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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Lisa and Jeff Szumilas of Hudson have been watching the Ken Burns film "The War" with more than the usual interest. Lisa's grandfather, Charles Mann of Luverne, Minn., is one of the WWII veterans featured in 14-hour documentary. Another grandchild, Scott Mensen, also lives in Hudson. The Hudson families attended the premiere of the film in Luverne in September and met Burns and the others associated with the project. Mann was the first soldier from Rock County, Minn. where Luverne is located to be wounded in the war.
The buzz about a proactive vs. reactive police department in recent weeks isn't confined to the city of Hudson.
Since the Hudson High School Wall of Fame was established, the idea has been to recognize graduates who are a credit to the school they attended, whether they left Hudson or stayed right here. This year's Distinguished Alumni both chose to live and work in the Hudson area, and the community is the richer for it. Mike Wakeling, Class of 1964 Mike Wakeling thinks his place on the Wall of Fame at Hudson High School just might have caused the late E.P.
In what has been a very busy couple of months by any standards, the Hudson Police Department has been making progress on several of the recent robberies in the city. Interim Police Chief Eric Atkinson said Monday that an arrest has been made in the case of the produce stand robbery that took place on Aug. 26 in the 1900 block of Crest View Drive. Using a license number provided by the victim at the stand, HPD detectives traced the vehicle to a woman in Iowa who had reported the car stolen.
Michael Strauch, 55, of 110 Stratford Way, was killed Sunday after his motorcycle struck a vehicle on Coulee Road. The driver of the other vehicle, Victoria Bear, 51, of 473 Country View Road, was arrested at the scene for injury by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle. She was not injured. According to Hudson Police Chief Eric Atkinson, Strauch was traveling westbound on Coulee Road approaching 18th Street when Bear turned in front of him from 18th Street onto Coulee Road. Bear is the ex-wife of former Hudson School Board member Peter Bear.
After saying all summer that the idea of having an empty nest would sound a whole lot better if I could get Kevin to head off to college with the kids, now that the time has arrived, I'm glad he's still around, if only to take some of the phone calls and answer the e-mails. The two kids may be no longer feathering the nest, but I think I've talked to them more in the last week than I did all summer. Never in the history of parents and kids have we been so connected -- I can tell by my declining cell phone minutes.
The news was good for Hudson School District taxpayers at the annual meeting held Monday night. The 2007-08 school tax levy rose less than 1 percent over last year, and the mill rate, the cost per $1,000 of property value, went down by just over 3 percent. The small number of voters who turned out for the meeting passed the levy of $24,267,230 by a voice vote. Last year's levy was $24,037,800. The new mill rate was set at $6.93 per $1,000 or $1,386 on a $200,000 home. Last year's mill rate was $7.16 per $1,000.
More than 75 people filled the community room above the Hudson Public Library last Wednesday night to hear the details of the shootout Aug. 24 between police and a Minnesota man at 1505 Ward Ave. Acting Police Chief Eric Atkinson held the public forum to give residents, particularly those living in the neighborhood, more information about what led up to the shooting that Friday night and what actions police took in trying to arrest Daine Linderman.
Hudson School District enrollment was up 143 students as classes began last week. While the official enrollment count will not be taken until the third Friday of this month, the initial numbers show a 2.8 percent increase over last year. Total enrollment last week was 5,299 as compared to 5,156 on Sept. 15, 2006. The increase breaks down as follows: --Grades K-5, 2,428 this year versus 2,351 last year. --Middle school, 1,165 this year versus 1,110 last year. --High school, 1,706 this year versus 1,695 last year. The official enrollment number is used to calculate state aids.
Nine of the 14 young men charged in the June vandalism of Hudson and New Richmond high schools were in court Wednesday for a status of their cases in front of St. Croix County Judge Edward Vlack. Appearing with their attorneys were Brandon Crockett, Nathan Kovatch, Michael Perucca, Jacob Walczak, Peter Maki, Travis Melchert, Aaron Ludgatis, Andrew Olson and Michael Van Ness. Michael Zuehl was not present but both he and his attorney phoned into the hearing.