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.
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Rocks are everywhere, small, large, grey, brown, earth colors. Most rocks blend into their surroundings, and are given little thought. But soon, River Falls residents may see a blue, yellow, or multicolored rock hiding somewhere around town. The rocks are part of the Kindness Rocks program starting up at Rocky Branch Elementary. "In times where we seem to be divided ever more," said Rocky Branch Principal Chuck Eaton. "This is a type of project that brings people together and inspires hope."
A group of Meyer Middle School students lent a helping "paw" to UW-River Falls students in ADEPT (Assistance Dog Educational Program and Training), formerly known as the Service Dog Training Program during a Paw-A-Thon fundraiser Saturday, May 6 at Hoffman Park. The kids are part of the middle school Lego League robotics team. One of the requirements for the competition they in which they competed was to do a project that helped the community in some way related to the year's theme, said coach Jeremy Odegard. This year's theme was "animal allies."
River Falls firefighters, EMS and police were called to an area near the intersection of Cascade Avenue and Highway 65 for reports of a semi on fire not long before 9:50 p.m. Wednesday, May 10. AT ablut 10 p.m. Smoke coukd be seen coming from the semi, from across Cascade Avenue. No flames appeared visible at that time. River Falls Police closed the intersection of Cascade and Highway 65 during the incident. More information will be added to this report as it becomes available
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) was all ears at River Falls City Hall Monday, May 8 where he held a town hall meeting with constituents. Kind started the meeting by listing his main objectives as a congressperson, those he listed included: creating jobs, reducing healthcare costs, simplifying the tax code, working on infrastructure, fiscal responsibility, the farm bill, protection for social security and medicare, and college affordability. Each participating person was given a chance to speak and ask questions.
The city is working with Guide Studio to make it easier for people — particularly visitors — to find their way around River Falls. But, it's not likely anyone will see any physical changes until next year at the earliest. The City Council approved hiring Guide Studio to create a community signage and wayfinding master plan for the city. Senior Planner Brandy Howe said the master plan aims to guide people easily to where they want to go in River Falls.
A group of middle school students has been meeting regularly—just about every Friday afternoon lately — in the band room. The students are joined by several UW-River Falls students, and band director Mike Fuller. The musical gathering is known as the Harmony Bridge program. Last year was Meyer Middle School's first year in the program, participating in the official pilot program. Fuller said the group actually started the year before that, at Meyer. This year has gone very well, Fuller said.
St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity was looking to reach out to some other nonprofit organizations that work with housing issues. Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence had some water damage, and needed to do some repairs at their shelter. "We thought, what better group to collaborate with, for what's called a Women Build event, than collaborating with a great organization like Turningpoint?" said Sarah Rose, who does community outreach and volunteer coordination for St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity.
Jayne Bradford's husband served as a marine, and retired from law enforcement. Her son served in the U.S. Air Force, her nephew in the U.S. Navy. "I have some pretty close personal acquaintance with people dealing with PTSD, and experiences related to service-induced trauma," she said. "The more I studied PTSD, the more apparent it became that you can't separate the physical aspect from the emotional aspect of PTSD."
River Falls High School's Prom was held Saturday, April 29.
The city of River Falls authorized an agreement Tuesday, April 25 with Guide Studio to provide planning services for a community signage and wayfinding master plan. In 2011, the City Council asked staff to research and develop a plan to improve wayfinding in River Falls. A wayfinding report was given in late 2012, and an advisory group formed. Commitments of support from the city, Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement District are now in line. The council has added $45,000 for this plan to the 2017 budget and an additional $40,000 in the 2018 budget. The council also: