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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Opening up a business always requires a list of work, but for Hop and Barrel, the process was a little more complicated. In addition to finding a location, hiring staff and buying equipment, founders Justin Terbeest and Brian Priefer also had a unique item to check off their list — change the law. A 2014 Hudson city ordinance banned breweries, as well as wineries and distilleries, within the downtown area, with concerns about potential size and the manufacturing process. In May, the current council approved changing the ordinance.
With its annual event in November, the Hudson Hospital Foundation met its fundraising goal, raising $70,000 for its cause: fighting opioid abuse. The money raised will support efforts in the local community to combat opioid and other drug abuse, including programming at the high school and the purchase of a mock teen bedroom for the police department. "There's no question we'll be able to support all the efforts and hopefully have some money to put away for future prevention efforts," Hudson Hospital Foundation President Kari Rambo said.
A traffic study of Hanley Road found that converting the road to three lanes would be most effective to address concerns about turning and pedestrian crosswalks. The Hudson Common Council approved city staff moving forward with plans to turn the four-lane road into three lanes, one for each direction of traffic with a turn lane through the center. Three crosswalks will be included in the plan, with raised medians in the center of the road for safe crossing.
Members of Hudson-based SITTAB are gearing up for a road trip—traveling the 2,000 plus miles from its Wisconsin home to a new facility in the Fresno area in California. The new location will be an expansion of current operations in Hudson, and owner Martin Bertilsson, employee Tom Flaherty and Greger Blomster of the Sweden side of SITTAB will be making the trip. "We in a sense just looked at a map and thought there was a little bit of a black hole in the market on the West Coast," Bertilsson said.
Waking people up and building their strength is the goal of Master Greg Garves, and he hopes to do so for Hudson residents with his new business Hudson Martial Arts at 1615A Maxwell Drive. "I get excited watching people come alive," Garves said. Though new to Hudson, Garves is not new to martial arts. He has practiced for about 35 years, and has been teaching since about 1986, around four years later. The studio teaches Kyuki-do, which means to strike with force or energy. The practice focuses on discerning, and then acting.
With continued development and redevelopment in downtown Hudson, the common council is looking into the possibility of a tax increment financing district in the area. The council approved a feasibility study by Ehlers, Inc. to study the downtown area and determine if aTIF district would be appropriate for the area, and if so the size and projects that would be included. "It's not committing the city to the establishment of a TIF district," Community Development Director Mike Johnson said.
A transit commission would be the next step in addressing transportation needs in St. Croix County, according to members of the St. Croix County Transit Subcommittee. Supervisor Scott Nelson and BRIDGE for Community Life Director Peg Gagnon, two members of the committee, updated the St. Croix County Board on a possible commission during the board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 5. "It gives us the ability to get more funding from federal and state agencies," Nelson said.
Following a study regarding the needs of the Hudson Fire Department in March, the city has approved moving forward with a study of the Ward Avenue property as the future site of a new station. The study will be conducted by Five Bugles Design, which did the initial needs study. At the common council meeting on Monday, Nov. 20, Five Bugles architect Michael Clark said the city could do a study of the site, or simply move ahead with a full design contract at this time. Hudson Fire Chief Scott St. Martin recommended the study as the first step.
Hudson residents will have recourse against unwanted aerial visitors now that the Hudson Common Council has approved an ordinance regulating unlawful use of drones at its regular meeting Monday, Dec. 4. The ordinance prevents the use of a drone with the intent to photograph, record or observe someone in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy, like in their backyard or their residence. Its creation was prompted by complaints from residents including Mike Sanders, who spoke to the Star-Observer in November.
Hudson welcomed the start of December with a weekend of winter celebration with the annual Candlelight Stroll through downtown on Friday, Dec. 1, and a visit from Santa and his critters on Saturday, Dec. 2. The Candlelight Stroll featured the Helmer Dance Holly Dolls as live mannequins in the windows of participating downtown businesses. The next day, Santa Claus made his annual visit to River City Center, this year bringing a variety of animals with him including sled dogs, a camel, an owl and more.