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 rites of passage in this life. Some of them are fun, like a first date, getting your license, turning 21; some, not so much -- that first broken heart, the first car accident and the day after that 21st birthday, the one you can't quite remember for the killer headache and nausea. But as much fun as all that is to remember, if you live where we do, a sure sign of growing up and growing older has to do with the weather. How we feel about it, what we remember and what's important to know about it are all indicators of where we are in life.
District enrollment has dropped by 33 students through the course of the school year, according to an official count taken on Jan. 12. The most current enrollment picture was reported by Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten at the Board of Education meeting last week. The decrease represents a drop just under 1 percent of the enrollment reported at the official count on Sept. 15 of last year. At that time, there were 5,157 students attending Hudson schools. On Jan. 12, 5,124 students were enrolled. The enrollment as of the January count a year ago was 4,873.
The Hudson Board of Education is expected to make a decision on what to do about office space at a special meeting Tuesday. Board members discussed four options at their regular board meeting last week. The options included the lease or purchase of a modular building, what has previously been referred to as portables, the lease of existing office space or the purchase of existing office space. The board also discussed the feasibility of constructing a building on a portion of the 100 acres the district owns on County UU in the town of Hudson.
Willow River Elementary Principal Pat Hodges has been approved by the Board of Education to be the first principal of Hudson's new elementary school. The school, which will be built on Coulee Trail just across from Camp St. Croix in the town of Troy, is scheduled to open in fall 2008. Hodges has worked in the Hudson School District for 21 years. She began her career here in 1986 as a special education teacher, first at E.P. Rock and then at the high school.
A bomb threat was discovered at an undisclosed location at Hudson High School just before the end of school Tuesday. Because buses were already arriving at the campus, students were dismissed as normal, according to school district Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten. In addition, the building was evacuated of all teachers and staff, and all after-school activities on campus were cancelled. Hudson police were on the scene by 2:50 p.m. to conduct a search of the school and investigate the threat. No additional information was available at press time Tuesday.
If I had a genie and a trio of wishes, I'd use all three to ensure that nobody in Hudson missed "Disney's Aladdin Jr." at The Phipps Center. Based on the successful animated film, the stage version keeps all the best music and action of the original, made even better by these talented real, live actors. John Potter selected and directed a dream cast, many of them seniors in their last Phipps Children's Theater effort, who all gave enthusiastic performances from the leads to the beggars in the bazaar.
Andrew Smith will take over as Hudson's new chief of police beginning early next month. Smith, who has been a resident of Hudson for six years, is leaving the Minneapolis Police Department after a career that saw him rise from patrol officer to the rank of captain in just 16 years. But he says the chief's job is his last big career move. He's here for the long haul. When he describes his career to date, Smith, 39, says he's had the equivalent of 30 years' experience in his 16 years with the Minneapolis department. "I've been incredibly fortunate to have the experience I've had.
The talk was all about the future last week when the Board of Education and most of the school district's administrative team met to begin work on a long-range plan for public education in the Hudson School District. The plan is called "HSD 2025." The plan calls for a comprehensive study of what public education should look like in order to prepare district graduates for the future they face over the next 15-20 years.
The Hudson Middle School was locked down and searched by police Thursday afternoon following the discovery of a message on a restroom wall that a student had a gun at school. According to a notice on the Hudson School District website from Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten, "police were called and arrived at the school within a few minutes. The school was locked down and searched, including lockers and backpacks. The film from the security camera was reviewed; students were identified who entered the restroom; and these students were interviewed.
A Minneapolis Police Department captain has accepted the position as Hudson's new chief of police. Andy Smith, a resident of Hudson, was the first choice of the Hudson Police and Fire Commission from the most recent candidates. Smith has been with the Minneapolis Police Department for 16 years and sought the Hudson job because he wanted to move to a smaller department. Smith and his wife moved to Hudson several years ago. Their children attend Rock Elementary School.