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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I don't know if it's the tail end of cabin fever or an annual rite of spring or just me being ornery, but every year I seem to get grumpier as the frost leaves the ground. It might have something to do with the way the spring sunlight hits the glass on the patio door revealing the most amazing pattern of streaks and dirt. I have never purported to be a meticulous housekeeper but when I catch a glimpse of that or the rain of dust bunnies the first time I turn on the ceiling fan for the season, I get embarrassed, downhearted and discouraged.
Approximately 100 people participated in a series of planning sessions last week to develop a strategic plan for the Hudson School District. Participants were community members, parents, teachers and district administrators. The work sessions included two public planning sessions, along with sessions for the middle school, high school and the elementary schools, and a final session to draw up a draft document to be considered by the school board.
Armed with the knowledge that sometimes kids listen and learn better from other kids, more than 30 student volunteers gave workshops to all three grades last week at Hudson Middle School. The two-day workshops dealt with some of the most common problems faced by middle-schoolers - bullying and teasing, anger and conflict management and how to make and live with decisions.
Bob Branson may be the gutsiest guy in Hudson. Every semester he faces a new batch of 15-year-olds, charged with the task of teaching them how to drive - the right way. Branson is a driver's education teacher at Hudson High School. This semester he has 125 students.
Members of the North Hudson Village Board spent most of their meeting last week discussing a new comprehensive plan for the village. Clerk Administrator Mitch Berg said the village had been awarded a state grant, along with the towns of Hudson and St. Joseph, to help defray the cost of developing the document. The current plan was adopted in 1987. Katie Larson of Cedar Corp., the village engineering firm, estimated that a new plan would cost between $30,000-$50,000. To update the existing plan is estimated to cost $15,000.
Ask students in the Hudson School District about their favorite places to eat, and their respective school cafeterias may not be on the list. However, most students eating hot lunch in Hudson schools still manage to find things they like to eat that are often good for them as well. Joan Allen is the coordinator of the nutrition program for the school district, and things have changed a great deal over the past 25 years she has been with the program.
Hudson playwright Donovan Stohlberg's new musical, "London in Springtime: A Musical," will premier next month as the first production at the recently renovated Mounds Theatre in St. Paul. Stohlberg's first musical, "Jack the Ripper," played to sold-out audiences at The Phipps Center in spring of 2001 and told the dark story in a production that included a large cast, elegant costumes and an elaborate set. "London in Springtime" is something entirely different, according to Stohlberg, a 1991 graduate of Hudson High School.
In the sea of faces that flows through the hall at Hudson High School, there aren't too many students of color but they are there. The school's Diversity Awareness Group is working to make sure that those students aren't lost in the crowd. Anne Moser is the described as the group's founding member, according to school counselor and group adviser Elizabeth Smith. Moser is Korean and was adopted. An active member of the student body, Moser still felt there was something invisible about her in the predominantly Caucasian student body. "You get judged before people even meet you.
Kim Heinemann is the new president of the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Heinemann is leaving her position as manager of advertising and marketing at Nor-Lake to fill the position that was vacated by Mary Claire Olson in December. Olson is a vice president with the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce. Heinemann and her family live in St. Joseph Township. She has been with Nor-Lake for 17 years. Prior to that she held a similar position with Niro Inc. in Hudson for 10 years.
Bob Staebell, like so many others in Hudson, knew Dan O'Connell and his family. Following O'Connell's murder and that of James Ellison at the O'Connell Funeral Home on Feb. 5, 2002, Staebell, a former detective, came out of retirement to work again as an investigator with the Hudson Police Department on the case and later was hired by the O'Connell family as a private investigator. Staebell is well known for his skills as an investigator by law enforcement agencies throughout the area and is respected for his ability to get information from a variety of sources.