Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 3 years 6 months
The school board Monday night OK'd forming a Citizens Advisory Committee that will zero in on an alternative owner to develop and maintain the 1926 portion of the River Falls Academy. Superintendent Tom Westerhaus said the committee's timeline will be spelled out and timely. "There is only a two-year window," he said. "We don't want to drag this out." The 1926 portion of the Academy takes up almost half of the overall building. Space is rented to groups, including the YMCA that will soon close. The school district also uses the oldest part of the building for limited office space.
If you want a challenger to engage in a knock-down-drag-out fight with incumbent mayor Don Richards, Dan Toland says forget it. That might be how state and national elections are conducted, but Toland has no desire for political combat "Don's a nice guy, he's done a lot for this city. I'm serious about wanting the job, but I'm not going after it by tearing Don down," says Toland, a 1980 River Falls High School graduate.
Don Richards' educational career spanned four decades. Many will remember him as the high school English teacher, Student Council and school newspaper advisor and assistant boys' basketball coach. After retiring in 1998 Richards also substitute taught for seven years. Long ago he also taught in Prescott and before that was dormitory head resident and assistant dean of men at UW-Whitewater. "When I retired I found I had an excess of time on my hands," said the 79-year-old Richards. "I was bored.
A 22-year-old River Falls man took a right hook to the ribs in front of Boomer's Bar, 106 N. Main St., at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, St. Patrick's Day. The victim claimed he was protecting a young lady who was shoved by another man. He collapsed after the blow to the ribs, got back up but couldn't stand straight. His attacker fled. The victim had his buddy take him to the hospital. River Falls police also: --Arrested a 26-year-old Woodbury, Minn., man for disorderly conduct in the downtown median at bar closing at 2:20 a.m. Sunday.
Rocky Branch third graders in Dawn Follstad's class recently learned how to write haiku, a poetic form originating in Japan centuries ago and now practiced worldwide. In Japan, these flash poems were valued for the simplicity, openness, depth and lightness. English translations structure the haiku in a three-line, 17 syllable format. Syllables are arranged as 5/7/5 per line. Many Japanese Samurai warriors and Zen monks used haiku writing as part of their spiritual disciplines. Haiku often used seasonal imagery but describe just about anything.
There's no shortage of bad guys around the world trying to swindle you. River Falls Police Sergeant Jon Aubart warns: "If you are asked to send money to get anything, forget it!" That advice, however, wouldn't help a River Falls family. Last month they had their $71,000 Home Equity loan stolen from a local credit union through a scheme that disconnected their AT&T land line phone and had those calls rerouted. The person was then able to call the credit union, pretend to be a family member, and have the loan amount rerouted to a bank in Greensburg, Indiana.
At Rocky Branch Elementary School, the piloted STEP seems to be a precocious program with a growing fan base. "If we were to lose it, it would rip out one of the essential services we provide for our students," says Rocky Branch Principal Chuck Eaton. Third grade teacher Pam Friede said her two students working with a STEP coach have "seen increased spelling scores, an increase in classroom participation and overall social growth." STEP -- Senior Tax Exchange Program -- was introduced for a trial run last fall in the River Falls School District.
River Falls police chased, caught and arrested a 22-year-old local man for battery and disorderly conduct at Coach's Bar and Grill at 1:30 a.m. Sunday, March 4. The suspect had fled on foot, going east. He was found lying near a parked car at Fourth and Elm streets. The man allegedly punched a 25-year-year local man. There was bad blood between them because of a fight in another incident a few months ago. This time, the alleged victim said his attacker in the bar turned as if to walk way, then quickly turned back and smacked him several times around the eye.
Keep your eye on her: Maura Watson, 17, River Falls High School junior. She's on the move and thinking big. Come March 19, Watson steps in as a nonvoting student representative on the seven-member school board. Late last year the board approved the idea of adding a student.
A recent note from a Rocky Branch first grader is addressed to "Miss Moyer." In large block letters, it thanks Moyer for teaching the Pledge of Allegiance, for teaching the student "how not to be a bully and how to stand up for myself." For Laurie Moyer that kind of feedback is as rewarding as the plaque she collected last week in Madison for being named elementary school counselor of the year. "I don't need an award to feel validated," said Moyer, Rocky Branch's counselor since the school opened in 1991.