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 armed man who robbed the First National Bank Crest View branch Friday afternoon first took time to do a little shopping at the nearby Wal-Mart. Around 5 p.m. the man entered the bank, presented a demand note to a teller and displayed a handgun. A witness to the robbery saw the man exit the bank, cross the parking lot, cut behind the Citizens bank next door and head toward the Wal-Mart parking lot.
City Administrator Devin Willi received a letter Friday that threatened his job and his family if he doesn't take steps to "fire the police chief and the officers who are harassing us..." The letter was sent to Willi at City Hall and was among the mail he received on his desk Friday. Willi opened the hand-addressed envelope, read the letter and immediately contacted Hudson Police Chief Dick Trende.
Hudson police officers escorted two men out of last week's school board meeting at Hudson High School after some angry words during the public comment section of the June 14 meeting at Hudson High School. School board president Annette Cook asked officers to remove Marion Shaw from the meeting for not coming to order and being disrespectful in his comments. After several minutes of discussion with him in the auditorium, police also escorted Curt Weese from the meeting.
The participants in the sixth annual Hudson Relay For Life raised $220,161 for the American Cancer Society last weekend. While the amount did not meet the event's goal of $266,000, the event will continuing to rank as one of the most successful relays in the region according to Jeremy Braun of ACS. Braun who has worked with the Hudson committee for two years, said this event along with the New Richmond Relay For Life this weekend, consistently make St. Croix County one of the most successful for fundraising in the Midwest region of country.
A month after he was struck by 20,000 volts of electricity, John Gornick of Hudson continues to recover from burns over 75 percent of his body. Gornick, 36, is being treated at the Hennepin County Medical Center burn unit in Minneapolis. The accident took place in Minneapolis where Gornick, an electrician, was installing a utility pole. His condition is listed as critical. He recently underwent the first of many skin graft surgeries, which was successful. Other surgeries will follow as Gornick's undamaged skin regenerates and is available for grafting.
Students and staff at St. Patrick's Catholic School held a prayer service Monday to honor the memory of teacher Claire Ihle, who died on Saturday. Ihle, 54, died of complications from a strep infection she contracted last fall as a result of an infected tooth. The infection led to surgery and treatment at United Hospital. Ihle spent several months at Bethesda Rehabilitation Center in St. Paul and moved to Christian Community Home in Hudson in late December. Ihle was able to communicate with her family and friends and occasionally returned to her home for visits.
John P. Gornick of Hudson was severely burned after he was hit by an electrical charge while installing a utility pole in the Twin Cities last Thursday. Gornick, an electrician, suffered third-degree burns over 50 percent of his body including some fourth-degree burns on his feet. He is being treated in the burn unit at Hennepin County Medical Center. His arms, legs and feet sustained the most damage.
Marie Heikkila will retire at the end of this school year after 29 years in the Hudson School District. And while a lot has changed in every discipline during that time, the changes in her field, world studies, have probably been the most dramatic. Heikkila has taught sixth-grade world studies for most of her career. She joined the middle school staff when the school was still housed where Willow River Elementary is today. "I have always liked sixth grade and gotten a great deal of satisfaction from teaching that age. They come in ready for something new.
Ask any of Marilyn Brisson's students from 30 years ago up to the present, and they will express surprise that she is retiring from teaching at the end of this school year. She's too young, they will say. That youthful persona and a powerful sense of humor may be among Brisson's greatest assets as she completes a 35-year career as a teacher, 31 of those years in the Hudson School District. She began her career in Hudson at Rock Elementary School but transferred to Hudson Middle School in 1992 when the district reorganized and the house concept was introduced for grades six-eight.
Reporter's note: The Star-Observer first wrote about Richie Stokke in April 2001 when he was in kindergarten at Willow River Elementary and again in 2003 when he was in the second grade. Now a fourth-grader, we recently checked in with Richie and his older sister, Meghan, to see what life is like these days. On a recent after-school visit to his home, Richie Stokke, 10, was doing what a lot of kids do to unwind - having a snack and watching a movie with his older sister nearby. Meghan Stokke is 15 and she looks after her brother when her parents are at work.