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A person giving care to a loved one with dementia told River Falls resident Nancy Abrahamson that the experience was like "heading west in a covered wagon with no map." Abrahamson, the caregiver support coordinator for the St. Croix County Aging and Disability Resource Center, said that situation is played out more and more often as the instances of dementia rise. A demonstrated and vocalized need in the community prompted an upcoming pair of free, educational workshops.
The Kinnickinnic River Land Trust announced the morning of Friday, April 19, that due to the weather, it has postponed the annual cleanup event scheduled for Saturday, April 20. The tentative new date is Saturday, April 27. KRLT notified via e-mail all those registered for the cleanup but asks for people to spread the word about the cancellation.
A neighbor saw heavy smoke billowing from a detached garage at 715 W. Walnut St. and called 911, bringing multiple fire trucks and at least a dozen firefighters to the scene to battle flames inside the structure. Witnesses and bystanders at the scene say no one was inside the building, and no people were injured. County property records show David W. and Hattie L. Vandervorst as owners of the home and garage; on-scene officials and bystanders said Tim Wolff rents the home and garage from Vandervorst.
The news of a River Falls Bar Crawl -- about to happen for the fourth year in a row -- climbed to a higher profile as people mentioned in recent public meetings that neither the city nor the chamber host, organize or sanction the event. The event happens noon-7 p.m. Saturday, April 13, along Main Street. It involves about 15 downtown businesses including 12 bars. Generally speaking, opponents say it encourages bad behavior, leaves behind litter and vomit and isn't the kind of image River Falls wants to project.
Andrew Gott opened a salon on 703A N. Main St. two weeks ago offering what many people might see as an unusual combination of services: Haircuts and coloring, as well as free hearing tests and customized hearing aids. "Communication is the pathway to success," said Gott last week, "Both modes of service help people to feel better and relate more positively in their social circles." The hair and hearing expert lives in Minneapolis. He says he picked River Falls for a new-business location after analyzing western Wisconsin demographics.
Riverwalk Art and Antiques opened Monday its second expansion since starting in July 2011, adding 600 square feet of space to its lower-level retail area inside the building at 127 N. Main St. The hobbyist pottery studio, Kinni Clayworks, moved two doors down to 126 N. Riverwalk and will continue to offer group lessons, parties and demonstrations of pottery making. The move means extra space for Riverwalk, which now occupies the entire lower level.
The Relay for Life of Pierce County starts 6 p.m. Friday, April 5, and ends 8 a.m. Saturday, April 6, at the high school, and each year hundreds of people pour into the River Falls High School each year to walk, talk, play, eat and otherwise participate. As it happens, legions of cancer survivors, caregivers and supporters keep walking through the night to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
The formal-looking invitation contains no typos and specifically says: "Your absence is requested." The Kinnickinnic Backpack Program, a part of Our Neighbors' Place emergency shelter and Day Center, organized the fundraiser -- the first one organized by and for the KBP. The invite suggests not that people attend an event but instead send a donation to the KBP for what guests would have spent on an evening out -- any time before April 20. Organizers sent about 600 invitations but emphasize that people need not have received a mailer to participate.
The River Falls Chamber of Commerce will present the 3rd annual Bluegrass and Roots Music Festival April 5-7. It includes at least a dozen artists playing 14 different venues, with many free performances throughout the weekend. Hear traditional bluegrass, roots, Cajun and mixes of music; attend workshops to explore the basics of ukulele or banjo; witness or compete in the flatpicking or the new-this-year singer/songwriter contests; join in an open jam; or come to an antiques event where people bring their treasures to be valued.
Spring brings for teens thoughts of prom, graduation, summer vacation, parties -- and every three years, a convincing mock-car crash. The high-school-based group Students Offering Support will stage a bad car accident 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, in the parking lot of the Wildcat Centre, 861 Cemetery Road. A core group of 12 in the 60-member SOS group has been meeting weekly to organize. The students said last week they stage the fake crash every three years so that each student experiences it at least once during high school.