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.
- Member for
- 4 years 5 days
The Hudson Police Department has two new full-time patrol officers following swearing ceremonies last week at City Hall. Traci Haines, 24, of Somerset, and John Worden, 37, of Hudson, fill vacancies in the department. Haines was born in Hudson but grew up in Somerset. She holds an associate degree in law enforcement from Alexandria (Minn.) Technical College, and a bachelor's degree in vocational rehabilitation with an emphasis on community policing from UW-Stout. Haines has worked part-time for the Hudson Police Department since 2004.
By all accounts, space is tight at Hudson Middle School. With a capacity of 1,125 students, the school has an enrollment of 1,155. But Principal Dan Koch said there is more to the situation at his school than just the numbers. In a report to the Hudson Board of Education recently, Koch said the overcrowding and large class sizes at his school are eroding the house system, which is at the center of the district's middle school program. "The house system is the best way to educate kids in this developmental phase of their lives.
Kay Couch has spent her career in one of the busiest spots in the Hudson School District -- the office. That's two offices, really. She was the first secretary at the newly created Hudson Middle School in 1975 under-then Principal Bill Hickox and was at the post for 10 years. She relocated for her husband's job, spending 10 years in Phoenix. But the family returned to Hudson, and Couch has been secretary to the Hudson High School associate principals since 1996. In June she will retire after 22 years. Couch is a product of the Hudson School District.
Victoria Bear was found guilty Monday in St. Croix Circuit Court of homicide by negligent use of a vehicle in connection with the death of Michael Strauch on Sept. 23. Strauch, 55, was killed after his motorcycle struck Bear's vehicle on Coulee Road, after she pulled out in front of him from 18th Street around 6 p.m. Strauch's widow, Barbara, and his children were in the courtroom along with other family members and friends. At her arraignment before Judge Eric Lundell, Bear, 56, entered a plea of no contest to the felony charge.
Members of the Hudson High School Student Leadership Team met last week to talk about getting their hands dirty. Last fall students Nico Fassino, Katie Cumming, Josh Kock-Fogarty and Adam Selon took on the task of transforming a courtyard that was little more than a patch of grass on the west side of the campus into something more. The service-learning project is one of many Principal Ed Lucas hopes students will undertake during their time at HHS. With space at a premium these days at HHS, the group saw some possibilities in the space, and work began on transforming it.
While much of recent Hudson School District news has been focused on the new elementary school under construction and what to do about more classroom space at the middle and high schools, there has been another project underway that could impact education in Hudson far into the future. HSD 2025 is a plan for future success for all graduates of the Hudson School District. Work on the plan began last April and has continued throughout the year.
The Hudson Board of Education approved new annual raises for district administrators and support staff at its meeting last Tuesday. Following a closed session for discussion, the board voted in open session to give school district support staff an annual salary raise of 3.55 percent. In addition, staff members will receive a one-time stipend of $150 to help offset increased health insurance deductibles. Those deductibles will double in some cases, according to district personnel director Nancy Sweet.
Last Tuesday's Board of Education meeting was the last for Dick Muenich, who has been a member since 2002 but did not seek re-election to a third term. In recalling his service on the board, Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten said Muenich had always been a strong advocate for students, the staff, the administration and the taxpaying community. As a board member he has served as vice president for two years and served as co-chaired the Facilities Task Force.
The Somerset man who used his cell phone to make a connection with several underage boys late last year has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges. Hector Antonia Linarez-Mata, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of lewd and lascivious behavior-exposure and disorderly conduct. A county forfeiture charge of unlawful phone use was dismissed. Linarez-Mata was placed on probation and his prosecution was deferred. He also paid a fine of $410.50. The charges stemmed from a series of phone calls between Linarez-Mata and several middle school-age boys last November.
There are plenty of things in my life to feel guilty about -- everything from cutting the hair on my neighbor's brand new hula doll when I was 8 and lying about it, to gas-lighting Kevin last week into thinking he was the one who forgot to close the freezer door. And when I think about all those guilt trips over the years, a lot of them have to do with one of the world's most ancient sins -- envy. I have always had a problem with envy.