Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 2 years 2 weeks
It's been a brutal winter so far, and the December storms clobbered the Christmas fundraising drive for the Pierce County Salvation Army bellringers. Chairman Ed Paulson said that while there were nearly 400 volunteer bellringers, the amount they took in was down to its lowest level in many years. But there is a way you can help reverse this outcome. "With the weather, including the Saturday blizzard, it was just bad timing," Paulson said. "But we still need funding to keep going because the need never goes away. If you can, please mail us a check.
A 24-year-old man said his 31-year-old brother got drunk, suddenly snapped, said he wanted him dead and began choking him. The two men live together on River Street. The younger brother said the older one actually attacked him twice before he got away and ended up sitting on a chair outside EconoFoods Sunday night, Dec. 26. River Falls police were sent to the supermarket on a medical call. The younger brother was described as having cuts and bruises.
Just in time for Christmas, the school board last week unanimously OK'd a one-year contract for the district's 223 teachers, most of whom work full-time. "We are pleased to have reached an agreement," said Personnel Director Donna Hill. "We value our teachers and feel that the increase, although modest in comparison to other years, is a fair settlement given our current financial realities." The just-approved contract gives teaches a 1.65% pay hike and an overall increase of 3.36%. Teachers also earn more when they further their schooling and as they gain years of on-the-job experience.
The phone rang one morning earlier this month for an 81-year-old River Falls man. The male caller said, "Hi, Grandpa," and started chatting about life in River Falls and the Green Bay Packers. The elderly man assumed he was talking to his young adult grandson who lives in New York City. The conversation suddenly got emotional. The "grandson" said he was driving in Canada and had been stopped by police. His passenger was arrested for drug use and the grandson was also implicated, in jail and needed money to bond out. Then a woman came on the line.
With the towering drifts from the Dec. 11 blizzard, clearing away snow from roads, driveways and sidewalks took time, money and energy. In at least one place in the city, some of that labor was "undone" by snowmobilers coming west from the industrial park and crossing North Main Street at Mound View Road. "It is extremely frustrating and costly to re-shovel sidewalks and driveway entrances after a snowmobile has pushed over and packed down the snow that has been cleared off once before," said George Woychik, owner of Financial Strategies Group, 710 N.
In the planning stages since the early 1990s, UW-River Falls' effort to build a new Health and Human Performance Facility got a familiar boost earlier this month. The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents approved the capital budget request for a $63.5 million H&HP facility on the UW-RF campus. Unfortunately, the approval is not surprising news. According to Blake Fry, UW-RF's special assistant to the chancellor, this is the sixth straight biennium that funding for the H&HP facility has gotten the Regents' approval. "The capital budget request now goes to the governor and the state Buil
A 19-year-old local woman was arrested and taken to jail in Ellsworth for for battery to a police officer just after 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28. Later on Tuesday, in a criminal complaint, the Pierce County district attorney did file three charges against the woman, including one for a felony. The woman who was charged is Callie L. Wilson. She allegedly swore at and kicked River Falls patrol officer Mike Nelson in the stomach and chest, and also punched his face during a scuffle in the doorway of her apartment at 405 S. Wasson Lane. Police Sgt.
Rellen Hardtke has turned in her "non-candidacy form" to the school district's central office, meaning she will not seek another three-year term on the school board. Hardtke is a UW-River Falls associate professor of physics. She has in the past served as school board vice president. Without Hardtke running, the school board has just two candidates seeking two open positions: Stacy Johnson Myers, the current school board president, and newcomer Richard Gerczak. The school district's central office is closed for the holidays until Monday, Jan. 3. The filing deadline for candidates is 5 p.m.
Rellen Hardtke has turned in her "non-candidacy form" to the school district's central office, meaning she will not seek another three-year term on the school board. Hardtke is a UW-River Falls associate professor of physics. She is completing her first term in office and has in the past served as school board vice president. Without Hardtke running, the school board has just two candidates seeking two open positions: Stacy Johnson Myers, the current school board president, and newcomer Richard Gerczak. The school district's central office is closed for the holidays until Monday, Jan. 3.
Karen Marsh says she's not a quitter...but she also knows her limits. The 59-year-old retired school teacher has become known for her brightly lit, extravagant Christmas scenes that adorn the outside of her parents' farm at W11436 County Road FF. To view the spectacle, motorists and their passengers are encouraged to enter in the front, follow the circular driveway to the back and then exit on the other side. In Christmas season 2008, nearly 1,000 drivers did just that. That was then. Last year on Dec. 9, a blizzard pounded River Falls, bringing a foot of snow and plunging temperatures.