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While 1 in 68 children have been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this was not always the case; 20 years ago cases of autism weren't as prevalent. Lauri Moreland of River Falls said when her 28-month-old daughter, Lindsey Moreland (who will be 24 years old this month) was diagnosed with autism, it was not something with which she or her husband Todd were familiar. "We [Todd and I] had never heard of autism," Lauri said.
Impacting the community and helping out is exactly what the Girl Scouts are preparing young women to do. River Falls High School Junior Evelyn Okal has been in Girls Scouts since she was 5 years old. She said the Girl Scouts has taught her to be part of the community and has shown her how to make a difference. In the spring, she is hoping to receive the Girl Scout Gold Award for her contribution to the community. Prior to being able to apply for this award, she first had to receive the Bronze and Silver awards.
Being aware of dangers around you is a hard task when they're invisible. Radon is one of those deadly dangers that you cannot see or smell but it could be in your house. January is National Radon Action Month and Keith Bergeson, Dunn County Health Department Environmental Specialist and coordinator for Radon Information Center in Western Wisconsin, said January is a good time for people to test their homes for radon. He said homes tend to have the highest levels of radon in the winter months, so this is the best time for people to test their homes.
The small town of Spring Valley has welcomed the owners and workers at A Butchery Shoppe into their community as the new business opened its doors Dec. 18. A Butchery Shoppe is owned by Fadra Greene, Kevin Olson, Dale Volkert and Robert Kramer. Greene said they have already been well received in the community, calling response "great." "The outpouring of support from this community and the surrounding communities this week [week of opening] has been amazing," Greene said. "Word travels fast in small towns and there is quite a buzz right now."
As the Christmas season passes and people begin to start the clean-up from the holidays, for those that had a real Christmas tree, now they have to decide what to do with it. According to the National Christmas Tree Association website, there may be many different options depending on where a person lives. One of their recommendations is to set the undecorated tree outside.
Dr. Frank Springer spent much of his life taking care of the people in Elmwood and his presence will be greatly missed by family, friends and former patients who all cared deeply for a man that showed an entire town his compassion and love. He died after a short illness Dec. 22. He was 94. Being a doctor was a calling for Dr. Frank (as he was commonly known) and a profession he thought would make his mom proud.
Plum City residents have welcomed back the original owners of Bittersweet Bakery and More LLC as they re-opened the bakery on Dec. 8. Gwen Glaus and husband Todd originally opened Bittersweet Bakery and More LLC in 2004 and retired from the business in 2016. However, when the opportunity arose for them to reopen the bakery they seized the opportunity. "We didn't want the building to sit empty," Gwen said. "Didn't want to see business in a small town close."
No one wants to get hurt or need to call an ambulance, but it is a reassuring thought that a nearby ambulance service is available should you need it. However, due to increasing shortages of emergency medical technicians, ambulance services are trying to find ways to retain and get new EMTs to continue offering the best care possible. Local ambulance services have been impacted by the EMT shortage happening around the state.
During the holiday season many reflect on what they have to be thankful for. In the wake of tragedy, one Prescott woman and her children are finding their own reasons to be thankful. Gabrielle Hruska of Prescott is still in shock that her Monroe Street house in Prescott may be a total loss after a fire destroyed much of it Saturday, Dec. 2. Hruska said thankfully she and her two children, Sam (age 10) and Grace (age 19), were not home at the time of the fire, but sadly they lost their dog and cat in the fire.
Sirens could be heard all over Ellsworth Saturday, Dec. 16 as a parade of squad cars made its way from Zion Covenant Church to Shopko. Children were able to shop for Christmas presents with Pierce County area law enforcement officers and then head back to the church for pizza and time with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.