Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previouly 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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Cmdr. Brian Sittlow of the U.S. Navy Submarine Force, a Roberts native, is being honored with a prestigious peer-nominated award, recognizing the highest standard of excellence in personal character, example and leadership. Sittlow is the commander of the submarine USS Boise, which is based at Naval Station, Norfolk, Va. Sittlow is receiving the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award (Stockdale Leadership Award), an annual award established by the U.S.
People in the Roberts area have a new place to shop these days. Hackman Town and Country opened at 801 Wagner Drive in Roberts on May 12. Owners Ivan and Brenda Hackman say the store offers something for everyone - hardware, lifestyle feed, gifts, rentals, garden, paint, plumbing, electrical, auto and home. Since moving to the community nine years ago, the Hackmans said they always felt there was a need for a hardware and general store in Roberts. Market research provided by Hardware Hank and Purina confirmed their thoughts.
The Hammond and Roberts Lions Clubs hosted a successful truck and tractor pull last Saturday. Between 300 and 400 spectators attended the Saturday afternoon pull in the Roberts Village Park on Aug. 27. All profits from the pull go to the Roberts Food Pantry, which serves families in the St. Croix Central School District. While the donation total has yet to be calculated, Roberts Lions President Gene Hanson said he believes the pull raised more money this year than previous years, due to increased attendance and food and beverage sales.
Chris Kober has finally achieved the goal he's had since age three. "I remember playing when I was like three, four years old as a cop," said Kober. "I have pictures of me even dressed up like a cop that young." Kober was hired by the River Falls Police Department Jan. 4, 2011, and just finished his training. Kober has served in the United States Air Force Security Forces, and was a security officer at River Falls Area Hospital before he joined the RFPD. When he was young, Kober told people who asked that he wanted to be a police officer when he grew up.
With the 2011-12 school year fast approaching, students in River Falls are buying supplies to prepare. They aren't the only ones preparing. The River Falls schools are gearing up for the new school year too, and there are new programs, new staff, and more at each. River Falls High School is starting a new intramural program.
Kelly Gregg was about to take a bite of a piece of papaya, when a Capuchin monkey jumped onto her lap from a nearby tree, and snatched it from her hand. It was one of six apparently hungry monkeys who came to steal Gregg's group's papaya. The monkeys weren't zoo escapists--they were wild white-faced Capuchin monkeys in a rainforest near the Panama Canal. Gregg was part of a group of 15 RFHS students (13 current students, 2 alumni) that spent Aug. 1 to Aug. 10 in Panama, studying wildlife, and meeting the locals.
LeKenneth Miller is one of the newest members of a drum line that has been growing in popularity since starting in 2008. Miller is one of four alternates on the Vikings Skol line. The Skol, a drum line, began as a new type of game-day entertainment for the Minnesota Vikings' home games, according to the Skol line page of the football team's website. The ensemble of 20 percussionists and four alternates plays at the Mall of America every game day, and at certain special events.
On Thursday, Aug. 25, parents and kids can check out the new Little Minds Learning Center building, and learn more about the new daycare that will have kids playing with play dough, finger-paint, and learning Spanish and sign language. Megan Gaulke, director of the River Falls location of Little Minds Learning Center, said she hopes the open house will show families that Little Minds is not an average daycare. "We use what's called 'high reach curriculum' as our base," said Gaulke.
From classic sports cars to a 1910 model T, cars lined up and drove around River Falls Main Street for the third of four Summer Cruze ins put on by the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. Many cruze in visitors stopped to look at Debbie Brannigan's 1910 Model T ford. Debbie and her husband Pat say they've driven the car to Mount Rushmore three times, but this is their first cruise in. Not everyone brought a car to the cruze in.
As early as this fall, preliminary construction could begin on the newest housing development in River Falls, Habitat for Humanity's EcoVillage. Area residents aren't the only ones watching EcoVillage's progress. Larry Gluth, senior vice president for US & Canada's Habitat of Habitat for Humanity International, has also been following the project's progress closely. Jim Farr, executive director of the local St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity, met Gluth at a national conference and talked with him about the EcoVillage project.