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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More than two dozen middle and high school students gave up a Saturday to learn more about the St. Croix Valley Youth Court. Some were only curious; others knew they wanted to participate. Everyone seemed to understand that the work of the court was important and up to them. The court has been operating in Hudson and some surrounding communities since last fall. It is designed to serve first-time offenders between the ages of 13-18 who are facing municipal ordinance violations like truancy, shoplifting and underage drinking.
After a full day of interviews on Saturday, the Hudson Police and Fire Commission has narrowed its search for a new chief of police to five candidates. The names of the candidates will not be released until salary considerations have been finalized by the City Council and forwarded to the commission. The names of the candidates are expected to be available by the end of the week. Commission Chairman Tom O'Connell said they interviewed seven candidates and are very pleased with the caliber and experience of the five finalists.
The goal sounds simple -- to raise awareness about the genocidal conflict in the East African region of Darfur. But how do you do that among the more than 1,700 teenagers who attend Hudson High School? Answer -- you just start talking. That's how senior Liz Lampman began her effort late last year. Lampman said she learned about the conflict and genocide in Darfur through a television news report two years ago and has followed the conflict ever since. "I was shocked to think that it could be happening again.
Hudson Police Sgt. Marty Jensen says he plans to get back to helping his children with their homework now that he has finally completed his own. Jensen graduated with honors from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul last month and was named the class's outstanding student in the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. Jensen has been a member of the Hudson Police Department for 20 years, a sergeant since 1996, and he loves his job. So much so that he hopes to be chief someday. To get there he needed more than experience. He needed a college degree.
A burglar was caught in the act Monday, thanks to observation and quick thinking by a next-door neighbor. Ted Mathew Voerding, 39, of Rosemount, Minn., was arrested inside the residence at 520 Hunter Hill Road. Voerding, who was intoxicated at the time of his arrest, was found in a bedroom belonging to the homeowner's roommate, ransacking it. The neighbor had seen the man outside the residence. She watched as a woman who was jogging by stopped and the man went over to talk with her.
The Hudson Community Fund recently awarded $4,800 in grants to local organizations and charities, bringing the total of awards since creating the fund in 1999 to almost $100,000. According to fund board president Susie Gilbert of First National Bank, the idea of the Hudson Community Fund was to provide a way for residents, businesses and families to funnel their contributions and donations to organizations that support the community. Among this year's recipients are Community Action, Operation HELP and Bridge for Youth with Disabilities.
It's part of a newspaper reporter's job description to tell the truth. That said, I know there is a contingent of people out there who think I don't do that when I write, but they're wrong. I make every effort to provide readers of the Star-Observer with the most factual information I can. I certainly make mistakes from time to time, but I don't do it maliciously or to promote any particular agenda. That would take a lot more time and thought, and I'd be a lot more clever about it if I were doing that.
Despite the hundreds of packages handled daily at Hudson's The UPS Store during this holiday season, one stood out to owner Alvin Snyder and his staff, and for good reason. It was full of the illegal drug known as "khat." The plant's leaves are chewed to induce an amphetamine-like high. Snyder called the Hudson Police Department just after lunch on Dec. 11 to report that his business had received a package earlier that day that he suspected contained illegal drugs. The man to whom the package was addressed was Abdi-Deeq Sheikh Ahmed Imankey, 27, of Minneapolis.
At a special Board of Education meeting last Thursday night, members passed a resolution that could save the taxpayers approximately $200,000 in interest on the $12 million bond issue recently approved for a new elementary school on Coulee Trail. The members approved issuing $9.5 million in bond anticipation notes before the end of 2006.
When Aasha Sunar arrived in Nebraska with her new husband, Peter Vitt, she couldn't speak any English but it didn't stop her from communicating. Eight years later she is a published poet and the author of "Untouchable Jivan, " a book of poems that documents her life growing up in Nepal as a member of Jivan, the untouchable class in this Hindu society. Sunar married Hudson High School English teach Peter Vitt in 1997 when he was a Peace Corps worker in the area where she lived in Nepal. She accompanied Vitt when he returned home shortly thereafter.