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
- 5 years 2 months
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.
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.
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.