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 7 months
The sight of the old St. Croix Meadows Dog Track, which sat vacant for years, is now a thing of the past, though Hudson residents still have a bit of time to wait for the highly-anticipated St. Croix Meadows redevelopment. The project, first presented in 2016, will bring a baseball stadium, hotel, conference center, office spaces, residential spaces and more to the now empty site off Carmichael Road. Demolition on the site began over the summer.
St. Croix County has seen steady growth since the last federal census in 2010, state population estimates show. The final estimate for Jan. 1, 2018 shows a countywide population of 88,583 people, up just above 5 percent from the 84,345 recorded in 2010. "Anything at 5 percent or above I would consider to be a good healthy population gain," said St.Croix EDC Executive Director Bill Rubin.
The act of sharing is a simple concept, one taught from an early age, but its practice can have grand results. Hudson resident Todd Bol demonstrated just how impactful the idea of sharing could be with his organization Little Free Library, which spread from its beginning in his front yard to an international movement.
In his first several months in office, Hudson Police Chief Geoff Willems has already begun to leave his mark on the department, one that can be clearly seen. Willems was appointed chief in April, after former Chief Marty Jensen retired. The process of stepping into the role went well, Willems said, though he encountered things he didn't realize he would. "I wanted to do everything right away," Willems said. But he learned that wouldn't be easy. Still, months later, Willems has already made an impact in his new position.
The seat left vacant by the death of Council Member John Hoggatt this year didn't stay that way for long. Stepping into his role on the Hudson Common Council was one of the people who knew him and his goals for the city best — his wife Sarah Atkins Hoggatt.
Hope Chiropractic was able to let the light back in again as it celebrated its reopening Thursday, Dec. 13 after two separate vehicles crashed into the building in a span of less than two months. The practice stayed open through much of the work, closing for just two weeks for remodeling. "It feels wonderful to not be behind plywood anymore," said Dr. Carolyn Wanken, practice owner.
In one final song of the night, Hudson-based Yam Haus band was joined by a choir in a rendition of "Silent Night." As their voices died down, the audience's rose up, carrying the song even after they had left and the lights went out on stage. The A Very Yam Haus Christmas concert was a collaboration both on stage and off. JOUR and the David Hurst Family Experience and Choir joined the band in performances on The Phipps stage, while area businesses united to raise more than $7,000 for the Hudson Area Backpack Program and Raider Network store.
Longtime town of Hudson Chair Jeff Johnson died Sunday, Dec. 16. He was 64. Johnson had been on the town board for nearly years 30 years. He was first elected in 1990 and served twice as town chair, first from 1999 to 2003 and then again from 2007 to present. Supervisor Tim Foster served alongside Johnson for nearly 30 years. Foster said Johnson will be fondly remembered for his leadership, service and dedication to the town.
A new fire station, park improvements, new equipment and Vine Street improvements are all in the city's future, after the Hudson Common Council approved the capital improvement plan for 2019-2023 at its meeting on Monday, Dec. 17. Finance Director Brenda Malinowski presented the capital projects for 2019 and 2020 to the council in October. Capital improvement totals, including utilities, are set for just below $11.1 million in 2019 and about $10.6 million in 2020. Malinowski included utilities in this five-year capital improvement plan as some will have a city-wide effect.
Hudson Common Council members and representatives from its EMS partners gathered Thursday, Dec. 13 to hear proposals for EMS services from four entities — Lakes Region EMS, Lakeview EMS, North Memorial Health and St. Croix EMS. During discussions, Lakeview Hospital President Ted Wegleitner told the city the EMS service will begin taking all transfers out of Hudson Hospital, which is connected to Lakeview under the umbrella of Health Partners, on Jan. 1. St. Croix EMS was previously the first called for all Hudson Hospital transfers.