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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In 2015, Tony Jilek read an article in the River Falls Journal about River Falls First Congregational United Church of Christ adding solar panels to its building. Jilek said he went to talk with the administrator at his own church, St. Bridget Catholic Church, and asked why St. Bridget wasn't adding solar panels. The Rev. Gerald Harris said the idea of adding solar panels to St. Bridget arose when First Congregational UCC added solar panels to their building. Harris said he had some conversations with Mike Noreen, River Falls Utility Conservation & Efficiency coordinator.
The Copper Kettle was the clear winner of this year's Burger Battle, according to Craig Hofland, one of the organizers, and Teri-Gene Conlan of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Copper Kettle owner/operator Ted Leier said it feels good to win. "We've got a great staff," he said. "And this kinda shows everything that we're doing." Leier said the winning burger was a good product for a good cause —one that he's glad Copper Kettle could be a part of.
The Roberts and Warren Twin Lakes Committee heard reports on studies done on Twin Lakes during it's Monday, July 1 meeting. The committee learned more about the problems caused by the flooded lakes, the causes of the flooding and discussed possible solutions. Flooding issues Town of Warren Chair and Twin Lakes Committee member Geno Hanson reported to the committee that the town of Warren has declared a state of emergency due to the Twin Lakes flooding.
Jasmine Estey joined the Meyer Middle School girls' basketball team in October. She almost wasn't able to play basketball, said her mom, Melissa Hejl. Sometimes, Hejl said, she wondered how things would have gone if Estey hadn't joined the team. "They're the biggest supporters that she's got," Hejl said. Estey was diagnosed with osteosarcoma early this year. Around Christmastime, Estey's coach Chantele Torrez said Estey started complaining of hip and leg pain. At first, Torrez thought it was a basketball injury.
As the Fourth of July approaches, the River Falls Police Department wants to remind River Falls residents about state and local fireworks laws and regulations. Neighborhood Resource Officer Tom Overland said the issue of fireworks safety is important. "It involves everyone's safety," Overland said. "We don't want any children getting hurt. We don't want any property being destroyed." Overland said the RFPD usually gets anywhere from 10-40 fireworks-related calls each year.
The River Falls School District is inviting one and all to join district staff as they open a time capsule recently found at the Academy Building. The capsule, a simple, copper box, was found inside the cornerstone of the 1927 addition to the building, according to Community Education Director Monique Squire. The opening is set for 5:15 p.m. Thursday, June 27 in the gazebo on the southwest corner of the Academy property, 211 N. Fremont St.
Engines roared and crowds cheered for the 13th annual Showdown in Curd Town NTPA Tractor and Truck Pull on Saturday, June 8 at the Pierce County Fairgrounds in Ellsworth. The event is a fundraiser for the Ellsworth FFA Alumni, who use proceeds to help fund the Ellsworth FFA Chapter. Funds are used to help members attend leadership activities and support the club's endeavors.
A group of women dressed in large hats decked with flowers and ribbons, and long sashes spoke before the River Falls City Council during the public comment section of the council's regular meeting Tuesday, May 28. The group, lead by Lorraine Davis of the River Falls American Association of University Women (AAUW), had decked themselves out in the regalia of suffragettes in the year 1919, when the United States ratified the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.
When she was looking for a new house about three years ago, Carole Mottaz told Randy Cudd she wanted a historic home between Third and Sixth streets and Elm and Division streets. She also wanted the home to be one story, or to have the capacity to be one story. Mottaz ended up buying a bric, two-story farmhouse at 403 Division St. with her husband Larry Page. She said the "feel" of the house made it perfect. "This house really does speak to me," Mottaz said. "I love this house. I feel like it's a privilege to own it."
Arnold Roen sat in the front row at the River Falls Memorial Day Program this year, held in the Meyer Middle School gym due to rain. He sat on a folding chair with his wife, and one of his daughters on bleachers nearby, for the program. Known by most as "Arnie," Roen said in a separate interview that Memorial Day is especially important to him as he served for three years and three months during World War II. WWII