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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St. Croix Central's summer school programs have seen higher enrollment numbers this year. Director of Summer School Nicholas Haug said there are 534 kindergarten through eighth-graders enrolled in summer school at St. Croix Central, with 447 elementary school students and 376 middle school students enrolled in the morning sessions of classes. Haug said it's important the district offer summer school courses for students. "We offer summer classes in the hopes of helping students retain information that they have gathered during the school year," Haug said.
St. Croix Central School Board discussed various health insurance plan options for staff at its regular meeting on Monday, June 20. Under Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget plan, which would cut revenue limits by 5.5 percent, SCC will receive $725,000 less in 2011-12. According to District Administrator David Bradley employees begin paying for budget cuts (by contributing 5.8 percent to the Wisconsin Retirement System) to schools starting July 1 for 12-month staff and Sept. 1 for teaching staff and 9-month staff with expired contracts.
A summer fitness program for St. Croix Central High School athletes is strengthening the school's sports teams in more than one way.
Twelve teachers and staff retired from the St. Croix Central School District at the end of this school year. Not only did SCC lose nearly 11 percent of its teaching staff due to retirements, it also lost around 300 years of experience, according to District Administrator David Bradley.
The Village of Hammond went back in time on Father's Day Sunday, commemorating the village's connection to the Yellowstone Trail, the first transcontinental automobile tourist road in the United States. Don Fowell, co-owner of the Hammond Hotel, said the event had the family feel the Yellowstone Trail committee was hoping for. "It was great to see families spending the day together at the event," Fowell said. The Yellowstone Trail Social provided fun for everyone with an antique car show, vintage tractor show and weaving and soap-making demonstrations.
Accountability for the sewer deficit was one of the main topics discussed at the regular Village of Hammond board meeting on Monday, June 13. Around two dozen residents attended the meeting, and much like previous meetings, many of those in attendance voiced their opinions about some of the issues facing the village. Village Auditor Tom Kortas was present at the meeting and answered board members' questions concerning the sewer deficit.
Two Village of Hammond residents have started a grassroots campaign to get fellow residents interested and informed about what's being done with taxpayer money. Sarah Colwell said it was learning of a more than $300,000 sewer deficit in the village that sparked her to start a campaign to encourage Hammond residents to attend the monthly village board meetings to "let their voices be heard" about issues in the village. "The whole intent (of the campaign) is to bring the community together to work on a huge deficit that affects every single resident," Colwell said.
The St. Croix Central Elementary School gym was full of handshakes and hugs and smiles and tears Thursday, June 2, as the kindergarten and fourth grade classes moved on to the next phase in their education. The kindergarten recognition ceremony was held at noon Thursday, and the fourth grade promotion was held at 2 p.m. Before the student recognition portion of the program began, students in each kindergarten class performed a song or entertaining dance for the audience.
Last weekend proved to be a good weekend for the plethora of Good Neighbor Days events in Roberts. Lions President Gerilynne Wood said in addition to many wonderful volunteers, the weather played a big part in making this year's Good Neighbor Days weekend so successful. "The weather absolutely helped us this year," Wood said. The last two years were rainy on Saturdays, but this year Wood said, "The nice weather I ordered came through." Wood said last weekend was one of the first really nice weekends weather-wise in the area.
This year's Good Neighbor Award winner has had a close relationship to the Roberts community his entire life. Peter Close, who has lived in Roberts since he was four months old, was named as the 2011 Good Neighbor Award recipient. So what did Close think of being this year's Good Neighbor? "I was honored, surprised, shocked," he said. Although he was shocked to win the award, Close said he had hunch he may have been nominated for the title.