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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If hunger strikes this Friday or Saturday, a group of Hudson families are hoping people will come by the brat stand at R.J.'s Meats, get something to eat and help out some autistic students all at the same time. The families who all have autistic students in the K-5 program at Willow River Elementary School are holding the fund-raiser from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. both days to raise funds for a music therapy program this year at the school. Two years ago, teacher Tara Tuchel secured a grant to fund music therapy at the school and parents like Denise Hafner saw the impact it had on their children.
The news was good for Hudson students when it came to the results of the 2007-08 Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Evaluation. The statewide assessment tests in math and reading showed that Hudson students in grades 3-8 and 10th grade all scored above the state averages. They also received satisfactory ratings in all categories measured for "adequate yearly progress summary," the annual measure for No Child Left Behind, the federal government's education initiative. (See charts with this story.) Hudson met all of the AYP - attendance, reading, mathematics - goals for test participation.
After more than 20 years of working in the field of counseling and chemical dependency treatment, Peter Van Dusartz said the work still inspires him. "You see people work and make profound changes in their lives. Recovery (from addiction) is a dramatic process and to see people committed to turning their lives around is a wonderful thing to be around," said Van Dusart. Van Dusartz manages and heads up a team of counselors that operate Programs for Change, Hudson Hospital's addiction and chemical dependency outpatient treatment program.
In a summer that is long on nice weather but short on days to enjoy it, it seems more people than ever are out walking, running and biking. But are they doing it safely? North Hudson Police Chief Mark Richert recently gave a presentation that outlined some common sense practices along with some products that could mean everybody makes it home safely. One of the first things Richert says is to lose the earphones.
A former School Board member has questioned the way the Hudson School District handles some of the construction costs for the new River Crest Elementary School.
The work was just starting when Seasons on St. Croix closed its doors at 301 Second St. Saturday around 5 p.m. That's when a contingent of more than 50 friends, family, customers and artists got their marching orders to make the move into the gallery's new home at 401 Second St. The new gallery is just across the street and a few doors north. With instructions from owners Ruth and Bob Misenko, the contents of the store were carefully packed into shopping carts donated by County Market for the trip. The whole move, fixtures and all, took less than two hours.
Violating the terms of his probation has landed Michael Van Ness, 21, 1733 Laurel Ave., in St. Croix County Jail for eight months. Van Ness was one of 14 Hudson High School graduates who were convicted and placed on probation for criminal damage to property as a result of a vandalism spree in June 2007. His probation was revoked after he was caught using marijuana and alcohol in his home through the use of a home monitoring device. VanNess was required to wear the device following his arrest June 24 for violating the absolute sobriety provision of his probation.
When it comes to self-defense and protection, intuition is a woman's best friend. That's what self-defense instructor Mike Ellefson believes, and it applies to men as well as women. Ellefson is the chief instructor at Midwest Center for Movement at 1830C Hanley Place. He is a fourth degree black-belt in Aikido and a second degree black-belt in karate and trains both the public and law enforcement in personal safety techniques. Last week, a dozen women showed up for a self-defense seminar conducted by Ellefson with the assistance of some of his clients at Midwest Center.
William Antonie Dontae Meadows will not be living on 11th St. S. That was the word from Hudson Police Chief Marty Jensen Wednesday night at a public information meeting about Meadows moving to Hudson. According to Jensen, a woman living with Meadows called the chief and said he would be moving out within the next two days. The woman also said that she and her two children would be moving out of the residence at the end of the month.
Somewhere in Birkmose Park there's an albino squirrel who knows too much. I think some of you may be able to relate. I had a Thursday about a week ago that just went from bad to worse. I was feeling overwrought, underappreciated and generally taken for granted. And it was on all fronts -- family, work, all of it. It began with my husband encroaching on my day off. I'm OK with spending time with him but my Thursdays are kind of coveted. It's the day I usually clean, catch up on personal paperwork, watch a few soaps or do something with friends.