Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
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A crowd of about 100 turned out for the Sunday afternoon, April 7, dedication of the Eco Village in River Falls, 114 S. Apollo Road. Phase One of the Eco Village, four twin homes, is nearly completed and the homeowners will soon be moving in. Two more phases will be completed for this St.
Randy Kusilek and David Reese were knocked off the River Falls City Council in Tuesday's spring election. Katie Chaffee, former mayor of River Falls, edged Reese for the District 3 council spot, with 232 votes to Reese's 186. Kusilek was beaten by Diane Odeen for council at-large, 688-532. Last fall Odeen was defeated for state Assembly by incumbent Dean Knudson of Hudson. Two other City Council incumbents won: In District 1, it was David Cronk 242-192 over Dave Ostness.
"I saw this big white bird, but I was too far away," said River Falls resident Linda Amundsen. "I had to check it out." That was in February. Amundsen was in the parking lot at Family Fresh Market downtown. From afar she saw an unfamiliar bird on Lake George. Curious, she went to the White Pathway on the other side of the lake and followed the pathway to the observation deck. The "big white bird" was a trumpeter swan.
Late Saturday afternoon River Falls police were dispatched to a trailer-court home at 1450 S. Wasson Lane to deal with a 23-year-old man at his girlfriend's who was threatening suicide. Witnesses said the man had fired a 40-caliber S&W handgun in the driveway. He later reportedly put the gun to his head. According to Police Chief Roger Leque, the man then went inside the trailer home and wouldn't respond to attempts to contact him by phone. As the evening standoff continued, the Pierce County ERU (S.W.A.T.) team came to assist and was deployed.
Rather than just give to a worthy cause in some abstract way, Lynn Huiskamp decided to organize a fundraiser that was tangible and rigorous. Participants would have to work it. Huiskamp hopes that will make Tri4Grace -- a "sprint triathlon" -- truly meaningful. Tri4Grace will start Saturday morning, April 27, at the high school. You can register now for $30 until April 12 .
An ad-hoc hiring committee, chaired by Superintendent Tom Westerhaus, has picked Kit Luedtke to be River Falls High School principal starting July 1. Current Principal Elaine Baumann is retiring. Luedtke is the current high school assistant principal of academics. His recommendation must be voted on April 8 by the school board's Personnel Committee and by the full school board April 15. The high school principal's opening drew 36 applicants.
Starting 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 23 in the River Falls High School commons area, scores of young kids will get ready, get set and go hunt Easter eggs in the annual event sponsored by the River Falls Lions Club.
Winter has its share of nasty storms, but the ones in spring and summer are preceded by the city's warning sirens. Those sirens must be tested regularly, so get ready. River Falls's audible testing of the outdoor warning siren system has the following schedule. If there's severe or threatening weather at scheduled test times, there are makeup dates that come next day: 1 p.m. Monday, March 25; makeup: 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 26 1:45 p.m. Thursday, April 18; makeup: 1:45 p.m. Friday, April 19 1 p.m. Monday, May 20; makeup: 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 1 p.m.
Just after 8:30 p.m. Sunday, March 10, local firefighters were sent to a blaze of an engulfed rental building owned by the River Falls Housing Authority at 430 Griffey St. Crews arrived to find heavy fire coming from the middle unit of the triplex. Thirty firefighters used three engines and a ladder truck, and were on the scene for several hours.
Bound face down late at night in the depths of a Guatemalan jungle, Jesse Bystrom, husband, father of a kindergartner, felt his 35 years of life would end with a bullet to the head. "Laying there I had this sick feeling where I could see someone taking my place back home, marrying my wife, raising my son," said Bystrom, a 1996 River Falls High School graduate. "I was battling against the fear and terror on the outside, but inside I really felt a spiritual realm and the peace of God. I hadn't gone into shock.