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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Mary Solum is 66, but said she feels like she's 45. She doesn't get backaches from bending over in her garden, and she can play with her grandsons. "I'm able to keep up with them," said Solum, "Not many grandmas like me." And Solum said all of this started when she retired, and started taking Silver Sneakers classes at the River Falls YMCA. "I feel like I'm doing something good for my body," said Solum, "that maybe I'll live longer and enjoy my grandkids longer." Vallie Ericson, 63, has osteoporosis, but said that Y Silver Sneakers classes have improved the condition.
The year Gene McKahan started working at the River Falls Municipal Utilities barcodes were used for the first time, President Nixon was impeached, and postage was 10 cents. Seven presidents and 34 more postage cents later, McKahan retired July 15 after 37 years at the River Falls Municipal Utilities, but he said he isn't going to let that take him away from his hometown. "I'm just retiring" said McKahan, "I'm not going away." McKahan was born in River Falls, graduated in 1967 from River Falls High School, and went to UW-River Falls for three years until he started working at RFMU in 1974.
Not only will customers find the fruits and vegetables they expect to see at the River Falls Farmers' Market, like lettuce, broccoli, peas and carrots, but they will also find a few things they don't necessarily expect to find at that type of setting. For example: Scones, maple syrup, and bread. Lisa Showers' new business, Lisa's Scones, officially opened the first of this month. Saturday, July 23, was her fourth Saturday at the River Falls Farmers' Market selling blueberry almond, cinnamon, raspberry dark chocolate, lemon poppy seed, and chocolate chip scones.
Red Cross donations have always been lower in summer than any other time of year, but this summer, the Red Cross might not have enough blood for everyone who needs it. The Red Cross does normally see a decline in summer blood donation largely because schools are not in session, which means blood drives cannot be held at universities or high schools. These schools, including River Falls High School and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, donate 20% of American Red Cross blood donations for each year.
On Oct. 24, 2010, Amanda and Torey Kauth took their 6-year-old daughter Julia to the walk-in clinic at the River Falls Area Hospital with a bad stomach ache. Soon, she was having a CT scan, and Amanda and Torey were being told their daughter had a "growth" on her kidney. "It was scary because we didn't know what was going on," said Amanda. "We thought maybe appendicitis, worst case." But what Julia had wasn't appendicitis. It was cancer. Julia had a Wilms' tumor.
A River Falls woman has been chosen to be an ambassador, but not the kind with a tiara. Maj. Caroline Jensen of the United States Air Force was recently chosen to become a member of the "Ambassadors in Blue" with the USAF Thunderbirds for the 2012 demonstration season. Jensen, daughter of Gayle and Larry Westrum of River Falls, said she saw a Thunderbirds airshow in 1991, which influenced her decision to join the Air Force. "Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be in the Air Force and the Thunderbirds were a big part of that," said Jensen.
Not only will customers find the fruits and vegetables they expect to see at the River Falls Farmers Market, like lettuce, broccoli, peas and carrots, they will also find a few things they don't necessarily expect to find at a Farmer's Market. For example bread, pastries, and syrup. To find out more surprising things to be found at the River Falls Farmer's Market, read the full story in the July 27 print edition of the River Falls Journal, or visit the Farmer's Market Saturday 8 a.m. to noon, or Tuesday evenings 3 to 6 p.m. at the corner of Locust and Second Streets in River Falls.
St. Croix Valley Tree Service cut down the large maple tree on the Greenwood Elementary School lawn in River Falls because it was threateneing to split in two at any minute and injure anyone standing under it. To find out more about the safety concerns and how the loss of one tree affects all of Greenwood see the article in the July 27 print edition of the River Falls Journal.
Not everyone ends up doing the job they said they would when they were four years old, but on July 11 Michael Page will be doing just that. As a toddler Michael told his father David Page he wanted to become a dentist and work in his father's practice. This Monday David A. Page DDS Family Dentistry will become Page Family Dentistry, and Michael will join his dad's practice at 107 E. Locust St. And Michael and David aren't the only dentists in the family.
Ethel Johnson is an active member of several community organizations, she volunteers working with kids and charities, and she's about to turn 90. Monday, July 18 is Johnson's birthday. It is also Ethel Johnson Day this year, as proclaimed by the River Falls City Council Tuesday July 12. Johnson is involved in the Wisconsin Retired Educators' Association, the American Association of University Women, and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Church's Women's Leadership Conference.