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In early returns in both the state and St. Croix County, Democrat Tom Barrett has a commanding lead over Democrat Kathleen Falk and has been declared the winner by various news sources. The other Democrats in Tuesday's recall primary election are well behind the two leaders. Barrett had garnered 121,193 (55 percent). statewide with 36 percent of the precincts reporting; Falk had 81,503 (37 percent). The other candidates had 4 percent or less. In St. Croix County Barrett had a commanding lead with 35 of 41 precincts reporting. Barrett lead Falk 2,499 to 1,251.
Tom Evenson, 74, has decided to end his 60-year career as a Hudson plumber, operating the business Tom's Plumbing and Repair. The 1955 Hudson High School graduate currently has some health issues regarding his lungs and decided to call it quits earlier this month. Evenson has 60 years of experience because he started working in his dad's plumbing shop as a teenager in the early 1950s.
If you're older than 40 you probably remember a day when you purchased a phone for your home or office, plugged it in and you were ready to go. If you're older than 60 you probably remember the day when the phone was provided by the telephone company as part of the service. I was again reminded last week that the world has changed - as the saying goes, "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore." At our Star-Observer office in Hudson we installed a new phone system last week.
Gov. Scott Walker stopped in Hudson Thursday morning and read to a group of pre-kindgarten students at KinderCare, 2600 Center Dr. His purpose was to highlight his YoungStar and Early Literacy initiatives; KinderCare is considered a five-star - top of the list in the state's reimbursement program. Under the program, top schools are rewarded with higher aid levels, while lower ranked pre-schools receive less state aid. "We want incentives for pre-schools because it will pay dividends in the future," Walker said. "It also gives lower performing school an incentive to increase their rankings.
If you've been following politics -- or many other activities for that matter -- a new trend is rapidly emerging: defeat is unacceptable. There are, and has been, recall elections all over the state of Wisconsin. In some ways it even filters down to our local level. The school land purchase referendum passed by a 57-43 percent margin, yet there seems to be those who are intent on overturning the will of the people by not rezoning the dog track property to allow a future school. Agree, or disagree, but I believe the voters have made their intentions very clear on this issue!
The Wisconsin Professional Police Association (WPPA) is suing the city of Hudson over the city's decision to stop contributing funds to Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA). Payments stopped when the union's collective bargaining agreement ended at the end of 2011. HRA funds are intended to be used to make up the difference for a higher deductible in insurance coverage. The suit is essentially intended to define the language surrounding the city's lack of HRA contributions since Jan. 1.
The 10th annual Spring Showcase Sunday drew a near-record crowd to the Hudson Sports and Civic Center Sunday, April 15. "We were thrilled with the turnout," said Andrea Jorgenson, director of communications & programs for the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau. "All the participating businesses were happy with the turnout.
Thousands of motorcycles came to North Hudson Saturday morning for the annual spring motorcycle run sponsored by the Mallalieu Inn. The warm temperatures and blue skies meant that several thousand cycles descended on the village for the start of the run that makes several stops in western Wisconsin Saturday afternoon. North Hudson Police estimated that there already about 2,500 motorcycles at the event at 11:30 a.m. The run officially started between noon and 1 p.m.
In a verdict reached Saturday morning, a St. Croix County jury acquitted UW-River Falls professor Thomas William Barnett of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl last summer in a Hudson movie theater. Jurors were unable to reach a verdict Friday afternoon and evening and were excused at about 8 p.m. Friday, said St. Croix County Clerk of Court Lori Meyer. The seven-man, five-woman panel reconvened Saturday at 9 a.m. and just after 11 a.m.
"Easter is the pinnacle event in the life of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ," said Father John Gerritts, pastor at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Hudson. "And, of course, our lives." But he is quick to add that Easter is not just a one-day event. "When we celebrate something this important, we need preparation," Gerritts said. "We have the Lenten season and Holy Week which leads up to Easter Sunday. And, we have the 50 days after Easter that leads to Pentecost.