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A River Falls man pleaded guilty to homicide and arson charges in the deaths of his three young daughters Thursday afternoon, March 28, in the first phase of the murder case. Aaron Schaffhausen, 35, Minot, N.D., pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of attempted arson before Judge Howard W. Cameron in St. Croix County Circuit Court. The case will move to a second phase Monday, April 1, with jury selection in which the defense must prove Schaffhausen was not responsible for his actions at the time he committed the crimes.
Douglas and Renée Sigwarth of Troy Township, were awarded the unique distinction of creating a permanent blown glass installation for the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) in West Bend. The installation consists of 180 blown glass spheres arranged into three 18-foot structures suspended from the building's north facing "La Pointe." The Sigwarths installed their piece, "Interconnection," in the newly completed building last December. The Sigwarths were commissioned by the James and Karen Hyde Foundation to create a large scale piece that would be a permanent fixture in the new location for MOWA.
When I was a kid in a small Wisconsin grade school, one of my favorite subjects was Wisconsin history, taught to me by my sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Lily Reich. One of our texts was a book called "Men Who Made Wisconsin" or something like that. The book contained brief profiles of famous folks from Badgerland. I remember that one of these folks was the fellow who bred the famous silver mink, which was the greatest mink ever known (with my apologies to PETA). Another famous Wisconsinite was Curly Lambeau of the Green Bay Packers.
Looking for fresh ideas in new home building, home remodeling and improvement, home decorating, design, and landscaping? With over 60 vendors at the upcoming St. Croix Valley Home Builders Association Home, Remodeling & Garden show you'll be able to gather a multitude of ideas to help you create your dream home--from the ground up or by re-inventing the home you're in! Find everything you need under one roof at the Hudson Sports & Civic Center on Hanley Road in Hudson. The show will be open to the public on Friday, March 22, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, March 23, from 9 a.m.
Arthur Phillips, a Minnesota native and author of the new novel, "The Tragedy of Arthur," a New York Times Notable Book selection, will be in River Falls at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 18, to discuss his new book and the creative writing process. Phillips will appear on the UWRF campus for this free event at the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building. He is the author of "Prague: A Novel," and "The Egyptologist." The Washington Post has declared that Phillips is "one of the best writers in America." His appearance at UWRF is sponsored by Valley Reads, a program of ArtReach St.
Thomas R. Smith will be reading from his chap-book "The Legacy of John Lennon" at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday March 17, at the Unitarian Universalist Society of River Falls, 8010 N. Highway 65. Participants will be invited to join in the singing and an open dialogue. After the meeting, stay for the chili cook-off.
River Falls poet Thomas R. Smith writes that Kristin Laurel's new book of poetry will "burn itself on your memory." Minnesota poet Deborah Keenan writes that Laurel's work is "the start of a remarkable career." Endorsements from Smith and Keenan are good enough for me, so I plowed into Laurel's "Giving them All Away" (Evening Street Press, Dublin Ohio) n.p. Laurel is a mother, an emergency room nurse who splits her life between Waconia, Minn., and Ashville, N.C. She's divorced and now has a female partner. Her poems which bare for all, her experiences at work and at home and in love.
Not long ago I raved about a first novel written by a neighbor down the road in Lake Elmo, Minn.
Robyn Ochs will be speaking at UW-River Falls on Thursday, March 14, for several lectures. Ochs is an educator, speaker, workshop leader and activist who advocates for the rights of people of all orientations and genders to live safely, openly and with full legal equality. Her work focuses on increasing awareness and understanding of complex identities, and mobilizing people to be powerful allies to one another within and across identities and social movements.
Honor Flight is a documentary about four living World War II veterans and a Midwest community coming together to give them the trip of a lifetime. Volunteers race against the clock to fly thousands of World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the memorial constructed for them in 2005, nearly 60 years after their epic struggle. The trips are called "Honor Flights" and for the veterans, who are in their late 80s and early 90s. It's often the first time they've been thanked and the last trip of their lives. The 24-hour journey is full of surprises that deeply move all who are involved.