Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 3 years 7 months
River Falls residents by the slimmest of margins OK'd the first of three school levy referendum questions Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 14, and continuing until early morning Tuesday, Nov. 15, road construction crews will repair the pavement on westbound I-94 in Hudson. Pavement there buckled due to the extreme heat last summer. Temporary repairs were made. The repairs next week, however, will be permanent. The right through-lane on westbound I-94 will be closed from 10 a .m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will also close the 14th Street entrance to I-94 off of Coulee Road in Hudson during that time.
The polls are open all day today, Tuesday, Nov. 8, until 8 p.m. Only one issue is on the ballot for River Falls school district voters - a referendum tax levy totaling more than $38 million. The referendum will require voters to vote yes or no on three questions. This is the second school referendum in seven months. The first one in April for a similar amount was defeated in a close vote. This time the referendum is broken up into three categories.
River Falls police say a 20-year-old university man allegedly drove the wrong way on one-way Spring Street just before 1 a.m. Friday. Before he could be pulled over, the suspect turned onto Second Street and was spotted driving north in a southbound lane. Again, before he could be stopped, the driver allegedly turned, bumped over the raised median and crossed into the parking lot of First National Bank. He drove to a parking space and stopped on his own. An officer asked the 20-year-old, described as having bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, if he'd been drinking.
A disgruntled ex-employee accused of burglarizing Designer Doors, 702 N. Troy St. in the city's industrial park, has been charged with another business burglary in rural Barron County. The suspect in the Oct. 20 Designer Doors incident is a 35-year-old River Falls man. The River Falls police case, including two felonies for burglary and criminal property damage, is under review by the St. Croix County district attorney.
The Utility Commission approved Nov. 1 the high bid to buy all the power-generating engines and accessories inside the local power plant. The high bidder for $200,000 was from B & T Recycle Services out of Odessa, Tex. River Falls Municipal Utilities General Manager Carl Gaulke said four legitimate bids were received. Another bid was deemed vague and invalid. A formal agreement with B & T is expected to be signed later this month. Gaulke said the company will start hauling away the generators in January.
When River Falls residents step into the voting booth, they will have a three-part single issue to contemplate on Tuesday, Nov. 8. That's the date when the second school levy referendum in seven months will be held. The $38 million-plus proposed tax levy will be the sole item on Tuesday's ballot. There are no other elections -- local, state or national -- to vote on. The second school referendum morphed out of the first back on April 5. At a similar cost but with only one question, that referendum was narrowly defeated, 2,805 to 2,624. Supporters, including the school board, took heart.
Law enforcement is about to get more complicated. Take this scenario: It's after midnight at a local convenience store. A clerk at the counter spots someone browsing by the magazines. A handgun appears to protrude from the person's jacket pocket. Fearful of robbery, the clerk dials 911. With that information, River Falls Police Chief Roger Leque says his officers would respond quickly to check out the armed suspect. As of Tuesday, Nov. 1, such a response won't be automatic.
Metaphorically speaking, it was a negative role reversal. River Falls police were called to a disturbance at Boomer's Bar, 106 N. Main St., around 1:30 a.m. Sunday. There, they learned that a 45-year-old local woman dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and carrying a small wicker basket with a fake wolf's head allegedly slapped a younger woman in the face. The alleged victim said that this Little Red Riding Hood was mean and threatening to one of her friends. As she backed away to avoid trouble, she claimed the costumed woman holding the fake wolf's head struck her.
Someone broke into Treasures From the Heart, 200 S. Main St., late Sunday night, Oct. 23, and stole $100 cash from a till, a pumpkin light and a Frankenstein dummy. River Falls police have no suspects. Sgt. Jon Aubart said a side door to Treasures was forcibly opened. Officers were contacted about the break-in early Monday morning by store employees. Evidence at the scene was taken. The case remains under investigation. If you can offer a tip to solve this crime, call police at 715-425-0909. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward, call area Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.