Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 3 years 7 months
The city's residential parking law again goes into effect for neighborhoods to the north of the university from Sept. 1 to May 31, 2012. Streets affected include portions of Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth, Seventh, Locust, Spring, Lake, Walnut, Elm, Pine, Maple and Crescent. The even-numbered addresses on affected street areas will require permits for daytime parking Monday through Friday.
After a 3-½ hour special meeting Wednesday night, Aug. 24, the school board basically itemized last spring's failed referendum into three separate questions for voters to pick from. While a new referendum date wasn't set, the assumption is that it will be a stand-alone vote Tuesday, Nov. 8. Specific language is being crafted by a Madison law firm. The school board will vote on those specifics at its regular meeting Monday evening, Sept.
River Falls police were summoned to a home in the 100 block of Fremont Street last Thursday night, Aug. 18, because of a concern that a mother with children was smoking pot. After smelling a marijuana odor, officers got the 33-year-old woman to lead them to her kitchen. There, they allegedly found a grocery sack with some pot pipes and marijuana residue.
River Falls High School Principal Elaine Baumann concedes that, "After last year's scores, anything would be tough to be beat." Turns out last year's record-high local ACT score of 23.9 was unbeatable. This year's graduating class tallied an overall ACT score of 22.7 and was down in each tested core subject: Reading, English, Math and Science. Still, Baumann put the new ACT results in perspective: "Looking at the five-year average, last year was big increase, a tough act to follow. This year is more typical." The new River Falls ACTs were the lowest in several years.
River Falls School District gets a year's reprieve. Financial pain from big state aid cuts won't be felt until the 2012-13 school year. When that happens, projections show the district may need to cut a record $1 million to balance the next year's budget. Superintendent Tom Westerhaus said a shortfall of that magnitude will mean eliminating programs and likely increasing class sizes. Result: Teachers, students and parents will be affected. What saved the district for the 2011-12 school year was a federal jobs grant.
A 35-year-old local man kept banging at the door of a house in the 300 block of East Pine Street at 5 a.m. Friday. He wanted in. Those inside the house were scared and wanted him to stay out. River Falls police came to the rescue and handcuffed the man, whom they described as drunk and mostly undressed. His clothes were found strewn in the yard and driveway. The man also had cuts and bruises.
At a special meeting last week, River Falls School Board members quickly concluded that with a few "tweaks" they could turn defeat into victory by holding a slightly revised referendum format in November. Last April, by a narrow margin (51.7%-48.3%), school district voters rejected a $39 million referendum question to modernize, upgrade and add on to the various schools. The overhauls were meant to extend each school's lifespan by roughly 30 years. At last week's special meeting on what to do next, board members decided their original referendum plan remained well-reasoned and economical.
A neighbor late last month complained that a 29-year-old man living in the 700 block of High Ridge Road purposely left his kennel filled with animal poop on the edge of their properties. The kennel door was open and facing the offended neighbor's property. River Falls police were contacted. The man with the open cage of doggy doo was contacted by phone. No contact was made but a message left.
At a special meeting Wednesday, Aug. 3, school board members reaffirmed their support for key components of the voted-down $39-million April referendum and tentatively decided to hold another referendum in November. The big difference: The new referendum will likely have two, three or four questions, meaning voters will have choices on how many projects, if any, to support. The school board will have its next meeting on the topic at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24. The public is welcome to attend and provide input.
Being a police chief for 10 years is notable. Holding the job for 20 years is a milestone. In River Falls, Roger Leque has reached a milestone. It was this month 20 years that he replaced departing Jack Arndt as acting police chief.