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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Reider Loomis, 9, and Xander Lavasseur, 5, found the River Falls Days Medallion near Royal Credit Union's electric box, which has a fish painted on it. They started hunting in the rain at about noon, and found the medallion shortly before 4 p.m. Loomis and Lavasseur said they were very excited to win. Their prize is $250 in Chamber checks. See more River Falls Days photos here at riverfallsjournal.com.
Wisconsin residents now have the options of registering to vote online. Those wishing to register online can do so at myvote.wis.gov. There have been about 45,510 online registrations since that feature went live in January, according Wisconsin Elections Commission public information officer Reid Magney. People have been able to look up their own voter records online for years, using their name and date of birth. In the early 2000s, the website was updated to allow military voters to request an absentee ballot overseas.
Denny Marchel is working hard to reach his dreams. Little by little he's been seeing one start to come true. He plans to race a car at the Bonneville Speedway this year. This all started about a year and a half ago when Marchel, a Vietnam veteran, found out he had prostate cancer and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society website, research has shown a potential link between exposure to Agent Orange and CLL.
River Falls is again gearing up for River Falls Days. This year's celebration will look just a little bit different, said Chamber of Commerce Marketing and Communications Specialist Meghann Witthoft. "I'm most excited about the integration of the main stage activity," Witthoft said. This year both daytime kids activities and evening live music will be performed from the main stage. Witthoft said this will bring the festival together and make it "feel more connected."
When Rachel Gee woke up Friday, June 22, she said she was heartbroken to find her front door had been covered in racial slurs. The graffiti appeared to have been done in permanent marker, according to River Falls Police Chief Gordon Young. Gee's neighbor, Sabrina Hightower's, door was also graffitied. Gee said it was "hurtful and scary" to see the slurs on her door, which included "Go Back to Africa" and much profanity.
The loved ones of Nicholas (Nick) Karolides are preparing to celebrate his life on July 7. Karolides died "peacefully in his sleep" surrounded by family, according to his obituary. He was just two months shy of his 90th birthday. As his loved ones prepare to celebrate his life, they also shared memories of the huge impact he had on those around him, on his family and in the community. A lifetime of impact
The River Falls Police Department is looking for information about two homes that were recently vandalized with racial slurs. The doors of two homes were reportedly written on in permanent marker. The writing said "Go Back to Africa" and also included several racial slurs and profanity. The homes were located in the 400 block of Kennedy Street and the 400 block of Griffey Street. The vandalism happened between 9 p.m. Thursday, June 21, and 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 22.
Those driving through the intersection at Main Street and Cascade Avenue Monday evening around 4-5 p.m. could see people gathered at each corner, holding signs and chanting. More than 130 people attended, according to Dr. Jackie Brux, who organized the event with Rev. Barb deSouza. Brux said those who joined in the rally were there to speak against new immigration policies of separating children from parents, and eliminating gang violence and domestic violence as reasons for granting asylum to those seeking it in the United States.
The River Falls School District has been working hard on planning projects stemming from two referendum questions passed on the April 3 ballot. The referendum questions were as follows:
Major news media has been filled with pictures of immigrant children in recent days. The accompanying stories say these children have been separated from their parents, and held away from them in separate facilities. Many have spoken out against this policy of separating children from parents. Locally, those numbers include Dr. Jackie Brux and Rev. Barb deSouza.