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High school students in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) program raised about $3,000 during this year's philanthropy project, then recently presented a check for half that amount to the River Falls-based Walk On Therapeutic Riding program. FFA conducts a fund drive each year. The goals is to support local programs. Students solicit money and corn from farmers, then donate what they raise.
Health care costs regularly make national and local headlines. It costs too much; there's no end in sight; spending will double within 10 years; more people are uninsured. Sound familiar? Health insurance claims about 10% of an average family's income now and is expected to take keep taking more. Most projections show that cost rising by double digits in coming years. It's not just a national problem or something the legislature deals with at the state capital.
Three Jefferson Street property owners told City Council what they thought at Tuesday night's meeting about designs for a new cul de sac to their road as it closes to South Main Street. Roger Hinkley, Matthew Rust and Ed Schramm own property near the closure site. They talked about available parking and mature trees. Rust owns a duplex that could need as many as six parking spaces and wanted option 2, which saved his driveway but took out two large trees.
Mike Stuttgen of River Falls died at home Saturday night after battling cancer. He had just celebrated his 59th birthday days earlier. Stuttgen didn't like to draw attention, yet those who knew him insist that he did many things worth recognition. He was husband to Pam for 33 years; father to Stacy, Chad and Nicole; and grandfather to Autumn and Adam. Stuttgen also served in Thailand during his years in the U.S. Air Force. According to friends, he nurtured the River Falls Area Ambulance Service to its healthy existence today.
The River Falls Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) will soon start a fundraising campaign aimed at finishing the restoration of the estimated 127-year-old Junction Mill smokestack at 401 Winter St. Many remember the Save Our Smokestack campaign, when HPC sold engraved, commemorative bricks to raise funds for restoring the smokestack. That program raised $7,000, and a walkway leading up to the smokestack features the bricks bearing people's names.
Luke Kjelland moved through his workday at Dick's Plus last Tuesday just like he has every other day for the past two years. He can't remember what time it was when he decided to take a break and eat something. He also bought two or three scratch-off lottery tickets to amuse himself during his break. The last one he scratched - a $5 ticket - required three matching amounts to win the cash.
Anyone who's had long hair knows the apprehension that comes with getting it sheared. People often think "How will it look?" or "What if I hate it?" Imagine how it must feel to be a young child without any hair. That's what Locks of Love does. It's a non-profit organization that encourages people to cut their long hair and donate it to children who have none.
A dozen high school students from River Falls step into the shoes of world leaders at the Model United Nations conference March 9-11 in St. Paul. Delegates from western Wisconsin and all over Minnesota gather and perform the same functions that the real UN does. YMCA sponsors the event in 38 states. Students volunteer to play the role of international diplomats and don't win any prizes for going except increased knowledge. Learning, not competition, is the event's objective. Young people form alliances, debate resolutions and find answers to problems.
The River Falls Public Library holds its first-ever Teen Lock In Thursday, Feb. 16 from 8 p.m.-midnight. Youths in 7th-10th grades can attend the free event that kicks off the start of a four-day weekend since there's no school the following Friday or Monday.
River Falls Food Pantry volunteers scrambled to meet needs after a recent local story generated a big rush for help. Six people hustled to accommodate 24 clients inside of three days' time. The pantry needs more volunteers and more donations to meet its long-term goal of staffing the place full time instead of operating by appointment only like it had before February. The Food Pantry organizers created open-door hours that started at the beginning of this month.