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
- 4 years 7 months
Joyce Helmueller knew it was time to retire this year. She had been thinking about retirement for a few years, she said, but hadn't been ready. Now, it's time. "I have a lot of mixed feelings about it, but I'm ready," Helmueller said. "I'm ready for a new adventure in my life." The 2012-13 school year has been Helmueller's 30th year at St. Croix Central. She began her career as secretary for the SCC athletic director.
After she heard about the April 30 fire that closed St. Croix Central Elementary School for the rest of the school year, Jennifer Kling wanted to help. "I really felt for what all the teachers and kids would be going through," Kling said. Kling said she decided to organize a benefit to raise money for SCC.
When Brad Nemec received an email asking him to be grand marshal for the Pea Soup Days parade, he said he was surprised. "It's an honor, and it's very humbling," Nemec said. Nemec said he and his wife, Sandy, will lead the Pea Soup Days Parade as grand marshals this year. They were chosen in recognition of their service to the Somerset community. The Nemecs have been involved in various church councils as well as the Somerset School District for many years. Brad Nemec said he has a "pay-it-forward" life philosophy. "If I can do something, then (I) do it," Brad Nemec said.
Normally, Roberts Police Chief Dan Burgess leads off the Roberts Good Neighbor Days parade from his squad car, and proceeds to direct traffic and keep parade goers safe. But this year, Burgess will have a different role. He has been named 2013 Good Neighbor Days parade grand marshal. Burgess said the honor came as a complete surprise. "I was shocked," Burgess said.
Although he said the April 30 fire that closed St. Croix Central Elementary School has been a challenge to deal with, Steve Sanders said the overwhelming community support for SCC's alternate elementary location, "Panther Camp," has given him a positive note on which to end his career. "I don't know if I even have words to describe it," Sanders said. "It's just unbelievable to me. We're still receiving packages." Sanders is set to retire after 29 years as an educator in the St.
Every morning St. Croix Central Elementary students get off the buses and gather around the flagpole, standing in a field near the third and fourth grade cabins. All of the more than 600 students recite the Pledge of Allegiance together.
Roberts residents are getting ready to celebrate this year's Roberts Good Neighbor Days May 30 - June 2. Roberts Lions Club First Vice President Ronda Bierbrauer said this year's theme, "Roberts around the world," is a celebration of the diversity found in Roberts, as well as the international reach of the Lions organization. The festivities will start off Thursday with the community appreciation dinner, sponsored by Citizens State Bank, and the Pie and Ice Cream Social put on by the Hazel Mackin Community Library Fundraising committee at 5:30 p.m. in the village park.
In this day of computers and emails, receiving a handwritten, personal letter can be a special thing. Patty Schachtner, Somerset school nurse, helped organize the letter-writing campaign in the schools with Gina Knutson, Carol Jones, Gail Buell and Randy Calleja as a part of the Leadership Trust Initiative, a course sponsored by the New Richmond Area Community Foundation. The group organized community letters for New Richmond eighth-graders one week before the Somerset eighth-graders received theirs.
The smell permeating the entire St. Croix Central Elementary building is a reminder of the smoke damage that has rendered many of the school's classroom items unusable. This, combined with the fact that teachers have not been able to retrieve many items from their classrooms, put the school in need of supplies for its students. However, thanks to an outpouring of community and area support, SCC Elementary does not need school supplies any longer. "It's overwhelming, it really is," school district Superintendent David Bradley said.