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"Car crashes are the number one killer of kids aged 1-14," said Mary Waters, coordinator for the River Falls chapter of National Safe Kids, an organization dedicated to protecting young passengers. Waters said she's been receiving calls about the new booster-seat law - Wisconsin Act 106 - that passed Feb. 6 and takes effect June 6. Parents want to know what it's about, how they comply with it and why it's important. Simply put, adult seatbelts don't fit right on small children and can do more harm than good when an accident happens.
Six River Falls churches plan to pull together funds and able bodies so they can build a much-needed house in the Gulf Coast area that Hurricane Katrina demolished. The project costs $75,000 through the Habitat for Humanity organization. The churches group hopes to go south by about September and build the house inside three weeks' time. They'll call it the "River Falls Church House." The River Falls churches involved - St.
About 200 victims in Pierce and St. Croix counties reported sexual assaults in 2005. And that's just the few who report the crime. Even scarier: Half of those were between the ages of 14 and 16 years old and statistics say that only one of every 10 sexual assaults gets reported. Kristi Pavek should know. She's trained and practiced as a sexual-assault nurse examiner (SANE) and is the driving force behind the first-ever sexual-assault response team (SART) crisis center opening in River Falls this year.
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to have engineering consultant SEH start plans for a roundabout (circular intersection) where Cemetery Road and Wasson and Knollwood Lanes intersect. City Engineer Reid Wronski fielded questions and presented a detailed proposal summarizing the benefits of a roundabout: Safety, pedestrian friendly, economical, low maintenance and equipped to handle the volume generated by nearby schools, businesses and development.
Tuesday's election fills the four available council seats with unopposed candidates. The mayor, two at-large alderpersons and a new District Four alderperson take office after the city finalizes the process with votes.
Most local residents agree that Main Street needs new businesses. Peter McCarty brings one this spring - a pawn shop - to 117 N. Main, where River Falls Home Furnishings used to be. "I'm shooting for June 1st for a grand opening," McCarty said. "I'm hoping to have it open before then. We'll probably be open six days a week with shortened hours on Saturday." He hasn't decided exactly what to name the business yet.
The city composting site at 901 Locust St. (by the school-bus garage) opened for residents during the early 1990s. Today it looks more like a landfill than a resource. Nobody knows for sure how it got that way, but new Public Works Superintendent Frank Gaillard is taking steps to turn the site around. He's been on the job since late January and was surprised to find the compost site piled high with asphalt, concrete, wood and construction materials. Materials that do belong at the site are all mixed together and not usable because of the mixing.
Kimberly Schoessow won the title Fairest of the Fairs at January's Wisconsin Association of Fairs Convention in Green Bay. She began her duties right after that as an ambassador for fairs and the dairy industry. The position won't allow her to be a sleeping beauty all summer. She goes on a whirlwind tour of Wisconsin's fairs the Monday after graduating from UW-River Falls on May 13. "I can't believe it's here," Schoessow said of graduation. Schoessow grew up on a farm near Mequon, but has lived in River Falls for the past four years of college.
"People are drawn to moving water, they want to hear it and see it," said Margaret Smith, marketing and membership coordinator at the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust (KRLT). National River Cleanup Week comes to River Falls May 20, when KRLT-organized volunteers take to the river banks and remove trash. Workers scour the lower, middle and upper parts of the Kinnickinnic River (Kinni) looking for things that don't belong. Margaret Smith of KRLT organizes the event, coordinating volunteers and other resources needed to clean up the river.
Donna Karis works for Treasures from the Heart and remembers one couple who came in and did all their Christmas shopping with $100 each. They remarked that they never could have done that at a mall or other large retailer, especially considering that each item was unique. Other downtown business owners have commented to Treasures employees about traffic the store generates, and they're usually not complaining. "We feel like we're part of the community," Karis said. River Falls' Treasures from the Heart celebrates its three-year anniversary Friday.