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Three St. Croix County businesses were honored at the St. Croix Economic Development Corp. annual awards banquet Thursday night (Feb. 1) in New Richmond. Selected as the EDC's 2006 Business of the Year recipients were: Interfacial Solutions (Hudson), 2006 Emerging Business of the Year (based in St. Croix County and in business for five or fewer years); Action Battery Wholesalers Inc. (Somerset), 2006 Small Business of the Year (29 or fewer employees); and McMillan Electric Co.
Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, spoke at the St. Croix Economic Development Corp. annual awards banquet and said Wisconsin is making strides forward in technology, but more work is needed to keep the Badger state competitive. "In the 19th century Wisconsin developed bigger and better farms; in the 20th century it was bigger and better factories," Still said. "In the 21st century we need bigger and better ideas -- it's a knowledge economy." Wisconsin is currently lagging the nation in average income and is far behind Minnesota. "Wisconsin is 98 percent of the U.S.
Age 94 is not a routine retirement age, but there was nothing "routine" about Star-Observer columnist and writer Catherine "Kay" Johnson, who died Jan. 25 at the age of 96. Kay, a Fourth of July baby, always lived her life with zest and had an outlook on life that matched the beauty of July Fourth fireworks. Kay started working at the Star-Observer in 1949. Former Publisher Willis Miller was planning a six-week vacation, but then-publisher Clarence Reiter told him he couldn't go unless he found a replacement. The temporary replacement was Kay Johnson.
Numerous awards and other festivities highlighted the 2007 Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau annual Awards Banquet at the Hudson Golf Club Thursday, Jan. 25. First National Bank employee Susie Gilbert was the winner of the Marie Blakeman Award. The award was presented by Barbara Richardson, daughter of the late Marie Blakeman. An owner of Nor-Lake, Blakeman was a business and community leader in Hudson for more than 52 years. She died Dec. 31, 1999. "The winner of the award best exemplifies the qualities of Marie Blakeman," Richardson said.
A Sunday morning fire destroyed a town of Troy home at 597 White Oak Drive, just off Gilbert Road about a mile south of the TA truck stop. The home is owned by Richard and Mary Woodmansee. Fire Chief Jim Frye said the call came in at 10:41 a.m. "Mr. Woodmansee was in a hot tub at the home and smelled smoke," Frye said. "When he went to investigate he discovered a fire in the garage. Both Richard and his wife were home when the fire was detected." It has not been determined how the fire started. There were no injuries. "That will be left to the insurance investigators," Frye said.
Hudsonites were shocked last Wednesday night when it was announced that the First National Bank of Hudson had been sold to Associated Bank, based in Green Bay. First National is Hudson's second oldest business and has been family/locally owned since being chartered in 1863. Despite the fact that most everyone was caught "off-guard" by the sale, First National Bank President Ken Heiser said the sale process began about six months ago. Owners John and Ruth Huss have owned the bank since 1977. "Like the rest of us, John and Ruth have hopes and dreams about retirement -- time marches on.
As many of you know, I was out of commission for pretty much all of December, but am now back on the job. Every once in while I go into the Star-Observer archives and begin looking back through history. A paper that caught my eye was one dated Jan. 19, 1967 -- exactly 40 years ago. A front-page headline read: Industrial Corps Sells Common Stock. Essentially, an organization was started in an attempt to attract industry to Hudson -- I'm guessing it was probably a pioneer in an area that is now commonplace.
Little did I know that when I went home from work on Monday, Nov. 27, that I wouldn't set foot back into the Star-Observer office until more than a month later. Little did I know that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas would be one big blur! I don't want to bore anyone with my medical problems -- but, they are about the only thing I've been exposed to in the past month.
If you drive through Elmwood in the weeks and months ahead, you may encounter a unique system of traffic control. The Elmwood Police Department has initiated a program in which a mannequin, dressed as an Elmwood police officer, is placed in the driver's position of a marked police vehicle. The car is parked at locations throughout the village to deter speeders, criminals and other violators. Officer TED MOP was sworn in as an Elmwood police officer Friday, Nov. 17.
Craig Edwards, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service for 30-plus years, talked about global warming at the meeting of the Thursday Noon Hudson Rotary Club last week. Edwards, however, was reluctant to use the term "global warming," citing that the term creates a political reaction. "We can't call it global warming," Edwards said. "We have to take the politics out. I'm just presenting what I have observed in the past 34 years." Edwards, 57, retired three weeks ago as meteorologist in charge at the Twin Cities NWS office in Chanhassen. He held that position since 1991.