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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As the Hudson School District has grown, so has the number of school expulsions. In 2006-07, 11 students were expelled from among 38 who were believed to be involved in expellable behaviors. That compares to an average of seven students over the previous 12 years. The information was part of a report from Nancy Sweet, deputy superintendent, at last week's school board meeting. While the number has increased, Sweet pointed out that the number of students who commit potentially expellable offenses is a very small percentage, about one percent, of the students in grades 6-12.
The cost to clean up after a small fire in a boiler room at Rock Elementary School on Oct. 28 has a big price tag -- $1.3 million. That was the figure reported to the Hudson School Board at last week's meeting by Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten. The lion's share of the cost came in professional cleaning services of almost every surface in the east wing of the building. The damage was from smoke and soot.
The Special Children Center and director Nancy Lawton Shirley have gained a reputation across the nation for their work with children with special needs. But that reputation has now reached beyond those borders and into the heart of the Chinese countryside. Shirley, along with physical therapist Kiki Dickinson who has been with the center for 13 years, went to China for two weeks in October as part of a medical team that included a doctor, nurse, audiologist, occupational and physical therapists and special education teachers.
John Oman recently joined the Community Action staff. He is a member of Americorps, the national service program that each year connects more than 70,000 Americans nationwide to work in local, state and national service in programs like Community Action. Oman has committed to a year of service with CA that began in September but he was already familiar with the youth programs the organization promotes. He has volunteered to accompany Community Action youth on service trips to Chicago and Mississippi as well was on projects closer to home.
For third time in less than two years, the Hudson Police and Fire Commission is interviewing candidates for the top job in the police department. According to commission chairman Tom O'Connell, they are considering five candidates and hope to have a new chief named by early December. The five were chosen from among 15 candidates applied from around the region and beyond. There is at least one HPD officer among the finalists but O'Connell declined to name that candidate. Acting Chief of Police Eric Atkinson is not among those being interviewed.
The Bardills of North Hudson have always enjoyed having guests in over the holidays but this year they are expecting a few more than usual. Their contemporary home in St. Croix Station is one of five private residences that are featured on this weekend's Chamber of Commerce Christmas Tour of Homes which is expected to draw more than 2,000 people to the Bardills and other tour homes. Nestled in woods running near the St. Croix River, what is beautiful outside is even more impressive once visitors are welcomed inside. "Welcome" is the right word for the home of Melissa and Robert Bardill.
Police and Fire Commission member Frank Rhoades resigned his position earlier this month citing work demands. He was appointed to the commission in April of 2001 and was reappointed in 2006. Mayor Jack Breault appointed former mayor Tom Redner to fulfill the remainder of Rhoades five-year term through 2011. The commission is currently in the process of interviewing and selecting a new chief for the Hudson Police Department.
Everybody needs a little help now and then and for close to ten years students in the Hudson area have been getting it from tutor Jean Marie Waddell. In recent years she has been joined by Donna Miller and together they tutor about 30 students in math, chemistry, science, history, English and writing during the school year. They also offer ACT and SAT test preparation workshops and help with study skills and time management. Both women are teachers but have chosen tutoring because they like dealing with students in a one-on-one relationship.
An education logistics firm will provide some pretty detailed help to the Hudson School District in redrawing its school boundaries in anticipation of the opening of a new elementary school south of I-94. The contract with Edulog of Missoula, Mont. will cost the district $9,000 plus on-site staff expenses of $1,250 per day and travel expenses. The contract was approved by a vote of 5-1.
It's been a long, hot summer and a weird, wet fall. You owe it to yourself to get a lift before the winter sets in and the best way to do that in Hudson for the next couple of weeks is by getting a ticket to "Suessical." The new Phipps Center production opened last week and is based on the work of the offbeat but wonderful tales of Dr. Seuss, primarily "Horton Hears a Who," a story about friendship and self-esteem that is not only timeless but ageless.