Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 3 years 11 months
Two years ago Virgil Johnson invented an energy-saving solar air heater for homes. He sold a do-it-yourself eBook online on how to build one. Now the 55-year-old Virgil Johnson is back with another energy-saving invention with the long name of: Rain-Barrel-Water-Mister-For-Your Central-Air-Conditioner.
It was someone's idea and Jera Terreng liked it, expanded on the premise and the result is "Touched by War," a month-long exhibit in the lower level of the River Falls Public Library that began Aug. 28 and runs until Sept. 23. "We try to hold a variety of shows over time in the library's gallery," Terreng said.
River Falls police were called to Kwik Trip on North Main Street Monday afternoon, Sept. 3, for a man there selling Tide laundry detergent out of his car. The man drove away before officers arrived but the car was soon spotted parked outside Walgreen's drugstore. Inside, an officer found the suspect, a 45-year-old city of River Falls man, by the pharmacy.
River Falls police arrested a 36-year-old Oklahoma man living at the Hoffman Park campground for domestic battery and bail jumping Monday night, Aug. 27. The alleged victim was the man's 34-year-old girlfriend. She was found near the park's softball field. She was all bloody and had a swollen face and cut lip. The two live together and camped out this summer at Hoffman. Leading up to the incident, they allegedly argued about his drinking, then he took a nap. When she woke him later to go to work, he got mad.
River Falls Fire Chief Scott Nelson says the region is under a Fire Watch Weather Area due to the excessive heat, lack of rain and high winds. Because of these conditions, the city and many surrounding towns have implemented a fire ban immediately. During this period open fires are prohibited, including recreational fires. According to Nelson, this ban will last until there is significant rainfall to reduce the fire threat. Besides River Falls, these cities and towns also have implemented the ban: Troy, Clifton, River Falls (town), Kinnickinnic, Pleasant Valley, Roberts and Hudson.
A River Falls patrol officer came upon a man naked from the waist down as he walked near the intersection of Main Street and Cascade Avenue after 3 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25. The 27-year-old Menomonie man was described as drunk and unable to explain the nudity that left his genitals exposed. The officer looked around and spotted some underwear and tennis shoes nearby on a curb. He asked the Menomonie man to put those on. The man did but struggled for nearly a minute slipping into the undies. He was with two male friends.
An introductory Spanish class piloted last spring at Greenwood Elementary will return to all the elementary schools for the 2012-13 year. Monday night the school board approved creating a one-third part-time teacher for its world-language program. According to Academic Services Director Mike Johnson, the position will be filled in September. The new hire will help craft specifics for the program curriculum. Teaching of kindergartners and first graders will begin in mid- to late-November at one of the four elementary schools.
Overall reading test scores in the River Falls School District are always above average to some degree. That may be a reason why the district's students, collectively, score high in other core subjects on standardized tests. Reading, especially at an early age, is the No. 1 academic building block. But this is the 21st century. The world, pushed by technology, is rapidly changing.
River Falls Superintendent Tom Westerhaus will continue to be the administrative head of the school district for at least the next two years. Monday night the school board approved his contract that will run through June 30, 2014. Westerhaus got a bump in pay, going from $168,938 to $172,532 for the new school year.
Monday afternoon, Aug. 20, a one-vehicle crash resulted in the death of Steven J. Berends, 29, Prairie Farm. He was driving a 1995 Ford LTL 9000 truck but not wearing a seatbelt. Berends was driving west on County Road G about a quarter of a mile from 290th St., according to the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department. Witnesses said the truck went into a south ditch for about 100 yards before hitting a tree. Berends was extricated from the truck's cab.