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After 29 years on the job, Neal Gilbertson worked his last day at the River Falls street maintenance department Monday. Gilbertson retired from the city after almost three decades of plowing streets, repairing potholes and putting up street signs.
A smiling, bubbly bundle of enthusiastic energy has worked all summer preparing to inject added school spirit into high school football-game crowds. River Falls High School's sponsored cheerleading program was cut several years ago due to budget constraints.
LaVerne Zastrow went to the last City Council meeting wanting to know what happened to her 15-year-old flowering fire almond bush. It's been whacked off to a stump. Neither she nor the city knows why. Zastrow assumes city crews or contractors cut the bush down because it caused a problem for utilities or interfered with a drivers' line of sight. She addressed the City Council during the public comment portion, asking for an explanation.
During his 40 years as a UW-River Falls math professor, Lyndon Weberg used an extra big computer screen to teach classes. He used textbooks printed on huge sheets with large print. He brings a telescope to football games so he can see the players and to church so he can see the singers and preacher's facial expressions. He often carries a bag of devices around to help him see and calls it the "Weberg compensation bag." Why would he do this?
The Kinnickinnic River provides a perfect backdrop of natural beauty for the Community Arts Base's (CAB) annual Art on the Kinni event. It's a popular all-day juried art fair that hit over 3,000 people attending last year. Artists display their work; food vendors offer yummy treats; musicians alternate jam sessions on two different stages while some simply stroll through the crowds; and kids cut loose their creativity at the free children's art tent. And the best part: Admission to the art fair is free, free, free. Amble along the river and see it all from 9 a.m.
Teachers at River Falls' private schools have been busily planning, preparing and putting their classrooms in order. What changes are in store for students? What does each school offer? Here's the scoop: Good Shepherd Christian Academy Administrator/Principal/Teacher Jennifer Beierman said the biggest change at Good Shepherd Christian Academy is that the school will become independent of Abundant Life Church, which is next door. "Now the school will be run by a parent board and not attached to the church at all," said Beierman.
Mert Timmerman's friends and family gathered around him Monday at a surprise luncheon in his honor. It wasn't unusual when longtime friend Sen. Sheila Harsdorf asked Timmerman to lunch and brought him to The West Wind Supper Club. Only this time, there were a few dozen people waiting to greet and honor him. "He's a neat man and really sets a good example," said Harsdorf. One friend wished him a happy birthday and several others spoke about what he means to them, praising his outspoken and outgoing nature.
The Plan Commission decided last Tuesday night not to recommend that City Council make an early neighborhood notification (ENN) law. Planning Director Buddy Lucero said he and his staff drafted the law in response to citizen concerns heard during the city's comprehensive planning process.
Glenda Zielski moved to the River Falls area when her husband Dennis Zielski got a job as a special education teacher in Ellsworth. "I told him I'd stay a year," said Glenda. That was 31 years ago. Zielski retires this week from her job as WelLHaven Senior Apartments administrator. She began her social-work career as an assistant at River Falls' Lutheran Home Campus and earned a promotion to campus administrator by age 26.
After 31 years in Ellsworth, Health Centered Dentistry is moving to River Falls in December. Dr. John Laughlin (pronounced lock-lin) and his staff helped break ground at the new building site last week Tuesday. Ross & Associates of River Falls and Grube Architects of Stillwater, Minn., have finished the major parts of design, and construction will begin within weeks. The new location is near the River Falls Town Hall, east of Hwy. 65 at 902nd St.