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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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.
The Wilbur family has had a connection to the Roberts Ribbon Reapers 4-H Club since 1934. Evelyn (Cochren) Wilbur got involved in 4-H as a young girl. In 1946 she married Guy Wilbur who shared her passion for the community and leadership program.
An estimated $25,000 worth of property was stolen from the St. Croix Central Middle School maintenance shop during the evening of June 22. "There were several small items stolen along with the 2004 Chevrolet Pickup, trailer and Kabota Lawnmower. The small items include a cordless drill, two weedeaters, two backpack blowers, hedge pruner, air compressor, self-propelled lawn mower and air wrench with socket set," said Jennifer Kleschold, district accountant.
The Village of Hammond Board meetings seem to be drawing crowds in recent months, and the July 11 meeting was no exception. Residents filled every seat in the room, some stood in the lobby and around 10 people even sat on the floor at the start of the Monday night meeting. Although there were some new faces in attendance, the main topic of concern continued to be the village sewer deficit. Residents addressed the board during the public comment time and many individuals asked questions or made comments throughout the meeting.
Jan Hermerding, 62, Roberts, describes herself as a "very arrogant, stubborn, determined woman." It's those, characteristics and a strong support system that have helped her along her journey with Stage 3B inoperable lung cancer. Hermerding says lung cancer isn't the first health problem she's experienced in her lifetime. "This isn't the first bump in the road I've ever had. I've had a couple of strokes and I had tetanus in 1975. I'm one of the very few people that ever lived through tetanus," she said. "I've always been determined.
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.
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.
A summer fitness program for St. Croix Central High School athletes is strengthening the school's sports teams in more than one way.
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.
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.