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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"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.
The River Falls Community Arts Base is preparing for its "signature event" and this year, it will be bigger than ever, according to CAB President Steve Preisler. This year's Art on the Kinni is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8. The number of artist booths is now at the highest CAB has had for AOK, Preisler said. This year's event will see CAB hosting 85 artist booths. Of those 85, nine artists will be on the Budding Artist's Bridge. That's also the largest number of newer artists to fill the bridge at Art on the Kinni.
The village of Roberts is making progress on the process of setting up interim financing for its new wastewater treatment system. Village president Willard Moeri said that due to stricter regulations from the state, the new CLEARAS system needs to be installed sooner, rather than later, to meet regulations by a Department of Natural Resources deadline.
The River Falls Police Department is looking for information about two homes that were recently vandalized with racial slurs. The doors of two homes were reportedly written on in permanent marker. The writing said "Go Back to Africa" and also included several racial slurs and profanity. The homes were located in the 400 block of Kennedy Street and the 400 block of Griffey Street. The vandalism happened between 9 p.m. Thursday, June 21, and 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 22.
Municipal court The Roberts Village Board has set a special meeting to discuss concerns with the village municipal judge and municipal court at 6 p.m. Monday, April 16. Police Chief Aaron McWilliams spoke to the village board April 9 about Municipal Judge Peter Tharp. McWilliams said it appears citations are being "amended from the bench." However, McWilliams said, citations cannot be amended by the municipal judge alone. He said Tharp had been "discouraged" from doing this in the past and it was still happening.
The Roberts Village Board invited assessor Eric Kleven of Kleven Property Assessment to its regular meeting last Monday, Feb. 12 . "We asked you to come back to understand better the assessment," said Board President Willard Moeri. Trustee Rand Waughtal said he felt he'd let the community down, because he didn't have enough information to answer their questions about the assessment.