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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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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 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.
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.