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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Between the so-called "polar vortex" and large snowfalls, local school districts have cancelled school several times so far this month. So many times, in fact, that districts are making plans to make up the lost time, to make sure they are giving children the number of instructional hours required by the state. According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website, Wisconsin administrative code requires 437 hours for kindergarten, 1,050 hours for first through sixth grade, and 1,137 hours for grades 7-12.
There had not been a handwritten Bible commissioned in some 700 years when The Saint John's Bible was commissioned, said Kay Fritz, local calligrapher. Planning and work began on The Saint John's Bible in 1995, and the last word was written in May 2011. The Saint John's Bible was written on vellum using quills, natural handmade inks, hand ground pigments, and gilded with gold leaf, silver leaf and platinum. It is a modern, English translation (New Revised Standard Version) with contemporary scripts and illuminations.
Hudson Middle School orchestra teacher Rachel Knipfer felt a surge of excitement when she first read an article about Mark Wood's "Electrify Your Strings" program. Wood plays violin in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. "Electrify Your Strings" is a music education program through which a team of "teaching artists" work with kids over a two- to three-day visit. Kids will play compositions and arrangements by Mark Wood. Not long after Knipfer read about the program, one of her friends brought Wood to work with her orchestra in Oshkosh.
The Village of Roberts set its 2019 budget in a special meeting Monday, Nov. 26, immediately following a public hearing held for the budget. The budget was set at $1,847,582, up 4.33 percent from last year's budget of $1,770,933. The expected revenues within the budget are as follows: • The property tax levy was set at $1,007,945, a 5.37 percent change from last year's $956,536. • $78,000 is expected to come in the form of other taxes
The Roberts Village Board approved raising the sewer rates by 10 percent during its regular meeting Monday, Nov. 12. The same motion that approved the rate increase also called on the board to revisit the rates at the December 2020 meeting, to see if there is an opportunity to lower the rates again. The rates were raised in order to help repay the loans the village has taken out to pay for the CLEARAS water treatment facility. Board member Katy Kapaun said she hopes the rates will be able to be lowered again in the future.
"My name is Adolf George Koderick. My friends have referred to me as 'the old survivor," said Koderick one afternoon, sitting in his town of River Falls home. Koderick, who goes by the nickname Art, has earned that title over his 95 years. He was born in LaCrosse, and it is there that his story of survival began. Childhood survival Koderick said his father was very strong. "Probably the strongest man I've ever met in my life," he said. "But he was abusive."
The national news lately has included stories of accidents involving drivers not stopping when school buses stop to pick up or drop off kids. In the past week, said River Falls School District Transportation Director Todd Burnap, there have been four such accidents nationally. Burnap said he'd like to remind local drivers to be cautious around school busses. "If you see a school bus with it's flashing lights and the stop arm out, make sure you stop," said Burnap.
Mayor Dan Toland and the River Falls City Council have declared Saturday, Nov. 3 to be WRFW Day in River Falls. The proclamation is in honor of the 50th anniversary of UW-River Falls' student-run radio station, WRFW (88.7 FM). WRFW was founded in 1968, and joined the Wisconsin Public Radio network, becoming its far western Wisconsin affiliate in 1998. Toland's proclamation also honors the fact that the station gives students and the community news and music and "offers hands-on training for journalism and communication students."
Now a town of Troy resident, Gary Porter grew up in Greenfield, Iowa. Located southwest of Des Moines, with a population of about 2,000, Greenfield maintains a county seat and a town square with the courthouse in the middle. Porter recently published "Town Kid: Reflections of a Midwestern Boyhood," a collection of 32 essays sharing his experiences growing up in Greenfield in the 1950s and 60s. "Each one is accompanied by an old black and white photo," Porter said. "The majority of those photos came from what's called the Sidey collection."
The River Falls Police Department has found a new future location. During its Tuesday, Oct. 23 regular meeting the River Falls City Council unanimously approved a purchase agreement with Forum Communications Company (FCC), which owns RiverTown Multimedia, including the River Falls Journal. FCC signed an agreement with City Administrator Scot Simpson to sell the River Falls Journal / RiverTown Multimedia building at 2815 Prairie Drive to the city for a future police department location. The City Council approved that agreement unanimously Tuesday night.