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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As the school year began, some Hudson Students and parents reported crowding on the school busses. Hudson School District Assistant Director of Community Relations Tracy Habisch-Ahlin said that the school district has been able to reduce the number of full-size busses going to and from the High School from about 32 to 12 this year. The district has implemented a transfer system, using the middle school as a "transfer hub," Habisch-Ahlin said. She said SafeWay now has 34 full sized busses in service.
Elizabeth Schousek, 17, Houlton, spent last year abroad in Aalborg, Denmark through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. She is the daughter of Brian and Theresa Schousek, and plans to attend a four-year university to study a variety of subjects including history, biology and international relations. Schousek answered a few questions for the Star-Observer about her year in Aalborg. How did you decide to go on a Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE)?
The Hudson School Board celebrated the opening of the new Hudson Raider Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 9. The event included speeches from several school district representatives, performances by the Hudson Marching Band, Hudson Raidaires, and more. It closed with a showing of the "Lego Batman" movie on the field. Many set out blankets or chairs on the artificial turf to watch the movie.
Over the past couple of months, Reubin Herfindahl has seen numbers of people coming into his computer repair shop, Digital Brigade, increase dramatically. Herfindahl said up until recently, he'd see one or two people reporting so-called "Call this number, you have a virus" phishing scams each week. A few weeks ago, he had a dozen customers who had problems related to such a scam. He said numbers have stayed similar. Herfindahl said the "Call this number, you have a virus" phishing scam starts with a phony webpage.
Hudson resident Nicholas Hartlep decided to write his new book, "The Neoliberal Agenda and the Student Debt Crisis in U.S. Higher Education" for personal and professional reasons. "Personally, because I do have some debt, as do many Americans," Hartlep said, "and professionally because of the alignment of the topic and my research area." Hartlep said he hadn't found any other books that look at the problem of student debt from a neoliberal lens. Neoliberalism is "in many respects, capitalism," Hartlep said.
Construction at Hudson Middle and High schools is moving along, said District Superintendent Nick Ouellette at the district board meeting Monday, July 10. Hudson High School Ouellette said the high school is definitely under construction on the inside. "I would say that's maybe the understatement of the century," he said. "They are really working hard." Ouellette said workers had a lot of work to do between now and when school starts. "The good thing is, we're starting to see things go from demolition to being built back," he said.
Each year, Hudson and St. Patrick's middle schools bring a group to Washington D.C. And each year two to four of those students are given what teacher Bryon Grossenbacher calls "a once in a lifetime opportunity." "It's kind of a big deal," Grossenbacher said. "I think it's something the community should be made more aware of." This small group of children is chosen from those who apply to take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery. The students write essays describing why they want to take part in the ceremony.
The group Interact has been a big part of Hannah Erickson's life for the past three years. She said Interact — which is a volunteer organization for high schoolers run through Rotary International — has been in Hudson for about four years. Ten of the organization's members all graduated high school recently. They planned one last project to be their legacy. They painted many of the structures in Grandview Park.
Hudson native Amelia Skye Dunlap grew up watching the Miss USA pageant. "I loved watching the different girls compete in their evening dresses," she said, "and seeing the diversity that when on up on this Miss USA Stage." She's also long had a love of performing on stage. So when she came across a Facebook ad for Miss Wisconsin USA auditions, it caught her attention; she applied. She wasn't initially sure she'd go to the auditions, but made a last-minute decision to go for it. "I just had this calling to do it," she said. That was last year.
As Jennifer Schwalbach's fifth-grade students learned more about water systems, and ecosystems this year, they also learned that access to clean water is an issue in some parts of the world. Schwalbach said this bothered the students a lot. "I said, 'Well, you know you could do something about it." That is just what her students have done. The kids planned a "Walk for Water" held June 1, starting and ending at North Hudson Elementary. "We're just doing what we can to help out," said 11-year-old Graham Close.