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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Today is Officer Steve Dunn's last day on the job with the Hudson Police Department. Dunn, 50, has been a full-time patrol officer since 1990 and prior to that worked part time for five years for the department. He has also served the community as an EMT and a 911 dispatcher. Dunn, who is a native of New Richmond and now lives there, said he liked the idea of police work because he could both help people and not spend his career sitting behind a desk. "I like the idea of being outside and being on my own and the fact that no two days are ever the same.
When Gov. Jim Doyle announced that he was launching a major anti-smoking initiative -- that includes an increase in the cigarette tax and a statewide smoking ban in public buildings, businesses and restaurants -- the news was music to the ears of people like Geralyn Karl and Dr. Paul McGinnis. Karl is a health educator and tobacco control specialist for St. Croix County whose work over the past several years has focused on both education and prevention when it comes to smoking.
There are rites of passage in this life. Some of them are fun, like a first date, getting your license, turning 21; some, not so much -- that first broken heart, the first car accident and the day after that 21st birthday, the one you can't quite remember for the killer headache and nausea. But as much fun as all that is to remember, if you live where we do, a sure sign of growing up and growing older has to do with the weather. How we feel about it, what we remember and what's important to know about it are all indicators of where we are in life.
Willow River Elementary Principal Pat Hodges has been approved by the Board of Education to be the first principal of Hudson's new elementary school. The school, which will be built on Coulee Trail just across from Camp St. Croix in the town of Troy, is scheduled to open in fall 2008. Hodges has worked in the Hudson School District for 21 years. She began her career here in 1986 as a special education teacher, first at E.P. Rock and then at the high school.
District enrollment has dropped by 33 students through the course of the school year, according to an official count taken on Jan. 12. The most current enrollment picture was reported by Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten at the Board of Education meeting last week. The decrease represents a drop just under 1 percent of the enrollment reported at the official count on Sept. 15 of last year. At that time, there were 5,157 students attending Hudson schools. On Jan. 12, 5,124 students were enrolled. The enrollment as of the January count a year ago was 4,873.
The Hudson Board of Education is expected to make a decision on what to do about office space at a special meeting Tuesday. Board members discussed four options at their regular board meeting last week. The options included the lease or purchase of a modular building, what has previously been referred to as portables, the lease of existing office space or the purchase of existing office space. The board also discussed the feasibility of constructing a building on a portion of the 100 acres the district owns on County UU in the town of Hudson.
A bomb threat was discovered at an undisclosed location at Hudson High School just before the end of school Tuesday. Because buses were already arriving at the campus, students were dismissed as normal, according to school district Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten. In addition, the building was evacuated of all teachers and staff, and all after-school activities on campus were cancelled. Hudson police were on the scene by 2:50 p.m. to conduct a search of the school and investigate the threat. No additional information was available at press time Tuesday.
If I had a genie and a trio of wishes, I'd use all three to ensure that nobody in Hudson missed "Disney's Aladdin Jr." at The Phipps Center. Based on the successful animated film, the stage version keeps all the best music and action of the original, made even better by these talented real, live actors. John Potter selected and directed a dream cast, many of them seniors in their last Phipps Children's Theater effort, who all gave enthusiastic performances from the leads to the beggars in the bazaar.
The talk was all about the future last week when the Board of Education and most of the school district's administrative team met to begin work on a long-range plan for public education in the Hudson School District. The plan is called "HSD 2025." The plan calls for a comprehensive study of what public education should look like in order to prepare district graduates for the future they face over the next 15-20 years.
Andrew Smith will take over as Hudson's new chief of police beginning early next month. Smith, who has been a resident of Hudson for six years, is leaving the Minneapolis Police Department after a career that saw him rise from patrol officer to the rank of captain in just 16 years. But he says the chief's job is his last big career move. He's here for the long haul. When he describes his career to date, Smith, 39, says he's had the equivalent of 30 years' experience in his 16 years with the Minneapolis department. "I've been incredibly fortunate to have the experience I've had.