Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 3 years 7 months
It's billed as the great equalizer: Give all kids a chance to enter kindergarten with similar set of learning and social skills. Now River Falls joins the estimated 90% of Wisconsin school districts with some form of a 4-year-old kindergarten program. An exception, nearby, is Hudson. The board passed the proposal Monday night, Dec. 19, by a 5-2 vote. Barb Kolpin and Dennis Behnke voted no.
A 32-year-old local woman was accused of spitting on a person collecting signatures to recall Gov. Scott Walker just before 1 p.m. Sunday at 650 N. Main St.
Jerry Carter and Mel Germanson, The Grumpy Old Men, had a record-setting annual collection for the River Falls Food Pantry on Nov. 28 and 29 while stationed at Veterans Park downtown. The pair says they collected 12 pickup truck loads of food-related items and were given $8,591 in cash contributions. The latter is a record. Everything collected -- food and money -- goes right to the food pantry. Since 2005 Carter said financial collections alone have totaled $45,804. Carter and Germanson have held their annual food drive for about 15 years.
Police Chief Roger Leque hopes greater public awareness will take the air out of these ballooning numbers: More than 800 tickets for violating the city's odd/even winter parking restrictions. More than 100 tickets for violating overnight 1-6 a.m. parking restrictions. About 100 tickets for violating overnight 2:30-6 a.m. parking restrictions. Leque said all these $10 tickets have been issued since Nov. 1.
The holidays around Christmas and New Year's don't bring good tidings to the American Red Cross. "We usually see a dip in blood donations from now until after the first of the year," said Sue Gonsior, communications program manager for the regional Red Cross in St. Paul.
As of Thursday afternoon, Dec. 15, only two incumbents have filed to run for three open seats on the seven-member school board. A third incumbent has taken out papers but not officially filed to become a candidate. Mike Miller and Alan Tucktenhagen, whose seats are up for election next April, have both registered to run again. Barb Kolpin, another incumbent whose seat is up for spring election, is said to be preparing to run again for office. River Falls school board members serve three-year terms.
Icy patches from overnight freezing rain and sleet appear to have led to a four-vehicle accident on the Hwy. 65 bypass between Golf View Drive and East Division Street just after 7 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 15. Only one driver was hurt -- a River Falls High School male student identified as Alexander Call, 17, 425 Hwy. 65 in Roberts. A patrol officer said Call's injuries were not life threatening. Call was taken by ambulance to River Falls Area Hospital. According to police, three of the vehicles involved in the crash were southbound.
A 21-year-old university student crossed the center line and went off the Hwy. 65 bypass, crashing in a ditch at 4:25 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. He wasn't hurt but didn't know what to do, so he phoned his mother. She came to pick him up. River Falls police later traced the abandoned car to the young man. He said he had swerved on the highway to avoid another vehicle. After being questioned, the man was given a $126.60 fine for driving left of center lane. Police also: --Arrested and jailed a 40-year-old local man for battery and disorderly conduct in a domestic at 177 Bobwhite St. Friday night.
Another community book-reading initiative begins early next year with the selection of a novel by the late Minnesota author, Jon Hassler, known for his character-driven, dignified portrayals of rural living. The River Falls Reads committee picked one of Hassler's early novels, one written in the mid-1980s called "Grand Opening." Ruth Wood, retired UW-River Falls English professor and River Falls Reads committee member, offered her perspective on the choice, saying: "Lots of us who have lived in River Falls for years came from somewhere else.
Firefighters were called to a town of River Falls house for a blaze that had engulfed the attached garage and had spread to the house at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. Firefighters from Ellsworth and Spring Valley were called to assist. Strong winds hampered the firefighting efforts and the house, at W7678 770th Ave., was a total loss. There were no injuries to the home occupants or to responders. Firefighters left the scene just after 3 p.m.