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The two candidates for state public school superintendent disagree on whether schools need more tax dollars. Incumbent Tony Evers and state Assembly Republican Don Pridemore debated the funding issue and others this week at a meeting in Madison of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards. Evers, who's seeking his second four-year term, says the schools' state-mandated revenue limits should rise by $225 dollars per student over the next two years.
A 66-year-old Oak Creek woman called 911 saying her children had gotten angry about what she brought them home for dinner. According to the Journal Sentinel's "Community Now" Web site, the children got into a food fight the previous evening. Their mother wanted a police officer to come over and tell the children to eat what she gives them. She told officers she brought pizza home, but her kids were upset because she didn't get bread-sticks. The mother said she has health problems, and doesn't need the hassle of arguing about dinner.
Clean-up crews have been working continuously to avoid environmental damage from a truck crash 10 days ago near Menomonie. Two Minneapolis men were killed when a semi-truck owned by a Michigan firm slid on snowy I-94, and plunged into the Red Cedar River. Nobody knew at that time what the truck had been carrying, which was 24,000 pounds of bagged fertilizer. The trucking firm's insurance company has hired a cleanup contractor. Divers and boat crews have been working since last weekend to find and remove the fertilizer.
Arthur Phillips, a Minnesota native and author of the new novel, "The Tragedy of Arthur," a New York Times Notable Book selection, will be in River Falls at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 18, to discuss his new book and the creative writing process. Phillips will appear on the UWRF campus for this free event at the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building. He is the author of "Prague: A Novel," and "The Egyptologist." The Washington Post has declared that Phillips is "one of the best writers in America." His appearance at UWRF is sponsored by Valley Reads, a program of ArtReach St.
Thomas R. Smith will be reading from his chap-book "The Legacy of John Lennon" at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday March 17, at the Unitarian Universalist Society of River Falls, 8010 N. Highway 65. Participants will be invited to join in the singing and an open dialogue. After the meeting, stay for the chili cook-off.
River Falls poet Thomas R. Smith writes that Kristin Laurel's new book of poetry will "burn itself on your memory." Minnesota poet Deborah Keenan writes that Laurel's work is "the start of a remarkable career." Endorsements from Smith and Keenan are good enough for me, so I plowed into Laurel's "Giving them All Away" (Evening Street Press, Dublin Ohio) n.p. Laurel is a mother, an emergency room nurse who splits her life between Waconia, Minn., and Ashville, N.C. She's divorced and now has a female partner. Her poems which bare for all, her experiences at work and at home and in love.
With a sign on a desk that read "Mining for Jobs," Governor Scott Walker signed the bill March 11 that seeks to make it easier to open a new iron-ore mine in far northern Wisconsin. Walker signed the measure at a plant in Rhinelander that makes mining equipment and had another ceremony planned in Milwaukee. Walker stressed that the new law would protect environmental safeguards, while providing "certainty" to the process of getting a mining permit. The law sets a time limit for the DNR to act on a mining application.
Police say a printer a 37-year-old West Bend man tried to return to a Walmart store contained a sheet of paper with two photocopied $100 bills. Lake Hallie police say they found three more fake $100 bills when they arrested the suspect. He was also wanted on burglary and armed robbery warrants. Police were called because the man was trying to return the printer without receipts or any proof he actually bought the equipment at the store. When he was told he was under arrest, police say the man fought back. The search is on now for a second man who was with the suspect in the store.
Not long ago I raved about a first novel written by a neighbor down the road in Lake Elmo, Minn.