Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 4 years 2 weeks
The data is sobering. From April 2007 to the end of last year, there were 10,695 patient visits to the Free Clinic of Pierce & St. Croix Counties. During that time the free clinic treated 3,326 patients -- 52% were men. Last year it treated 364 new patients. The prime age of free clinic patients is 45-64. More than half are jobless.
As a little girl when Monica LaVold misbehaved her mother didn't take away TV or playing outside privileges. Instead LaVold was likely to be forbidden from reading her precious "Anne of Green Gables" or some other favorite book series. "Taking away my books -- now that hurt," she said. "Books have always been my escape, my refuge." LaVold was the kind of child who read under covers at night -- by flashlight. "I was the flashlight kid," she admitted.
A perforated storm sewer pipe was installed Wednesday morning, April 25, west of Spruce Street on East Cascade Avenue. The perforated pipe allows storm water runoff to infiltrate into the underlying soils, filtering and cooling the runoff while recharging the groundwater flows that sustain the Kinnickinnic River. Work to rebuild and redesign East Cascade and upgrade utilities has entered a third week. The project should be mostly done by early November.
In conjunction with the current remodeling of the downtown EconoFoods supermarket into a Family Fresh-brand store, the city has begun installing a new signal light at the intersection of Walnut Street and South Main Street. On March 13 the City Council awarded a bid for this work to Chippewa Concrete Services, Inc. of Chippewa Falls. Work is starting this week and should be completed by June 15. Main Street will remain open to through-traffic during this work schedule though there may be temporary and limited flagging and turn prohibitions.
Two men in their mid-40s were taken into custody in connection with an apartment break-in Saturday night, April 21, in the 500 block of South Wasson Lane. One man, who was also arrested outside the apartment building for drunk driving, claimed the pair broke into the second-floor apartment to do a welfare check and a possible drug intervention on the male tenant's behalf.
Billed as a celebration of diversity, the annual Unity in The Community will take place from 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, at Veteran Park in downtown River Falls. All events are free and open to the public. Wanda Brown will emcee.
A change of health insurance carriers with a higher deductible plan will save the school district $385,000 for the next school year. Monday night, April 16, the school board OK'd the switch from WEA (Wisconsin Education Association) to Health Partners. School district Personnel Director Donna Hill said the three-year deal could affect more than 250 teachers and staff. Yearly cost increases are capped at 9%. The plan can also be adjusted if those increases are deemed too high. Hill said the district is still bidding out for dental coverage.
Local officers were more like referees this past week breaking up and investigating fights. Sometimes even the sick turned combative. At 1:35 a.m. Sunday, April 15, a 21-year-old Afton, Minn., man was found lying by the curb in his vomit at Elm and Main streets. He gave officers a wrong name. When an ambulance arrived, the man allegedly began punching a paramedic. Later, at the hospital, the man was chased, caught and tackled as he kept trying to leave his bed. Area detox centers were full, but the St. Croix County jail in Hudson agreed to accept and book the man.
A national nonprofit organization that holds monthly support meetings for lesbians, gays and transgender persons, along with their families and friends, has formed a River Falls-based chapter that will represent the St. Croix Valley region. The first local meeting of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians, Gays) is in the River Falls Public Library board room at 6:30 p.m.
A two-hour school safety drill that simulated a couple of intruders, one who fired two blank shots, inside the high school ended a short while ago Thursday morning, April 12. East/west traffic along Cemetery Road outside the high school was slowed as students were slowly evacuated across the street to the Wildcat Centre hockey rink. The drill affected more than 700 students and staff in the school.