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Governor Scott Walker and the new CEO of Wisconsin's Economic Development Corporation, Reed Hall, traveled around the state this week to announced Hall's recent selection, including a stop at the New Richmond Regional Airport around 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31. The two met and talked with representatives of business and of several area economic development corporations, including New Richmond and Amery; St. Croix, Pierce, Polk and Dunn counties; as well as the cities of New Richmond and Prescott and the regional group Momentum West.
First lady of the state Tonette Walker presented a Wisconsin Heroes award to well-known River Falls doctor Bob Johnson at 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, as his wife, Mary Conroy-Johnson, and a crowd of his co-workers from the River Falls Medical Clinic and the adjoining hospital, looked on with smiles and hearty applause. Asked if he had been surprised by the award, Johnson said with a grin, "Oh yes." The award presentation remained top secret until just a while before Walker arrived at the clinic in River Falls.
River Falls resident Sara Semi sends out a call for help from others in the region both to find her lost dog and find anyone who might have seen her get hit by a full-sized 18 wheeler about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 14. Semi, who's 7 ½ months pregnant, was driving her boyfriend to work in Hammond, carrying along their small dog, Bubba, in their black two-door Pontiac Sunfire. They were in the "slow" lane on the right going about 60 mph, even commenting on the big truck riding in the "fast" lane on the left but driving about the same speed they were.
Bernetta "Bernie" Probst, 93, said about her Valentine's Day surprise, "When something beautiful like this happens, we should share it with people." Probst, a River Falls native who lives at The Lutheran Home, said she was about to eat lunch Feb. 14 when a handsome young man came and kneeled beside her. He asked her if she knew Michael Probst. Bernie acknowledged that he, a Marine, was her grandson but had been killed in action Feb. 14, 2006, in Iraq. The young man visiting Bernie, recently retired Marine Sgt. Aaron Fuller, said he'd been a close friend.
A big crowd gathered at Junior's Bar and Grill in River Falls the night of Thursday, Jan. 19, joining enthusiastic mom and well-known local singer Colleen Raye in front of a large-screen TV to watch her son, Reed Grimm, appear on American Idol. Grimm's Pittsburgh audition appeared in the first half hour of the show, including video footage of him playing onstage as a kid. He also told judges that he was born into a musical family since mom Raye and dad Steve Grimm are both singers and musicians.
What better a time for appreciating art than when a brisk wind has begun to swirl colorful, crackling leaves? It beats post-Thanksgiving weather, when snow likely will have conquered fall's colors. That thought helped a local group decide to organize the annual Main Street Art Crawl for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, instead of holding it the same day and weekend as the holiday-themed Riverdazzle festivities. "We have 20 businesses and 27 artists," said Val Lundgren, owner of Karma Gifts and an Art Crawl organizer.
An e-mail received by one of the Journal staff Tuesday, March 15, seemed to come from the Salvation Army and asked for donations to help Japan with emergency earthquake and tsunami relief. Upon checking its legitimacy with local Salvation Army representative Ed Paulson, he confirmed the message is a scam. It comes from the "Salvation Army National Corp." in Alton, Hampshire, UK and explains the mission and programs of the Salvation Army.
Strong storms moved through Pierce County shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, damaging several homes and downing trees to leave a handful of roads blocked. Julie Stoltenburg was home with her two-week old baby at W 6303 870th St. in the town of Trimbelle when she heard the storm sirens, got nervous and took her daughter to the basement. She called husband Jeff at work, who began making his way home. The couple's toddler son was not home at the time. "I heard a lot of crashing," said Julie about after she went to the basement.
Gilby's Street Department owner Todd Gilbertson said, "It's all about the bikes here." He said most motorcyclists enjoy an event where they can hang around outdoors with their bike and visit with others who enjoy the machines. That's one reason he, Gilby's four employees, and friends hosted a gathering 7:30-10 p.m. Friday and welcomed about 200 guests. The shop plans to hold nine more gatherings like it this spring and summer. Excitement and the smell of brats filled the air as the group prepared for Friday and the first event.
Members of the HeartStrings Suzuki Studio nonprofit Parent Association want everyone to know that it's holding a fundraising barn dance 6-9 p.m. Saturday, May 1, at 263 Liberty Road. Tickets will be available at the door: $15 for adults and $10 for children. Association member and dance organizer Kathy Metcalf says the price includes a simple dinner of pulled-pork sandwiches, veggies and chips. "We're keeping it simple," she said. Guests will hear the Rush River Ramblers, a band Metcalf said features fiddling.