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 St. Croix Underage Drinking Coalition met last month to set an aggressive agenda for the new year that includes alcohol compliance checks, education about the problems of teen drinking, and the identifying of healthy alternatives to underage drinking. When Community Action organized the coalition three years ago, its membership was primarily law enforcement officers from Hudson, North Hudson and Somerset with some participation from St. Croix County.
Though they can't say what it is, Hudson police detectives are continuing to get new information about Father Ryan Erickson, the former St. Patrick's priest who committed suicide on Dec. 19 in Hurley. The inquiry into Erickson is twofold. In late 2004 an investigation began into possible criminal activity involving minors while Erickson was a priest in Hudson. It was during the course of questioning in regard to that investigation that Erickson became a "person of interest" in the double homicide of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison in February 2002 at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home.
I don't think it will come as any surprise to anyone who reads this column regularly, but I have issues. Most of them are not very important but are nonetheless annoying. Others figure a little higher on the things-that-matter scale, and then there are the ones that seem to require immediate thought and action.
Hudson High School German teacher Judy Wyatt Schlei enjoys holiday breaks just like her students do but never more so than this year. Schlei was among 63 teachers in Wisconsin who recently earned certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the highest credential offered in the teaching profession. The designation came after a rigorous two and a half year process that included two kinds of assessment: a classroom-based portfolio of teaching practices and a knowledge assessment of the subject matter.
The Hudson Facilities Planning Task Force delivered on six months of work at last week's Board of Education meeting with a recommendation that includes the construction of a new 10-12 high school and a new elementary school on properties owned by the district.
Hudson Police Detective Shawn Pettee says he feels stronger now about solving the O'Connell/Ellison murders than he has since the case began almost three years ago. Pettee is assigned to the murder investigation along with Detective Jeff Knopps.
When the Hudson School District Facilities Task Force makes its report to the school board next week, the recommendation will include construction of a new 10-12 high school and a new elementary school south of I-94. The report concludes six months of work by the 23-member group that was charged with analyzing the district's facilities in light of current enrollment and projected enrollment over the next seven years. The plan that the task force agreed to present to the school board as its No.
In a marathon six-hour session Monday night, the Hudson School District Facilities Planning Task Force narrowed its choices to three options to deal with growing enrollment. The task force began with 30 proposals that have included everything from building new schools, to constructing additions to existing schools, to increasing campus sizes by use of eminent domain. But the 23 group members reached consensus Monday on what they believe are the three best options to deal with future enrollment growth and current overcrowding at some schools.
Hudson Middle School sixth-graders will be balancing their checkbooks this week to see if they have avoided that dreaded grown-up problem of being overdrawn. That and a lot of other adult-type concerns and issues have been on the minds of these students for weeks now as they prepared for their turn at running Exchange City on Nov. 17. Exchange City is part of a program designed by the Junior Achievement organization to help young people understand the free enterprise system. The city is located in a large building on White Bear Avenue in St. Paul.
There's a new CD out for this holiday season that's a little different from the usual collection of Christmas music. "Music and Meditations for Christmas" is the first release of Suite Afton Productions, a recording company formed by friends Linda Kelsey, Deb Clayton, Patty Matthews and Lee Baker. According to Kelsey, who lives in Hudson, the women wanted to do something together and "make a difference." "We have all made it in our respective careers and felt we were at time in our lives when we wanted to give back.