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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The weekend was supposed to be one of celebration for Wendy and Doug Helm. They were marking their 15th wedding anniversary with a trip to Nashville, while Doug's mother Laurelie watched their sons Max, who is in seventh grade and Eli, a third-grader, at their home on Autumn Oak Lane in the town of Hudson. The couple had just hung up from a phone call with the kids and grandma on Saturday evening, when a notification went off on Doug's iPad — the garage had reached a temperature of over 200 degrees.
"How can we help?" was the question of the night Monday, Sept. 24 at the Feed the Future golf tournament fundraiser for River Valley Charities, a nonprofit organization working to help at-risk youth by supporting the programs already on the ground in the area. Backpack programs from all across the St. Croix Valley area including Hudson, River Falls, New Richmond, Ellsworth, Prescott and more are the focus for the nonprofit. "We say, 'How can we help, what do you need?'' River Valley Charities board member Tim Jaynes told the crowd at Troy Burne Golf Club.
Artists of all formats filled Lakefront Park Saturday and Sunday for the annual Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival. More than 90 artists offered their creations in their booths along with new demonstrations like aerialist Laura Emiola and chalk artist Allison Severson.
"When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me, and I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves and satin sandals and say we've no money for butter..." So begins the "When I Am Old" poem that the local Hudson Red Hats group, like others in the nation, has taken up as a motto of sorts. The group of women, ages ranging from 60s to almost 90, meet monthly to connect with friends and gather donations for a different charity each month, while donning their red hats and purple outfits.
On a surprisingly sunny and warm day, as summer began its first turn toward fall, a group of women gathered on the grass overlooking woods extending around them in every direction at Willow River State Park for a session of outdoor yoga. Some were first-timers, some were regulars who had already hiked, kayaked and more, a couple came with friends and a few came alone, for the Women in the Parks event. The program is designed to be a comfortable environment for women to get more experience outdoors with other women.
Rescued pups can get comfy with new dog beds, thanks to the work of Hudson Girl Scout Troop 55654. For their Silver Award, troop members Evelyn Johnson, Delta Pinc, Ava Knutson and Katie Wedell, built elevated dog beds and donated them to Coco's Heart Dog Rescue in Hudson. "We wanted to do something involved with animals," Johnson said. All four of the girls in the troop have dogs, so doing something surrounding them was an easy choice. With the project, the troop is able to help a rescue here in town through Coco's Heart.
Discussions heated up at the Hudson Finance Committee meeting as members considered allowing hotels to apply for Class A liquor licenses. Class A liquor licenses allow for sale of alcohol that will then be taken from and consumed off the premises. Council Member Randy Morrissette, who said he is in the hospitality industry, asked for the topic to be on the agenda.
No injuries were reported in a large house fire that drew not only the Hudson Fire Department but several backup agencies on Saturday, Sept. 15. Firefighters responded to 1058 Autumn Oak Lane around 5:20 p.m. for the fire that started in the garage before spreading through the attic and to the house. Also responding were River Falls, Lake Elmo, United, Roberts-Warren, New Richmond, St. Joseph, Lower St. Croix Valley and Bayport fire departments, Hudson Fire Chief Scott St. Martin said.
Interim St. Croix EMS Chief Joe Elkin was terminated from both his interim position and his paramedic position following an independent investigation of tweets associated with his name. The unanimous decision came from the council Monday night following a closed session where members reviewed the investigative report done by an independent attorney.
Pull up a seat to the family table, and be ready for a show, as The Phipps presents "A Nice Family Gathering," a story of one extraordinary family holiday that still maintains a relatable sense of ordinary. As the undoubtedly Midwestern Lundeen family gathers for the first holiday since Dad passed away, the three siblings and Mom are dealing with a host of their own life problems. Financial trouble, infertility issues, job woes and health concerns all find their way to the dinner table, where an unexpected guest has joined.