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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Turning 13 is an important birthday by any measure, but for Micah Pederson and his new family it will be especially sweet. After living in an orphanage in Russia for two years, Micah was recently adopted by Steve and Dawn Pederson of Hudson who have three biological children, Hannah, 18, Gretchen, 14, and Noah, 10.
While the man they were there to honor might have wondered why they weren't all out deer hunting, family, friends and colleagues of Rich Jansen gathered Monday at his funeral to remember and honor him. Jansen died Nov. 14 at his home in North Hudson from cancer. He was 72. Jansen first joined the North Hudson Police Department in 1967 and became chief in 1980. He held the position until his retirement in 1999. But if anything was evident from his funeral, it was that the chief wore many hats. He also owned and operated Hillside Nursery on Sixth Street North up until the time of his death.
A group of Hudson residents has formed Friends of Hudson Public Education in support of the school district's Dec. 12 referendum to fund construction of a new elementary school on Coulee Trail south of I-94. The group, which formed in October, has adopted the motto "Support our Kids." Their yellow "yes" signs began appearing in the area last week. According to Butch Schultz, one of the group's organizers, more than 500 people have pledged their support to the effort and the $12 million referendum.
After almost eight months on paid administrative leave, Hudson Police Sgt. Robert Oehmke is scheduled to appear Dec. 12 at a hearing before the Hudson Police and Fire Commission to face charges connected with an on-duty incident. The exact charges against Oehmke have been filed but cannot be released until he has been notified of the Star-Observer's request to make the charges public. According to Hudson city attorney Catherine Munkittrick, Oehmke will be notified of the request this week and has five days to take legal action to keep the information from being released.
The problem is the same for a lot of non-profit organizations these days. Money is tight. But facing its own budget crunch, Community Action is hoping to raise funds necessary to continue offering programs that help youth in the community. Community Action has operated in the Hudson area for more than 25 years. While the specifics of its mission have changed over the years, its focus has always centered around the welfare of the community's youth.
Laura and Todd Franck's home has never looked more beautiful. After weeks of preparation it is ready for this weekend's Christmas Tour of Homes, one of five private residences that will be featured. The Francks' holiday decorations are lavish and a wonderful accent to a home that is already a showcase. The Francks say they created the home they wanted "book by book." That's how Todd Franck, a Hudson native and 1985 Hudson High School graduate, described the process the couple used to design their 5,000-plus-square-foot home in the town of Hudson.
The thought of more than 45 teenagers in one place singing and dancing could be intimidating if it were in someone's basement, but it should be pure pleasure when it happens tomorrow night with the opening of "Crazy for You" onstage at the Hudson High School auditorium. The musical has a large cast singing and dancing to many familiar Gershwin songs. The story takes place in the small town of Deadrock, Nev., but also has a connection with New York City. The play is being directed by HHS choral instructor Kari Heisler who has returned from maternity leave to direct the show.
While this year's evil political advertising has provided plenty to boo and hiss about, there's a much more fun outlet for it at The Phipps revival of "The Dastardly Doctor Devereaux" playing weekends now through Nov. 26. The cast is a who's who of The Phipps favorite actors, many of whom are back to recreate their roles in the theater's original performance of the play a while back in the Black Box.
The Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce annual Christmas Tour of Homes is Nov. 18-19. This year's tour includes three homes in Hudson's historic downtown neighborhoods, two more contemporary houses and the Octagon House. Participating this year are Patt Colten, 405 Locust St.; Ben and Mary Morgan, 1029 Fourth St.; Jeffrey and JoAnn Bemoras, 1028 Sixth St.; Serina and George Bentley, 1101 Juniper Way; Laura and Todd Franck, 423 Jack Pine Drive. The tour also includes the Black Tie Affair on Friday, Nov.
I think we might have a shot at locating Osama bin Laden if we threaten to play nonstop campaign ads for high-placed terrorists we have in custody until they can't take it anymore and rat the bum out. For a while there, I didn't think I was going to make it. By Halloween I was ready to promise anything -- do anything -- to not hear one more attack ad, no matter where it came from. I almost considered going to "Saw III." Over the weekend, I found myself smiling as Jessica Simpson told me all about the heartbreak of her acne in an infomercial.