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As a small-framed high school student who played in the band, local runner Steve Schroeder never imagined himself doing any type of sports. Today even he feels surprised to have finished 135 marathons. And by the way, he turns 70 this year. "I guess it's important to note that as a youth, I did nothing athletic," said Schroeder. He moved to River Falls in 1989 with his wife Vicky. The couple has been married 48 years. They have two adult daughters and four grandchildren.
People saw smoke and flames at DeSanctis Park after 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, as the River Falls Fire Department executed a prescribed burn of prairie grasses on the northeast side of the park. DeSanctis Park is located along Division Street/County Rd. M, about two miles west of Main Street. Windy weather threatened to delay the burn until a future date, but the department found favorable conditions at burn time. Fire Chief Scott Nelson said RFFD members first came to mow around the prairie grass, making a line between the burn area and the nearby houses and wooded areas.
Living Well: A Women's Wellness Encounter, comes for the 6th time in a row 6-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 8, at the River Falls High School, 818 Cemetery Road. Visitors pay nothing to see educational presentations, meet health-focused vendors, and have refreshments. During the event, organizers say $3,000 worth of prizes will be given away, including such things as massages, personal training and healing sessions. Attendees will hear special guest speaker and Ellsworth native Tasha Schuh, who was recently named Ms. Wheelchair USA.
Doctors visited last week's Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast to talk about health and share information about a new program called Health Promotion and Prevention Partnership (HP3). It's powered by a $500,000 grant from the George Family Foundation and Allina to each of 13 participating communities, including River Falls. The doctors said health experts often ask the billion-dollar question about engaging in healthy behaviors: "How do you get people motivated?" Part of the idea behind the program is answering that question from within communities.
The River Falls Fire Department visited all local elementary schools during Fire Safety week in October, bringing with them exciting and memorable props like the fire-safety house, Pluggie the talking fire hydrant, a big red engine and more. Firefighter and safety program coordinator Pauline Williams said each grade receives a different level of education. When the children reach 2nd and 3rd grade, they tour the fire-safety house, learning what to do in case of a fire at home.
The City Council listened at its meeting Tuesday night to River Falls' Conservation and Efficiency Coordinator Mike Noreen summarize a five-year review of Powerful Choices, a program relating to energy-conservation incentives and education. The council asked for a review at one of its July meetings when faced with approving a more-than-average $55,000 grant from the program. Powerful Choices is funded by a less-than 1% share of electric-utility revenue, about $110,000 annually. Several council members wanted to know more about how the funds are used and what benefit they create.
Monday, Oct. 22, Wisconsin released report cards and numbered grades for every school in the state. These were eagerly and probably anxiously awaited by most school officials, teachers, administrators, board members and district supporters. Each school in the River Falls School District achieved a numbered score that says it "meets expectations" or "exceeds expectations." As the scoring-legend graphic indicates, numbered grades start at zero and go up to 100, with the "fails to meet expectations" score at 52.9 or below.
A National Park Service conference in 2009 sparked the idea of local communities working together to share common concerns, foster partnerships and encourage tourism. The Confluence Project started not long after with local and regional people working toward the goal of creating a common vision of education, conservation and recreation at the confluence of the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. Members of the project include people from two national parks, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area and the St.
The St. Croix Valley Rail Group, formerly known as the Hudson-River Falls Area Rail Group, hosts a free presentation 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in the first-floor meeting room at the public library, 140 Union St. The focus will be the meaning of recently released housing and population data. The meeting, entitled, "Decline of Suburbs and the Future of the St. Croix Valley," will be led by rail advocate and SCVRG member William "Bill" Draves. He said discussion will focus on U.S. Census data that says cities are growing faster than suburbs.
People on the front lines of River Falls' battle with hunger and homelessness agree: Both conditions continue throughout Pierce and St. Croix counties. A group gathered last week to discuss the issues, seek solutions and encourage support of all the entities trying to meet people's most basic needs. The Rev. Gerald Harris of St.