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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Nine of the 14 young men charged in the June vandalism of Hudson and New Richmond high schools were in court Wednesday for a status of their cases in front of St. Croix County Judge Edward Vlack. Appearing with their attorneys were Brandon Crockett, Nathan Kovatch, Michael Perucca, Jacob Walczak, Peter Maki, Travis Melchert, Aaron Ludgatis, Andrew Olson and Michael Van Ness. Michael Zuehl was not present but both he and his attorney phoned into the hearing.
Residents of the Hudson School District will be asked to approve the school tax levy for the 2007-08 school year at the annual meeting on Monday, Sept. 10 at Hudson High School auditorium beginning at 7 p.m. The budget amount for the upcoming school year was not made available by press time to the Star-Observer but will be presented at the meeting Monday night. However, School Board members got a preliminary look at this year's tax levy at their meeting last month.
In a summer when news about some Hudson High School graduates hasn't been good, the recently released ACT college entrance exam results are welcome news. Across all four subject areas, English, math, science and reading, the average scores for the 254 Hudson students who took the test were between one and two points above the state average. Hudson's composite score of 23.7 put it ahead of any of the surrounding schools. The only subject in which Hudson did not place first among its neighbors was in English, where their score landed second place behind River Falls.
The produce stand in the 1900 block of Crest View Drive was robbed Sunday around 4:15 p.m. According to police, a man approached the 19-year-old woman manning the stand and struck up a conversation. After a short while, he calmly said he was going to take the cash box. The young woman said she thought he was kidding and responded as such. The man then forcefully told her to sit down and to hand over the cash box. The woman said she became very frightened since it was obvious he was serious about the robbery.
Chris Lownsbury of Hudson learned firsthand this summer what it is like to have a fantasy become reality when he participated in WaterSki magazine's Fantasy Camp Pro Am. Lownsbury, who is married to Hudson native Emily (Hutton) Lownsbury has been water-skiing since his family moved to a lake in Wilmar, Minn., when he was in the fifth grade. Being on the water immediately appealed to him. "It was both calm and quiet being on the water but fun and exciting to ski, all at the same time.
The process begins next month of deciding who will attend the new River Crest Elementary School and who will be teaching there when it opens in fall 2008. Deputy Superintendent Nancy Sweet gave the Hudson School Board a rundown of the process at last week's board meeting. Sweet said the process will begin in September with parent meetings at each of the district's elementary schools to discuss the current boundaries for attendance and the guidelines the district will use to redraw those boundaries.
Hudson Police Chief Andrew Smith resigned his post Wednesday after he was told that there could be no increase in the department's new budget. Smith, who became HPD chief March 1, said he felt he was unable to continue to lead the HPD under those conditions. Smith said that the department is seriously underfunded in terms of manpower, technology and equipment and that "a zero increase budget implies that we are where we need to be. That is just not true." He added that as a department, they have done as much as they can without increased funding and support.
No one who knows Roger Evenson -- and by some estimates that's just about everyone within a 30-mile radius of Hudson -- will be surprised to hear that he is this year's Pepper Fest Good Neighbor. By all accounts, whether by friends, family or customers, the title just fits. Evenson was born and raised in Hudson. In 1958, at age 22, he took over the family business, Evenson Plumbing, when his father, Palmer, died at the age of 42. The year before, he married a local girl, Pat Cameron, and together the couple raised five children, Rick, Laurie, Lisa, Cheryl and Julie.
Peg Shoemaker has been named to serve as acting principal at North Hudson Elementary School this year. She replaces Anissa Cravens, who resigned in June to take another position. Shoemaker, formerly principal of Houlton Elementary, was recently named to the new position of associate director of Learning Services, where she was in charge of staff development for teachers and administrators. She will remain in that role, but also spend 25 percent of her time at North Hudson. To assist her as principal, Houlton teacher Dolf Schmidt will serve as school manager at North Hudson.
The Hudson Board of Education recently released information about salary increases approved for Hudson School District administrators, principals and associate principals at a meeting earlier this month.