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 more than 10 years and 200,000 miles, Carl Warren's 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo served him well, but it all went up in flames Sunday afternoon in the Target parking lot. Warren and his wife, who live in River Falls, were in Hudson running errands. Warren had parked the car in the Target lot and crossed the lot to do some shopping at Econofoods. When he had finished, he started the Jeep and began to move toward Target's front entrance to pick up his wife. "I noticed right after starting it that the whole vehicle began shaking.
The Hudson Middle School is pretty much back to normal operations following a fire on Jan. 25 that closed the school to students for three days. The exact cause of the fire is still being investigated but it appears to have been caused by an electrical cord that malfunctioned. The cause did not appear to involve any of the electrical wiring in the building itself. Principal Dan Koch said the school has a crisis plan in place and, while no emergency fits exactly, it did what it was supposed to do.
A Twin Cities woman met her match on Monday when she attempted to steal from St. Croix County Dry Goods on Locust Street. According to Hudson Police Officer Pete Schultz, the woman came into the shop around 11:20 a.m. and proceeded to fill an empty purse with merchandise from the store. She might have gotten away with it if she hadn't also snatched the owner's purse from behind the corner before running from the store. Owner Eydie Campbell was waiting on a customer when the woman grabbed the purse and fled.
Hudson police were called to Bear Buddies Child Development Center around 8 a.m. Tuesday to respond to an apparent domestic dispute. According to reports, a mother was in the process of dropping her child off at the center when a man believed to be her boyfriend followed her into the school, and a dispute began. HPD Chief Dick Trende was one of the officers who responded to the call from the center by the mother. Trende said the woman had left the center with the man by the time police arrived.
On Feb. 6 around 7:45 a.m., a Hudson woman received a call from a man saying he was outside a grocery store with an 11-year-old girl who needed help. When the woman reported the call to Hudson police, she said the man told her the girl's name was Sammy and that she had given him the woman's phone number and told him she could help. The woman told the caller that she didn't know anyone named Sammy. She then asked which grocery store the man was at, County Market or Econofoods.
For the more than two dozen Hudson Middle School students who participated in an outreach program at The Phipps Center for the Arts recently, the nightly news about trouble in the Middle East will likely have more meaning. The students wrote essays to be part of the program which is built around the center's current exhibit Prism of Longing, which examines the conflict and culture of the Middle East from the point of view of Jews, Muslims and Christians who share the region.
After 12 years on the Hudson Board of Education, Annette Cook is ready to move on. She will not be a candidate for re-election in April. Cook said her decision should not be a surprise. "I never planned to stay on the board after my children graduated. It's not that having kids in the district is a necessary qualification for school board, but I never intended to stay on after my youngest was through. I've had a good, long experience, but now it's time to do something different." Cook learned public service from her parents.
Like most residents in the area, the Hudson School District is beginning to see the impact of rising energy costs. At last week's school board meeting, Jim Stejskal, the district's supervisor of facilities and grounds, reported that the price of natural gas had increased 47.5 percent per thermal unit over last year. "And there just aren't enough conservation measures to make up for that," said Stejskal.
Certified Public Accountant Arnie Fett will retire as the Hudson School District's director of fiscal operations on June 30 after 17 years of service. Most would agree that he has served the students, families and taxpayers of this district well. Fett describes his job this way: to keep the district fiscally strong while providing a quality education. While he admits it isn't always easy balancing those two goals, it is what has guided him through a variety of changes over the years.
The Hudson Board of Education voted unanimously last week to transfer $4.5 million from the general fund into a fund designated for future capital projects. The balance in the general fund before the transfer was approximately $16 million. The board members had discussed the current level of the general fund and the amount that should be transferred at last month's board meeting.