Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
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Three of the suspects involved in vandalism at North and Memorial high schools in Eau Claire appeared in criminal court there yesterday and were charged with two counts each of criminal damage to property. Benjamin Luehrs, 18, Michael Van Ness, 20, both of Hudson, and Michael Zuehl, 18, North Hudson, were in court on Tuesday to hear the misdemeanor charges. They were released on $1,000 signature bonds and were ordered to stay off school property. Samuel Weigleitner, 18, from Hudson is expected to be in court on Thursday to face the same charges.
The Hudson Police Department is asking the public's help in tracking down who stole more than $20,000 in copper wire from AT&T sometime between 3 p.m. July 12 and 7:30 a.m. July 13. According to the police report, the company's installing and repair manager found the chainlink fence on the west side of the building at 801 Second St. cut. The thieves then entered the storage area and removed 135 spools of service wire. According to the manager, each spool weighed 85 pounds and is valued at $150. Each spool contained black-colored, insulated, 22-gauge copper wire.
A 38-year-old man was prevented from committing suicide by several members of the Hudson Police Department on July 4. Police went to the residence in the 1500 block of Heggen Street around 10:30 p.m. after the man's wife called 911 saying her husband was going to kill himself either by overdosing or by cutting himself. HPD officers Bob Larson, Jason Muenich and Geoff Willems accompanied by Sgt. Eric Atkinson went to the man's apartment. Atkinson and Larson knocked on the door but got no response.
Two Woodbury, Minn., girls are alive today, thanks to the actions of strangers and Hudson police Monday afternoon. Samantha R. Bartelmy, 17, and Andrea D. Nagle, 19, instead left Hudson with hangovers and citations for underage consumption of alcohol. Authorities received a 911 call from a citizen who said there were two extremely intoxicated young women near them at the beach on the end of the dike road. One of the women, Nagle, was passed out but Bartelmy was reportedly attempting to swim west across the St.
The case of five schools vandalized by a large group of Hudson High School graduates began innocently enough with some talk over lunch in the cafeteria about a "senior prank." What ultimately happened has left as many as 21 of those graduates facing criminal charges. According to police reports released by the Hudson and Eau Claire police departments, the prank really began to shape at the home of Ben Luehrs, HHS senior class president, on the evening of May 30.
Tracy Habisch-Ahlin has resigned from the Hudson Board of Education, effective immediately, but she will still play a role in district business. Habisch-Ahlin resigned her board seat in order to apply for the position of communication specialist for the Hudson School District. She was among 15 applicants for the contract services position and was among the three finalists for the job.
Along with brand new classrooms, computers and a playground, the Bethel Highlands Preschool has a brand new director, the first for the school which will open this fall. Kari Jo Fore began work in her new position last week and is clearly excited about being part of new venture for Bethel Lutheran Church. The school is part of Bethel Highlands, the church's new facility at 504 Frontage Road in the town of Hudson. Fore's first task is to hire teachers and other staff to work with students ages 3 to 5 in preschool and pre-kindergarten classes.
The Hudson Police Department will have some extra help next time they receive a report of a missing child, a runaway teenager or elderly adult who has lost their way. They will call ACIM -- A Child Is Missing. According to Sgt. Eric Atkinson, the non-profit organization offers law enforcement free assistance in helping find missing persons including children, teens and adults with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. It works this way. When there is a police report of someone missing, law enforcement contacts ACIM with a description and the last known whereabouts of the missing person.
The Hudson Police Department recovered thousands of dollars in property Friday following a search of two residences just outside of Ellsworth in connection with thefts from Menards in Hudson. The man arrested was Travis J. Theis, 28, of Ellsworth. Theis was arrested at Menards on Thursday, the day before the search. Hudson investigators were at the store discussing the investigation when Theis came in to pick up merchandise. Instead he was taken into custody. The two search warrants were executed by HPD Chief Andy Smith, Det. Jeff Knopps and Sgt.
Four of the 13 suspects named in the vandalism at Hudson High School also face charges in connection with the school vandalism at Memorial and North high schools in Eau Claire the same night. They include Benjamin N. Luehrs, 18, Michael J. Zuehl, 18, Samuel T. Wegleitner, 18 and Michael C. Vanness, 20. Nine other, all HHS '07 graduates including five girls and four boys, are persons of interest in the case. The so-called "senior prank" took place at all five high schools including Menomonie and New Richmond around midnight on June 4.