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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The case of five schools vandalized by a large group of Hudson High School graduates began innocently enough with some talk over lunch in the cafeteria about a "senior prank." What ultimately happened has left as many as 21 of those graduates facing criminal charges. According to police reports released by the Hudson and Eau Claire police departments, the prank really began to shape at the home of Ben Luehrs, HHS senior class president, on the evening of May 30.
Two Woodbury, Minn., girls are alive today, thanks to the actions of strangers and Hudson police Monday afternoon. Samantha R. Bartelmy, 17, and Andrea D. Nagle, 19, instead left Hudson with hangovers and citations for underage consumption of alcohol. Authorities received a 911 call from a citizen who said there were two extremely intoxicated young women near them at the beach on the end of the dike road. One of the women, Nagle, was passed out but Bartelmy was reportedly attempting to swim west across the St.
Along with brand new classrooms, computers and a playground, the Bethel Highlands Preschool has a brand new director, the first for the school which will open this fall. Kari Jo Fore began work in her new position last week and is clearly excited about being part of new venture for Bethel Lutheran Church. The school is part of Bethel Highlands, the church's new facility at 504 Frontage Road in the town of Hudson. Fore's first task is to hire teachers and other staff to work with students ages 3 to 5 in preschool and pre-kindergarten classes.
The Hudson Police Department will have some extra help next time they receive a report of a missing child, a runaway teenager or elderly adult who has lost their way. They will call ACIM -- A Child Is Missing. According to Sgt. Eric Atkinson, the non-profit organization offers law enforcement free assistance in helping find missing persons including children, teens and adults with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. It works this way. When there is a police report of someone missing, law enforcement contacts ACIM with a description and the last known whereabouts of the missing person.
The Hudson Police Department recovered thousands of dollars in property Friday following a search of two residences just outside of Ellsworth in connection with thefts from Menards in Hudson. The man arrested was Travis J. Theis, 28, of Ellsworth. Theis was arrested at Menards on Thursday, the day before the search. Hudson investigators were at the store discussing the investigation when Theis came in to pick up merchandise. Instead he was taken into custody. The two search warrants were executed by HPD Chief Andy Smith, Det. Jeff Knopps and Sgt.
Four of the 13 suspects named in the vandalism at Hudson High School also face charges in connection with the school vandalism at Memorial and North high schools in Eau Claire the same night. They include Benjamin N. Luehrs, 18, Michael J. Zuehl, 18, Samuel T. Wegleitner, 18 and Michael C. Vanness, 20. Nine other, all HHS '07 graduates including five girls and four boys, are persons of interest in the case. The so-called "senior prank" took place at all five high schools including Menomonie and New Richmond around midnight on June 4.
The owner and manager of Dibbo's Bar, 517 Second St., have agreed to several conditions, including the ban of one family member from the premises, in order to have the business' liquor license renewed. The license was renewed at a special meeting of the City Council where members reviewed the list of conditions that bore the signatures of the property owner, Bertha Fenner, and Charles McGee, the license agent and manager of the bar. According to the public document, Hudson Chief of Police Andrew Smith had presented the council with information about recent activities at Dibbo's that he wante
Former police Sgt. Robert Oehmke has asked for a review of the proceedings that led to his firing from the Hudson Police Department last December. He filed a "petition for writ of certiorari," a process that asks the appeals court to order the lower court to review the city of Hudson Police and Fire Commission's judgment for legal error and review where a traditional appeal is not available. Oehmke's first request for a review of the decision to fire him by the Hudson Police and Fire Commission was denied because it was not served on the commission within the prescribed time allotted.
Notices to appear in court have been served on 13 Hudson High School class of 2007 graduates in connection with the school vandalism spree earlier this month. The Hudson Police Department released the names Tuesday morning plus that of one 20-year-old Hudson man. Those served were physically involved in damages to Hudson High School, police said. The names of others who were allegedly involved in planning the vandalism at HHS and four other Big Rivers schools the same night have not yet been released. Benjamin N.
The eighth annual Hudson Relay For Life last weekend raised $168,202 for the American Cancer Society and the fight against the disease. Event chairman Lori de Boer said while they didn't reach their financial goal for the weekend, the relay was more than successful for her and the hundreds of people who participated. "I'm very happy with the money we raised and anyone who is a part of the Relay For Life knows that the money is only part of it. For those who participate it is about so much more.