds.
As students are bringing home, or preparing to bring home report cards, Spring Valley School District has received a report card of its own from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. This year, Spring Valley's overall score was 68.5, down from last year's score of 70.3, keeping the district in the "meets expectations" category. District Superintendent Dr. Don Haack said this year's results are "pretty similar" to last year's.
River Falls Community Theatre's production of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" lives up to its name, sharing with audiences the heart and hilarity of the original novel. Like the beloved classic, the play tells the story of a small town and a family of "the worst kids in the history of the world," the Herdmans: Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claud, and Gladys. The Herdmans come to church for free snacks and shock the kids and adults in town by taking over the annual Christmas pageant.
River Falls author Michele Klecker-Sailor wanted to write a children's ABC book back in 2009, when she first started writing kids' books. She said the challenge was creating a new ABC book when so many already existed. "The idea came to me late (or early) one morning last December," she said, "and even though it was 3 a.m., and I really wanted to go back to bed ... I was compelled to go to the computer and type up the first draft of this story." Klecker-Sailor's book is about pieces of fabric lying on Mrs. Claus's sewing room floor.
On Monday, Nov. 19, the Spring Valley School Board "approved in principle" an agreement cooperating with the village of Spring Valley on hiring a school resource officer. The agreement would need to be formalized before the officer was hired, said School District Superintendent Don Haack. Haack said the village and school board would also need to agree to a contract between the village and district. Once all this is approved, the village will hire the officer, who will serve both school buildings for eight hours a week, pending details that have yet to be worked out, Haack said.
When Mel Germanson and Jerry Carter announced they planned to retire from managing their annual "Grumpy Old Men" food drive, Rick Bowen and Craig Miles were ready to take up their torch. Bowen had helped Germanson and Carter with the drive for years. Miles, Carter's nephew, started helping with the drive last year. "I think both of us are looking for some form of meaningful give-back community service," said Bowen. Though they'll be carrying on the "Grumpy Old Men's" tradition, Bowen and Miles said they won't take the name.
"My name is Adolf George Koderick. My friends have referred to me as 'the old survivor," said Koderick one afternoon, sitting in his town of River Falls home. Koderick, who goes by the nickname Art, has earned that title over his 95 years. He was born in LaCrosse, and it is there that his story of survival began. Childhood survival Koderick said his father was very strong. "Probably the strongest man I've ever met in my life," he said. "But he was abusive."
The Spring Valley School Board heard an update on the results of its community survey Monday, Oct. 29 regarding the Spring Valley Elementary School building. The survey, conducted by the company School Perceptions, had a 36 percent participation rate, said Superintendent Don Haack. Haack reported the survey had one of the highest participation rates School Perceptions has seen. "So they're pretty pleased with the result rate," Haack said. He noted a nice distribution of ages among those who participated in the survey.