The people who volunteer with Loyd Ostness at the River Falls Food Pantry say there's really little to say about him. His quiet reliability says it all. "Loyd is an untiring, dedicated volunteer. He doesn't look for praise," Jane Miller said. "He just comes in early every morning to restock shelves and to order more groceries. He's a gem." Added David Nelson: "It's all said by his devotion to being there all the time and by his organizing skills.
Charlie Rayder of River Falls tries hard to keep track of his daughters. Sometimes it's pretty easy. "If I'm going through the checkout at, say, EconoFoods, or at a Borders, I glance through some of the magazines on the racks - like Cosmo, Glamour, Elle or Vogue - to see if they're in one of those," he said. "Often I'll find an ad with one of them pictured. I have to look for myself because they hardly ever tell me what they're doing." In the future Rayder may have more tracking to do.
The deadline for local candidates to file for office ended Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 6. The spring election is in April and the primary is next month. The school board election is simple: Two open seats, four candidates. Incumbent candidate Dennis Behnke will be joined in the contest by Manny Kenney, Bob Ebert and Pat Hagan for the spring election. Behnke is the current school board president. Kenney is a former school board president who was unable to win re-election last spring. Ebert is a former City Council member who lost his last race.
School board newcomer Peter Donalds said he's frustrated by the "school district's culture" and will not seek another re-election. Donalds, 45, was elected just last spring. He is filling out the rest of a previous school board member's three-year term.
Even absent the candidacy of Mayor Eric Amundsen, the spring mayor's race is expanding. Five candidates have taken out election papers. Three have officially filed at City Hall. Of these five candidates, two are UW-River Falls students. The five are: Don Richards, Tom Parent, Dan Ham, Jim King and Dave Crass. King and Crass attend UW-RF. UW-RF student - Ed O'Keefe- has joined another crowded race, this one for at-large council member. Two at-large seats are open. Six residents have declared their intent to run, though only two have filed officially.
A town of Pleasant Valley man who raised bees for honey died last week Monday following a rollover crash two days earlier just outside the River Falls city limits. Francis (Frank) Schiltgen, 87, 1614 E. County Road M, was injured while driving east on that road near the junction with Liberty Road. He and his wife were returning home from a Saturday evening mass at St. Bridget Catholic Church. According to St. Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead, Schiltgen's 1973 International pickup truck slid on a patch of ice and spun out of control.
Those who knew Tim Linehan - and so many in River Falls did - spoke of his humor, kindness, generosity and compassion. They said he had "heart," which was ironic because he died last week from complications related to emergency heart surgery. In his eulogy at Linehan's funeral Monday, local attorney Joe Boles said, "Tim Linehan was a great friend, a wonderful husband, and simply a beautiful human being. He was greatly loved and will be missed by all. I never heard a bad word about Tim Linehan.
The years pass by and we usually ignore them until their passing reaches some sort of milestone, say a certain number. Then we call it an anniversary. And so I realized this month that three decades ago I came of age as an adult. The most natural rite of passage for an 18-year-old back then was the legal nod to drink. And, a close second, to vote. Today I'm sorry to admit that I remember very little of that particular birthday night. Clarity did not return to me until the morning after. A few weeks later I returned home from college for the Thanksgiving holiday.
When he came to River Falls almost 35 years ago, Virgil Nylander had no idea what was in store for him. He was hired after a long-distance phone interview to teach psychology at a place called Wisconsin State University-River Falls. He had recently been laid off by aviation giant Boeing in Seattle. There he had done research into the effects of high-altitude flying on pilot performance. "I had never visited the campus before," said the Denver-born Nylander. "There was no money to bring me out here.
Three eighth-grade girls turned in a little essay on the perils of drinking before its legal to do so. They asked me if it could be published, and, after looking over what they wrote, I said of course. Our local paper benefits from the widest variety of opinions, including those of students. So now you can read on the page before this one what these three young people have to say. The girls get right to the point.