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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Anyone who knows Jacci Zappa will probably not be surprised by her decision to devote the next two years serving others as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania, Africa. The 24-year-old graduated from Hudson High School in 2006. She was a member of the HHS Peer Helpers and one of the "popular kids" who had a reputation for being nice to everyone. After high school, Zappa attended Oregon State University in Corvallis where she earned a degree in fisheries and wildlife in 2010. While there she worked for a month at an elephant sanctuary in Sri Lanka.
While The Phipps Center in Hudson is recognized throughout the region for its theater productions, gallery exhibits, and concerts and performances, that isn't what it got noticed for in the September issue of "Stage Directions," a trade magazine about the art and technology of theater. The article was entitled "The Care and Feeding of Volunteers," and The Phipps Center's hundreds of volunteers were among those featured. The article noted that volunteers are an important part of bringing people into whatever is going on in theater and arts centers around the country.
A Dane County Circuit Court judge may have overturned several of the provisions in Wisconsin's Act 10/31 that prohibits most collective bargaining rights of public employees, but the long-term impact of the decision is unclear to those on all sides of the issue. According to Hudson School District Director of Personnel Nancy Sweet, the lower court decision found five provisions in the law unconstitutional including: --the prohibition of the contribution of "fair share (union) dues"; --the prohibition of voluntarily withholding or deducting union dues from an employee's paycheck; --prohibit
Profoundly disappointed is how Hudson Board of Education President Tom Holland described himself following the decision by the Hudson City Council not to rezone St. Croix Meadows for use as a school. The voters, including those in the city of Hudson, approved a referendum to purchase the former St. Croix Meadows dogtrack last April. A contingency of the sale was that the property be rezoned from commercial use to public use. The track closed 12 years ago and has been on the market ever since. The city collects around $20,000 annually in property taxes from the owners.
The County Marking parking lot was reopened to vehicles shortly after 6 p.m.
A former state attorney general and well-known area historian will join the ranks of Hudson High School alumni on the building's Wall of Fame. At a ceremony and dinner held in their honor, the late George G. Thompson, Class of 1936, and Nancy Gartmann Hawkinson, became the 45th and 46th HHS graduates to be so honored. Gartmann Hawkinson had a career of more than 40 years in data processing and information technology support for State Farm Insurance.
What started five years ago at Rock Elementary School has expanded into the Hudson Backpack Program that now serves students and their families from all Hudson's elementary schools, both public and private. Some 108 families were served last year with 1,836 backpacks delivered during the school year. The idea of the program is to provide backpacks filled with food twice a month on Fridays so children and their families who need it have food over the weekend.
Diane Kinney was recently awarded $10,000 as one of the winners of this year's McKnight Foundation Binger Awards in Human Service. The award came in recognition of her work on behalf of veterans and specifically as founder of Base Camp Hope, an organization that helps veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, physical rehabilitation and other related health issues. Kinney grew in Hudson and graduated from Hudson High School in 1975. She is the daughter of Dennis Kinney and Marion Kinney.
Voters in the Hudson School District approved a tax levy of more than $29 million for 2012-13 at the annual meeting Tuesday night. The 2012-13 school budget is $49,840,642, up from $48,873,754 last year. The total amount of the tax levy is $29,188,175 which includes $24,587,450 for the general operating fund and $4,600,725 for debt service. Voters present at the meeting approved the new levy 48 to 8. That represents an increase of 2.87 percent over last year's levy of $28,373,543 or a mill rate of $9.53 per $1,000 of property valuation.
After growing up in Hudson and spending almost 12 years on the Hudson Police Force, colleagues become friends and that is how it was at a going away party held last Friday for Lt. Eric Atkinson at the department. Atkinson has been a member of the HPD for 12 years and was named second in command to Chief Marty Jensen in January. He previously served as a patrol officer, field training officer, firearms instructor, investigator and detective sergeant He also served seven months as the interim chief of police in 2007-08.