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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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.
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.
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.
The Hudson Police Department has released a surveillance photo of a man they believe was involved in the Nov. 29 armed robbery of an adult video store in downtown Hudson. They hope someone might be able to identify him. Around 10 p.m. the suspect entered Left of Center at 609 Second St. wearing a ski mask. The suspect pointed a gun at a store clerk and demanded money. The man fled the store with the money the clerk gave him, apparently removing his mask once outside. Police say the robbery was captured by surveillance cameras inside the store as well as an exterior mounted camera.
Helen McCombie said it was worth every minute of the 30 straight hours she spent ringing at a Salvation Army red kettle last week outside County Market. While the final total is not in, it looks like McCombie raised close to $22,000 during her marathon, including donations ranging in size from $2,000 to 25 cents. She started at 5 a.m. last Wednesday and stayed at it until 11 a.m. on Thursday.
Experts pretty much agree that when it comes to getting through to teenagers, they listen better to each other than to anyone else. That's part of the rationale behind the new St. Croix Valley Youth Court. According to one of the students behind it, HHS senior Ben Sommerfeld, the court 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. The court personnel, including the judge, attorneys, bailiffs and jurors, are also teens who are not on probation for any other offenses.
Sgt. Robert Oehmke was fired Monday by the Hudson Police and Fire Commission for using excessive force during an incident last March and filing a false police report about it. City Attorney Catherine Munkittrick, acting on behalf of the commission, read the determination in the council chambers at City Hall Monday afternoon before an audience that included Oehmke's wife and parents. "It is hereby ordered ... that Sgt. Robert D.