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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It happened again last weekend. We have finally gotten around to sorting through the books we packed away when we moved to Hudson 15 years ago in order to put them in our new bookcase, which has only been standing empty since last April. And there it was - a photo of me taken at least 24 years ago in which, even by current standards, I should have been happy to weigh what I did then. But as is always the case, I remember thinking I was fat back then. Oh if only.
When Raymond J. Govednik came to Hudson on Feb. 8, it doesn't appear he came intending to rob the First National Bank on Crest View Drive. According to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Madison, Govednik, 41, of Savage, Minn., told an FBI agent that he had "significant financial problems as a result of gambling" and came to Hudson that day to get a loan from the Cash Store here. After getting a $700 loan, Govednik said he then began to think about robbing a bank and drove around town, finally stopping around 12:20 p.m.
I was pleased on Saturday when I finally dug myself out of the driveway and made it downtown to see so many others had done the same thing. Downtown was bustling. And, sorry, Mayor Breault, but there wasn't a parking place in sight - all in all, in my book, not a bad problem for a small-town main street. But as much as I love shopping and entertaining myself in Hudson, it's fun to get out of town once in a while.
The St. Croix Underage Drinking Coalition met last month to set an aggressive agenda for the new year that includes alcohol compliance checks, education about the problems of teen drinking, and the identifying of healthy alternatives to underage drinking. When Community Action organized the coalition three years ago, its membership was primarily law enforcement officers from Hudson, North Hudson and Somerset with some participation from St. Croix County.
Though they can't say what it is, Hudson police detectives are continuing to get new information about Father Ryan Erickson, the former St. Patrick's priest who committed suicide on Dec. 19 in Hurley. The inquiry into Erickson is twofold. In late 2004 an investigation began into possible criminal activity involving minors while Erickson was a priest in Hudson. It was during the course of questioning in regard to that investigation that Erickson became a "person of interest" in the double homicide of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison in February 2002 at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home.
I don't think it will come as any surprise to anyone who reads this column regularly, but I have issues. Most of them are not very important but are nonetheless annoying. Others figure a little higher on the things-that-matter scale, and then there are the ones that seem to require immediate thought and action.
Hudson High School German teacher Judy Wyatt Schlei enjoys holiday breaks just like her students do but never more so than this year. Schlei was among 63 teachers in Wisconsin who recently earned certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the highest credential offered in the teaching profession. The designation came after a rigorous two and a half year process that included two kinds of assessment: a classroom-based portfolio of teaching practices and a knowledge assessment of the subject matter.
The Hudson Facilities Planning Task Force delivered on six months of work at last week's Board of Education meeting with a recommendation that includes the construction of a new 10-12 high school and a new elementary school on properties owned by the district.
Hudson Police Detective Shawn Pettee says he feels stronger now about solving the O'Connell/Ellison murders than he has since the case began almost three years ago. Pettee is assigned to the murder investigation along with Detective Jeff Knopps.
When the Hudson School District Facilities Task Force makes its report to the school board next week, the recommendation will include construction of a new 10-12 high school and a new elementary school south of I-94. The report concludes six months of work by the 23-member group that was charged with analyzing the district's facilities in light of current enrollment and projected enrollment over the next seven years. The plan that the task force agreed to present to the school board as its No.