Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
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One of the largest civic service organizations worldwide - the Optimists Club -- is hoping to organize a chapter soon in River Falls. "We are excited about helping the children of River Falls," said local organizer Alice Baldini. "We are looking for some other like-minded individuals who would like to help us improve the lives of children in our community. Baldini said a club meeting will be held soon for interested persons. "Those who best know what River Falls needs are those who live here all year," she said.
River Falls police are trying to find the owner of a 14-pound, brown-and-white, neutered adult dog, believed to be a Chihuahua mix, that bit a woman last week on Wasson Lane. The woman had allowed the stray dog -- described as scared but not aggressive -- to stay overnight in her house. He had wandered inside after she let her other dogs out. Community Service Officer Janna Grassel said the male dog had a microchip from the Scott/Carver Humane Society but the owners never registered the chip and so haven't been found. The dog is being quarantined to see if it exhibits signs of rabies.
Don Richards and Mark Wyman will present their new book "Kinnickinnic Country: River Falls in the Forties and Fifties," at 2 p.m. Sunday in the downstairs Collins Community Room of the public library. The 165-page book sells for $15. All proceeds will go to support the River Falls Library Foundation, which helps pay for various library programs, equipment, exhibits and speakers. Richards and Wyman grew up in River Falls after World War II.
A 20-year-old UW-River Falls sophomore arrested off campus in late winter for possession and distribution of marijuana has been charged with a felony for drug dealing. Robert D. Weske, 103 N. Fremont St. #1, was also charged with a misdemeanor for drug paraphernalia possession. He has a first appearance in Pierce County Court Monday, April 19. Police were called to Weske's apartment at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24 after another tenant had complained of loud noise and a marijuana odor. Officers were let in by Weske, who had two other men with him, both UW-RF students.
New low-cost financing for renewable energy improvements like solar hot water, geothermal systems and wind turbines in River Falls will be featured on "The West Side" public radio program, 88.3 WHWC/Menomonie-Eau Claire, at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 8.
One loopy turn at a downtown intersection ended in wreckage. Now a downtown business owner wonders if she'll be stuck with costly repairs. Last week late Sunday night, a 19-year-old Minnesota man from the Kinnic Falls halfway house turned so widely from Maple Street onto Main Street that his 1997 Ford Explorer wound up in the corner storefront of Beyond Lighting. The impact left a horizontal hole, shattered a window panel and caused others to bulge, cracked the foundation, and dribbled debris and oil down on owner April Ingalls' basement office.
River Falls attorney Joe Boles defeated Bob Loberg of Ellsworth in Tuesday's spring election to succeed retiring Robert Wing as Pierce County judge. Boles captured roughly 54% of the countywide vote. He was pushed over the top by huge margins in the River Falls area, including in the city of River Falls, where he won by more than 700 votes. In other competitive local races, Dave Cronk and Scott Morissette each earned a spot as an at-large city councilmember, while Bob Hughes knocked off incumbent Bob Ebert for Dist. 4 councilmember.
If you haven't voted, there's still time. Local polls stay open until 8 p.m. The Tuesday, April 6, elections cover school board, city council, and town and county boards. In Pierce County, there's also the big race to see who will succeed retiring judge Robert Wing. The judge's race is a contest between two well-known area lawyers, Joe Boles and Bob Loberg. City residents vote at one of four polling stations closest to where they live: UW-River Falls (University Center); National Guard Armory, 815 W.
Except for a few more drunk drivers, it was a fairly subdued week in River Falls policeland. Some college students did manage to add a little spice. Just before 3 a.m. last Thursday at a rental house at 913 S. Main St., several students were found gathered in their driveway, listening to loud music and watching the flames consume a couch and window frame. The responding police officer noticed the fire had spread to the gravel driveway and was nearing two buildings and a car. The officer got the students to douse the blaze by throwing water.
If you grew up in River Falls, "Kinnickinnic Country" will be pleasurably nostalgic. If you're a newcomer, the book will immerse you in mid-20th century life and catch you up on local lore. At least that's the aim of the book's author, Mark Wyman, and his sidekick Don Richards. They should know a thing or two about River Falls history since they came of age here in the 1950s -- the book's core period. Mark eventually left town and went on to become a professional historian like his famous father, Walker Wyman.