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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There are lots of familiar names in the recently released "The Ultimate Teen Book Guide," and it makes Laura Gajdostik, their English teacher at Hudson High School, very proud. The guide, which covers more than 700 books, features 19 reviews by Gajdostik's students and others at HHS. Along with the reviews, the book contains a short biography of each of the reviewers. Hudson students are among the largest number represented in the guide.
There were about a dozen extra adults around last Tuesday to welcome Hudson High School students back for the second semester. Waiting at every entrance, the adults were part of Community Action's "Reach Out" program, and they were there to shake as many hands as they could. This is the third second-semester "Reach Out," the brainchild of Jim Mitchell, youth coordinator for Community Action, and HHS principal Ed Lucas. Along with letting students know that adults in their community care, Mitchell and Lucas wanted the event students' own turf.
The Hudson Police and Fire Commission will interview three candidates Feb. 12 for the position of Hudson police chief. The candidates are Hudson Police Department Sgt. Marty Jensen; Glencoe, Minn., Police Chief Jeff Cummins; and Kohler Police Chief William Rutten. Commission president Tom O'Connell expects that a new chief will be named by the end of February. Eric Atkinson has been acting HPD chief since the resignation of Andrew Smith last August.
The two incumbents seeking re-election to the Hudson Board of Education are current president Dan Tjornehoj and Erika Cherrier. Cherrier was appointed to fill out the term of Tracy Habisch-Ahlin until the next election. Dan Tjornehoj Tjornehoj was first elected to the School Board in 1993 and has been re-elected four times. He has served as board president since 2006 and prior to that served as chairman of the board's finance committee and as board treasurer. Tjornehoj said his 15 years of experience as a School Board member are a big part of why he is running for a sixth term.
Some decision on what, if any, charges will be brought against Victoria Bear for her role in an accident that killed a Hudson man in September should be made by the end of this week. That was the message from the St. Croix County District Attorney's office to the Star-Observer earlier this week. Michael Strauch, 55, was killed on Coulee Road after his motorcycle struck a vehicle driven by Victoria Bear, 56, also of Hudson, after she allegedly pulled out in front of him from 18th Street around 6 p.m. Sept. 23.
The Hudson Board of Education got a good report card following an audit of district finances for the year 2006-07. Tom Kortas, a CPA with the accounting firm of LarsonAllen in Hudson (formerly Tracey & Thole) delivered a summary of the findings at the School Board meeting held earlier this month. Kortas reported that the general fund balance, which includes all district assets and payables less any liabilities, stood at around $18,200,000 at the time of the audit.
You can say what you want about January and it's wind chill and post-holiday blahs and resolutions that don't make it to the 15th, but this year it has a whole new luster. The nest is empty once again. I gave the empty nest thing quite a lot of thought back in August, and when it finally happened in September, well, it wasn't quite the big deal I expected. I mean, I missed my kids when they headed to their respective schools but there wasn't quite the void I anticipated. I think it had something to do with the cell phone and the e-mail and necessary trips home to -- touch base with us?
Hudson Middle School science teacher Cindy Landers went before the Hudson Board of Education recently to blow the cover off what she believes is a secret educational opportunity. Just southeast of the Hudson Middle School there are about 10 acres made up of woods, a pond and lots of native plants that Landers said is just waiting to be "discovered, explored and tended -- a perfect place for a school forest." The land is owned by the city of Hudson and has no designated use.
I recall the first time over 30 years ago that I saw a performance of "Inherit the Wind," the fictional account of the Scopes so-called "monkey trial." It seemed then like it was a long time ago that the theory of evolution was up for debate. But here we are in 2008, and the whole thing is an issue again, only this time it's called "intelligent design." That's what makes the performance at The Phipps Center Black Box so timely.
There are three new faces among the five School Board candidates for the three seats on the Hudson Board of Education that will be decided in the spring election. The two incumbents running -- Dan Tjornehoj (board president) and Erika Cherrier (appointed to fill a one-year vacancy) -- are being challenged by Lynn Robson, Barbara VanLoenen and Philip Kotoski. This is Kotoski's second campaign. He ran unsuccessfully for a board seat last spring.