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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Hudson resident August Hoffman runs a community vegetable garden with students. The foods produced are donated to local food centers and food pantries. "This time of year we also visit several apple orchards in Wisconsin and Minnesota," Hoffman said, "and the leftover apples are harvested by our students and donated to local food centers." Originally from Los Angeles, California, Hoffman has lived in Hudson for about 10 years, and teaches psychology at Metropolitan State University.
City staff and consultants from the firm SEH spent Wednesday evening through Saturday last week (Oct. 25-28) working together to create some design concepts and visual representations for the way different areas of the Kinnickinnic River Corridor may look in the future. The charrette kicked off with an open public meeting Wednesday night. Designers worked Thursday and Friday on creating designs based on input shared by community members.
Signs written on UW-River Falls campus sidewalks in chalk pointed students in the direction of Hagestad Hall last Tuesday through Thursday, Oct. 24-26. Those who followed the signs stepped inside a door, and found a fenced off area indoors. Inside groups of students took turns petting several puppies and dogs. “I’m having a bad week, but this puppy makes it all better,” said Kelsey Shaw, holding and petting a tiny puppy.
Two River Falls schools were recognized by the character education organization Character.org this year: River Falls High School and Greenwood Elementary. Character education has been a continuing effort in the River Falls School District for years. Sunshine fund The River Falls High School Sunshine Fund earned a "Promising Practices" award, presented at a conference in Washington, D.C. High school principal Kit Luedtke said the Sunshine Fund shows a display of "student compassion and empathy and caring for others in the community."
The three $25 winners of the Art Crawl Trivia Contest, which took place Saturday, Oct. 21 downtown River Falls were Barb Hunter of River Falls, Kateri Richter of Mendota Heights, Minnesota, and Vicki Foster of River Falls.
The River Falls School District's tax levy is set to go down for 2018 taxes, according to district Finance Director Chad Smurawa. The annual budgeting process for Wisconsin schools is a long one, Smurawa said. It starts about a year ahead of the actual budget year. "Many factors go into the budget building process," Smurawa said. "And the School District of River Falls Board of Education always takes a very conservative approach in estimating each of those factors so that there is not a 'surprise' property tax rate increase."
River Falls High School senior Marcus Califf, 18, spent the 2016-17 school year in Lecco, Italy. The son of Bill and Jenny Califf, Marcus plans to go to college and "study something involving business" after he graduates. He shared some memories from his trip with the Journal. How did you decide to go on an exchange trip? I had seen two of my cousins do exchange with Rotary before me, so I always had a pretty good idea that I wanted to do an exchange trip at some point. Why did you decide to travel to Italy?
Those walking along Main Street Saturday, Oct. 21, will see more than the usual offerings in 16 local businesses. Those businesses are hosting a combined total of 26 artists for the River Falls Community Arts Base (CAB)'s annual Main Street Art Crawl, set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 "It's a special time to patronize local businesses and see the work of our wonderful River Falls area artists while getting in some early Christmas shopping," said CAB president Steve Preisler.
As the Kinni Corridor Committee's work continues, the community's input is being sought through a four-day long corridor planning event. A design charrette is set for Wednesday, Oct. 25 through Saturday, Oct. 28. "Three-and-a-half days of an interactive discussion is probably the best way for me to describe it," said SEH project consultant Mark Lobermaier. The charrette will start with a public presentation Wednesday evening. Following that, planning and design teams will be available in an open studio set up in the River Falls Public Library.
Brittany Shermach was home in Osceola on her winter/holiday break from UW-River Falls last January, when she came down with what she and her family thought was a bad cold. It later turned out that Brittany had a form of viral encephalitis. She was in a coma for nine days, and spent months in recovery after that. Now, her family has taken their struggle and put it to music, in an album they're calling "The Awakening." The concept album follows the story of Brittany's illness. It all started, said Brittany's mother, Kate Shermach, when Brittany became sick.