Chuck Nowlen joined the Star-Observer team as a business, township and general-assignment reporter in April, 2014 after a three-decade career in newspapers and magazines, and as a newsroom-management/business-planning consultant.
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Questions on road maintenance, town hall budgeting, library funding and the township's rural character highlighted a Town of St. Joseph's spring election candidates forum last week. About 40 people attended the March 28 forum, which featured Town Board candidates Patrick O'Meara, Steve Bohl, Laurie DeRosier and Kevin Adkins, and County Supervisors hopefuls Agnes Ring, Chris Babbitt and Kimbraly Dagastino. Current St. Joseph First Supervisor Meara will face off against Bohl for that position on election day April 5, with DeRosier and Adkins vying for third supervisor.
Four candidates will face off for two St. Joseph Town Board seats April 5: current First Supervisor Patrick O'Meara and challenger Steve Bohl, and Third Supervisor hopefuls Laurie DeRosier and Kevin Adkins. The Star-Observer recently sent each of the candidates a questionnaire asking about their backgrounds and experience, and requesting answers to five basic questions on town issues and related matters. Answers to the five questions were limited to 200 words each and can be found on page12A in the March 24 print edition of the Hudson Star-Observer.
Women of all ages will get the chance to explore their collective and individual creativity at a three-day "Art and Soul" retreat in Hudson next week. "The idea is to get like-minded women together in an environment that's safe and relaxing for them to explore their own creative process," says Donna Ernst, whose ThunderWillow Community Arts is sponsoring the retreat April 1-3.
Preliminary figures predict a relatively stable kindergarten enrollment in Hudson this fall, superintendent Nick Ouellette reported to the School Board last week. After the district's early registration period in February, 305 new students were enrolled in kindergarten for the 2016-17 school year, Ouellette reported at the board's March 15 regular monthly meeting. That compares to 319 early registering kindergarteners in February 2015; 287 in 2014; 301 in 2013 and 321 in 2012, Ouellette said.
As those close to John Neeck know all too well, he might as well have been born with a rachet in one hand and a torque wrench in the other. Automotive service was always Neeck's calling -- and it always showed. Even before he graduated from Hudson High School in 2000, his parents' driveway often looked like a repair-shop parking lot. "I just always loved fixing things -- anything with a motor and anything that ran on gas," he chuckles in an interview last week at his new Tech Neeck's Auto Service in North Hudson.
Sure, you've been to Mexican restaurants -- but have you tasted REAL Mexican food prepared by an authentic Mexican chef? Alejandro "Alex" Luna and Jorge Escobar have brought just that to downtown Hudson inside Second Street's crowd-favorite watering hole, Ellie's On Main. And as Luna's and Escobar's customers have found out since Ellie Cocina -- or "Ellie's kitchen" -- opened Jan. 8, authentic makes all the difference in the world. "It's like being back home again," says Escobar, who spent his early years in rural, small-town Tecoac in Mexico's southern region.
Candidates for two St. Joseph supervisor seats will square off at a March 28 candidates forum that was announced at last week's Town Board meeting. The forum, sponsored by the Rolling Hills 4-H Club, will begin at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph Town Hall, a week before the April 5 election. Incumbent Patrick O'Meara and Steve Bohl are vying for the town's first supervisor seat, while Laura DeRosier and Kevin Adkins are competing for third supervisor. All four candidates were chosen by electors at the Town St. Joseph's annual caucus Jan. 14.
Of course there's always been a little more joy for the Kinney family on St. Patrick's Day, a lot of Irish pride too. "It's a day to feel good about yourself," notes Maggie Kinney Hall, whose Irish Catholic ancestors settled in the Town of Hudson in the 1870s, starting with her great-great grandfather Edmund Kinney and his wife Catherine. Hall adds: "You kind of step up and feel a little prouder." And why not?
Should I write today about the upcoming schools referendum? Or should I write about baseball instead? Maybe I should write about something else. Maybe Friday the 13th, which arrives on Sunday this month? How about presidential politics? Nah, that would only make people depressed. Guess we'll find out. I don't have a dog in the fight where the schools referendum is concerned, so I'm hesitant to pick a side there. I don't have school-aged kids. I'm still fairly new to town, so I haven't yet evolved into what I'd call a true Hudsonite.
The Town of Hudson last week joined two other local municipalities contributing $2,000 each to help restore use of a water-testing gauge near the breached Little Falls Lake dam. The gauge's use was suspended Sept. 30, 2015 due to a lack of operational funding, Lake Mallalieu Association vice president Jim Thomas told the Hudson Town Board March 1. The suspension came two days after crews began demolishing part of the dam to enhance a Willow River drawdown, which was ordered by the state Department of Natural Resources to relieve pressure on the aging structure.