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.
- Member for
- 2 years 4 months
The next group of Pepper Fest royalty were crowned on Sunday, Aug. 19 at the coronation at the Pepper Fest event. Representing North Hudson this year are King Kevin Baier, Queen Carly Simones and Princesses Emily O'Brien, Carah Fitzgerald and Joy Rambo. 2018 Royalty King Jim Gianforte, Queen Anna Thielke and Princess Maddie Gunderson, Jenna Van Allen and Sydney Rossini bid farewell.
Wanda Plourde got her first taste of Pepper Fest when she was 10 years old. A new resident to the village of North Hudson, she went all out for one of Pepper Fest's first parades. Dressed in an old blue prom dress with a crown made from pipe cleaners and a sash fashioned from meat wrapping paper, Plourde posed a written question, "May I be queen when I'm 16?" "I'll never forget it," she said, describing the outfit in detail. That moment made a mark. Though she never ran for royalty, Plourde found her way back to the parade as its organizer for 10 years.
The barn at Settlement Hill Farm has seen a lot since the structure was first built in 1854, and now it's the scene of some people's happiest memories. Evonne and Michael Ganz have transformed the space into a wedding venue that will host ceremonies and receptions once a week through the summer season, May into October. The Ganz's own daughter, one of twins, was the first to get married in the barn years ago, after it had initially been redone for a church dance.
For the Sparstads, Pepper Fest has always been a family affair. Just a few days before North Hudson's annual summer celebration, the six of them — Dianne and Steve, and the four kids Brian, Sarah, Matthew and Paul — spread across their kitchen, taking spots at the counter and dinner table. Their separate voices filling the house with memories from Pepper Fest's past.
Hudson's partners in St. Croix EMS are considering their options as the time comes at the end of September to renew their five-year contract for the service. Town of Hudson The town of Hudson is in the process of creating a contract with Lakeview Hospital EMS, Town Chair Jeff Johnson said. Lakeview, a part of HealthPartners, would have one or two ambulances stationed at Hudson Hospital, also a part of HealthPartners. Johnson said the current and predicted costs with St. Croix EMS have become unsustainable for the township.
Ralph Bader was a man who walked the walk. As the St. Croix County Sheriff for nearly 10 years, Bader held all of his deputies, and any law enforcement he was around, to high standards. "He wanted you to make sure you were of high moral fiber — those were the words he used — and he preached it quite often," said retired Sheriff John Shilts, who was hired to the department by Bader.
The St. Croix EMS Dive team has replaced some of the nearly $10,000 worth of equipment stolen last month thanks to a donation by Len Nelson of Absolute Outdoors. The equipment stolen was highly-specialized swiftwater rescue tools that were originally purchased through fundraising. Swiftwater suits, rope throw bags, fins, boards and helmets used in urban flooding situations taken were initially valued at $9,600, though the cost was expected to be more. The donation has helped replace some of what was taken.
Hudson Police Department's Sgt. Glen Hartman and Officers Kate Potter and Luke Radke were recognized with a Life Saver Award during the Hudson Common Council meeting Monday night for their efforts saving an individual who had overdosed. "There are time when officers just doing what they do everyday do things that are out of the ordinary and above their call for duty," Police Chief Geoff Willems said. "In those times I believe those officers need to be recognized for their efforts."
Emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Hudson, the common council heard at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 6. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection notified the city that the invasive species had officially been found in the city in July, first in a fast food parking lot at Crest View Drive and Carmichael Road and then also in the town of Hudson along Fraser Lane. Urban Forestry Board Chair Ken Holman said the board has been working to prepare the city for emerald ash borer at least eight years. "If not more," Holman said.
The waters of the St. Croix River host a variety of creatures, and this weekend they will be seeing a few more. Mermaids will make their way to the shores of Hudson on Saturday, Aug. 11 at Lakefront Park. Among the scaled visitors will be Hudson native Claire VanValkenburg, donning her tail alongside other mermaids including Willow Ries as Seaspray Mermaid for a beach cleanup at noon. The event, the second the group has done but the first in Hudson, is designed to engage children in cleaning up the environment.