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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Hannah Burns loves seeing people use the fitness park located near Hudson's Lakefront Park. Just installed in November, the park was Burns' special project. Last month, she stopped by a Hudson School Board meeting to talk about her project and the award she's received because of it. Burns earned a Prudential Distinguished Finalist bronze award for the state of Wisconsin, and also won on a local level. In addition, Burns received a Presidential volunteer award, according to her mom, Kim Burns. When she started the project, Hannah had no idea all this would happen.
The organization American Rivers recently announced that the Kinnickinnic River is number 10 of 10 rivers included on its list "America's Most Endangered Rivers of 2018." The news release cites "outdated dams that are harming fish and wildlife habitat and limiting recreation and economic revitalization opportunities. American Rivers and its partners called for removal of two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers locks and dams in the Mississippi River Gorge in Minneapolis, and two aging dams on the Kinnickinnic River in River Falls, Wisconsin."
River Falls is once again tuning up for its annual Roots and Bluegrass Festival, set for this weekend, April 13-15. New this year, Chamber Marketing and Communications Specialist Meghann Witthoft said, is a Flapjacks and fidles event at Riverwalk Square, which will include Pancakes, Syrup and bluegrass music by Riverwalk Junction band. That will kick off Saturday's events at 9:30 a.m. at Riverwalk Square. Witthoft said the chamber is partnering with the River Falls Public Library for a hoedown barn dance.
UW-River Falls Prof. Kevyn Juneau is a new professor. He's in his second year at UWRF, and has been looking for different opportunities for his students. He wants his students involved in class projects, as well as developing a sense of place. Juneau was at a public meeting, chatting with some folks there, and ended up talking about possibly doing a semester-long land management project with his students on land owned by the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust (KRLT).
Anne Jackson headed all the way to Puerto Rico last weekend for the 70.3-miles Ironman Puerto Rico. The triathlon is a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run. But, for Jackson, the event is about more than a race. "This is my chance to bring awareness and to help the homeless dogs of Puerto Rico," she said. Jackson has done the Ironman Puerto Rico the last two years. Last year, she noticed many stray dogs around. As a dog lover, she said, she couldn't help but feel sorry for them.
The Spring Valley School Board has set two listening sessions for 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 14 and Thursday, March 15 at Spring Valley Elementary School. The listening sessions are aimed at gathering community members' opinions on the direction they'd like the district to take with the aging elementary school building. "We will have representatives from Market Johnson and SDS Architects there to answer questions," said District Superintendent Don Haack. "They've been doing the facility analysis and they can give more in depth responses to questions about the present facility."
Karla Edwards and her niece, 11-year-old Miya Brown, have both been showing dogs for years. Edwards, a River Falls native, began showing dogs when she was in school. Her grandmother bred Pekingese in California. She would visit her over the summers and went to dog shows with her grandma. Every so often, she'd show some of her grandmother's dogs. After she graduated, she began showing dogs on her own. Brown began showing dogs at age 7.
Sara Nielsen looks forward to "The Pillow Fight" every year. In fact, she's been nicknamed "The Pillow Queen" by a coworker because she enjoys the event so much. "It's incredible, it's just really incredible, and people just think it's really fun," she said. Well, what is it?
The Swinging Bridge has been a part of River Falls since it was constructed in 1925 by the Minneapolis Bridge Company. At the time it cost about $4,800, according to City Development Services Director Amy Peterson. A news release from the Wisconsin Historical Society said the bridge is one of only about five pedestrian suspension bridges. "So, it has a unique type of construction," she said. The bridge has become an iconic part of River Falls, Peterson added.
The Tri4Grace Memorial Triathlon began as a way to support Grace Goblirsch and her family, as she battled leukemia. She died of leukemia in 2013, but the triathlon has lived on in her memory. Instead of raising money for medical expenses, the race now funds scholarships for graduating River Falls High School seniors who have been directly affected by cancer. "We are very proud of the recipients and all they have achieved," said Sue Goblirsch, Grace's mom. "We are honored to be a part of their journey on their road to success."