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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Becky O'Keefe is the new administrative assistant for the North Hudson Police Department. While her job may be new, she's very familiar with her surroundings. O'Keefe is a Hudson native, the daughter of Bev and the late Darrel Wert. She attended school in Hudson and is a 1975 graduate of Hudson High School. She also married a native son, Mike O'Keefe, who was recently named to head the state' probation office here, which prompted the family's move back to Hudson. The couple moved to Spooner 16 years ago and raised their three children there. Their two sons, Corey and Justin, are teachers.
When I attended a presentation last week entitled "In Search of the Proper Autistic Friend," I wasn't quite sure what to expect. But then, that is usually the case when it comes to my experience with autism and with the children and families who live with it. James Williams was no exception. He has written several books and speaks across the country about living with autism, and he is just 18 years old. Tara Tuchel, a Willow River teacher who works with autistic children, met Williams when both presented at a national conference in Rhode Island earlier this year.
While the Hudson Board of Education is convinced the district needs a new elementary school, members also are concerned about what to do at the secondary level, especially at Hudson High School. At a special meeting last week, the board decided to address both needs with the $4.5 million allocated from the general fund for capital projects plus an additional $1.4 million surplus from the 2005-06 budget. After a lengthy discussion, the board voted to set aside $3.5 million to offset the cost of a new elementary school should voters approve it in a bond referendum.
Timberlake will read from her new book at Back to Books Saturday at 6:30 p.m. There may be something familiar about Amy Timberlake's new book, "That Girl Lucy Moon." In her first book for middle grade readers, the author drew on memories of growing up in Hudson to create Lucy's world. Timberlake grew up Amy Richardson, the daughter of Barbara Richardson and Jim Richardson, and the granddaughter of the late Harry and Marie Blakeman, who founded Nor-Lake, one of the city's largest employers. Timberlake attended school in Hudson and graduated from Hudson High School in 1985.
Enrollment in the Hudson School District as of the third Friday in September is 5,162 students, up 313 over last year's enrollment of 4,849. The count is required by the state Department of Public Instruction and is used to calculate state aids to the district. The number represents a 6.4 percent increase in the student population, which stood at 4,849 this time last year.
Friends since their school days, Jim Burton and Barbara Blakeman Richardson will be together again at this year's Hudson High School Distinguished Alumni presentation Oct. 4. Richardson, Class of 1957, and Burton, Class of 1958, join the 32 other HHS graduates who have been named to the school's Wall of Fame since its inception in 1994. Graduates are recognized for their professional and personal achievements and for their contributions to the communities where they live. An induction ceremony will take place Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. at the school.
Everyone who saw the immediate aftermath of the accident that took place last June 13 on the hill near Fleet Farm knew it was bad, but after months of therapy and hard work, the future looks much brighter for Debbie Hoople. Hoople's 2000 Ford Explorer was struck at the intersection of Hanley Road and Industrial Street by a car driven by Patricia Weigand of River Falls. The impact pushed the SUV over the curb and it overturned onto its hood. Hoople was ejected from the vehicle through the driver's side window and landed in the street.
I was wrong. I thought that The Phipps production of "Driving Miss Daisy" might not hold up to the memory I had of the Academy awarding-winning movie with the late Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman. That movie was great. This play was better. "Better" might not be the right word, but it seemed that the experience of this very good story was only made more touching by the intimate nature of a stage production and the outstanding performances of Mary Kay Fortier-Spaulding, Eric Wood and Mark Koski.
Hilary Harris Lundberg knew before she ever left Hudson High School that she wanted to be a police officer. Mission accomplished. Today, the 1993 HHS graduate is a patrol officer with the Austin Police Department in Texas. Her husband, Shane, is a sheriff's deputy and the couple have a son, Gabriel, 18 months old. On a recent trip home, Lundberg talked about her career choice and the impact her son has had on her life. Lundberg grew up in something of a legal atmosphere. Her father, Chuck Harris, is a Hudson attorney.
The school lunch program in the Hudson School District now includes the services of a registered dietician. Last week the Board of Education approved a one-year contract for the part-time services of Stephanie Campbell, a member of the dietary staff at Hudson Hospital. Campbell, who was on the job this week, will spend 10-12 hours a week working in the district's child nutrition office. Her first project was to simplify and streamline the nutrition information needed by the health staff at all seven of the district's schools.