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.
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On Thursday, Dec. 14, around 8:30 p.m. multiple people reported hearing a loud noise like a firework in the 600 block of South Main Street. They later realized it was at least one gunshot, according to police reports recently released to the River Falls Journal after an open records request. 9-1-1 dispatchers received more than one call regarding the incident, which caused a stir on social media after UW-River Falls posted an alert about "possible shots fired." This post said the incident did not present a threat to the campus.
It has been a busy year thus far for business development in River falls. Aldi, Dollar Tree and Culvers have made plans to come to town, Chippewa Valley Technical College is working on an expansion, and the River Falls Gymnastics club is construction a new building near the high school. Many of these projects have already begun construction. New development Aldi
Reider Loomis, 9, and Xander Lavasseur, 5, found the River Falls Days Medallion near Royal Credit Union's electric box, which has a fish painted on it. They started hunting in the rain at about noon, and found the medallion shortly before 4 p.m. Loomis and Lavasseur said they were very excited to win. Their prize is $250 in Chamber checks. See more River Falls Days photos here at riverfallsjournal.com.
Wisconsin residents now have the options of registering to vote online. Those wishing to register online can do so at myvote.wis.gov. There have been about 45,510 online registrations since that feature went live in January, according Wisconsin Elections Commission public information officer Reid Magney. People have been able to look up their own voter records online for years, using their name and date of birth. In the early 2000s, the website was updated to allow military voters to request an absentee ballot overseas.
Denny Marchel is working hard to reach his dreams. Little by little he's been seeing one start to come true. He plans to race a car at the Bonneville Speedway this year. This all started about a year and a half ago when Marchel, a Vietnam veteran, found out he had prostate cancer and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society website, research has shown a potential link between exposure to Agent Orange and CLL.
River Falls is again gearing up for River Falls Days. This year's celebration will look just a little bit different, said Chamber of Commerce Marketing and Communications Specialist Meghann Witthoft. "I'm most excited about the integration of the main stage activity," Witthoft said. This year both daytime kids activities and evening live music will be performed from the main stage. Witthoft said this will bring the festival together and make it "feel more connected."
When Rachel Gee woke up Friday, June 22, she said she was heartbroken to find her front door had been covered in racial slurs. The graffiti appeared to have been done in permanent marker, according to River Falls Police Chief Gordon Young. Gee's neighbor, Sabrina Hightower's, door was also graffitied. Gee said it was "hurtful and scary" to see the slurs on her door, which included "Go Back to Africa" and much profanity.
The loved ones of Nicholas (Nick) Karolides are preparing to celebrate his life on July 7. Karolides died "peacefully in his sleep" surrounded by family, according to his obituary. He was just two months shy of his 90th birthday. As his loved ones prepare to celebrate his life, they also shared memories of the huge impact he had on those around him, on his family and in the community. A lifetime of impact
The River Falls Police Department is looking for information about two homes that were recently vandalized with racial slurs. The doors of two homes were reportedly written on in permanent marker. The writing said "Go Back to Africa" and also included several racial slurs and profanity. The homes were located in the 400 block of Kennedy Street and the 400 block of Griffey Street. The vandalism happened between 9 p.m. Thursday, June 21, and 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 22.
Those driving through the intersection at Main Street and Cascade Avenue Monday evening around 4-5 p.m. could see people gathered at each corner, holding signs and chanting. More than 130 people attended, according to Dr. Jackie Brux, who organized the event with Rev. Barb deSouza. Brux said those who joined in the rally were there to speak against new immigration policies of separating children from parents, and eliminating gang violence and domestic violence as reasons for granting asylum to those seeking it in the United States.