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River Falls expects to approve and pass its 2013 operating budget at the Nov. 27 City Council meeting, according to City Administrator Scot Simpson's words at the Nov. 13 City Council meeting. The budget for 2013 includes a 2.7% tax-levy increase to generate the $41,347,346 required to run the city. Final, assessed values are not yet available since the city must wait for some information to come from other agencies, such as the counties and state.
When the seas of life grow choppy, the Assistance and Resource Center of River Falls shines a beacon across the rough waters. Maybe a metaphor best describes how ARC offers hope and help of many kinds to people who live within the River Falls School District. It recently formed a fundraising partnership with the River Falls Baseball Council, which is working toward breaking ground in 2013 on a new community baseball field in the east part of Hoffman Park. The recent agreement gives ARC 20% of the proceeds from ball field bricks and seats people buy between now and Feb. 28.
The community reacted swiftly and strongly in its outreach to the Waletzko family -- Dan, Sandy, Laura, Michael and Natasha -- who were displaced from their home after a devastating fire Tuesday night, Nov. 13. Sandy said all family members escaped the home unhurt and were able to take shelter at her parents' home in Stillwater, Minn. She said the family found a rental home in River Falls not far from Meyer Middle School where they moved Sunday, Nov. 18.
The Coalition for a Compassionate Community rescheduled Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe as a guest speaker for 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, in the lower level of the River Falls Public Library, 140 Union St. The CCC had helped organize a mid-October Unity Day at the middle and high schools, securing Kluwe as a guest speaker willing to visit both schools.
A sale event starting next week warrants 'news status' with its combination of seasonal appeal, well-known donors, a local church and dozens of Nativity scenes -- also called manger sets, cribs, and, in French, crèches. The children of Wayne and Marian Wolfe decided while settling their parents' estate to donate the bulk of their mother's Nativity-scene collection to the First Congregational United Church of Christ.
The City Council voted yes at its meeting Tuesday night to change how the city's pay scale works, from one geared toward union-contract negotiation to one deemed a "hybrid" of the step- and performance-based pay ranges. The city's contracts with its three groups of unionized employees expire Dec. 31. The new system takes effect Jan 1, 2013, with full implementation in 2014, overseen by City Administrator Scott Simpson and Human Resources Director Karen Bergstrom. Simpson said in a memo that Act 10 means only police may still bargain over working conditions, hours and pay.
The tale of a new yarn shop unfolds as owner Emily Higgins winds up months of work to open the Pretty Darn Good Yarn Shop, LLC, at 104 N. Main St., for the first time Thursday, Nov. 15. She said last week that much of her inventory had been stacking up in storage at her parents' house. Other parts of it were delayed coming from the East Coast after super storm Sandy left loads of damage in her wake. Higgins said Friday that she expects the floor space to have a few gaps until all merchandise arrives.
Around 9:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 5, an earth mover chomped into the 19th-century Foster-family home -- first taking the transom over an upper-story window then gutting the inside before taking down the outside walls. Within 40 minutes, only a pile of rubble remained on the two-acre site next to Lake George.
Students at the River Falls High School are working feverishly toward opening night -- when the curtain goes up in their home-turf auditorium for three one-act plays produced and directed by creative-minded teens in the Drama Club.
Local 'motorman' Eric Romanowicz gives a pretty simple answer when asked how he got into sport-engine repair: "I bought a bike (motorcycle) when I was 18 and wanted to know how to fix it." Romanowicz attended a trade school in Arizona after graduating River Falls High School in 1992. Fifteen years ago he found a job at Mondus Motorsports in Hudson. The business sells new Yamaha bikes, snowmobiles, ATVs, personal watercraft and generators, as well as some Honda products. That started him on a path that led to the Oct.