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 people all over the world celebrated Earth Day, Town of Kinnickinnic residents husband and wife Peter Bloch and Bonnie Rubenstein went the extra mile — or thousand miles, give or take, — to Washington, D.C. The trip was dual-purpose, Bloch said. They went to celebrate his brother's birthday, and see him perform in a play at Ford's Theater, but they also went to join thousands of others in the March for Science.
Most garage sales are organized as a way to earn a little extra cash, but one upcoming garage sale is free. Instead of earning money, Greenwood Elementary students learn about character as they collect items for the free garage sale, dubbed "The Great Greenwood Giveaway." Set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 29 in the Greenwood Elementary gym, is one of two school-wide service learning projects under the character education umbrella, said Principal Nate Schurman. The other is a neighborhood leaf-raking event.
River Falls Police Department is gearing up for a big bike ride around town — This year's Torch Run is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 3. "In prior years, we've gone from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls up to St. Croix County Government Center in Hudson," said River Falls officer Ryan Miller. "We are staying in town this year, so it'll be a 10-mile loop around town." The new route, Miller said, hits landmarks in town like UWRF, Glen Park, DeSanctis Park, Hoffman Park, the downtown area, The White Pathway, and more.
Many people gathered at the St. Bridget School playground for the sixth annual Take Back the Night rally and March Thursday evening, April 21. Visitors could stop at various booths all aimed at spreading awareness of sexual assault. The St. Croix Valley Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), and Turningpoint For Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence were two of the groups present at the rally and march. The event finished with a candlelight vigil.
The 2017 River Falls Community Arts Base (CAB) Spring Arts GALA is set for 6 - 11 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at the River Falls Golf Club, 2120 E. Division St. The event includes a silent art auction, fine art raffle, community silent auction, hors d'oeuvres and live music featuring the Kinni Creek Boys and The Fish Heads. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. CAB members recieve a $5 discount. Three artists featured in this year's raffle are Bob Lambert, Paul Haskins and Suzanne Skuban. Bob Lambert
A group of Meyer Middle School students are getting ready to lend a helping "paw" to UW-River Falls students in ADEPT (Assistance Dog Educational Program and Training), formerly known as the Service Dog Training Program. The kids are part of the middle school Lego League robotics team. One of the requirements for the competition they in which they competed was to do a project that helped the community in some way related to the year's theme, said coach Jeremy Odegard. This year's theme was "animal allies."
After more than three weeks, the Kinni Cafe will be ready to reopen Monday, April 24. "We are very eager to get open and see everybody again," said owner Chelsea Leighton. Leighton owns the restaurant with Frank Balazi. The restaurant has been closed these past several weeks due to fire damage. Leighton said she and Balazi got quite a shock the morning of March 29. "We got a call about 5:20 that morning from our waitress that had opened the restaurant that morning for us," Leighton said. A fire had broken out overnight, in the stove.
Liza Serdyuk recently went to a Chris Brown concert with her friends at the Xcel Energy Center. She said it was "super fun." She wanted to go to a concert in the U.S. because it was "the most teenager thing to do here." "I wanted to go to a concert here," she said. "But I didn't know what concert they will have. Then, my friends found this." It was her friends' present to her before she returns to her home in Ukraine. Serdyuk is an exchange student in 11th grade at River Falls High School.
Tim Montgomery, and his family are giving new meaning to the words "family TV show." Montgomery produces "FESTIVAL" a children's TV show, with help from his family, including wife Aoh, children Chris, Matthew, and Angel, and relatives mark Kohout and Aaron Sturz. FESTIVAL is produced on a volunteer basis for River Falls Community Television (RFC-TV, channel 16). Montgomery also works with RFC-TV's Dennis Hildreth to get the show on air.
Every time she sees a production of "I Never Saw Another Butterfly," Celeste Raspanti gets nervous. That's because the play is Raspanti's own work, and she said, she's always a little worried to see how the director interprets her play. Raspanti, of St. Paul, came to see another production of "I Never Saw Another Butterfly," Sunday, April 9 at River Falls High School. She told the cast one of the lines said by Sophia Schmidt, who played Raja, was very important.