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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When I attended a presentation last week entitled "In Search of the Proper Autistic Friend," I wasn't quite sure what to expect. But then, that is usually the case when it comes to my experience with autism and with the children and families who live with it. James Williams was no exception. He has written several books and speaks across the country about living with autism, and he is just 18 years old. Tara Tuchel, a Willow River teacher who works with autistic children, met Williams when both presented at a national conference in Rhode Island earlier this year.
Enrollment in the Hudson School District as of the third Friday in September is 5,162 students, up 313 over last year's enrollment of 4,849. The count is required by the state Department of Public Instruction and is used to calculate state aids to the district. The number represents a 6.4 percent increase in the student population, which stood at 4,849 this time last year.
Friends since their school days, Jim Burton and Barbara Blakeman Richardson will be together again at this year's Hudson High School Distinguished Alumni presentation Oct. 4. Richardson, Class of 1957, and Burton, Class of 1958, join the 32 other HHS graduates who have been named to the school's Wall of Fame since its inception in 1994. Graduates are recognized for their professional and personal achievements and for their contributions to the communities where they live. An induction ceremony will take place Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. at the school.
Everyone who saw the immediate aftermath of the accident that took place last June 13 on the hill near Fleet Farm knew it was bad, but after months of therapy and hard work, the future looks much brighter for Debbie Hoople. Hoople's 2000 Ford Explorer was struck at the intersection of Hanley Road and Industrial Street by a car driven by Patricia Weigand of River Falls. The impact pushed the SUV over the curb and it overturned onto its hood. Hoople was ejected from the vehicle through the driver's side window and landed in the street.
Hilary Harris Lundberg knew before she ever left Hudson High School that she wanted to be a police officer. Mission accomplished. Today, the 1993 HHS graduate is a patrol officer with the Austin Police Department in Texas. Her husband, Shane, is a sheriff's deputy and the couple have a son, Gabriel, 18 months old. On a recent trip home, Lundberg talked about her career choice and the impact her son has had on her life. Lundberg grew up in something of a legal atmosphere. Her father, Chuck Harris, is a Hudson attorney.
The school lunch program in the Hudson School District now includes the services of a registered dietician. Last week the Board of Education approved a one-year contract for the part-time services of Stephanie Campbell, a member of the dietary staff at Hudson Hospital. Campbell, who was on the job this week, will spend 10-12 hours a week working in the district's child nutrition office. Her first project was to simplify and streamline the nutrition information needed by the health staff at all seven of the district's schools.
I was wrong. I thought that The Phipps production of "Driving Miss Daisy" might not hold up to the memory I had of the Academy awarding-winning movie with the late Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman. That movie was great. This play was better. "Better" might not be the right word, but it seemed that the experience of this very good story was only made more touching by the intimate nature of a stage production and the outstanding performances of Mary Kay Fortier-Spaulding, Eric Wood and Mark Koski.
The city of Hudson Police and Fire Commission will likely consider whether to take disciplinary action against a Hudson Police Department sergeant sometime in the next few weeks. Sgt. Bob Oehmke has been on paid administrative leave since March 29 while an investigation was conducted into an undisclosed complaint by a civilian against the 15-year veteran. To date the city has paid Oehmke a little over $26,500. The complaint was initially investigated by Oehmke's superiors in the department.
For the second consecutive year, a group of Hudson-area teens traveled to a community in rural Mississippi to help build a Habitat for Humanity home. The group of 13 was made up of boys and girls, all Community Action youth volunteers who worked throughout the year to earn the money to fund the trip. A group about half the size made their first trip to the area last year. Their experience prompted several of them to return again this year and to bring along others. The trip was led by Community Action staff members and Americorps workers Jason Briggs and Jenna Evenson.
Members of the Board of Education got their first look at what a new elementary school would cost them and their fellow taxpayers at the regular board meeting held just before the annual meeting Monday night. The report came from the board's finance committee, which examined the cost to taxpayers at each of the two proposed locations, Crosby Drive and Coulee Trail (formerly County FF).