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
- 4 years 11 months
Last year was declared the "Year of Tomorrow" in this year's River Falls "State of the City" video report, delivered recently to the City Council at a Chamber of Commerce business breakfast event by City Administrator Scot Simpson. "We spent a lot of time on some long term projects," said Simpson about 2017. Some of those projects included the Kinni Corridor Project, Glen Park improvements, infrastructure planning with the North Interceptor Sewer Project, finishing work on the Kinni Trail System, and identifying what the next projects may be.
Our Neighbors' Place Day Center has seen a 90 percent increase in traffic over the last year. Its work with housing assistance and its backpack program have especially grown over the last year. "We want to be able to support these programs," said Our Neighbors' Place Director Jay Matchett. To help support these and other programs to help battle homelessness in the River Falls area, ONP is planning a Casino Night at Kilkarney Hills Golf Course on Feb. 10. Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door.
Bill Rasmussen said he was surprised to be nominated as this year's River Falls Chamber of Commerce citizen of the year. He was also surprised when chamber membership voted to select him as the winner. He said he's curious why he was chosen. "I don't think I did anything out of the ordinary," he said. "I've lived here a long time. I just work here and get involved."
As the snow piled up Monday, Jan. 22 River Falls' snow maintenance staff was working hard to clear roads and keep driving conditions as safe as possible. But even as they worked on the large storm, they were being conscious not to over-use one go-to snow and ice removal tool: salt. "You can overdo salt," said City Operations Director Mike Stifter, "and salt has a real negative effect on the environment." And especially on water resources, like the Kinnickinnic River.
Athletes haven't been the only ones practicing after school, working hard, and preparing for competitions at Meyer Middle School. The MMS Lego Robotics Club's three teams have been working hard, training and competing this year.
Tenth-grader Hunter Jamison has been fishing all his life. When he was in seventh grade, his father gave him the idea to start a fishing club. He brought that idea to life this school year. "I went and talked to Mr. (Kit) Luedtke," Jamison said. "He likes fishing too, so he thought it was a great idea." Jamison said Luedtke helped get the ball rolling, and Jamison started asking teachers if they'd be advisor to the club. Matt Smith agreed to be the advisor.
A crowd packed the River Falls City Council Chambers Monday, Jan. 15 during the River Falls Utility Advisory Board's regular meeting, with many people standing along the back and side of the room. During the meeting the UAB voted to make a recommendation regarding relicensing the city's two hydroelectric dams. The UAB voted to recommend relicensing the Junction Falls hydro facility, and surrendering the license for the Powell Falls facility and removing the dam at some point in the future.
River Falls police liaison officer Chris Gottfredsen heard two River Falls juveniles arguing loudly and using profanity in the River Falls High School lunchroom on Dec. 21. This was during the end of the high school's morning snack break. Both juveniles were cited for disorderly conduct. One received a $98.80 citation. The other received a $187 citation.
Spring Valley is a very different place from what Anna Maute is used to. She's an exchange student from Germany. It's "totally not" what she's used to, but she said she's become fond of the little village. "I really like it," Maute said. So far, she said, she's had a lot of fun. One place she's visited has been the Mall of America. "It's too big," she said of the mall. "We were there the whole day. My feet really hurt. But It was fun."
River Falls is growing closer to making what has been called one of the biggest decisions the city has ever made. The Kinnickinnic River sits at the center of this decision, much as it does within the heart of the city. The decision centers on the future of the city's two hydroelectric dams. It's the first major decision scheduled to be made as part of the city's ongoing Kinni Corridor Project which kicked off in December 2016.