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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Betty McLaughlin was born and raised in Hammond. Now, 70 years later, Hammond is still the only place McLaughlin has called home. Linda Hawkins, co-chair Hammond Heartland Days, described McLaughlin as a devoted community member which is one of the qualities that convinced the Hammond Heartland Days committee that McLaughlin deserved to be this year's Hammond Heartland Days grand marshal. McLaughlin will be honored for her impact on the community in this year's Hammond Heartland Days parade. The parade starts at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 14.
Hammond Heartland Days is Aug. 11-14 and preparations are being made for the community celebration. A big part of the weekend's festivities is the crowning of the new royal court. The Hammond Heartland Days pageant is planned for 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at St. Croix Central Middle School. This year's candidates for the Hammond queen include: Name: Makayla Jahns Age: 16 Parents: Dave and Lisa Jahns Siblings: Ashley Jahns How many years have you lived in Hammond? 10 How would you describe the Hammond community?
With summer school classes finished for students in the St. Croix Central School District one might think that things are pretty quiet in the three school buildings ... but that's not the case. Though there are projects the maintenance crew can work on at the start of summer, a majority of the maintenance projects have to wait until the last two months of summer. "We can't get started with a lot of projects until summer school is over," said Greg Green, district building and grounds superintendent.
Three potential sites for a new Hammond Community Library were briefly discussed at the Village of Hammond finance committee meeting on Monday, Aug. 1. Library Director Michelle Johnson said the library has been looking at potential sites for many months. Two of the proposed sites are on village land while one proposed site would need to be purchased from a Hammond resident. Johnson said a representative from Short Elliot Hendrickson Inc. prepared a needs-assessment of each of the three sites, which she shared with the committee members.
The St. Croix Central School District held its Annual Meeting on Monday, July 25. Before the annual meeting began, District Accountant Jennifer Kleschold explained the proposed 2011-12 budget during a budget hearing. A document from LarsonAllen Auditor Thomas Kortas was included in the meeting packet saying that during the initial phase of the audit Kortas did not find any need for any adjustments to the recorded balances in the district's financial records.
There were only two items on the Village of Hammond special board meeting on Thursday, July 21, yet around two dozen residents showed up to hear the discussion. The two agenda items were the village sewer account and the village sewer committee. Village President Tony Bibeau said the sewer committee suggested the meeting to discuss whether the village wanted to hire Ehlers Financial Advisor Brian Reilly for financial recommendations to overcome the sewer deficit. Bibeau said Reilly would charge a minimal fee for his services, but the minimal fee was more than he had expected.
"Boomerang: a bent or angular throwing club typically flat on one side and rounded on the other so that it soars or curves in flight; especially: one designed to return near the thrower." -- Webster's Dictionary Peter Close,Roberts, was bit by the boomerang-making bug when he was 19 years old. Now, 51, Close uses his knowledge of boomerangs to teach others. Close can still recall his first encounter with a boomerang. "I was in Schultz's Five and Dime in River Falls, down in the basement in the toy section, when I touched my first boomerang.
Despite a few "surprises," the Division Street project in Roberts is still on schedule, according to Public Works Director John Bond. "Like any construction project there's always a few surprises," Bond said.
Even with school out of session, the St. Croix Central School District has been a busy place the last couple months. Summer School Director Nicholas Haug gave the SCC School Board a recap of summer school activities in the district at the school board meeting on Monday, July 18. Haug said overall there were around 400 summer school participants at the elementary school, 375 at the middle school and 20 students taking classes through the high school (though not all elementary and middle school students attended every day/week of summer classes).
Nathan Weitgenant, 20, of Hammond got caught up in a life changing experience on Sunday, July 10. Weitgenant and his friends, Dillion Anderson (Woodville) and Jacob Rock (Hammond), had just launched their boat into the water around 4 p.m. at the boat landing at Mary Park in New Richmond when they decided to offer a man some help getting his boat into the water. Before the three young men could ask the man how he'd like them to help, Weitgenant said the man stepped into the water and suddenly slipped backwards onto the concrete, hit his head, and instantly knocked him out.