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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Jennifer Veenendall knows firsthand what it is like for children living with autism -- both for the students who are autistic and for their friends and peers in classrooms they share. Veendendall, a school-based occupational therapist in the Twin Cities, has written a book she believes will help promote an environment of acceptance and understanding of the students she works with everyday.
Picture this -- the Hudson Lakefront Library sharing a corner with The Phipps Center and the beautiful St. Croix River. For members of the Hudson Library Foundation and a growing number of supporters around the community, the idea seems like a perfect fit.
What happened when a group of middle school boys got what seemed like a wrong number on one of their cell phones could serve as a warning to other children and their parents. As a result of the incident that took place over several weeks in North Hudson in December, a 20-year-old Somerset man, Hector Antonio Linarez-Mata, has been charged with unlawful use of a telephone-harassment with obscenity, exposing genitals to a child and disorderly conduct, all misdemeanors.
The Hudson High School 2007 yearbook has been selected as the grand prize winner in the Best of Volumes competition conducted by Lifetouch Yearbooks. The award was presented to longtime yearbook adviser and teacher Deb Lee and her staff at last week's School Board meeting by a Lifetouch representative. Along with a framed collage of some of the best of last year's pages, the yearbook will receive $350.
By any measure, the Stand-by-Me mentorship program at Rock Elementary School would have to be judged a success. When it began 10 years ago, there were only a few upper-grade students, teachers and adult mentors involved. Today, there are more than 80 mentors from throughout the community that show up every week to meet with more than 90 Rock students from every grade level for some very special one-on-one time. The program was the idea of teacher Ann Siats, who has always believed that the more positive adults a child can have in their lives, the better.
The teachers and Hudson Board of Education have agreed on a new two-year contract. The agreement was approved Feb. 12. The agreement calls for a salary increase of 3.24 percent for the current school year and a 3.73 percent increase in 2008-09. National Board Certified teachers will receive an additional stipend. The agreement also puts a cap on the amount the Hudson School District will pay toward health insurance premiums. Should premiums rise above the cap during the contract period, the district will not be required to cover the increase.
School Board member Tom Holland resigned his office as treasurer of the board at its monthly meeting last week. Holland also gave up his seat as chairman of the board's finance committee. Board member and former treasurer Mark Kaisersatt was elected to take Holland's place as treasurer. A new committee chairman was not named at the meeting. Holland's seat on the board and his job as the vice president of financial development for the YMCA of Greater St.
Victoria Bear made her first appearance in St. Croix County criminal court on Thursday to face a charge of homicide by negligent use of a vehicle. Bear, 56, is accused of causing the death of Hudson man Michael Strauch. Strauch, 55, was killed after his motorcycle struck Bear's vehicle on Coulee Road, after she allegedly pulled out in front of him from 18th Street around 6 p.m. on Sept. 23.
By a vote of 5-1, the Hudson Board of Education agreed to take up to $125,000 from the school district's general fund to cover half the cost of an underpass on County F to connect the River Crest Elementary campus and Camp St. Croix. The total cost of the project is estimated at $250,000. The YMCA has committed to paying half of that cost if the school district pays the other half.
Annual meeting of Operation HELP will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal church, 502 County UU. The meeting is open to the public. Operation HELP is a non-profit organization that provides emergency assistance for individuals and families in need in the area throughout the year. In addition to the annual clothing drive, HELP distributes food and gifts to families during the holiday season. The organization is funded by the United Way and other foundations along with support and donations from area businesses and individuals.