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Strong storms moved through Pierce County shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, damaging several homes and downing trees to leave a handful of roads blocked. Julie Stoltenburg was home with her two-week old baby at W 6303 870th St. in the town of Trimbelle when she heard the storm sirens, got nervous and took her daughter to the basement. She called husband Jeff at work, who began making his way home. The couple's toddler son was not home at the time. "I heard a lot of crashing," said Julie about after she went to the basement.
Fans of cable-channel MTV's Challenge shows already know that River Falls native and reality-show veteran Landon Lueck remains a contestant on the show "Fresh Meat II" after six episodes. Appearing for the sixth time in an MTV series, Lueck says this Challenge show paired new participants with people of the opposite gender who have already completed several of them. The pairs compete with each other in physical challenges, and each week a team gets eliminated. Winners take home big cash awards and other kinds of prizes. "Fresh Meat II" airs 9 p.m.
Gilby's Street Department owner Todd Gilbertson said, "It's all about the bikes here." He said most motorcyclists enjoy an event where they can hang around outdoors with their bike and visit with others who enjoy the machines. That's one reason he, Gilby's four employees, and friends hosted a gathering 7:30-10 p.m. Friday and welcomed about 200 guests. The shop plans to hold nine more gatherings like it this spring and summer. Excitement and the smell of brats filled the air as the group prepared for Friday and the first event.
Members of the HeartStrings Suzuki Studio nonprofit Parent Association want everyone to know that it's holding a fundraising barn dance 6-9 p.m. Saturday, May 1, at 263 Liberty Road. Tickets will be available at the door: $15 for adults and $10 for children. Association member and dance organizer Kathy Metcalf says the price includes a simple dinner of pulled-pork sandwiches, veggies and chips. "We're keeping it simple," she said. Guests will hear the Rush River Ramblers, a band Metcalf said features fiddling.
Longtime area residents Kristan Cudd and Jeff Sather opened a new company in January named Property Executives, LLC, a property management company. The business sprouts from its Hudson-based parent company, Realty Executives Select, which Cudd and her husband Jeremy opened in December 2008. Sather, a Realtor for seven years works part time with Realty Executives. The two noticed a trend in realty.
The River Falls Community Arts Base holds its annual Spring Art GALA Saturday night (see related sidebar) not only to raise funds and awareness about its organization, but also to celebrate a big birthday. CAB is turning 15. Founding member David Markson said CAB started after a group of locals held a "barnstorming" session, which was community brainstorming held in a barn. He estimated about 50-60 people attended with interest in seeing an arts organization form. He and Danette Olson belonged to the Community Theatre, which started before CAB.
Hazel Mackin would feel proud of her community -- the one that's been working toward a new library building for the past seven years. Roberts Library Board President Dora Rohl said she was a student of Mackin's and remembers how the teacher kept a small area of her classroom as a library. "It was great to finish an assignment and go to the special area with books," Rohl said.
Commerce Secretary Richard Leinenkugel visited River Falls Jan. 28 to announce $108,000 in economic development tax credits awarded to NELA Ternes Register Group, a company that moved its U.S. headquarters in summer 2009 from Minnesota to the Whitetail Ridge Corporate Park in River Falls. NELA brought over 62 employees with it and has committed to creating 20 more jobs. "This announcement is further evidence that Wisconsin has some of the strongest economic development tools in the country," said Governor Jim Doyle in a news release.
Some people may wonder what the University Archives and Area Research Center holds. Others may not even know it exists inside the lower level of the UW-River Falls Chalmer Davee Library. Anyone unfamiliar with the center will get a chance to see and learn about it at a grand opening of the new facility later this month (see related sidebar). Interim Archivist Tim Ericson describes some of the content stored in the archives, which, at the end of November, moved into its fourth and final new home.
Hudson High School graduate Jason Finch of River Falls put his feet to the street during the Oct. 4 Portland (Ore.) Marathon, pounding out 26.2 miles in just 2 hours, 24 minutes and 13 seconds. He crossed the finish line and looked immediately for water, food and his ecstatic wife/trainer, Nicki. "I was almost to the finish line before realizing, 'Hey, I'm alone here,'" Finch said. He'd been focused on finishing and said the last several miles proved to be grueling. Two other men had been running alongside or near Finch for a while.