Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.
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Voters in the city of Hudson will narrow the field of candidates for mayor to two on Tuesday, Feb. 16. On the ballot of the primary election are Randy Morrissette II, Vicky Erickson and Rich O’Connor. Morrissette is the alderperson for District 1 and has served in that office since 2007. A lifelong Hudson resident, he manages the Fairfield Inn hotel in Hudson. He has been involved in numerous local organizations over the years, including the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary International, Hudson Boosters, Hudson Rod and Gun Club, and his church.
A proposal by County Supervisor Roy Sjoberg for settling a library funding disagreement raised some tempers at Monday night’s meeting of the Hudson City Council. Sjoberg, who represents a good share of the city on the St. Croix County Board, presented what he called a compromise to end hard feelings over the Hudson Area Joint Library’s 2013 decision to end payments to neighboring libraries for residents of the towns of Hudson and St. Joseph who continued to patronize the libraries following the 2003 formation of the joint library.
The Hudson City Council appears ready to do something to accommodate bicycle traffic on Vine Street, but exactly what that is still open for debate. One thing seems certain, switching parking from the north side of Vine Street to the south side between Third and Fourth streets is off the table. The parking change was recommended last week on a 2-1 vote by the Public Works Committee, as part of a larger plan to establish marked bicycles lanes on both sides of Vine.
The Hudson Plan Commission will review a plan for a hotel and banquet center on the site of the vacant golf clubhouse on Carmichael Road when it meets Thursday night. LHR Hospitality, a company led by Hudson resident Douglas Rohde, is proposing to build the Holiday Inn Express hotel and use the existing clubhouse for the banquet facility. The five-story hotel would have 95 rooms. In a phone call Tuesday afternoon, Rohde said his company feels there is a latent demand in Hudson for the type of hospitality center being proposed.
The Hudson Hot Air Affair parade through downtown Hudson Friday night was lit with flames from hot air balloon burners and filled with colorful participants. A crowd of several thousand came out to enjoy the spectacle and the fireworks that followed the parade on a mild winter evening.
The annual King Kold celebration took place at Hudson High School last week, giving students a midwinter break from the routine. The activities culminated with a pep fest on Friday afternoon, during which senior Matthew Fall was crowned King Kold for 2016. The pep band played the school song and there were performances by the competition cheer squad, team cheerleaders, the Rhinestone Raiders, and the varsity and junior varsity Raidaires dancers.
Colin O’Brien is like a lot of the other members of Hudson Fire Explorer Post 9516. “I joined because my dad is a firefighter,” he said during a recent Tuesday evening meeting at the fire station. “It’s always interested me as something I could do in the future. Everything about it in all aspects is cool to me -- and interesting and fun.” The Hudson High School junior’s father in Sean O’Brien, a veteran Hudson firefighter.
City Council President Tom McCormick didn’t have an ally this year when he pressed for an increase in user fees for park facilities. “Are we considering what it costs to maintain these parks relative to the usage fees,” McCormick asked when he chaired a Jan. 25 meeting of the Finance Committee. Public Works and Parks Director Tom Zeuli had submitted a Park Board recommendation calling for no increase in fees for reserving park pavilions, the Lakefront Park band shell and Grandview Park softball fields in 2016.
HAF Group of Stillwater will relocate to the second floor of a proposed building on Second Street if the owner can win city approval of his plan. Mike Hoefler, owner of the architecture, development and construction company, hopes to purchase the property between the Dairy Queen and the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network office for his Hudson Boat Works development. The first phase of the project would be a building with two floors above ground and a total of 4,000 square feet of floor space.
The twin towers of ice on the side of the coulee across from Historic Casanova Liquor store are a source of wonder for many passersby. What made the formations that look like frozen water geysers? Tyrell Gaffer, owner of the liquor store and The Nova Restaurant & Wine Bar next to it, has the answer. There are three or four natural springs in the hillside that back when Casanova Beverage Company was operating at the turn of the 20th Century were used for brewing beer.