Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
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Thanksgiving proved to be a quiet week for crime fighting in River Falls, but police were kept busy nabbing shoplifters. ShopKo appears to be the shoplifting store of choice.
Acting on a tip last Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 17, that the son of a woman resident at Kinnic Long Term Care was coming to say goodbye to her before killing his siblings who live in the area, the nursing home, hospital and clinic locked doors as a safety measure. The 52-year-old male suspect lives in St. Croix Beach, Minn. He never reached River Falls to carry out his threats, including that he would also kill himself. Instead he was arrested at his home by Washington County, Minn., sheriff's deputies.
Sure they're getting older, but food-drive elder statesmen Jerry Carter and Mel Germanson say nothing but divine intervention can keep them from standing in the cold for two days collecting for the local food pantry. "Heck, do you think we have time to just sit around the house all day?" asks 79-year-old Jerry Carter. "There always something to be done, and this is one of them." 'This' refers to the 19th year that Carter will be curbside collecting food for the needy at Veterans Park downtown. The dates are all day until dark Monday and Tuesday, Nov.
The Chippewa Valley Technical College has reached agreement with Moody's, Inc., to buy 3.6 acres just north of the 20,000 square-foot CVTC campus for $375,000. "Securing this land is extremely important to the future of the college and to the River Falls area," CVTC President Bruce Barker said. "We continue to experience strong student growth and an increasing demand for more program options." The River Falls CVTC campus, 500 S. Wasson Lane, opened in fall 1999 after a successful district-wide referendum in the 11 county-area.
A 30-year-old River Falls man was told to stop urinating in the doorway of Steve's Pizza Palace at 2:30 a.m. Saturday. The person asking him to stop was the restaurant manager, who later explained to police: "I told him to please not pee in my door. He didn't stop what he was doing." Before long the 30-year-old man allegedly attacked the manager, pushing him against the door and punching him until his lip bled. A friend nearby intervened on the manager's behalf. River Falls police responded quickly. Turns out the 30-year-old suspect was arrested Oct.
Ed Paulson, from the local Salvation Army, wants to remind River Falls area residents that volunteer bellringers will be out shortly at three stores in town and to please give generously of your spare change. Watch him on this video and read about the upcoming Salvation Army fundraiser in the Nov. 17 print edition of the River Falls Journal.
A 47-year-old Minnesota man faces two felony burglaries and one identity theft charge for walking into two classrooms at Rocky Branch Elementary School last month and stealing teachers purses. He and a female accomplice later fraudulently used the credit cards and checks from the purses to make multiple purchases at stores in Woodbury, Oakdale and Maplewood, Minn. They also illegally cashed a large check at WESTconsin Credit Union in River Falls. The Minnesota man, who has a lengthy criminal history, was jailed last month in Dakota County, Minn..
Perhaps it was just an odd place at an odd time to debate being "considerate." Two young men tried but failed miserably while in a room at the River Falls Motel, 1300 S. Main St., just before dawn Saturday. The result: A 23-year-old Farmington, Minn., man was cited for battery and disorderly conduct. The victim, a 25-year-old River Falls man, had a bloody lip and a busted retainer. The victim said the two were arguing in the motel room about the need for each of them to be considerate.
The presence of food seemed to have an unsettling affect on behavior this past week. Consider that at a rental house in the 100 block of North Fourth Street officers had to deal with a 30-year-old male tenant who allegedly attacked another tenant for drinking someone else's juice from a refrigerator. The violence grew so heated that both men had each other by the throat.
For more than a decade enrollment at UW-River Falls has grown steadily. The 2010-11school year is no exception, with a preliminary head count showing 6,819 students. That compares with 6,728 students last year, 6,126 in 2005 and 5,769 in 1999. "As far as we can tell, this year's count is an all-time high," said Alan Tuchtenhagen, associate vice chancellor for enrollment services.