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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Hudson Middle School eighth-grader Ryan Mayr has been a Scout since he joined Cub Scouts at 8 years old. He said achieving Eagle status has been his goal since the very beginning. "Really just since I started Scouts that's just really been my goal," Mayr said, "and really every Scout's goal to get to Eagle."
The Hudson School District Board of Education met Monday, Sept. 10, after the district's first day of school for the year. During the meeting the school board approved a preliminary budget. The final budget will not be viewed until after the district receives official numbers for mill rate and state education funding. The proposed budget estimates that state equalization aid will be $588,000 or less, which is 2.6 percent lower than last year and that per pupil categorical aid will be increased by $204 per student.
The new school year started for Hudson students on Monday, Sept. 10, so the Star-Observer asked principals and administrators to answer a few questions about what is new in their schools this year. Peg Shoemaker, Hudson High School principal What is new in the building?
The Hudson School District will add 30-plus new staff members and teachers to its roster for the 2018-19 school year. To help you identify the new faces out and about in the community, the following are brief profiles of each new staff member who submitted their information. Nicholas Filipiak Position: Ninth grade physical science, HHS Education: BS, UW-Madison biology-neuroscience; B.S., UW-Stout, science education Previous experience: New Richmond High School (three years), Menomonie High School (2 years)
When Hudson High School students come back to school on Sept. 10, it will seem like a brand new school, said Hudson School District Assistant Director of Community Relations, Tracy Habisch-Ahlin. "To me, it's been a really exciting process just to see what we have worked on for years come to fruition," she said "I can't wait to be there when the kids come back and get to see their new school."
The River Falls Community Arts Base is preparing for its "signature event" and this year, it will be bigger than ever, according to CAB President Steve Preisler. This year's Art on the Kinni is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8. The number of artist booths is now at the highest CAB has had for AOK, Preisler said. This year's event will see CAB hosting 85 artist booths. Of those 85, nine artists will be on the Budding Artist's Bridge. That's also the largest number of newer artists to fill the bridge at Art on the Kinni.
Shelby Hohneke grew up a tomboy. "I just was raised rolling in mud with my brothers," she said. Then one day, she got a package in the mail, asking her to audition for a pageant through the National American Miss (NAM) program. "It has just taught me so many life lessons," Hohneke said. "It's just an amazing experience that every young girl, every adult girl, should experience." Hohneke was crowned 2018 National American Miss Jr. Teen Wisconsin last month. That's her third National American Miss title.
This summer, two River Falls High School students traveled to Baltimore, Maryland for a national Future Business Leaders of America competition. This past year, Jessica Lindall and Olivia Miller developed an app in time for an FBLA competition. They went to the state competition in La Crosse in April, where they took fourth place. That allowed them to move on to the national competition in Baltimore. Lindall said students were given a "situation" and were asked to create their own app to meet certain requirements.
The River Falls Police Department is looking for information about two homes that were recently vandalized with racial slurs. The doors of two homes were reportedly written on in permanent marker. The writing said "Go Back to Africa" and also included several racial slurs and profanity. The homes were located in the 400 block of Kennedy Street and the 400 block of Griffey Street. The vandalism happened between 9 p.m. Thursday, June 21, and 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 22.
Major news media has been filled with pictures of immigrant children in recent days. The accompanying stories say these children have been separated from their parents, and held away from them in separate facilities. Many have spoken out against this policy of separating children from parents. Locally, those numbers include Dr. Jackie Brux and Rev. Barb deSouza.