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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Former police Sgt. Robert Oehmke has asked for a review of the proceedings that led to his firing from the Hudson Police Department last December. He filed a "petition for writ of certiorari," a process that asks the appeals court to order the lower court to review the city of Hudson Police and Fire Commission's judgment for legal error and review where a traditional appeal is not available. Oehmke's first request for a review of the decision to fire him by the Hudson Police and Fire Commission was denied because it was not served on the commission within the prescribed time allotted.
The eighth annual Hudson Relay For Life last weekend raised $168,202 for the American Cancer Society and the fight against the disease. Event chairman Lori de Boer said while they didn't reach their financial goal for the weekend, the relay was more than successful for her and the hundreds of people who participated. "I'm very happy with the money we raised and anyone who is a part of the Relay For Life knows that the money is only part of it. For those who participate it is about so much more.
Notices to appear in court have been served on 13 Hudson High School class of 2007 graduates in connection with the school vandalism spree earlier this month. The Hudson Police Department released the names Tuesday morning plus that of one 20-year-old Hudson man. Those served were physically involved in damages to Hudson High School, police said. The names of others who were allegedly involved in planning the vandalism at HHS and four other Big Rivers schools the same night have not yet been released. Benjamin N.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Salzman made up her mind to become a teacher when she was in second grade. After 23 years in special education, it appears to have been a good call. Salzman grew up in rural Pennsylvania, and she has some painful memories of her first year in school there. "I had problems reading in first grade as there was no kindergarten in my rural school. My first-grade teacher made me sit in a corner because I couldn't read a word list. My second-grade teacher was kind and she showed compassion.
The Hudson Board of Education voted to allocate $120,000 to have their new elementary school LEED certified, a professional designation that means the building is both energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The cost of the certification, which requires an independent industry evaluation and review of the completed building, was a concern to several board members.
St. Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson is talking with his counterpart in Eau Claire County about taking over the prosecution in the vandalism case involving Hudson High School students and damage they did at five schools including Eau Claire Memorial and North high schools. Menomonie High School and HHS were also targets of the group. Johnson said he may have a conflict in the case since he knows some of the Hudson families who have students allegedly involved in the vandalism.
The Hudson Police Department officials were scheduled to meet with St. Croix County District Attorney Eric Johnson Wednesday morning to present the results of their two-week investigation into the involvement of approximately 40 Hudson High School students in the vandalism of five schools, including Hudson, on June 3. According to lead investigator Detective Jeff Knopps, the department is recommending that 13 of the students be charged with felonies and the remaining 23 with related misdemeanors. Knopps said they had spoken with most of the suspects, some through their attorneys.
The Hudson Police Department will be conducting some additional interviews and doing some more investigation in the school vandalism case following a meeting with the St. Croix County District Attorney Wednesday morning. The meeting which was held at District Attorney Eric Johnson's office included Hudson Police Chief Andrew Smith, HPD Det. Jeff Knopps, New Richmond Chief of Police Mark Samelstad and representatives of the Hudson and New Richmond school districts.
The residents of a 10-unit apartment building are safe as a result of the quick thinking of three Hudson police officers. After hearing the report of a fire at 1601 Aspen Drive around 2:20 a.m. on Monday, Sgt. Eric Atkinson, officers Geoff Willems and Lisa Opel sped to the scene and arrived before the Hudson Fire Department. The fire appeared to be located at a rear entrance, and the building was full of smoke. The officers entered the building and went immediately to pull the fire alarms to wake the tenants, but none of them worked.
Hudson School District Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten read a statement to a small group of reporters at a press conference Friday at Hudson High School. HHS Principal Ed Lucas also made a statement. Neither took questions citing the ongoing police investigation and student privacy guidelines.