Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.
- Member for
- 5 years 3 months
St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity is current on all its loan payments as of Tuesday, Sept. 12, after 13 months of no payments on a $400,000 loan from the city, according to Assistant City Administrator Julie Bergstrom. The loan was originally given to Habitat in 2012 to fund the Eco Village project, with a 10-year repayment term. In July, SCVHH and the city reached and signed a forbearance agreement, through which the city agrees not to take legal action against SCVHH, provided Habitat meets the terms of the agreement.
The River Falls Public Library's lower level meeting space was packed Thursday, Sept. 7 as the Kinni Corridor Project Committee hosted the final of six "Tech Talks." This talk's theme was recreation, tourism and economics, and featured three speakers, including: • Ed Freer, of SEH, the consulting company working on the Kinni Corridor Project. • Patrick Seeb, director of the Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency in Rochester, Minn. • Bob Kost, of SEH, who spoke about the planning charrette set for Oct. 25-28.
The scent of bacon may linger around town this weekend, as the River Falls Chamber of Commerce gears up for its fifth annual Bacon Bash, set for Saturday, Sept. 16 -and Sunday, Sept. 17. Chamber CEO Chris Blasius said the Bacon Bash is the nation's largest free bacon festival. She's expecting another big turnout this year. "Last year we estimated between 10,000 and 12,000 people through the weekend," Blasius said. The estimated number of visitors is similar. However, as the festival is free, it's difficult to keep track of numbers, Blasius said.
Another record crowd jammed the White Pathway Saturday, Sept. 9 for Art on the Kinni (AOK), River Falls Community Arts Base (CAB) president Steve Preisler said. He said some 5,760 people came out to Veterans and Heritage Parks and the White Pathway to enjoy AOK. Earlier in the day, attendance was lighter, but after the first half hour things really "took off," Preisler said, and didn't slow down until around the last hour of the event. "I talked to every artist and all but a few reported brisk sales," Preisler said.
The River Falls School District is planning a referendum for the April election, pending community feedback. The idea, said District Superintendent Jamie Benson, is to do some long-range planning.
Over the past couple of months, Reubin Herfindahl has seen numbers of people coming into his computer repair shop, Digital Brigade, increase dramatically. Herfindahl said up until recently, he'd see one or two people reporting so-called "Call this number, you have a virus" phishing scams each week. A few weeks ago, he had a dozen customers who had problems related to such a scam. He said numbers have stayed similar. Herfindahl said the "Call this number, you have a virus" phishing scam starts with a phony webpage.
Seventy-five artists are getting set for River Falls Community Arts Base's (CAB) annual Art of the Kinni (AOK) celebration. The 22nd annual AOK is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, in Veteran's Park, Heritage Park, and the Kinnickinnic Trail/White Pathway. CAB President Steve Preisler said 14 of the 75 artists will be making their AOK debut this year. Six artists will be on the "Budding Artist Bridge" — the Veteran's Park bridge — showing their work, some for the first time.
Harold Henson was one of the first artists to take part in the River Falls Community Arts Base's Art on the Kinni event, more than 20 years ago. On Saturday, Aug. 9, Henson will take part in his last Art on the Kinni. Henson's doctor advised him against doing Art on the Kinni, for health reasons. So, he decided to make this year's event his farewell and thank-you to everyone who has supported him over the years.
It's been a busy summer of construction at the Spring Valley Middle/High School. The Spring Valley Board of Education heard construction updates Monday, Aug. 21 on the status of the summer facility projects during its regular meeting. "We're running behind schedule in most of the areas," Superintendent Dr. Donald Haack said. "We'll have it ready by the time kids get in, but we'd hoped to have it pretty well wrapped up by now, and it's going to take the next couple weeks." Haack said that weather has been a factor in delaying work.
Those driving on Main Street past Cascade Avenue in River Falls this weekend may have seen a group of people holding brightly colored signs, rainbow-colored "peace" flags, and more. The group "Rise Up Western Wisconsin" organized a "Rise Up Against Hate" demonstration from 2-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday afternoons, Aug. 19 and 20. The demonstrators' goal was to support unity and diversity in the River Falls community and the country, to provide a reminder that hate groups could operate anywhere, in the aftermath of the recent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.