Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 4 years 3 weeks
Late Saturday afternoon, June 23, a woman followed a swerving highway driver into River Falls. Several oncoming drivers pulled over to the shoulder to avoid being hit. When the swerving driver, a 42-year-old local man, was caught and arrested by police outside his home, it turned out to be his sixth drunk driving arrest. The man allegedly didn't want to bother with field sobriety tests, saying you've got me and asking to be handcuffed and taken to jail. He said he'd been drinking beer in Hudson but he had "no clue" where. The man eventually did wind up in St. Croix County jail.
The school board approved June 18 a number of nonunion settlements with various employee groups, including principals. According to Personnel Director Donna Hill, the new deals all fall within the district's standard 2.5% increase for the 2012-13 school year. That increase is a combination that includes yearly wages, and coverage for health and dental insurance.
After investigating a fight between an 18-year-old male tenant and two strangers, officers arrested the tenant for possession of psilocybin (hallucinogenic) mushrooms, marijuana with intent to deliver, and drug paraphernalia Friday night, June 15, at a rental unit at 233 W. Cascade Ave. The two male assailants got away. Police suspect the fighting may have been about a drug deal gone bad. The arrested tenant had a small cut above the eye.
June is living up to its reputation as the summer stormy season. Early morning Tuesday, June 19, another storm barreled through western Wisconsin, dumping heavy rain, some hail and triggering continuous lightning and thunder. City of River Falls warning sirens sounded at 4:50 a.m. Some trees and big branches were knocked down. Public Works crews are cleaning up the mess. Most of the rain fell in the first 15 or 20 minutes of the storm. The rainfall total was a half inch. The area hardest hit was Golfview Drive with many boulevard trees down.
For 10 years Janet Ellinger was absorbed and motivated by the teaching profession. She taught physical education and health, and coached athletics, at a middle school and high school in the Kalamazoo area of her native Michigan. But by year eleven something changed. Ellinger has no explanation. "That's when I had to begin making myself go to work," she said. "It felt like anybody could do what I was doing. I wanted something more." So Ellinger quit and did odd jobs for a year.
If someone says, "It's over by the old Ben Franklin...or..."next to the old Tom Thumb," Paul Jensen doesn't need to ask, "What? Where's that?" Born and raised in River Falls, he's familiar with the old landmarks and reference points. And now the 27-year-old Jensen, a war veteran, has joined the River Falls Police Department.
It was ear-splittingly loud Thursday morning, June 14, at the high school's main office as laborers using a concrete vacuum saw, crowbar and sledgehammer to rip and smash out a block wall. The work was part of the security retrofit going on this summer at the high school. The aim is to redirect visitors who enter the building to first pass through the office. The November 2011 referendum that passed will eventually have all five school buildings with similar-arranged offices at the front entrances.
The 2011-12 school year just ended but already you would hardly recognize the inside of Rocky Branch Elementary.
River Falls police finally caught up with two male suspects in a reckless driving incident Saturday night on the city's south side in the Greenwood Valley Drive area. A 31-year-old River Falls man was arrested for drunk driving-second offense. He allegedly kept careening his Hummer off and on the road, across yards, over trees, into utility junction boxes. Adults outside at the time said it was miracle no one was hit and killed, including children. The man later hit a parked vehicle on East Johnson Street.
The black-and-white markings give this bird perched atop a town of Kinnickinnic residential garage on the evening of June 3 the coloring of a milk-producing Holstein cow. So what is this bird, anyway? According to River Falls Journal outdoor columnist Dan Wilcox, the bird is just a common pigeon, "also known as a rock dove." Wilcox goes on to say the genus and species name for the bird is Columba livia. "They live all over the world, in cities and countryside," he says.