Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.
- Member for
- 5 years 10 months
River Falls has had a local Martin Luther King Jr. holiday breakfast since 2008. Unfortunately, this year, after 11 previous annual breakfasts, organizer Kathy Scott said this year's breakfast will not be happening. At least, not in River Falls. Several other breakfasts, which the River Falls event coordinated with in years pasts, will continue. Scott said a variety of circumstances, some of them personal, have kept this year's event from happening. She's hoping the event can make a comeback next year.
River Falls will soon start working to implement a new utility metering system. On Tuesday, Jan. 8, the City Council approved switching the city's electronic, and water utility meters over to AMI (Advanced Meter Infrastructure) meters. The city's current meters track a home's electric and water use, and broadcast that information via radio waves to a city vehicle that is driven by city staff. Meters are typically read this way about once a month.
There had not been a handwritten Bible commissioned in some 700 years when The Saint John's Bible was commissioned, said Kay Fritz, local calligrapher. Planning and work began on The Saint John's Bible in 1995, and the last word was written in May 2011. The Saint John's Bible was written on vellum using quills, natural handmade inks, hand ground pigments, and gilded with gold leaf, silver leaf and platinum. It is a modern, English translation (New Revised Standard Version) with contemporary scripts and illuminations.
Hudson Middle School orchestra teacher Rachel Knipfer felt a surge of excitement when she first read an article about Mark Wood's "Electrify Your Strings" program. Wood plays violin in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. "Electrify Your Strings" is a music education program through which a team of "teaching artists" work with kids over a two- to three-day visit. Kids will play compositions and arrangements by Mark Wood. Not long after Knipfer read about the program, one of her friends brought Wood to work with her orchestra in Oshkosh.
When Kevin Pechacek found out he was to be named Citizen of the Year at the upcoming River Falls Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet, he was surprised and humbled. He found out a couple of days before a Chamber business breakfast, he said. "They told me they wanted me there to announce that I had won the award," he said. "I'm extremely honored to be chosen and very grateful." The chamber accepts nominations for Citizen of the Year from the general public and Chamber members vote on the nominees.
It is unusual, said UW-River Falls Professor Earl Blodgett, for a chapter of the Society of Physics Students to receive an Outstanding Chapter award almost consecutively for some 20 years. That is exactly what UWRF's SPS chapter has done in receiving the award for the 20th time in 21 years. "It's really meaningful, it's really exciting, but it's something that they kind of expect," said Blodgett of the SPS students. "Because we have been so consistent at being very active and outgoing over the years, it's more like it would be a real shock if we didn't get it."
After the River Falls City Council voted last February to remove the Powell Falls dam by the target date of 2026 and Junction Falls dam by a target date of 2035-2040, city staff and the Kinni Corridor Committee began working with HKGi consulting firm to develop a plan for the entire Kinnickinnic River corridor.
Since it opened in 1927, The Falls Theatre has been an iconic part of the River Falls Main Street. In February, owner Michelle Maher announced she was adding a second screen to the theater, thanks in par, to a state grant obtained by the city, most of which went to help the theater expand. Since the second screen opened, Maher said, things have been going very well.
Work on a set of $48 million River Falls School District referendum projects is set to begin in Spring 2019, according to District Superintendent Jamie Benson. The work is set to be completed by fall of 2020, making it a two-year process. "We're awful proud and thankful and appreciative of our community's support for our kids, and their education," said Benson in an April interview after the referendum passed.
The city of River Falls expects to close on its purchase of the River Falls Journal building, at 2815 Prairie Drive, in early January, according to Assistant City Administrator Julie Bergstrom. The City Council unanimously approved a purchase agreement with Forum Communications Company (FCC) at its Oct. 23 meeting. FCC owns RiverTown Multimedia, including the Journal building.