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The Memorial Day celebration this weekend got me wondering about the history of the event itself. I remember attending ceremonies for most of my life, but I wondered when things got started. I remember my grandparents talking about Decoration Day, while my parents called it Memorial Day. As it turns out, the observance was known as Decoration Day for many years. As a youngster, Memorial Day essentially meant the end of school. As I began to get a little older, however, I realized there was something special about the day.
Three educators were presented Star Excellence Awards from the Education Foundation of Hudson during the 2012 Senior Scholarship Night at Hudson High School Wednesday, May 16. The winners were John Amann, Nichole Benson and David Gorman. Amann and Benson are teachers at Hudson High School and Gorman is a school psychologist serving Hudson Middle School and Hudson Prairie Elementary. The Education Foundation is a community-based, private organization that provides financial support for innovative educational programs in both public and private schools in Hudson.
Mark Neumann, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Herb Kohl, visited Hudson last week to tell his message to area voters. Neumann, a former Congressman, will be squaring off against seven other Republican candidates in an August primary. Probably the most notable among the other candidates is former Wisconsin Gov.
Final numbers (unofficial) have been reported in Tuesday's primary in both Pierce County and St. Croix County. In St. Croix County (41 of 41 precincts), Democrat totals are: Tom Barrett, 3,162; Kathleen Falk, 1,611; Kathleen Vinehout, 412; Doug La Follette, 214; and Gladys R. Huber, 156. On the Republican ticket, Gov. Scott Walker, 7,583; and Arthur Kohl-Riggs, 196. Lt.
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.