Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 2 years 8 months
After more than 27 years of doing scores of service projects and making contributions to various causes, the River Falls Kiwanis is disbanding. Kiwanis current President Susie Swenson admits the vote to dissolve the local club was "bittersweet" but necessary given the dwindling membership.
They lined up for a block Thursday morning, June 2, before doors opened on day one of the "Going out of Business Sale" at Mr. Movies, 222 N. Main St. Owner Laurie Henn, who closed her Mr. Movies Hudson store earlier this year, said she hasn't had this many customers in years. She is selling out her movie inventory and also the furnishings to the store this month. Mr. Movies has been in River Falls for almost 20 years. Until recently it was located behind Bo Jon's Flowers. Changing technologies and lifestyles have brought about the decline of the movie-rental business, Henn said.
Say you're a burglar. Would you break into someone's car, leave a trail of possessions from that car on the road, sidewalk and stairs leading to an upstairs rental duplex, kick open the door there, splintering the frame, leave the door ajar, go to a front-room couch, fall sleep smelling of booze with your clothes caked in dirt and burrs? Police officers say it was evidence of this sort that led to the arrest of a burglary suspect in the 300 block of North Clark Street around 3:30 a.m.
As of April 1 the nursing home long known as Kinnic Long Term Care came under new ownership and was renamed. Grace Healthcare is the new name. It's also the name of the privately owned company that bought Kinnic Long Term Care from Chippewa Falls-based Heyde Health System, Inc.
Sheila Harsdorf was first elected to the state Assembly in 1988. In the late 1990s she farmed for a couple of years before being elected to the state Senate in 2000 where she's served ever since. In all her years of public service she's never encountered such hostility that's resulted in her being one of nine state lawmakers facing a recall election this July. That doesn't mean Harsdorf is surprised or intimidated. "This is the first serious attempt to balance the state budget in more than a decade, and the special interests are fighting to maintain the status quo," Harsdorf said.
For the second week in a row, River Falls police were after a driver who fled after being pulled over. The week before, the escapee ran from the Dairy Queen parking lot and eventually made his getaway by floating down the South Fork river. In the end he was caught and jailed. This week, late Saturday night, a speeding driver abandoned his smashed-up car at Cascade and State streets. He vanished between houses in the direction of Lake George. Would he swim for his freedom? No, he had another angle. Soon he reappeared with his girlfriend at the crash site.
Next school year Meyer Middle School will again have an assistant principal. That position was downgraded to dean of students for this school year. The newly created position paid slightly less. A dean of students is not allowed to evaluate teachers and staff. Superintendent Tom Westerhaus said it was felt that having an assistant principal to oversee those evaluations was needed.
How would you like to have the American flag set up and proudly flying outside your house on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Flag Day, Veterans Day, parade day of River Falls Day and possibly other suitable occasions? The newly formed River Falls Area Optimist Club can make it happen. "I just think it's a very patriotic way to make our neighborhoods look extra nice for special holidays," said local Optimist Mary Bednarowski.
There was no joking on April 1 when Shelly Moore decided to run against Sheila Harsdorf in a 10th Senate District recall election. She was teaching some very smart juniors and seniors in an advanced placement literature class at Ellsworth High School. On April 1 the class learned that Gov. Scott Walker would end the college tuition reciprocity agreement between Wisconsin and Minnesota. Many of Moore's students were enrolled for the fall at a college in Minnesota. "There was confusion in the class about understanding just what that decision would mean," Moore said.
A 24-year-old Roberts woman was pulled over last Friday night for speeding in the 300 block of East Division Street. The officer who stopped her claimed to smell marijuana in her car. The woman said no, it wasn't pot. Her boyfriend, however, was fond of smoking cigars. Here, and she pulled a cigar stub from her car's ashtray as proof. No, no, the officer said. That's not exactly what I smell. He poked around in the ashtray and allegedly found the end portion of a marijuana joint.