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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As the sun sets on the valley, lights turn on over diners and at the hands of guests at the bar, a fire heats the cooler night air, horses take off on a wagon ride, live music floats through the air; pizza, pasta, and of course, wine, makes its way to tables on the patio, and guests laugh and chat while gazing out at the vineyard and canopy of trees that surround them. Enjoying the full experience, from the food and drinks to the valley view, is what it's all about at Vino in the Valley. But one thing is missing — the wine.
Willow River Elementary students honored law enforcement and first responders for Patriot Day on Tuesday, Sept. 11, marking 17 years since the attacks on that date. Representatives from the American Legion and VFW Honor Guard, Hudson Police Department, St. Croix EMS, Hudson Fire Department, St. Croix County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Customs and Border Protection were present at the event. Willow River teacher and U.S. Army Reservist Kevin Knoke spoke to the students about how law enforcement and first responders work to keep them safe.
Two parcels of land recently annexed from the Town of Troy were approved by the Hudson Common Council to be rezoned from agricultural residential to multiple family and one family residential. Developer LandDevCo has proposed building one-family residences and townhomes on the two separate parcels along Mayer Road near Carmichael Road, though the council was only approving the zoning change, not any aspect of the development.
A shed fire at a residence on Girard Street in Hudson spread, causing damage to a next door garage and home in the early morning hours on Sunday, Sept. 9. The fire originally started at 822 Girard St., before spreading to a fence and a portion of a garage at 902 Girard St. Siding at the residence on 902 Girard St. was damaged due to the heat, Hudson Fire Chief Scott St. Martin said. The fire appeared to have been started from discarded materials from a fire in a fire pit, St. Martin said. He said residents should be careful when disposing of fire pit materials.
Communications and Program Director Andrea Jorgenson has stepped down from her role at the Hudson Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau, the board announced last week. Jorgenson has been hired as the community service manager for Xcel Energy. "We thank Andrea for her years of service and wish her the best of luck in her exciting new endeavor," the board said. Jorgenson's last day will be Sept. 26. She will finish off her time with the chamber with the annual Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival.
A St. Croix County judge on Friday made rulings on key pieces of evidence as the case of a 19-year-old New Richmond man accused of terroristic threats heads to trial.
Recently-appointed interim St. Croix EMS Chief Joe Elkin is on paid administrative leave pending an independent investigation of past posts from a Twitter account associated with him. The council approved the outside investigation in a special meeting Monday night after several tweets from account The Real Joe Elkin, handle @joekuhlshow, were shared with the city and the Star-Observer last week in an email signed "Concerned Citizens" from firstname.lastname@example.org .
Tom Zeuli's roots in Hudson run deep. He was born and raised in town, and his great-grandfather's farm was located where Hudson High School is now. As the Parks and Public Works Director for the city for the last 40 years, Zeuli has helped the town he loves grow. A passion for the city kept him here for all those years of service. "I've always had a vested interest in the city," Zeuli said. Now he's finishing his final days working for the city before his retirement in September.
St. Croix EMS Chief Brandon Lyksett resigned from his position last week, according to the city of Hudson. Lyksett said he felt it was time to move on after his many years with the department. He also said uncertainties about the future played a role. "It's been a pleasure working for the city for the last 19 years," Lyksett said. He will continue to be a member of the fire department. "I'll still be around," Lyksett said. A copy of the resignation agreement/letter has been requested by the Star-Observer.
Off Judson Avenue, at the entrance of the International Bazaar, Minnesota State Fair visitors can find a taste of Hudson at Shanghaied Henri's. For the last 30 years, owners and Hudson residents Hank and Ellen Hanten have owned the food stand at that spot. They raised their kids, worked full careers and retired while running the stand, under a couple different names and types of cuisines, every year for the nearly two weeks of the Great Minnesota Get Together.