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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Over the past couple of months, Reubin Herfindahl has seen numbers of people coming into his computer repair shop, Digital Brigade, increase dramatically. Herfindahl said up until recently, he'd see one or two people reporting so-called "Call this number, you have a virus" phishing scams each week. A few weeks ago, he had a dozen customers who had problems related to such a scam. He said numbers have stayed similar. Herfindahl said the "Call this number, you have a virus" phishing scam starts with a phony webpage.
Hudson resident Nicholas Hartlep decided to write his new book, "The Neoliberal Agenda and the Student Debt Crisis in U.S. Higher Education" for personal and professional reasons. "Personally, because I do have some debt, as do many Americans," Hartlep said, "and professionally because of the alignment of the topic and my research area." Hartlep said he hadn't found any other books that look at the problem of student debt from a neoliberal lens. Neoliberalism is "in many respects, capitalism," Hartlep said.
Construction at Hudson Middle and High schools is moving along, said District Superintendent Nick Ouellette at the district board meeting Monday, July 10. Hudson High School Ouellette said the high school is definitely under construction on the inside. "I would say that's maybe the understatement of the century," he said. "They are really working hard." Ouellette said workers had a lot of work to do between now and when school starts. "The good thing is, we're starting to see things go from demolition to being built back," he said.
Each year, Hudson and St. Patrick's middle schools bring a group to Washington D.C. And each year two to four of those students are given what teacher Bryon Grossenbacher calls "a once in a lifetime opportunity." "It's kind of a big deal," Grossenbacher said. "I think it's something the community should be made more aware of." This small group of children is chosen from those who apply to take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery. The students write essays describing why they want to take part in the ceremony.
The group Interact has been a big part of Hannah Erickson's life for the past three years. She said Interact — which is a volunteer organization for high schoolers run through Rotary International — has been in Hudson for about four years. Ten of the organization's members all graduated high school recently. They planned one last project to be their legacy. They painted many of the structures in Grandview Park.
Hudson native Amelia Skye Dunlap grew up watching the Miss USA pageant. "I loved watching the different girls compete in their evening dresses," she said, "and seeing the diversity that when on up on this Miss USA Stage." She's also long had a love of performing on stage. So when she came across a Facebook ad for Miss Wisconsin USA auditions, it caught her attention; she applied. She wasn't initially sure she'd go to the auditions, but made a last-minute decision to go for it. "I just had this calling to do it," she said. That was last year.
As Jennifer Schwalbach's fifth-grade students learned more about water systems, and ecosystems this year, they also learned that access to clean water is an issue in some parts of the world. Schwalbach said this bothered the students a lot. "I said, 'Well, you know you could do something about it." That is just what her students have done. The kids planned a "Walk for Water" held June 1, starting and ending at North Hudson Elementary. "We're just doing what we can to help out," said 11-year-old Graham Close.
Hudson High School students Emmy Farago, Connor Johnson and George Steiner all have relatives who have served time in the military. So all three were glad to support the Wounded Warrior Project with their senior capstone project, a 5K. "It's something that's kind of meaningful," Johnson said. "Everyone's families were grateful that we're doing this for a great cause, and everyone was very supportive." "It kind of spoke to us more than anything else," Farago said,.
Houlton Elementary was one of four Wisconsin schools to be honored with a national "Green Ribbon School" recognition by the U.S. Department of Education. Forty-five individual schools were recognized nationally through this program, which honors schools that teach sustainability, try to minimize environmental impacts, and make health and wellness programs a priority. Houlton was one of two Wisconsin elementary schools nominated for the award.
River Falls will honor police officers who have died in the line of duty, and recognize the contributions of officers in St. Croix, Pierce and Pepin Counties at the River Valley Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Ceremony. The ceremony is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, at River Falls High School, 818 Cemetery Road. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony.