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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When Hudson Middle School first-year science teacher Aaron Walczak launched the idea of a recycling fund-raiser for Earth Day this year, he wasn't sure what the response would be. The result was not only surprising but lucrative. Walczak organized a schoolwide competition to see which house could collect the most small electronics.
The Hudson Board of Education re-elected longtime board member Dan Tjornehoj as its president at last week's School Board meeting. Other officers elected were Mark Kaisersatt, vice president; Brian Bell, treasurer; and Tom Holland, secretary. The votes for all offices were unanimous. Tjornehoj has served 15 years and is the senior member of the School Board. He has previously served as chairman of the Finance Committee and as board treasurer. He was first elected to the board in 1993. Kaisersatt has been a board member since 2001.
The last of a group of Hudson High School graduates who vandalized five area high schools as a "senior prank" last June was sentenced in St. Croix County Circuit Court last week. Colin S. Courtney, 19, 237 Cedar Dr. W., was convicted of misdemeanor criminal damage to property at Hudson and New Richmond high schools. Judge Scott Needham sentenced Courtney to probation for one year, 70 hours of community service and fined him $98.
The future may be pretty exciting, but history has its appeal, as well, especially for some seventh-graders in Hudson Middle School's Avalon House. As members of the History Club, Kyara LeBrun, Floyd Johnson and Casey Delgado each developed independent projects on a topic related to the Middle Ages unit they were studying in teacher Mike Yell's class. The students chose their subjects, conducted the research and decided how they wanted to present the information. Johnson created a Web site about the first crusade.
Wade Malecha said he never liked public speaking much but some recent experience seems to show he can do it and do it pretty well. As part of the Junior Achievement program, Malecha, a sixth-grader at Hudson Middle School, ran for and was elected the mayor of JA's "BizTown." The simulated city located in St. Paul was created by Junior Achievement to give students some firsthand experience on what it is like to run a city and operate businesses in it. Malecha said his stint as mayor was a busy one that included making speeches, meeting with business owners and generally running things.
Even as I write this, the empty nest that is our home is being re-feathered. As I look around, that nest analogy is really getting all too real. You know how when you were a kid and you found a nest, how fun it was to see all the bits and pieces the bird used to build it, everything from twigs and string to labels off cans and pop-top rings? That's kind of how it looks around here. Year one of college is over, or close to it, and here come our precious children with all their "stuff." It seems there is a lot more stuff than I sent them off with last fall.
As word of the death of Sandy Griswold spread earlier this week, friends and co-workers said the Hudson community had lost one of its best assets. Griswold, 63, died of leukemia at St. Joseph's Hospital in St Paul on Monday. She had been diagnosed with the disease in December. She is survived by her husband, Gary, her sons, Galt and Cort, and their families. The Griswolds' Hudson home is in the town of Troy. Griswold worked as a guidance counselor at Hudson High School from 1989 to 1997.
It was a couple of years back at a New Year's Eve party that Chris Babbitt and Rick Fields started talking about mounting a production of "Tuck Everlasting" at The Phipps Center. Fields has performed and directed at The Phipps, most recently in the readers' theater production of "Inherit the Wind." He also starred as George in "Of Mice and Men" and directed "A Little House Christmas." Tess Babbitt, Chris' daughter, was a member of that cast. "Tuck" holds a special interest for the Babbitt family.
After working together for five years, the Hudson High School Destination Imagination team heading to the global finals in Knoxville, Tenn., is preparing for their last performance together. All seniors, Ashley Anunson, Emily Kepulis, Josh Kock-Fogarty, Sydney Malanaphy, Adam Selon and David Sjoberg have already been to the global finals three times and have taken the top honors at the competition twice before. But this year, if they win, it will be all the sweeter.
Before Brent Ellwanger was a full-time member of the Hudson Police Department, he was already a decorated officer, having earned both a Medal of Valor and a Purple Heart in the line of duty. Ellwanger, 22, earned the awards for his role in the shootout last August at the Ward Avenue Apartments. He was wounded in the arm by a bullet fragment from an assault rifle believed to have been fired by a fleeing suspect. At the time, Ellwanger was a part-time officer with the HPD.