Friday, April 26th


Treasure lovers still have time to register to get their items appraised at the upcoming Antique Appraisal Event at Black River Falls Public Library.

The Friends of Black River Falls Public Library-sponsored event will be back for its third year on Aug. 25 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The group prefers registrations be submitted by this Saturday, Aug. 18, although they will be accepted until Thursday, Aug. 23, if space permits.

“We are excited to offer this unique event again,” said Joan Zenz, chair of the Friends group. “We welcome people to register and learn more about items they are curious about.”

National Public Radio “Road Show” appraiser Mark Moran will return to evaluate items, including fine art, ceramics, glassware, clocks, advertising, folk art, vintage photos, costume jewelry, metalware, toys, sports memorabilia and musical instruments.

Moran has been an appraiser for more than 20 years and bought and sold antiques for more than 30 years while specializing in vintage folk and fine art and Americana.

There’s been a surge in retail stores and restaurants opening or relocating in Black River Falls, especially downtown.

“I’m not 100 percent sure what the reason is,” said Amanda Gunn, executive director of the Black River Area Chamber of Commerce. “But I think they found a lot of different opportunities for things that we didn’t quite have yet in the area.”

One of the most unique new businesses is First Fruits Common Market, which Michelle and Brandon Harvieux opened June 1 at 25 S. First St. in downtown Black River Falls.

“We call it a bulk, local and specialty foods store, for lack of a better term,” Michelle Harvieux said last week. It sells bulk foods such as baking items, spices, candy and nuts; local foods such as dairy, meats, breads, cheeses, kombucha and maple syrup; and specialty foods such as coffee (from both JBC Coffee Roasters in Madison and Abidance Ovens LLC in Black River Falls) and olive oil.

There are plenty of invasive species in Wisconsin — and I’m not talking about those who live in the cheesehead state and have the audacity to root for those Nordic invaders from Minnesota or the Ursidae sloth from the flatland.

These are botanical invaders who take over gardens, ditches, yards and if left unchecked would no doubt someday show up even on the frozen tundra in Green Bay’s Lambeau Field.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources calls them terrestrial invasives that “affect the health of our forests, prairies, parks, urban landscapes and more.” The DNR maintains a website that lists a plethora of plants that are regulated — 64 of them with glorious living color photos.

Some of those plants are prohibited anywhere in Wisconsin — like kudzu or giant hogweed. Others like Canada thistle — which is allegedly the next tariff target — purple loosestrife or wild parsnip are restricted because they are already established in the state and have the potential to cause significant environmental harm.

Barb Pfaff received the Service Above Self Award from the Rotary Club of Black River Falls Aug. 13 for her work at the Jackson County Animal Shelter.

Her passion for animals is evident in the dedication shown in helping the hundreds of pets she cares for every year.

In addition, Barb has worked tirelessly to raise funds for a new shelter that will replace the existing outdated facility.

The Black River Area Community Band received the Service Above Self Award for its 20 years of performing for the Jackson County area.

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The commitment to music has benefitted many through performances at area festivals, parades and other area celebrations.

Dollar General’s newest store at 504 S. Hammond St. in Merrillan is now open.

Dollar General will celebrate the store’s official grand opening at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, with free prizes and special deals.

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Additionally, the first 50 adult shoppers at the store will receive a $10 Dollar General gift card and the first 200 shoppers will receive a Dollar General tote bag with complimentary product samples, among other giveaways.

The company states that traditional Dollar General stores employ six to 10 people, depending on the need.

A flat track motorcycle racer died Thursday after sustaining injuries during a race earlier this month at Black Hills Speedway.  

Rapid City Journal file photo

RAPID CITY, S.D. — A flat-track motorcycle racer from Black River Falls died last week from injuries he sustained during a crash Aug. 7 at Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, according to a release from the American Motorcyclist Association American Flat Track series.

Alec Muth, 22, "succumbed to his injuries" on Thursday despite "the immediate action of first responders and the best efforts of the very experienced staff at Rapid City Regional Hospital," according to the release.

Muth was a member of the Black River Falls Fire Department. The department wrote a tribute to Muth on its Facebook page, saying he loved motorcycle racing "just about more than firefighting."

The Harley-Davidson Black Hills Half-Mile was held the night of Muth's accident at the Black Hills Speedway in conjunction with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.