Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 3 years 3 months
When River Falls residents step into the voting booth, they will have a three-part single issue to contemplate on Tuesday, Nov. 8. That's the date when the second school levy referendum in seven months will be held. The $38 million-plus proposed tax levy will be the sole item on Tuesday's ballot. There are no other elections -- local, state or national -- to vote on. The second school referendum morphed out of the first back on April 5. At a similar cost but with only one question, that referendum was narrowly defeated, 2,805 to 2,624. Supporters, including the school board, took heart.
Law enforcement is about to get more complicated. Take this scenario: It's after midnight at a local convenience store. A clerk at the counter spots someone browsing by the magazines. A handgun appears to protrude from the person's jacket pocket. Fearful of robbery, the clerk dials 911. With that information, River Falls Police Chief Roger Leque says his officers would respond quickly to check out the armed suspect. As of Tuesday, Nov. 1, such a response won't be automatic.
Metaphorically speaking, it was a negative role reversal. River Falls police were called to a disturbance at Boomer's Bar, 106 N. Main St., around 1:30 a.m. Sunday. There, they learned that a 45-year-old local woman dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and carrying a small wicker basket with a fake wolf's head allegedly slapped a younger woman in the face. The alleged victim said that this Little Red Riding Hood was mean and threatening to one of her friends. As she backed away to avoid trouble, she claimed the costumed woman holding the fake wolf's head struck her.
Someone broke into Treasures From the Heart, 200 S. Main St., late Sunday night, Oct. 23, and stole $100 cash from a till, a pumpkin light and a Frankenstein dummy. River Falls police have no suspects. Sgt. Jon Aubart said a side door to Treasures was forcibly opened. Officers were contacted about the break-in early Monday morning by store employees. Evidence at the scene was taken. The case remains under investigation. If you can offer a tip to solve this crime, call police at 715-425-0909. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward, call area Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Maggie Watson is thrilled about the far-reaching possibilities offered by the newly formed FORWARD Foundation. "I know that there are some fantastic ideas out there -- from teachers, private citizens or community partnerships -- that simply will not see the light of day without private support," said Watson, a member of FORWARD. "With cutbacks and ever-tightening budgets, our schools are hard pressed as it is.
Some 50 family, friends and UW-River Falls staff members attended a memorial dedication on campus Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 26, on South Hall's east lawn where two crab apple trees shade a landscaped area with two benches. Originally the site had three trees planted in remembrance of Tatia Williamson, director of annual giving at UW-RF. She died in an automobile accident north of River Falls on July 7, 1998. The benches and landscaping were recently added to the area, funded by donations in the memory of UW-RF custodians Brad O.
A 35-year-old former River Falls man who sits in Barron County jail on unrelated criminal charges has allegedly admitted to trying to force his way inside Designer Doors, 702 N. Troy St., in the city's industrial park late last week Thursday night, Oct. 20. The suspect is described as a former Designer Doors employee who was let go by the firm in mid-September. River Fall Police Sgt. Jon Aubart said the man was in River Falls Oct. 20 seeing his girlfriend.
Balanced on a ladder, Karen Marsh was up in tree branches trying to hang a ghoul mask. One of the braces to secure the ladder was unfastened. Marsh swayed and took a spill. She got back up but her right foot hurt. Pah, it was only noon! So much to do! Outdoor Halloween decorations don't just appear by black magic. Marsh swallowed some Advil and kept hobbling, positioning more ghosts, skeletons and grim reapers. Eight hours later and long after darkness, she called it a day. By now her painful foot was throbbing.
The stats tell the big story. In 2010, River Falls police issued 2,710 tickets for drivers violating the city's odd/even overnight winter parking law. From just January through March of 2011, 1,601 tickets were issued to violators. Police Chief Roger Leque isn't bragging. He wants those numbers to plunge. His reasoning is simple: Vehicles left parked on the wrong side of the road create obstacles for city snow-plow crews. Those obstacles make it harder, more hazardous to clear streets so that traffic can pass through safely. Plowers must return once violators drive off or are towed.
A 26-year-old local man said he was trying to do something nice by preparing dinner for his girlfriend last week Thursday night, Oct. 20. River Falls police say it ended with the couple arguing and then the man not only choking the woman, but also biting her, slapping her, banging her head and pulling her hair. The woman fled to Cottage Grove, Minn., and reported the incident to police there who contacted River Falls police. It was later learned that the couple had argued about the man's drinking.