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 Hudson Police Department officials were scheduled to meet with St. Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson Wednesday morning to present the results of their two-week investigation into the involvement of approximately 40 Hudson High School students in the vandalism of five schools, including Hudson, on June 3. According to lead investigator Detective Jeff Knopps, the department is recommending that 13 of the students be charged with felonies and the remaining 23 with related misdemeanors. Knopps said they had spoken with most of the suspects, some through their attorneys.
Hudson School District Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten read a statement to a small group of reporters at a press conference Friday at Hudson High School. HHS Principal Ed Lucas also made a statement. Neither took questions citing the ongoing police investigation and student privacy guidelines.
The vandalism that was discovered at five Big Rivers Conference schools last week, including Hudson High School, appears to be the work of Hudson students. According to the Hudson Police Department, 17 students were involved in the vandalism itself with as many as 26 playing a part in the planning of the crimes. The other schools hit around midnight on June 3 were New Richmond, Menomonie, Eau Claire North and Eau Claire Memorial. Investigators believe the suspects divided into two groups with one group dispatched to New Richmond and Hudson and a second group to Eau Claire and Menomonie.
Visitors might be surprised to see an ATV or two traveling through Lakefront Park this summer, but they are there for a reason. The Hudson Police Department recently conducted training for its patrol officers in the use and operation of the all-terrain vehicles as an alternative to squad and foot patrols. They will be used primarily in Lakefront Park and should give the police more and faster access to all areas, including the dike road and the more than six-block-long area of the park itself. They may also be deployed to other areas if needed. Lt.
If the nine Hudson High School seniors interviewed for this story are any measure, the class of 2007 is one that cares. Their concerns spread far beyond high school and Hudson to issues like homelessness, poverty, race, peace and the environment. As one of them put it, "What I do won't save the world, but it could make a difference if enough of us try." Ge Moua Ge Moua is finishing his time at Hudson High School a much different person than he was as a freshman. Moua, 18, describes himself as childish back then. "It was just about letting life go by. Nothing mattered.
Hudson High School is offering a $250 reward for information leading to the conviction of the persons responsible for the graffiti found Monday at the school. The person may remain anonymous. To provide information call HHS at 715-377-3800 and ask for Officer Mark Crimmins or contact Det. Jeff Knopps of the Hudson Police Department at 715-386-4771.
It took less than five minutes for vandals to do an estimated $10,000 worth of damage at Hudson High School Monday just after midnight. The Hudson Police Department is investigating the vandalism, which consists primarily of graffiti, some profane, painted on the south and east sides of the school building, on windows, some outbuildings and on the adjacent athletic field including the scoreboard. Several positive references are made to the River Falls Wildcats in the graffiti, but it is not clear if the vandalism was done by students of River Falls High School or residents of the city.
While she's aware that school hot lunch sometimes gets a bad rap, Joan Allen will have none of it. As child nutrition coordinator for the Hudson School District, she is nothing but proud of what she and her staff feeds students every day. Allen will retire from her position in June after 28 years with the district. A graduate of UW-Stout, Allen worked as home economist for Hunt Wesson Foods and as a food service supervisor for the Minneapolis School System before coming to work in Hudson in 1979. "I like the school lunch program.
Apologies to those of you who fall into any of the following categories: people with no kids; people with kids who are grown, moved away and gainfully employed; and parents of perfect children - that elusive species of offspring who love, honor and respect you despite the fact that they know everything, and you are old. I had another one of those "mother with child about to graduate from high school" experiences this week -- college registration. It was a full-day event complete with a snack in both the morning and afternoon.
Police "ride-alongs" are something reporters do occasionally to get a feel for what officers do on a daily basis. I've been covering the Hudson Police Department for the Star-Observer since 1999, but for some reason never did a ride-along. But the subject came up recently in an interview with Chief Andy Smith and I mentioned I'd like to go on one. While I was anticipating an evening shift that with any luck included a little excitement downtown as the bars closed, I was surprised when the call came from the chief to see if I was available last Wednesday morning.