Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
- Member for
- 1 year 4 months
High School Principal Elaine Baumann announced on her 62nd birthday Monday, Jan. 14, that she was retiring. She has submitted a letter of resignation to Superintendent Tom Westerhaus that will be officially accepted at the school board's regular meeting Monday evening, Jan. 21.
HAYWARD -- The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation announced today that the BirkieTour scheduled for this Saturday, Jan. 19, has been cancelled due to poor trail conditions and skier safety concerns. The recent one-inch of new snow has not bonded to the ice base on the Birkie Trail.
River Falls police, with the help of a Pierce County Sheriff's deputy, arrested a 20-year-old Ellsworth woman for drunk driving before 3 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, at Hwy. 29 and the Hwy. 65/35 bypass. The woman allegedly hit and knocked over a "Keep Right" highway sign that another driver later ran over and got a flat tire on. The woman's front-end smashed 2008 Chevy Cobalt left a big trail of dripping antifreeze. The car was stopped by a deputy south of River Falls on Hwy.
It's not like it was but, all things considered, it could be worse. St. Croix Sport owners Chris and Linda Jensen still don't know what the future holds after their store/shop on Hwy. 35N was torched and closed by a Dec. 28 night fire. What they do know is that, for now, they're back in business -- thanks to their good next-door neighbors at Total Excavating. "It's not what we had, but it will have to work, and it's just great being open again," said Linda Jensen.
Two decades of Crown Vic squad cars came to an end last year when Ford discontinued that long-used, well-established model. Enter the next generation of squad sedans and SUVs, also made by Ford. The River Falls Police Department just added the Ford SUV Interceptor to its fleet of 10 marked and unmarked vehicles. After having all the equipment installed, the SUV squad hit the streets last week Wednesday. Police Sgt. Matt Kennett gave it a thumbs up. "It's an impressive vehicle," Kennett said.
If you have a household with kids, Laurie Hansen said joining the Moose organization in River Falls is a family-friendly gesture. "We have things to do that are suitable for families -- picnics, games, dinners, Sunday brunches, Easter Egg hunts, Halloween costume parties, I do Santa pictures in December -- it's really like a fraternity, like belonging to a big family with lots of close connections in a very relaxed atmosphere," said Hansen. She should know since she and her husband Al have been Moose members for 15 years.
Each of the four River Falls City Council races will have two candidates. In one, for District 3 (wards 6, 7 and 8), former Mayor Katie Chaffee will oppose incumbent David Reese. In another, for council member at-large, Diane Odeen, who unsuccessfully challenged 30th state Assemblymen Dean Knudson last November, will run against incumbent Randy Kusilek. Candidate filings for local races closed at the end of the day Wednesday, Jan.
ELLSWORTH -- After being elected and re-elected nine times as Pierce County district attorney since 1993, John O'Boyle is job hunting for 2013. Twenty years ago O'Boyle knocked off the Pierce County district attorney incumbent Andrew Maki. Twenty years later, the 50-year-old O'Boyle was knocked out of the same office in the August Democrat primary by Sean Froelich.
Flames swept through and engulfed the back shop of St. Croix Sport just off Hwy. 35N. in the town of Troy shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28. The fire caused hundreds of thousands of dollars damage to snowmobiles, snow blowers, ATVs, chain saws, and commercial lawn-care equipment. Some was inventory being repaired for customers. It took 26 River Falls firefighters, with two engines, a water tender and a ladder truck almost an hour to control the fire. Fire Chief Scott Nelson said his crew remained on the scene for a few more hours to extinguish hard-to-reach hot spots.
The filing deadline for local candidates is approaching -- the end of the workday Wednesday, Jan. 2. As of Friday, only the two incumbents, Dennis Behnke and Manny Kenney, had registered as candidates for the two openings on the seven-member school board. On the City Council side, things are a little more interesting. David Cronk, not up for re-election as an at-large council member, has filed as a District 1 council candidate. That seat is being vacated by Tom Caflisch. According to City Clerk Lu Ann Hecht, if Cronk wins in District 1, he would give up his at-large council seat.