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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Shaking hands with the two young boys staying with the Hawksford family, they look like they belong there, about the age of brothers Max and Cal, all sitting together having morning cereal. But Dmitri Bondarev, 9, and Nikolai Fedrochenko, 11, are a long way from where they were born. The boys are here for a month as part of a program run by Reaching Arms International, an adoption service that matches American host families with Russian orphans ages 5-15. This summer there are about 20 children who are living with host families for three to five weeks.
It may not seem like Evy Nerbonne has slowed down much since her cancer diagnosis two years ago, but she swears she has. She's had no choice. Nerbonne is familiar to many in Hudson as the face of the Hot Air Affair and for her work around the community. She and her husband, John, have lived and worked in Hudson for almost 20 years. The bulk of her career has been spent in advertising. She currently works for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
When the class of 2004 graduates this Saturday, Sarah Jamieson will be among the first in line to congratulate them. Jamieson was hired as a guidance counselor at Hudson High School in the fall of 2000 for the incoming freshman class. It was her first job after graduating from UW-Platteville. She recalls the group of almost 350 as being "very bubbly overall" with all the typical problems one could expect at that age.
Gloia Troester of River Falls was the first choice for the position of administrator/treasurer/clerk for the village of North Hudson. Village President Larry Larsen said Troester, who has been working as village treasurer since early spring, has the kind of qualifications the village needs for this newly created position. The position combines the two previously separate positions of administrator/clerk and treasurer.
History was made over the weekend by a team of Hudson Middle School students who took first-place honors at the global finals of the Destination Imagination. Hudson students have been participating in the worldwide problem-solving competition for numerous years, but this is the first time any team has brought home a championship trophy from the world finals. The team included eighth-graders Adam Selon, Ashley Anunson, David Sjoberg, Emily Kepulis, Sydney Malanaphy and Josh Kock-Fogarty.
The Hudson High School choral music department is losing both of its choir directors, Randi Grundahl and Andrew Haase, at the end of the school year. Haase, who directs the Chamber Choir and the Chanteuse Choir, was recently granted a two-year leave from the school to pursue his master's degree in choral conducting at Northern Arizona State University in Flagstaff.
Hudson Police Department officers have a new way to stop those who resist arrest or create a threat - the Taser gun. The non-lethal-force weapon uses "electric muscular disruption" to incapacitate a target. The weapon, which looks similar to the kind of guns found in a video arcade, is loaded with a cartridge that holds two probes fitted with fish-hook-like darts. The probes are connected to the gun by wires and when activated deliver 50,000 volts of electricity to the target's body.
E.P. Rock Elementary teacher Ann Siats doesn't seem surprised that the school's mentorship program "Stand by Me" is still going strong after six years. It was a good idea when she first conceived it and it still is. Just ask any of the 55 adults and 142 students who participate in the program every week. Siats is a big believer in the power of the mentor relationship.
In an area where homes are coming up faster than dandelions, and remodeling the old to make it look even older is considered sport, it might seem strange that there are those of us among you who have never undertaken a major home improvement project. But that's about to change. The Heatons may be remodeling! The only hope is that the work will be done before one or both of the Heaton adults are hauled off on felony charges. Kevin and I have been married for 33 years this August.
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.