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 Village of Hammond board room was full during the April 11 meeting, as residents and business owners had opinions and concerns about a few of the night's agenda items. One of the major discussion topics centered around Tony Endres' request to sell firearms on the Internet from his home in the Black Duck Point housing development. Endres said his intent was to selling firearms over the Internet as opposed to having potential customers coming to his house. "In hopes that we will alleviate some of the concerns from my neighbors," he said.
Receiving a St. Croix Valley Foundation Music Education Grant was music to Michelle Schmitt's ears. Schmitt, the St. Croix Central Elementary and Middle School vocal music teacher, applied for the grant in October 2010 and in December received $4,140 to purchase some "rocking" instruments for her classroom. "With the grant, I hired the Whitesidewalls to perform at our school (their first school performance), and bought four electric guitars, two bass guitars, amps, a drum set, as well as the accessories that go with these instruments.
A little red shovel has sparked a friendly competition between two local churches. The little red shovel has a history with both the Cross Lutheran Church in Roberts and Trinity Lutheran Church in Hammond. During an open house on September 19, 2010, the people of Trinity received a gift from Rev. Emil Evenson. The gift was a little red shovel that Evenson said was used at Trinity's groundbreaking in 1973. Trinity's Pastor Mike Briggs said he put the shovel on his desk and didn't look at it for a couple weeks.
For almost 30 years, Eldon Myer, 70, of Hammond, has been collecting farm history in a miniature way. In the last three decades, Myer has collected more than 1,000 toy farm tractors. His hobby started in the early 1980s, when he came across a few toy tractors at Christmas time that reminded him of the equipment he saw growing up in a farm family, in East Ellsworth.
The St. Croix Central School Board is continuing to look at options to effectively communicate with the community about what is happening in the district, especially those who may not have a vested interest in the schools. The review and discussion of community engagement materials raised a major discussion among those board members present at the board learning meeting on Monday, April 4.
The winter of 2010-11 has been brutal on everyone and everything in St. Croix County, including mailboxes along county roads.
Teachers at the St. Croix Central Elementary School are using teacher collaboration and student data to improve instruction. Since the school purchased the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System, teachers have been able to keep their instruction very focused by grade level, through the use of resources to track and assess student progress.
Since January the St. Croix Central School district has had a committee focused solely on infusing discussion and activities related to diversity in every classroom. "Mr. Bradley sent out an email to staff in early January wondering who might be interested in being a part of this committee. Since that initial email, we have had great interest and participation from staff (teaching and non-teaching), parents, community members, and we are working on student representation as well," said Shannon Donnelly, middle school special education teacher and chairwoman of the Diversity Committee.
The Roberts Ribbon Reapers 4-H Club is sponsoring a huge indoor garage sale on Friday, April 1, and Saturday, April 2, to raise money for a new dairy barn at the St. Croix County Fairgrounds. This is the ninth year the 4-H Club is hosting the garage sale fundraiser. On average, the sale raises about $1,000, which is pretty good considering almost every item is marked at only 50 cents. The fundraiser wouldn't be a success without donations of gently used items from community members.
District Administrator David Bradley and District Accountant Jen Kleschold presented a 2011-12 budget adjustment estimate, including a list budget reductions to balance the perceived deficit at the St. Croix Central School Board meeting March 21. Bradley and Kleschold provided the board with a 2011-12 budget adjustments table based on the current three-year rolling average and applied a 5.5 percent reduction, which is $529 per student. Based on their calculations, the district would be missing an estimated $724,962.90 out of this year's budget. Kleschold calculated Gov.