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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A story in the Dec. 30, 2010 issue of the News, titled, "Hammond man thankful for neighborly rescue," told of Royce Fritz's struggle to stay alive after a traumatic fall on a cold night. After five hours of surgery at Regions Hospital and 63 wire staples in his two knees, to trim and reattach the tendons, Fritz was sent to the American Heritage Care Center, in Hammond, to recover. When the News met with Fritz on Dec. 15, he was feeling down both physically and emotionally.
Anyone stopped at a railway crossing in the past week may have noticed the train chugging past faster than usual. On Feb. 21 Union Pacific Railroad increased train speed on its rail line by 10 mph and another 10 mph on Feb. 28, when the new maximum speed limit of 50 mph went into effect. The speed increase is a result of recent track improvements between Hudson and Menomonie.
The Hammond Police Department may be turning to an online police auction website to sell evidence and unclaimed goods that fill up the limited storage room. Hammond Police Chief Rick Coltrain said the department doesn't currently have any evidence items, but when it does acquire more, it may use propertyroom.com to sell those items not retrieved by the owners after the required wait period. Coltrain said everything from bikes found in bushes to chairs and tools that fell out of pickup trucks can be placed in the evidence room.
Two unique activities at The Centre put a twist on the traditional sports of logrolling and soccer. The Centre is currently offering logrolling classes in the pool and Futsal, a variation of soccer, usually played indoors in a small playing area using a weighted ball. Logrolling Logrolling is often associated with big, burly lumberjacks in flannel. At The Centre, they prefer their logrollers in swim suits.
In less than one week, the Roberts Police Department issued eight citations to parents dropping off their children in the bus zone at St. Croix Central Elementary school. Since September, elementary school officials and the Roberts Police Department have noticed an increase in the number of parents dropping off their children in the restricted bus zone, despite the three signs on the property saying not to. During the school week it is illegal to drive in a school bus zone between 7 and 8:10 a.m. and 2:45 and 3:45.
The St. Croix Central School District needs to review and update some of its policies, but it can't do so without a current reference or policy service. Prior to the Feb. 21 school board meeting, the board had looked into the Wisconsin Association of School Board Policy Reference Guide and Neola Policy Services. While the WASB is more cost effective at $5,800, it requires time, as someone within the school district would have to do all the work to make changes to current policies.
During the public comment time at the Feb. 21 St. Croix Central School Board meeting, High School Guidance Counselor Bill Stuessel addressed the board on the events happening in Madison. He said he was hoping that Superintendent David Bradley and the school board could make a statement about what is happening at the Capitol. "There are a lot of people that are concerned about what's happening in Madison and we were hoping to get your position," Stuessel said. Board member Scott De Gross said the board as a whole has not had the chance to discuss the events in Madison since the news of Gov.
Where do you find information about the St. Croix Central School District? Do you read all of the literature sent out by the district? Do you feel informed about what is happening at SCC in terms of student growth and facility use? Improving communication with the community was a topic of importance at the St. Croix Central School District's board learning meeting on Feb. 7. As the SCC School District continues to grow in a poor economy, the board is looking at all options to deal with increased enrollment and its impact on the district's facilities.
Village employee and department head evaluations have been an ongoing topic at the Hammond board meetings. The board made a final decision about the evaluation process at the regular board meeting on Feb. 14. Some main questions that arose were, who should evaluate who (should every village employee evaluate each department head, even if they don't work with that person on a daily basis?), how the survey should be conducted (online or on paper) and what type of questions should be on the evaluation. Village Clerk Kelly Brett suggested the board simplify the evaluation form.
Right when plans for a 4-year-old kindergarten program in the St. Croix Central Central School District started falling into place, a statement by Wisconsin State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) has made the school board take another look at the costs and benefits of 4K. One item on the St. Croix Central Board learning meeting agenda Feb. 7 was plans for the 4K program for fall 2011 and a proposal to no longer fund 4K programs. The board discussed the risks associated with funding a 4K program, especially in terms of coping if state funding diminished.