Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 2 years 2 weeks
A River Falls resident assumed the top enlisted leadership post in the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The promotion took place during a change-of-command ceremony July 10 at Camp Williams in west-central Wisconsin. Command Sgt. Maj. Rafael Conde, River Falls, and Col. Martin Seifer, Seymour, formally assumed leadership of the brigade from Col. Steven Bensend, Prescott, and Command Sgt. Major Edgar Hansen, Manitowoc. Conde is the top senior enlisted noncommissioned officer.
River Falls police investigated two possible batteries last week where someone suspected their partners of cheating. That led to bickering, then violence. In the first instance, a woman claimed she had a door slammed against her head that resulted in a bloody gash. The victim later phoned a friend and left a message about what happened. She claimed she wasn't allowed to see a doctor. When officers arrived to check on her welfare, the woman met them at the door wearing a large, blood-stained bandage over her forehead.
Establishing a school district community education program moved forward last week as the school board's Personnel Committee recommended a job description for the coordinator of such a program. At its regular meeting Monday July 19, the school board will vote on the job description. A full-time community-ed coordinator would be paid roughly $45,000 a year, plus benefits, according to Superintendent Tom Westerhaus. Starting a community ed program was Action Plan #7, under the district's Strategic Planning initiative.
It happened at two different locations. Both times the suspects got away. The first, Friday at 2:40 a.m., two men in their early 20s were found knocked out after a brawl in front of Mel's Midtowner bar on Main Street. Both victims were treated by River Falls paramedics but wouldn't go to the hospital for their head injuries. They'd been drinking and declined to answer questions about their attackers. Witnesses, however, described the three assailants as two Hispanic males and a black man.
The yearlong $250,000 project by the River Falls Wildcat Soccer Association to fix up the Golfview Soccer Fields is complete. Now the focus is turf care so soccer play can resume. "Our players and coaches are very excited to begin playing on the new fields," says Jeff Bump, RFWSA president.
There's still no direct access to Hwy. 65 from Cemetery Road, but a nearly finished roundabout is now allowing north/south highway traffic to flow around it. Nearly 3 1/2 months of highway reconstruction -- starting on March 29 -- should all wind down in about a week. The project involved tearing up and repaving a four-mile stretch of Hwy. 35 beginning on the north end by County Road U and extending south to the new multi-lane roundabout at Hwy. 65 and Cemetery Road.
River Falls and the northern half of the state will be the first Wisconsinites to start using a new area-code phone procedure. Called an "overlay," it involves adding a second area code to a region now assigned the prefix 715. The additional will be 534. According to Wisconsin Public Service Commission spokeswoman Teresa Smith, the overlay starts at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 17. Smith says there are a few key points: For local 7-digit phone calls, you'll have to remember to dial 715 to have your calls go through.
Last week a homeowner in the 1500 block of East Division Street came upon a garage sale sign in his yard. No one asked for permission to post the sign, so he took it down. Next day another garage sale sign appeared. With it was a warning note to leave the sign alone or face physical harm. For emphasis, the warning included a profanity. Feeling threatened, the man took the note to the River Falls police. They investigated and ended up ticketing a 31-year-old woman who lives in the nearby 200 block of North Eighth Street for disorderly conduct.
On a recent Sunday evening the 29-year-old St. Paul man said he was heading home from drinking at a Beldenville bar. What he couldn't explain was how his northbound 1997 Jeep Cherokee veered right and toppled a traffic light at the Hwy. 29/65 bypass intersection. The Jeep then swerved uncontrollably for another 100 yards before coming to a stop in the east highway's ditch. The driver was later taken by ambulance to River Falls Area Hospital. Described as uncooperative, he was soon arrested for drunk driving.
In a special meeting June 14 the school board voted unanimously to hire Mike Johnson to become the district's new academic services director. He replaces Rick Osterhaus, who retired. For the past four years Johnson has been Meyer Middle School principal. For three years before that he was River Falls High School assistant principal. Johnson was one of 16 applicants for academic services director. He was the only applicant from the River Falls School District. A 13-member committee reviewed the applications, interviewed the finalists and recommended Johnson.