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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When Royce Fritz, 67, of Hammond, was taking his garbage to the curb around 10 p.m. Dec. 2, he fell on a patch of ice. In excruciating pain and unable to move, Fritz thought he would freeze to death. Fritz almost fell twice while walking his garbage to the end of the driveway. The first time he caught himself before falling. The second time he slipped, he was not as lucky. Fritz fell in such a way that he ripped the tendons from the kneecaps on both legs. "Needless to say there was a lot of pain and screaming and crying," Fritz said.
Eric Fisher, 44, of Roberts, leaves for his sixth deployment after the holidays. The busy husband, father of three, Boy Scout Troop #161 Scout Master and active church member has been in the military for 25 years and says he rarely has spare time. Fisher works in transportation with the Air Force in the 934th Airlift Wing, 27th Aerial Port Squadron. "Basically we move anything and everything that needs to go anywhere.
Despite recent shifts in the housing market and economy, the most recent school enrollment projections show an increase in enrollment in the St. Croix Central School District over the next 10 years. At the Dec. 13 school board meeting, Richelle Winkler, a demographer and associate researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison shared a PowerPoint presentation which highlighted key points of the 33-page school enrollment projection report. The report contained four different projection models.
Hammond and Roberts residents may notice new red and green recycling carts on their streets this week. Veolia Environmental Services Solid Waste is introducing "single stream recycling" to customers in the area. The changes come after Veolia purchased new automated trucks in order to become more efficient and environmentally friendly. "By adjusting our routes to every other week, we have less exhaust fumes and wear and tear on the roads.
On Dec. 13 the village board voted to reward village employees with a holiday gift that will also help support Hammond businesses. In an effort to become more effective and more efficient, Village Trustee Erin McComb said, "We leveraged our committees to bring vetted ideas and recommendations and made a commitment to getting educated so we could reach decisions faster." McComb said the effort paid off, and the money the committee did not use for trustee meetings was used to fund this year's holiday gift.
Since she was 3 years old, Beth Monson has considered Hammond her home. Her father Veldon "Doc" Monson was a doctor in town for 18 years and her mother Mary had a yarn shop in the family's basement. Monson said her future was influenced by St. Croix Central teachers, and knew by her junior year of high school that she wanted to be a family and consumer education teacher, although back in the day it was referred to as home economics. Monson graduated from St.
Sandy Brecht Photography studio, 940 Davis St., Hammond, goes beyond the camera lens with crafts, trinkets and treats. Since she moved to her new location in September, Brecht has transformed what was once a blank wall, into a picture-perfect little gift shop, featuring a number of items made or distributed by local individuals. Brecht said she's glad she can share her studio space with other people in the community.
When Tony Endres attended the Monday night Village of Hammond board meeting, he was not prepared for the backlash his request would cause. Endres was seeking a conditional use permit to start a business selling firearms from his home. In a phone interview Tuesday morning Endres said, "I wasn't expecting that kind of (negative) response." A number of Endres' neighbors in the Black Duck Point housing development attended the meeting to voice their concerns about safety and traffic hazards gun sales could bring to their neighborhood.
Last Friday, while many people frantically tried to get off work early, cancel weekend shopping trips and rearrange weekend plans in anticipation of the big snow storm, Randy Gunderson, patrol superintendent at the St. Croix County Highway Department, calmly sat at his desk looking over weather data from the county's Maintenance Decision Support System. "There's not much you can do about (the weather), so there's no sense in getting too excited," Gunderson said.
The Hammond Library hopes residents will "foster childens' love of reading" by donating new or gently used books for distribution to families in need this holiday season. All donated books will go to the Holiday Angels Organization and will be included in the holiday gift packages given to families in need of assistance. Hammond Library Director Michelle Johnson credits Tonya Schmitt, of Earth and Sky Living, for coming up with idea of having a holiday book drive.