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 Hudson Police Department is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 19-year-old at his home on April 19. Michael D. Rajala, 806 River St., was found by his girlfriend in his parents' home early last Wednesday morning. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Hudson Police Detective Jeff Knopps said an autopsy was performed as well as several toxicology tests. The results of those tests could take four to six weeks, and an official cause of death will not be available until they are completed.
Four months after her unexpected death, Angie Larson and a cause close to her heart were the subjects of a candlelight vigil in Birkmose Park Good Friday evening. More than 35 people attended in remembrance of her and their shared commitment to organ donation. Larson-Coleman was born with a congenital heart condition and was a candidate for an eventual heart transplant. But on Jan. 15, just weeks before she was scheduled to have her current pacemaker replaced, she died when the device failed. Larson-Coleman attended school in Hudson and graduated from Hudson High School in 2001.
Jan Phillips' own education in the small southern Wisconsin community of Darlington began in a one-room schoolhouse where she was one of five girls who made up her class. As she prepares to retire after 38 years as a teacher, her career has taken her in many directions, but has seemed to lead back to her roots. While Knights House at Hudson Middle School is far from a one-room schoolhouse, it is as close as public education gets these days.
Hudson police are investigating new reports that a man wearing a hood over his head is exposing himself to women on the streets of Hudson. According to Sgt. Ed Rankin of the Hudson Police Department, the man has been seen in the early-morning hours by people out running or walking. He does not approach the women but stands and exposes himself.
When Chief Richard Trende retires early next month, he will have been a member of the Hudson Police Department for almost 34 years. It is where he began his career as a police officer and where he will complete it on May 5. Trende was hired at HPD in July 1972, just after finishing college at Southwest State in Marshall, Minn. Trende grew up in Silver Bay, Minn., and his interest in police work took root in high school when he became acquainted with an officer who was a friend of his father. "He was very approachable. I met some other officers in college and they impressed me as well.
Supporters of Community Action honored the work of youth volunteers and set their goals for 2006 at their annual meeting last week at the Hudson Golf Club.
Frankenstein is the scientist, not the creature he creates. It's a common misconception that should be put to rest when audiences see the Hudson High School production of "Frankenstein 1930" that opens March 31. The play was adapted by Fred Carmichael from the famous book by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and tells the story of a scientist obsessed with creating a human life in a laboratory from body parts stolen from nearby graves. Director Denise Baker has directed two previous plays at HHS, both comedies.
Passionate is the word Priscilla Wyeth uses to describe how she feels about her work as a member of the Hudson Board of Education. She is seeking re-election to a third term in the April 4 election. As part of the board for the past six years, Wyeth has come under fire from district critics, but it doesn't dissuade her from running again. "The education of our children is a great asset for our community and for our society at large. I like being part of the effort. That's what gets me to the meetings and the committees.
Bob Benoy's very first experience with public education began on his first day of school at what was then Fourth Street Elementary School. He will finish out his career in public education just a short distance and a couple of buildings away this June when he officially retires as the Hudson School District's director of personnel. Benoy, 56, was born and raised in Hudson, one of Alton and Delores Benoy's six sons. Along with attending Fourth Street Elementary, he was in the first freshman class to attend the Hudson Junior High School.
Editor's note: The Star-Observer will publish interviews with all school board candidates over the next three weeks.