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Governor Scott Walker and the new CEO of Wisconsin's Economic Development Corporation, Reed Hall, traveled around the state this week to announced Hall's recent selection, including a stop at the New Richmond Regional Airport around 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31. The two met and talked with representatives of business and of several area economic development corporations, including New Richmond and Amery; St. Croix, Pierce, Polk and Dunn counties; as well as the cities of New Richmond and Prescott and the regional group Momentum West.
When faced with the prospect of an aid trip to Moldova, River Falls resident Linda Amundsen thought to herself: "Me, a missionary?!" Yet the story of Moldova and its challenges stuck with her, and she put the issue to prayer. Feeling as though mission work would be fulfilling, Amundsen was soon raising through family and friends the $2,500 needed for travel to eastern Europe. She left July 9 and stayed 20 days, even extending the trip to stay for Moldova's celebration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 after the fall of communism.
First lady of the state Tonette Walker presented a Wisconsin Heroes award to well-known River Falls doctor Bob Johnson at 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, as his wife, Mary Conroy-Johnson, and a crowd of his co-workers from the River Falls Medical Clinic and the adjoining hospital, looked on with smiles and hearty applause. Asked if he had been surprised by the award, Johnson said with a grin, "Oh yes." The award presentation remained top secret until just a while before Walker arrived at the clinic in River Falls.
River Falls resident Sara Semi sends out a call for help from others in the region both to find her lost dog and find anyone who might have seen her get hit by a full-sized 18 wheeler about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 14. Semi, who's 7 ½ months pregnant, was driving her boyfriend to work in Hammond, carrying along their small dog, Bubba, in their black two-door Pontiac Sunfire. They were in the "slow" lane on the right going about 60 mph, even commenting on the big truck riding in the "fast" lane on the left but driving about the same speed they were.
A big crowd gathered at Junior's Bar and Grill in River Falls the night of Thursday, Jan. 19, joining enthusiastic mom and well-known local singer Colleen Raye in front of a large-screen TV to watch her son, Reed Grimm, appear on American Idol. Grimm's Pittsburgh audition appeared in the first half hour of the show, including video footage of him playing onstage as a kid. He also told judges that he was born into a musical family since mom Raye and dad Steve Grimm are both singers and musicians.
Gretchen Lange remembers only one thing from the fateful pre-dawn moments of May 21, 2010 -- seeing headlights coming at her. Lange worked at Hudson-based Cardinal Health and was driving home to Ellsworth after a night shift about 4:20 a.m., traveling south on Hwy. 65 about three miles outside of River Falls. The Plymouth Neon of a young couple crossed the line and struck Lange's vehicle head on, killing the 24-year-old male driver, Andy Lindberg, and seriously injuring his wife, Kimberly. News stories on the fatal accident reported Lange to be in critical condition.
River Falls resident Diane Odeen confirmed late Friday, Jan. 6, that she will run in this fall's Wisconsin Assembly election to represent District 30. A Democrat, Odeen said she began to consider the idea after a friend suggested she run for the seat currently held by Hudson-based Republican Dean Knudson. The 51-year-old native Wisconsinite said she cares deeply about her home state and declared, "I want to be part of the solution." She also follows in the footsteps of her parents and grandparents in getting involved and giving back to the community.
Robert and Elizabeth Madson turned on the neon "Open" sign the morning of Monday, Dec. 12 but said lots of people had already stopped by the see what was happening inside the newly renovated space at 707A N. Main St. Elizabeth's Fine Jewelry is now open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Many wonder: Is it the same store that did business in Hudson along Coulee Road for eight years? Yes, it is. The Madsons say rent became too expensive in Hudson, so they closed the shop and intended to start a new chapter in life.
Former director of the St. Croix County Planning and Zoning department, Dave Fodroczi, made the announcement at a Nov. 1 meeting: He accepted a job as the new executive director of the River Falls-based Kinnickinnic River Land Trust. His first day at the new job was Monday. "I've always admired the work they have done," said Fodroczi about KRLT.
What better a time for appreciating art than when a brisk wind has begun to swirl colorful, crackling leaves? It beats post-Thanksgiving weather, when snow likely will have conquered fall's colors. That thought helped a local group decide to organize the annual Main Street Art Crawl for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, instead of holding it the same day and weekend as the holiday-themed Riverdazzle festivities. "We have 20 businesses and 27 artists," said Val Lundgren, owner of Karma Gifts and an Art Crawl organizer.