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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Instead of taking their usual fall field trip to Fort Snelling, this autumn 101 fifth-graders from St. Croix Central Middle School went to feed some starving children. The St. Croix Central fifth grade class took a trip to Feed My Starving Children in Coon Rapids, Minn. Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1987, with the goal of feeding malnourished children around the world. The organization served approximately 153 million meals to children in 70 countries in 2012, according to its website, www.fmsc.org .
Construction on the new bathroom and concession stand building in the Somerset Village Park should be wrapping up soon, said Bob Gunther of the Somerset Public Works department. "It'll be a nice addition onto that area," Gunther said. The building contains a concession stand portion as well public bathrooms. Gunther said the concession stand portion of the building will be used as a concession stand in the summer and will be converted into a warming house in the winter for families using the ice skating rink.
Traci Libersky had worked as a bartender at Papa B's Lounge in Somerset for four years when she heard the business was for sale. Libersky said she had long hoped to own her own bar and she jumped at the opportunity. "It just kind of fell into our laps and we went for it," Libersky said. Libersky now co-owns Papa B's Lounge with her husband Shawn. The Liberskys said they will officially change the bar's name to T-Buckets when they are able to purchase a new sign for the building.
Thirty years ago two ladies from Trinity Lutheran Church in Hammond who wanted to make quilts for charity started a quilting group. Today, the group, Trinity Quilters, has around six to eight regular members and meets two or three times a month to quilt. Trinity Quilters has created more than 120 blankets this year and they're going to give them all away. "We display them at church for a few Sundays on the backs of the chairs," said quilter June Lindquist. Then the blankets are taken and, for the most part, given to Lutheran World Relief.
When Paulette Anderson brought unicycling students to the annual Twin Cities Unicycle Club (TCUC) banquet in New Brighton, Minn., she had no idea what awaited her. Anderson was presented with the TCUC 2012 Mentor Award at the banquet. "I was shocked when I got it," Anderson said. Anderson helps teach kids to unicycle through a community education class that meets every Thursday at St. Croix Central Elementary School.
Michael Nyseth has 36 merit badges. He went from second class to first class in six months and is now a member of Life Scout Troop 161. Nyseth is 13 years old and now he is beginning his Eagle Scout project. Nyseth is building an audio/visual control cabinet for his church, Trinity Lutheran of Hammond. "Our church has a closet that's crammed full of all our electronics," Nyseth said. "I figured; why not make that cleaner, so I decided to make a cabinet." Typically, Boy Scouts trying for Eagle status are around 16 or 17 years of age.
St. Croix Central Middle School's annual Veterans Day program went off without a hitch, according to SCC middle school counselor Kathleen Brossmer, who said the event was conducted wonderfully and respectfully. "The kids were outstanding," Brossmer said.
Eleven-year-old Eli Anderson said he has always dreamed of being an actor. Many kids have shared that dream, but Anderson has been working on his dream for the past two years and, if his luck holds, he just might achieve it sooner rather than later. Last January, Anderson's agency brought 10 of the children it represents (Anderson included) to Los Angeles to audition for the start of a new television show. When a new television show is begun, a pilot episode is filmed as a test and, if all goes well, the producers decide to sponsor the show.
Every Thursday through Dec. 6, four families are meeting in the Somerset Middle School foods classroom to learn about healthy eating on a budget. These people are participating in WestCAP's (West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency) Family Table program. Family Table is holding eight-week fall sessions for low-income families in several locations in St. Croix County, said Robyn Thibado, WestCAP social assets director.
Christ Lutheran Church in Somerset is starting in early on fundraising for their next mission trip. Rev. Kathy Tulman said this year's trip will be bigger than ever before. She said in addition to youth from Christ Lutheran, there will be some kids who aren't members of the church, but are friends of church members who are coming on the trip.