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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As Americans are "dreaming of a White Christmas," and snow is covering the ground, River Falls High School exchange student Muneeb Kamran is enjoying his snowy experience. "The snow has been fun," he said. "I haven't seen snowfall before coming to U.S. and it was a pretty good experience." "The first time it snowed...it was night, but me and my host brothers went out and built a snowman." When Kamran came to the U.S. from Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, for his exchange trip, he hoped to find find diversity, and business learning.
The River Falls Public Library has announced the winners of its annual gingerbread contest.
One local kitty is looking for a home for Christmas. The orange tabby male, who is being called "Jack," was found by Katie Chafee's sister Gina. Gina called Chaffee when she found the cat. She is caring for the cat now, and said Jack seems to be too much of a house cat to fare very well in the great outdoors. This approximately two-year-old intact male had either escaped or been dumped on Swedish Mission Road, a short country road about two miles west of River Falls.
Derek Washington found the Unitarian Universalist Society of River Falls during a time in his life when he was questioning life and spirituality. He found the UU, which encourages "a free and responsible search for truth," to fit his spiritual needs, after meeting previous UUSRF minister Ted Tollefson at a ministerium gathering. Washington has a background in ministry, so when Tollefson announced his plans to move on from the UUSRF, Washington did some soul-searching and decided he wanted to apply to fill the vacant minister position.
Ann Dusek started working for the River Falls School District in 1987. Now — 29 years later — she's ready to see what retirement has to offer. "I'm just going to see what new adventures there are out there to experience," Dusek said. "I have a couple little places I'm going to volunteer, and I have grandchildren and children, and I'm just going to spend and enjoy more time with them. "Go to lunch with old girlfriends. Shopping. Craft sales. Sleep in."
By about 6:45 p.m. last Thursday, the public library's lower level was packed with an estimated 340 people. They were all came to learn more and express themselves on what city employees have called the biggest decision River Falls has ever made. It all revolves around the future of the Kinnickinnic River, and its two dams. "This is a historic project," said Mayor Dan Toland in a brief presentation of the project to the city.
UW-River Falls Professor Matt Dooley discovered his love of mapping while doing fieldwork in archeology and anthropology. "We were mapping archaeological sites," he said. "It was just my favorite part of the job." That was how he got into mapping. But his mapping path took an explosive new turn in 2014 when he saw an art class doing gunpowder drawing in the kiln yard. That was how Dooley discovered a new way to make maps — with a bang. Dooley's fellow UWRF professor, Randy Johnston, helped him get his start using gunpowder drawing to create maps.
A fairly new tattoo parlor has opened at 112 N. Main St., Suite A. Owner Michael Seidling said the shop’s name is a nod to local history – history dating back to the mid-19th century. “Greenwood is what this town was called when they founded it,” he said. So, he named his business Greenwood Tattoo Parlor. The shop opened in early October, and so far, Seidling said, things are going very well. Seidling is joined by tattoo artist and piercer Greg Ellyson and tattoo artist Cree Shoe. Seidling said being a tattoo artist has been like living a dream.
Hammond resident Al Rolek now has a much shorter drive to work. Formerly employed in the Minneapolis metro area, Rolek is the new finance director for the city of River Falls. The commute to River Falls is much nicer than the drive to the Twin Cities, Rolek said. And so far, everything has gone very well with his new job.
Starting Dec. 5, those driving through the south side of River Falls likely noticed a change in the view. Workers began taking down the River Falls Motel Monday and Tuesday. “It looks so much bigger and nicer,” said City Community Development Director Buddy Lucero of the cleared-away space at 1300 S. Main St. Lucero said removing the empty corner motel -- there were five buildings -- is a good move for the city.