Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 2 years 4 months
At a special meeting last week, River Falls School Board members quickly concluded that with a few "tweaks" they could turn defeat into victory by holding a slightly revised referendum format in November. Last April, by a narrow margin (51.7%-48.3%), school district voters rejected a $39 million referendum question to modernize, upgrade and add on to the various schools. The overhauls were meant to extend each school's lifespan by roughly 30 years. At last week's special meeting on what to do next, board members decided their original referendum plan remained well-reasoned and economical.
A neighbor late last month complained that a 29-year-old man living in the 700 block of High Ridge Road purposely left his kennel filled with animal poop on the edge of their properties. The kennel door was open and facing the offended neighbor's property. River Falls police were contacted. The man with the open cage of doggy doo was contacted by phone. No contact was made but a message left.
At a special meeting Wednesday, Aug. 3, school board members reaffirmed their support for key components of the voted-down $39-million April referendum and tentatively decided to hold another referendum in November. The big difference: The new referendum will likely have two, three or four questions, meaning voters will have choices on how many projects, if any, to support. The school board will have its next meeting on the topic at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24. The public is welcome to attend and provide input.
Being a police chief for 10 years is notable. Holding the job for 20 years is a milestone. In River Falls, Roger Leque has reached a milestone. It was this month 20 years that he replaced departing Jack Arndt as acting police chief.
A lazy black bear helped itself to an easy meal of bird seed on the back yard deck at the Fredrich home in the town of Troy, near Townsvalley and East Cove roads (just east of County Road F) Wednesday evening, July 20. The bear stayed for about 40 minutes until it was full. It also pressed its nose to the patio door to get a better look inside at the Fredrich's dog, then climbed over the deck railing and wobbled off into the woods. The Fredrichs plan to remove all the bird food so the bear doesn't return again.
Political rookie BJ Cook's drive to become an independent candidate in the 10th Senate District recall election was short lived but what he stands for may live on. Cook, 29, a city of River Falls resident, claims to represent the middle ground, compromise, common sense and the interests of the average person. "I'm tired of the polarization of both Democrats and Republicans," he said.
Eighty-one-year-old Calvin Jennings survived two days in the woods trapped in his skid loader before being extricated by River Falls ambulance and fire workers late Wednesday morning, July 20. The incident took place on Jennnings farm on County Road F four miles west of River Falls. Jennings was found by a hired hand who had come to help with chores.
When a River Falls police officer pulls you over for one thing, it can lead to something else. A 24-year-old Plum City woman allegedly made an illegal U-turn downtown at Main and Walnut streets at 2 a.m. Saturday. When questioned about the U-turn, an officer smelled alcohol coming from her car. The woman ended up with two fines totaling more than $800 - for the illegal turn and for drunk driving. At 1:20 a.m.
Police officers more than earned their pay this past week, topped off by plenty of weekend antics related to people celebrating River Falls Days. On Saturday morning a young man fled after being kicked out of a house party on West Park Street. At the party he'd taken a picture of two women kissing. After being kicked out on the street, he screamed homophobic slurs and pulled down his pants, allegedly exposing himself. The suspect, described as white, in his 20s, bald, wearing a blue shirt and plaid shorts, ran away through back yards before officers arrived.
Patrick Sobota, 56, of rural Wilson died Tuesday from injuries suffered in an ATV crash. The St. Croix County Sheriff's Department received a missing persons report in the town of Cady at around 7:50 a.m. Tuesday, July 5. Initial information indicated that a man left the American Legion in Wilson at approximately 8:30 p.m. Monday evening, July 4, on a Polaris 500 X2 four-wheeler and did not arrive home. There was no contact with the individual since that time. Deputies responded to the area and assisted family and friends with an extensive ground search of the area.