Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism.
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Ten teams are ready to join the Hudson Rotary Clubs in uncharted territory for the first ever St. Croix River Dunk on Saturday, Feb. 17. More than 60 dunkers will make the dive into the chilly waters to raise money for both rotary and their individual organizations. For local organizations like the Hudson Police Explorers, it's an opportunity to raise funds for their group. "The explorer post is strictly operated through fundraising efforts," said leader Sgt. Glen Hartman. "We do this to try to raise funds for the group."
The Hudson Inclusion Alliance has proposed that the city of Hudson join the National League of Cities, and has offered to pay for its membership for the first year. The proposal was submitted to the city at the end of January, and Alliance member Tony Bol spoke on the subject during the council meeting on Monday, Feb. 5. "One way to help our leaders, is to offer networking opportunities and to learn from other city leaders," the submitted proposal said. "The National League of Cities (NLC) is one such resource."
The U.S. flag is flying once again outside of Agave Kitchen in downtown Hudson after it was torn down. When Wisconsin State Rep. Shannon Zimmerman (R-River Falls) heard about the absence of the flag on social media, he wanted to do something for Agave owner Paul Rode. "That really bothered me, for two reasons. Number one, it's the symbol of our nation and so forth, it's important to me," Zimmerman said. "And number two, it's Paul. This is a guy who really doesn't deserve this." So Zimmerman reached out to Rode to offer a replacement — from the Wisconsin capitol.
A new fire hall would fit at the city-owned Ward Avenue site, with the existing buildings and stormwater structure, the council heard during a presentation at its meeting Monday night. "It will indeed fit on the site as everybody would like to see it," said Michael Clark, Five Bugles project architect. Five Bugles presented a conceptual plan of what a new building would look like. It included space for administration, training, apparatus bays and personnel spaces in the two-story building. "That is looking at your long-term need," Clark said.
Temporary changes have been made to the new St. Croix EMS staffing model after an understaffed weekend Jan. 19-21. The service did not have a fully staffed ambulance during a 12-hour shift. EMS Chief Brandon Lyksett and staff were the only ones aware of the issue at the time. Mayor Rich O'Connor said during the Feb. 5 council meeting he was flabbergasted that the issue was first brought up in a Jan. 24 EMS ad hoc committee meeting by community member Paul Rode.
Amid a busy year for the region, Hudson saw a strong year of development in 2017, one of its strongest in recent years. "Development in general, not just on the home side, has been really robust," Community Development Director Mike Johnson said. From new development to alterations after storms, surrounding areas like River Falls and New Richmond also saw an above-average number of permits issued. Hudson
When he was first hired as police chief in March 2008, Marty Jensen told the Hudson Star-Observer that his priorities were more officers, new technology and a facility. As he retires 10 years later, he leaves the department with 27 patrol officers, several special investigators, new cameras and computers in the squad cars and a police department facility on First Street. Jensen started working with the Hudson PD part-time in 1985. After going through police recruit training and becoming certified, he was hired on full time in 1987.
The Hudson Plan Commission is looking to make changes to the city's ordinance on temporary signage. Council Member Randy Morrissette made the request, after it was brought to his attention by a real estate agent. "I'm not looking to reinvent the ordinance," Morrissette said. Instead he wants to inject new wording into the ordinance that would allow real estate agents to put up open house signs. Currently the sign ordinance dictates that signs like these must be on private property only, and are not allowed in city right-of-way.
When the Superbowl came to the nearby Twin Cities in 1992, nearly every hotel, motel and bed and breakfast room was booked the week leading up to the big game. These days, hotels aren't the only ones opening their doors to the crowd of fans. Hudson had about 20 Airbnbs up for rent in the weeks ahead of the game, with several specifying rental for Super Bowl weekend. About half of those were still available the Monday before Super Bowl. Prices ranged from $150 a night to more than $7,000.
The annual Hudson Hot Air Affair celebrated its 29th year a little earlier this year, moving up a weekend to avoid falling on the same weekend as the Super Bowl in Minneapolis on Feb. 4. Despite confusion on social media, the event drew large crowds throughout the weekend. A deleted event by local business Chapter2Books had some online thinking all of Hot Air Affair was cancelled, but the event went on, and the mix up didn't seem to lessen the number of people attending.