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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Crowds flocked to River Falls July 14-16 for the annual River Falls Days celebration.
Each year teens and young adults come together from all over the country to represent their states in the 4-H National Shooting Sports Championship. This year's Wisconsin competitors included quite a few from Pierce County. The entire Wisconsin Hunting Skills team, for example, is made up of Pierce County youth. For example, River Falls resident April Daniel's three children, Allex, Aaron, and Meggan, each earned their place on one of the state teams representing Wisconsin at the national championship.
The Lazy River Bar and Grill is is no stranger to winning the annual River Falls Burger Battle. The bar just won the burger contest for the third time. The burger battle benefits the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Pierce County/River Falls. It featured eight local restaurants, which all competed to produce the best burger. Diners each purchased a punch card, good for one burger at each location.
Ken Brisson does a lot with his hands. The town of Clifton resident retired after a 35-year career at his Hudson dental practice. He's also been making artwork for years. "I would guess there are certainly a handful or more people who know me from the Hudson area who know that I'm an artist by nature," Brisson said. "But there are probably very few who know that I'm painting watercolor." Brisson started painting watercolors about three years ago, when he was about 65. He and his wife were in Florida, where they spend part of their winters.
Growing up, John Hyland enjoyed English classes in grade school. When he attended Wartburg College, in Waverly, Iowa, he decided to major in English. He later earned a master's degree from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, and a doctorate in English from UW - Madison. Throughout his studies he developed a desire to write "clearly and precisely" and "in interesting ways."
Surprise was Chris Gottfredsen's initial reaction when he found out he'd been named the River Falls Police Officer of the Year. "Later I felt very honored knowing that we have so many excellent officers on this department," Gottfredsen said. Police Chief Gordon Young presented Gottfredsen with the award at the City Council meeting Tuesday, June 27. Young said this was the inaugural Officer of the Year award. "I'm very proud that you're the recipient," Young said to Gottfredsen at the meeting. "It was a tough decision."
When one of hairstylist Cyndi Cashman's employees came to her wanting to take training to be able to work with a Look Good Feel Better program, Cashman decided to go with her. They drove to Tomah for the training session. That was in about 1992. "There wasn't even a place to hold the sessions at that time, and I was busy with my kids, so I didn't think a whole lot about it," Cashman said. "And then my neighbor boy in Prescott got cancer, and lost his hair. He was in elementary school, and he was so affected by it, and didn't want to go to school and stuff."
July has arrived, and with it comes River Falls Days. "River Falls (Days) is such a fun, fun event because it's the one opportunity throughout the year when the community can come together and share what a great place we choose to live, work and play here in River Falls," said Chamber CEO Chris Blasius. "It's fun to see old school students gathering together and having a reunion, it's fun to see the families come together and enjoy the kids' activities and the parade, friends gathering to celebrate. It's just a super-enjoyable event and a great way to celebrate."
Hudson native Amelia Skye Dunlap grew up watching the Miss USA pageant. "I loved watching the different girls compete in their evening dresses," she said, "and seeing the diversity that when on up on this Miss USA Stage." She's also long had a love of performing on stage. So when she came across a Facebook ad for Miss Wisconsin USA auditions, it caught her attention; she applied. She wasn't initially sure she'd go to the auditions, but made a last-minute decision to go for it. "I just had this calling to do it," she said. That was last year.
Chelsea Fiedler grew up in River Falls. Now she is hoping to give back to the community through her new job as executive director of Have a Heart, Inc. "What I'm looking to do is have more community involvement," she said. "Make sure that the community knows we're here, that we're looking to help, that we're looking to better the River Falls community, in our own way." Her mission is to add services that will better the lives of River Falls and St. Croix Valley area residents.