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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Dan O'Connell's parents and siblings think they have found a way to make something good come from the tragic murder of their son and brother. They filed a lawsuit last week against all 194 U.S. Catholic bishops for the names of the estimated 5,000 priests the American church has identified as sexual abusers and predators since the 1950s. "We just want them to do the right thing. We don't want to see any more children hurt by these evil men," said Janet O'Connell, Dan's mother. At a press conference in the office of the family's attorney, Jeff Anderson of St.
The family of murder victim Dan O'Connell filed a lawsuit Tuesday against all 194 U.S. Catholic bishops demanding that the names of predatory priests in America be made public. The action was prompted after St. Croix County Judge Eric Lundell ruled last October that there was probable cause to believe that O'Connell and James Ellison were murdered by the late Father Ryan Erickson after O'Connell confronted the priest with allegations of sexual abuse and other criminal behavior with minors. Erickson committed suicide in December 2004 after being questioned by police about the murders.
Among the options the Hudson School Board heard to deal with overcrowded schools at their recent work session was vouchers to pay for private education. The idea was presented by Steve Hermsen, a Hudson resident who has been a critic of the district's financial operations. Hermsen was invited by the board to present a school voucher proposal along with several other options the board was exploring to address the need for more space at Hudson schools.
The Hudson Board of Education has placed the need for more space at its elementary schools at the top of the district's priority list. The question now is how to address that need -- by adding on to existing schools or building a new one. At its annual work session held July 18 at Camp St. Croix, the board heard a presentation by Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten that detailed the pros and cons of several options to address current and future space needs at the elementary level.
While it has only been a few days since Tim Erickson took over as the Hudson School District's director of financial services, he likes what he sees. "The people I've met and will work with really seem to work well together as a team. It's hard to get anything done when that isn't the case but that's not a problem real. I'm just very happy to be part of it," said Erickson. Erickson replaces Arnie Fett who retired after 17 years as the district's money man.
"45 Seconds From Broadway" isn't your typical Neil Simon experience but The Phipps production has some charming moments, a good cast and some big laughs sprinkled throughout. At the top of the list of good things to say about "45 Seconds," is the performance of Fredrice Nord, one of The Phipps' treasures. No one does stylish eccentric quite like Fred. From the moment she enters as Rayleen with the silent but nonetheless funny James Blaha as Charles, her husband, the Polish tea shop becomes a very entertaining place.
Stephanie Johnson says, in her experience, expectant mothers don't generally hear very positive things about the process of giving birth. She'd like to change that for women in the Hudson area. Johnson is a certified nurse midwife and the director of the KinniSide Women's Health Care Center in River Falls. She is also on staff at Hudson Hospital. Among her satisfied clients are Crystal and Tony Howard of Hudson. Johnson delivered their fourth son, Eli, earlier this year, and Crystal said the experience was the best she'd ever had as a mother.
A 22-year-old Menomonie man was seriously injured when he was thrown from his vehicle as it rolled over on I94 eastbound at exit 2 around 5 a.m. Tuesday. Daniel Melstrom was transported from the scene of the accident to Regions Hospital in St. Paul where he was listed in serious condition Tuesday afternoon. A Hudson police officer was the first on the scene around 5:13 a.m. followed by Wisconsin State Patrol. The State Patrol is investigating the accident and is working with HPD to determine the cause of the crash.
Barbara Rebhuhn has been named the Hudson School District's new associate director of Student Services. She replaces Thomas Hellmers who will be lead psychologist at Hudson High School.
The internal investigation of an incident involving Hudson Police Department Sgt. Bob Oehmke is nearing completion. The 15-year veteran of the department has been on paid administrative leave since early spring. According to acting chief of police Lt. Paul Larson, the findings of the investigation are being reviewed by the city's labor attorney, Steve Weld of Eau Claire, and will also be reviewed by a police union representative. Larson could not comment on the investigation or the incident that prompted it.