Editorial: Alert payoff, private eye, hockey mom and more
Since 9/11 our awareness for suspicious conduct has grown. We've been asked to remain watchful, to not overlook odd circumstances or assume someone else will see them and respond.
Of course it's unlikely that in River Falls such vigilance will catch an international terrorist in the act. But keeping watch can pay off in less dramatic ways.
Last month a mother dropping off her child at Meyer Middle School saw a person who seemed to be videotaping the school. The suspect's van was parked in the school lot. The principal was informed, police contacted.
An officer questioned the man -- an Illinois private detective allegedly doing surveillance on a neighborhood house. The sleuth claimed to have no interest for students or the middle school. After his boss was contacted, the man was given a municipal fine for "unauthorized presence on school property." He was told to do his videotape snooping from a legal parking spot on the street.
No matter what the outcome or the suspect's story, credit goes to the middle school parent who noticed something amiss and didn't brush if off. There were no heroics, just alerting a person in charge to get to the bottom of things. It was the right thing to do and it paid off.
On the Journal's online site, www.riverfallsjournal.com, a couple of readers reacted to our story this way:
And we take note of the following...
Not good news for River Falls area commuters who gas up when they can in Minnesota, but good news for local service stations. Maybe fewer River Falls residents will wait to fill 'er up in Minnesota and do so locally instead. We'll see.
She's the mom of the Hudson team goalie and allegedly was swearing and ignoring a police officer's warning to button up. Then she's accused of going after the cop, grabbing his hand and bending back a finger.
Ouch! Talk about a hot-tempered parent. Anger-management, anyone? Of course the River Falls Wildcats did win handily, 6-1. Still, it's just a game, people. Aren't adults still considered role models for kids? Or is that another time-honored tradition that's passed?
But as far as teachers' wages, there's no start contrast: River Falls teachers, still laboring under last year's contract, have a pay range of $31,475 to $62,093. Hudson's range, under the old contract, is $31,723 and $60,392; a just- signed contract for this year bumped that low and high in Hudson to $32,199 and $61,798. In New Richmond, where teachers also have an old contract, the range is $30,521 and $62,189. In Ellsworth, teachers are still on an old contract, with a range of $30,087 and $57,094.
Final word: Hoffman's claim that the new superintendent's wage is skewed by the Twin Cities market influence is plausible. But his claim that teachers wages/benefits are low for this area seems less valid. That calls into question his motives for publicly warning young teaching prospects to stay clear of River Falls.