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
- 6 years 2 weeks
When she lost her apartment in a fire on Jan. 26, Ashley Christiansen lost more than her home and possessions. She lost a piece of her family: Her 3-year-old tabby cat, Tater. Christiansen said she misses Tater, or Tate for short, "more than I could ever explain." "I don't have a home anymore, so having him would give me a sense of home," she said. "He was my family for two years." The fire ravaged Christiansen's apartment at 222 E. Walnut St. in the early morning hours of Jan. 26; its contents were destroyed.
More than 200 people gathered Tuesday evening, March 5, at the Academy Building, 211 Fremont St., to say goodbye. Deconstruction began on the original 1927 and the 1970s portions of the building Wednesday, March 6, with the process of removing "relics" or historical pieces intended to be re-used in some way. Asbestos removal also began, said River Falls School District Director of Finances and Facility Management Chad Smurawa.
River Falls Days will not have a carnival this year, according to Chamber of Commerce CEO Chris Blasius. She spoke at the Feb. 26 River Falls City Council meeting, letting council members know that the chamber has stopped looking for a new location for the 2019 carnival. "We have evaluated over 14 different proposed sites," Blasius said. "At this point all of them have been eliminated for various reasons."
Wendy Wall has spent time at the current River Falls High School building. She is impressed with the layout of the building, and finds it a very conducive learning environment. But, she doesn't feel the same connection and sense of pride she feels when visiting what is now known as the River Falls Academy building on Fremont Street. "It surprised me a little how attached we can become to a building," Wall said. "It's really the memories, not the building."
The River Falls Community Theatre aims to amuse with its annual evening of one-act plays. This year's performance is titled "LOVE(ish)." The show, which opened at Junior's Restaurant and Tap House Friday Feb. 15, also runs Feb. 16, 22 and 23. Performances include: • "The Philadelphia" by David Ives, starring Kellie Burrows, Aleisha Miller and Brett Severson • "Canker Sores and Other Distractions" by Christopher Durang, starring Michele Myrick, Denny Cooper and Barrie Mayer
When Johnathan Harsdorf was 8 years old, he liked to watch artist Mark Kistler's PBS show. "I watched him almost every day, I'd draw along with him," Harsdorf said. "It was great." Harsdorf continued drawing, doing cartoons for school newspapers and majored in website design in college. "It influenced my decision a lot in what I did as an adult, in choosing a more creative career path," Harsdorf said. Now, Harsdorf does website work for Kistler. And Harsdorf and his son, Christian, now 8 years old, draw together.
Charlene Brooks is different than most of the previous executive directors of the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust. Brooks, who officially started as executive director in September, and became full time in December, said the board was intentional about that decision.
Raven Hernandez had always wanted to go on a mission trip. "I've known a lot of friends who have gone to Honduras and had incredible experiences," she said. "I was just ready to go, and it was an opportunity." Hernandez was part of a group from Journey Church of River Falls and Christ Center Assembly of God of Hudson that recently took a mission trip to Honduras to build a church there. "It was a mix of being the hands and feet of Jesus," said Hernandez, "and also just getting to experience a new culture."
Heather Sperl woke up Saturday, Jan. 26, to a message from a friend asking to stay with her when she returned from vacation, because her home had just burned down. The friend was a resident of one of two homes at 222 Walnut St. and 209 S. Third St. that went up in flames in the early morning hours Saturday. Sperl said when she heard the news, she wanted to do something to help. She's organizing a benefit, to be held at Junior's Restaurant and Tap House on March 8, with the help of Cory Hart, manager at Junior's.
The River Falls City Council Chambers were filled with applause Tuesday evening, Jan. 22, after the council voted to approve the Kinni Corridor Plan. This plan is a “living document” that will guide the Kinnickinnic River corridor development for the next 20 years, according to Community Development Director Buddy Lucero. The Kinni Corridor Plan has been two years in the making.