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 9 months
River Falls Community Theatre's production of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" lives up to its name, sharing with audiences the heart and hilarity of the original novel. Like the beloved classic, the play tells the story of a small town and a family of "the worst kids in the history of the world," the Herdmans: Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claud, and Gladys. The Herdmans come to church for free snacks and shock the kids and adults in town by taking over the annual Christmas pageant.
River Falls author Michele Klecker-Sailor wanted to write a children's ABC book back in 2009, when she first started writing kids' books. She said the challenge was creating a new ABC book when so many already existed. "The idea came to me late (or early) one morning last December," she said, "and even though it was 3 a.m., and I really wanted to go back to bed ... I was compelled to go to the computer and type up the first draft of this story." Klecker-Sailor's book is about pieces of fabric lying on Mrs. Claus's sewing room floor.
When Mel Germanson and Jerry Carter announced they planned to retire from managing their annual "Grumpy Old Men" food drive, Rick Bowen and Craig Miles were ready to take up their torch. Bowen had helped Germanson and Carter with the drive for years. Miles, Carter's nephew, started helping with the drive last year. "I think both of us are looking for some form of meaningful give-back community service," said Bowen. Though they'll be carrying on the "Grumpy Old Men's" tradition, Bowen and Miles said they won't take the name.
"My name is Adolf George Koderick. My friends have referred to me as 'the old survivor," said Koderick one afternoon, sitting in his town of River Falls home. Koderick, who goes by the nickname Art, has earned that title over his 95 years. He was born in LaCrosse, and it is there that his story of survival began. Childhood survival Koderick said his father was very strong. "Probably the strongest man I've ever met in my life," he said. "But he was abusive."
The national news lately has included stories of accidents involving drivers not stopping when school buses stop to pick up or drop off kids. In the past week, said River Falls School District Transportation Director Todd Burnap, there have been four such accidents nationally. Burnap said he'd like to remind local drivers to be cautious around school busses. "If you see a school bus with it's flashing lights and the stop arm out, make sure you stop," said Burnap.
Jim Guhl, a 30-year Hudson resident, will soon visit the River Falls Public Library to talk about his writing, particularly his newly-published novel: "Eleven Miles to Oshkosh." "Eleven Miles to Oshkosh" is a coming of age book, telling the story of Del "Minnow" Finwick, a 15-year-old boy growing up in Neenah, Wisconsin in the 1970s. "The vast majority of the book is set in the Fox Valley region," Guhl said.
Mayor Dan Toland and the River Falls City Council have declared Saturday, Nov. 3 to be WRFW Day in River Falls. The proclamation is in honor of the 50th anniversary of UW-River Falls' student-run radio station, WRFW (88.7 FM). WRFW was founded in 1968, and joined the Wisconsin Public Radio network, becoming its far western Wisconsin affiliate in 1998. Toland's proclamation also honors the fact that the station gives students and the community news and music and "offers hands-on training for journalism and communication students."
A four-car crash closed down the two right ways of I-94 Monday afternoon, between Carmichael Road and the Highway 35 exit. According to a WisDOT notification, the crash occurred around 1 p.m. by around 1:30, emergency workers were still on-scene. Hudson Police Chief Geoff Willems reported there were minor injuries, and that law enforcement and emergency responders were doing their best to clear the scene. Wisconsin State Patrol, St. Croix EMS, and Hudson Police and Fire Departments responded to the accident.
When the lights come up on River Falls Community Theater's production of "Steel Magnolias," audience members will find themselves inside a small-town hair salon, much like one that might have been found in River Falls in the 80s and 90s, around the time the play is set. RFCT transformed its stage, in the River Falls Public Library's lower level gallery, into "Truvy's Beauty Salon," where the action of the play takes place. "Steel Magnolias," by American writer Robert Harling, tells the story of a group of ladies in the small town of Chinquapin, Louisiana.
The River Falls Police Department has found a new future location. During its Tuesday, Oct. 23 regular meeting the River Falls City Council unanimously approved a purchase agreement with Forum Communications Company (FCC), which owns RiverTown Multimedia, including the River Falls Journal. FCC signed an agreement with City Administrator Scot Simpson to sell the River Falls Journal / RiverTown Multimedia building at 2815 Prairie Drive to the city for a future police department location. The City Council approved that agreement unanimously Tuesday night.