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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The fourth annual Showcase Hammond is set for Saturday, March 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Croix Central High School. Michelle Johnson, who helped coordinate the showcase, said the event, dedicated to promoting local businesses, is important because it gives locals an idea of what products and services are offered in the area. "Buying local is important for any community, so this is a way for people to get to know what is in our community...that they may be able to utilize," Johnson said. Johnson said 60 vendors have registered so far.
When memberships began to dwindle in the Somerset American Legion Post 111, Legionnaires brought in the next generation. Legionnaires spoke with five or six interested people, including Mike Davis, and together they formed the Somerset Sons of the American Legion. The Sons of the American Legion (SAL) is a national organization that was founded in 1932, but it came to Somerset just two years ago, according to Davis, who is now the commander of the Post 111 Sons.
In her first few weeks at Roberts United Church or Christ, Rev. Melinda Feller has been very busy. "I've already had communion, I've had a funeral, I've had a double baptism, and I've been doing lots of visiting and being out in the community," Feller said. "And I had to unpack." Feller's ministry at Roberts UCC officially started at the beginning of February. One of the first things Feller did upon starting at Roberts UCC was begin learning her new parishioners' names. "First and last," Feller said.
Students jumped up and down, waved their arms and danced to "Call Me Maybe" (Carly Rae Jepsen), "Baby" (Justin Bieber) and other popular songs during a not-so-typical school assembly at Somerset Elementary School Friday, Feb. 22. The PowerUp School Challenge kickoff assembly was led by Radio Disney employees, who used popular songs to get the kids up and moving throughout the approximately 45-minute assembly. "It went incredibly," said SES Principal Darren Kern, "The kids did a great job. Radio Disney did a great job. Lakeview Health does a great job.
Running the Hammond and Roberts Senior Nutrition sites is a lot like running a restaurant, according to Jordan Pechuman, new site manager for the Hammond/Roberts senior centers. "There's a lot less stress and pressure at this job," Pechuman said.
St. Croix Central Middle School's upcoming performance will be a full performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Preparing for the performance has been challenging, middle school music teacher Michelle Schmitt said, because the 90-minute performance contains no spoken words. The performance is entirely sung. "It helps them remember the words, but the vocal stamina is tricky," Schmitt said. "We did incorporate some of the harmony too." Schmitt said the students have risen to the challenge well.
The unusual variety of weather this season has made it difficult to keep the roadways clear of ice and snow,according to St. Croix County Highway Commissioner Tim Ramberg. One of the most difficult weather conditions to deal with, Ramberg said, is freezing rain. "You can't really plow ice," Ramberg said. He said it needs to be melted off with material like road salt.
Hammond recently received $5,286.72 in a class action lawsuit settlement. The money is Hammond's piece of a $105 million settlement of a lawsuit over the chemical atrazine. The money is to reimburse the village for the cost of removing the chemical from the community water system. A trace amount of atrazine was found in Hammond's water system in 1999, said Hammond Village Attorney Tim Scott. He said this qualified Hammond for compensation under the lawsuit. The case was begun in 2004 by the law firms of Korein Tillery of St.
A settlement has been reached in Dylan McHenry's National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case against Teamsters Local Union 974. McHenry initially filed the charges through the National Right to Work Foundation this summer, alleging Teamsters Local Union 974 had refused to follow federal disclosure requirements and had taken money from his paychecks for its political action committee. At the time, McHenry was a New Brighton, Minn. journeyman technician at Ford.
Shannon Gilkerson said her 2-year-old daughter Avery is a "rainbow baby," the blessing who helps Gilkerson and her husband Tommy get through the pain of losing two infant children. "If we didn't have Avery, I don't know how we would get through," Shannon Gilkerson said. Avery, the Gilkersons' oldest child, was born in 2010. Shannon Gilkerson said her pregnancy with Avery went normally, but when she became pregnant again in 2011, things didn't go so well. "I had the intuition that something was wrong from the beginning," Shannon Gilkerson said.