Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 3 years 9 months
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.
Being dishonest put Bradley Hetchler further in the hole in Pierce County Circuit Court last Tuesday. The 20-year-old River Falls native was being sentenced for two counts of felony third degree sexual assault. His alleged dishonesty caught the attention of Judge Joseph Boles. Boles explained before handing down his sentence that when Hetchler pled guilty to the charges in December, he admitted in court that he was guilty of those crimes.
Even with the incumbents running unopposed in the spring election, all three have agreed to participate in a March 7 school board forum. The 90-minute candidate forum will start at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall in the City Council chambers.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city of River Falls population was an even 15,000. Over the winter the state Department of Transportation installed three new signs to reflect that figure around River Falls. The one above is on Hwy. 29/35 on the way in from Prescott. Street Supervisor Terry Kusilek said the city may acquire two more population signs -- one for state Hwy. 29 east and one for state Hwy. 35N. A 2000 population sign west of the city on County Road MM will likely be removed and not replaced.
A reception Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 29, drew a bevy of people, young and old, to wish children's librarian Susan Pesheck the best in retirement. Pesheck is retiring after 13 years. Many of those who came to Wednesday's reception were parents and their children -- both current and former participants in the Storytime reading series that Pesheck has hosted as part of her job. Pesheck said she was "jittery" during her sendoff.
River Falls police were kept busy separating people fighting in their homes this past week. After 2 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24, a 41-year man was arrested for domestic battery and disorderly conduct at his Bobwhite Street address. Officers were sent there for an intoxicated couple fighting. The man was said to have tried strangling the woman. The man who answered the door was the husband. He had bite and scratch marks, plus bruises, but allegedly admitted to either throwing or pushing his wife to the floor.
Eight people trying for seats on the City Council are expected to participate in a candidates forum starting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, at City Hall, 222 Lewis St., in the council chambers. The event is sponsored by the local branch of the American Association of University Women and the River Falls Area Optimist Club. "Democracy only works when people are involved," said AAUW Public Policy Chairwoman Barb Peterson.