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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For the second consecutive year, a group of Hudson-area teens traveled to a community in rural Mississippi to help build a Habitat for Humanity home. The group of 13 was made up of boys and girls, all Community Action youth volunteers who worked throughout the year to earn the money to fund the trip. A group about half the size made their first trip to the area last year. Their experience prompted several of them to return again this year and to bring along others. The trip was led by Community Action staff members and Americorps workers Jason Briggs and Jenna Evenson.
It's back to square one for the Hudson Police and Fire Commission in their search for a new Hudson police chief. Chairman of the commission Tom O'Connell said the process will likely take until late November to complete. James Coan of Whitewater was the commission's first choice to replace retired Chief Dick Trende. But Coan abruptly resigned Aug. 31 after just three weeks on the job citing family considerations as the reason. The commission met last Thursday to appoint HPD Lt. Paul Larson as the interim chief, a position he held during the initial search earlier this year.
You'd think with what it costs to live in Hudson these days, the price of a year at college wouldn't be such a big deal. But then it's been almost 30 years since I paid tuition to anywhere so the shock should have been expected. With only one short year left before we hopefully send our two off to higher education venues, college has been on our minds a lot this summer. By "our," I mean Kevin's and mine. The kids don't seem too concerned, at least not Cory. He seems to have his mind made up.
The Hudson School District annual meeting is Monday at 7 p.m. at the Hudson High School auditorium. The meeting is open to all residents of the district. Those present will be asked to approve this year's school tax levy. In addition to voting on the levy, the agenda includes comments from Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten, an overview of district finances by board member and finance committee chairman Mark Kaisersatt and a presentation of the proposed 2006-2007 school budget by finance director Tim Erickson. A regular school board meeting will precede the annual meeting at 5:30 p.m.
The Board of Education believes the Hudson School District needs a new elementary school, but the question is where. Before putting the question to voters in a referendum, the board wants input from district residents about two possible locations for the new school, which would also include room for an early childhood program. A schedule of informational meetings accompanies this story.
After less than a month on the job, the Hudson Police Department's new chief has resigned, effective immediately. Jim Coan turned a letter of resignation into Hudson City Administrator Devin Willi last Thursday. The letter said that "family considerations" had prompted Coan's decision. Coan indicated to Willi that he would be returning to his former job as chief of the Whitewater Police Department. According to a story in the Fort Atkinson Daily Union, Coan was rehired effective Sept. 1 with some additions to his contract.
While most travelers were canceling trips to the Middle East in recent weeks, Paula Bhagyam is glad she went. It is something she felt she needed to do. Bhagyam lives in the town of St. Joseph and is a teacher at St. Croix Academy in Stillwater. She is also a wife and mother of three. With the conflict in Israel, Lebanon and Gaza growing in the days before her July 26 departure, her husband and children were not excited to see her go. But for Bhagyam, the trip was something she has wanted to do for a long time.
Wally Gregerson was expected to be released from United Hospital in St. Paul this week after being treated for a massive heart attack there since last Friday. As anyone who knows the longtime North Hudson resident would expect, Gregerson, 77, was at Pepper Fest Park on Friday morning setting up for the village's annual Pepper Fest. He has been a Pepper Fest volunteer every year since the celebration was conceived in the 1950s as a way to fund a new school. According to his daughter Debi Copeland, Gregerson went home for lunch and complained to his wife Bernadine that he wasn't feeling well.
The news is good when it comes to the ACT scores of 2006 Hudson High School graduates. Their scores were higher not only than those of the previous year's class but a full point higher than this year's average composite score statewide. The ACT scores statewide put Wisconsin and Minnesota as the top performers nationwide. The college entrance examination is a "college readiness indicator," according to the district's Director of Instructional Services Sandi Kovatch.
I've been doing a lot of thinking about the people around me growing up and growing older. It's better to think about them than me. Our kids are about to start their senior year, which my friend Diane reminds me is a year of "lasts" -- the last teacher convention vacation, the last first day of school, the last parent conferences and maybe the last year they live with us full time. Like so much in life, that's both good news and bad all rolled into one. Strictly in the good news category was my dad turning 90. Dad just isn't getting old gracefully, he's doing it vigorously.