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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Morgan Kivel, 10, Megan Latham, 11, Sophia Kivel, 7, Sydney Kivel, 9, and Hannah Latham, 8, were hanging out at the Tri-Angels Playground in Hoffman Park recently, and went over to use some blue bikes near First National Bank of River Falls Field. They noticed some of the bikes' tires weren't pumped up. There also weren't enough bikes for each of the girls to use, said the Kivels' mother, Robin. "We said, 'what if we bought new bikes, 'cause these aren't very good?'" said Morgan Kivel. "And we just raised money after that."
As of Sept. 1, County Road MM will be renamed. Back in 2014, the city of River Falls, town of Troy and St. Croix County made an agreement, related to construction of the Radio Road interchange, according to City Engineer Reid Wronski. As a part of the Radio Road interchange, Wronski said, County Road U was rerouted so it no longer connected with Highway 35 by Arrow Building Center, but instead extended down Chapman Drive.
River Falls previous EMS Director Jeff Rixmann stepped down in late November 2017 to accept a position as Community Relations Coordinator for River Falls EMS. Dave Matteson served as interim EMS Director, starting in November, through an agreement with Allina. City Communications Manager Mary Zimmermann said the city started recruiting for a new director in early 2018. That new director has been chosen. Jason Stroud officially started Monday, Aug. 27.
The River Falls Community Arts Base is preparing for its "signature event" and this year, it will be bigger than ever, according to CAB President Steve Preisler. This year's Art on the Kinni is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8. The number of artist booths is now at the highest CAB has had for AOK, Preisler said. This year's event will see CAB hosting 85 artist booths. Of those 85, nine artists will be on the Budding Artist's Bridge. That's also the largest number of newer artists to fill the bridge at Art on the Kinni.
Candice Skow thought last Monday, Aug. 13 was just a normal day. She took her daughter to the orthodontist, and came home. "I was just told we have to be home by 2," Skow said. "Then my sister-in-law showed up. I thought 'oh, they're going to send me back-to-school shopping,' or something like that. And then my mom showed up, and I thought, 'OK, this is weird.'" Then, Skow noticed that everyone was watching the door.
River Falls will begin the Integrated Licensing Process and settlement agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to relicense the city's hydroelectric facilities for the final time, as approved at the River Falls City Council's Feb. 27 meeting.
The city of River Falls' Historic Preservation Commission was recently asked to view historical artifacts belonging to the city and stored in city facilities, and to view the River Falls Academy building and make a list for the school board of items that might have historic significance and could be preserved when the older editions of the building are taken down. According to City Communications Manager Mary Zimmermann, there are no immediate plans for the items stored in city facilities.
On Aug. 7, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal by the town of Troy to a previous decision by St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge R. Michael Waterman in which he had ruled against the town's challenge of a city of River Falls annexation.
After decades of operation, Perkins of River Falls closed its doors for the last time Sunday afternoon, Aug. 12. It was the place to go for many after church on Sundays, as seen by the packed parking lot on those days. Brittany Munger checked into Perkins and wrote a public Facebook post, saying, "Last day here... I just can't believe it! I've been coming here for my entire life!! #saveperkins." Hannah McCurdy commented on that post, "We used to be regulars where everyone knows your name." Martha Lynch Guerrette commented "Sad when a family owned business closes."
River Falls City Council Member Diane Odeen has been on the city's Utility Advisory Board since she was first elected to the council in 2013. Earlier this summer, Odeen represented River Falls Municipal Utilities and WPPI Energy (of which RFMU is a member-utility) at the American Public Power Association (APPA) National Conference in New Orleans. "I learned that public power is a big deal," Odeen said. "RFMU is not huge - we have around 6,700 customers—but it is part of a national organization that represents 2,000 public utilities serving 49 million people."