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A Minneapolis-based private transit service will begin running between River Falls and downtown St. Paul starting Tuesday, Jan. 3. Commuters must subscribe for service to reserve a seat on one of the 47-passenger deluxe coach buses. Steve Miller and his dad, John Miller, started Great Rivers Transit with 40 years of busing experience under their belts. They used to run the Contemporary Bus Company.
Claire Hove has been helping the River Falls police department run efficiently for the last 13 years. But this Friday she'll wave goodbye as she goes into retirement. "We're going to ease into it," said Hove of retirement. "We'll see if we can afford it." She's administrative assistant to Police Chief Roger Leque and gave notice back in August. Hove said at first she questioned whether she's doing the right thing, but now she's really excited. She doesn't know yet if she'll work part time but looks forward to not having a schedule.
"There are not two farms the same," said Dan Johnson, son of Orin and Nancy Johnson and one of four family members who work the family farm. Johnson's Dairy sits just west of the city on County Road MM, nestled into 465 acres. Dan explains that there are as many farming techniques as there are farms. Some farms are bigger or more modern, but one thing remains consistent among them all: They do things differently. Dan, Annette and their two kids, Kelsey who's 9 and Cody who's 12, live a stone's throw from Dan's parents.
Dave Paulson could use a revolving door at his new auto-repair shop location. He worked by himself before and specialized only in transmissions and drive lines. Now he and two technicians are doing brisk business. "The only thing we don't do now is body work," laughs Paulson. In one swoop, Paulson expanded his space, services and staff. He went from being Dave's Transmission to being Dave's Auto and Transmission. He's having a new sign made for the business that should be up within the next few weeks.
The city's been looking for a way to provide better access to and from the original River Falls Industrial Park. An extension of Benson Street might be the solution. Soon engineers will start studying the possibility of extending Benson Street up to Quarry Road. Benson Street now dead ends just past Troy Street. The park lies north of town and east of Main Street, between Summit Street and Quarry Road. Drivers can now only get into the area by turning off of Main Street onto either Summit Street or Mound View Road.
It's now been a year since I moved to this area from Texas. The anniversary came and went quietly, but not without some reflection about how the upper Midwest compares to Dallas. I'll take summers here over summers there. We ran our window-unit air conditioner only a handful of times, and not once did I sweat while running the hair dryer. People here aren't grouchy and delirious from three months of unrelenting 100-plus-degree heat. Winter here presents a bigger challenge, but I think my blood is thickening. I can walk to the mailbox or garage without outerwear.
Hunting season helps control the area's growing deer population, but is it effective enough? Troy Kusilek doesn't think so. "The hunters aren't really getting the job done," he said. "A lot of times they're just wounding the deer." For example, nobody wants an injured deer showing up to die on their property, possibly upsetting youngsters.
Looking at "innards" just got faster, easier and more detailed than it's ever been at River Falls Area Hospital. The hospital bought a new machine this summer that brings higher technology and more accuracy than before. The new computerized tomography (CT) scanner looks like a giant, white donut. Patients lie down and slide through the middle of the donut, and the machine takes detailed pictures of whatever parts or organs need to be examined.
The bulldozer took only one day to do its work - scooping and crushing bits of the farmhouse that had stood on the Cernohous farmstead for more than 100 years. Five generations of history unfolded there, making it hard to say goodbye. "The thought was in our heads every day that, gosh, this house is such a piece of history," said Sherri Cernohous. She and her husband, Dave, loved the old house - located on County Road MM just west of River Falls - but also had the good fortune of being able to build a new home in practically the same spot. The Cernohouses kept a close eye on the new house
It all started in a basement 10 years ago when PressEnter owners Steve and Deena Reisman had the idea of starting a business. Steve had already been hosting a bulletin board system (BBS) service, back in the "dark ages" when e-mails were stored then sent. They didn't travel instantaneously back then like they do now. When he heard about River Falls wanting to bring Internet access to the city, he said to Deena "Hey, why don't we do that?" She replied, "Sure, dear.