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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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.
When they lay their heads down on a lap, ears ready and waiting to be pet, dogs bring a unique sort of comfort. They inspire a serenity of just being in the moment, or perhaps a trip down memory lane. They don't ask questions, or say the wrong thing. A visit from a dog can be a great comfort at any point in life, and especially welcome for those facing the end of their life, Lakeview Hospice has found. The program works with therapy pets and their human volunteers to provide calming visits to hospice patients.
As 2018 comes to a close, area municipalities have approved the budgets for 2019. Village of North Hudson North Hudson Village Board approved a balanced 2019 budget of $1,970,516 in both expenditures and revenues. The village's 2019 budget is an increase of more than 2 percent from last year's budget. In 2018, the village had a budget of $1,922,918. Property taxes for the village will increase about half a percent in the new year, up to $1,602,235 from the previous year's property taxes of about $1.59 million.
St. Croix EMS remains first on the list for inter-facility transfers from HealthPartners Hudson Hospital, even as Lakeview EMS, also run by HealthPartners, is set to take over EMS services in the town of Hudson next year. Hudson Hospital President Tom Borowski told the EMS Commission on Tuesday, Dec. 4, that as of now, St. Croix EMS is still the first called for any transfer. Then doctors go down the list that includes Lakeview, River Falls and Baldwin.
A classic Christmas tale receives a family-friendly twist in The Phipps Children's Theater's "Bah Humbug! Scrooge's Christmas Carol," a production that will entertain all ages. This simpler version of Charles Dickens' story adds music and dancing to the adventure of Ebenezer Scrooge and his night of ghostly visits.
The city of Hudson will once again ask its closest neighbors to transfer a liquor license, after a request was made on behalf of Paul Rode, who is looking to open a new restaurant downtown, at the council meeting on Monday, Dec. 3. Hudson, which has no liquor licenses left to award, previously made the request last year from its neighboring municipalities. At that time, town of Troy offered one up for $50,000 and town of Hudson asked for $100,000.
The Hudson Common Council did not make a decision Monday night on the village of North Hudson's request to leave its St. Croix EMS contract early, instead asking to extend the request to the end of March 2019. The city, said Council Member Bill Alms, wants the village to be a part of its review of proposals for EMS services, in whole or part, that were recently requested. Those proposals were due at the end of November, and will be reviewed by the city this month.