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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More than a year of work and fundraising efforts by a group of St. Croix County parents and supporters have proven successful as the community welcomes a Hudson-based GiGi's Playhouse for children and adults with Down syndrome. Supporters began campaigning last year for a center in the area after approval was given by the national GiGi's Playhouse organization. Previously families would have to drive to St. Louis Park to reach the closest center.
While studying abroad as a student at UW-River Falls, Hudson resident Chip Meyer made a trip to Munich that left a lasting impression. At a long table surrounded by strangers, many of whom did not speak the same language, Meyer still found a connection to those around them, as they raised their steins and danced to the music. "It was just like you could communicate through the atmosphere and the music and the feel of the event. That's what brings people together even though language separated us," he said.
The city of Hudson welcomed Michael Mroz as its new public works and parks director last month, following the retirement of Tom Zeuli. A father of four who originally is from central Wisconsin, Mroz has a love of the outdoors, and is excited to get to work with Hudson. Becoming a director was a natural progression for Mroz, who comes to the city from New Richmond where he served as operations manager in the public works department. "It was always a career goal of mine," Mroz said.
The city of Hudson will be looking outward for a way to stabilize St. Croix EMS in the midst of departing municipal partners and staffing turnovers. The Hudson Common Council on Monday night approved a request for proposals from other entities to contract, in whole or in part, for EMS services and provide potential solutions. "I think there are other options out there to help manage St. Croix EMS," Council Member Bill Alms said.
As Trinity Lutheran Church continues to grow, it's turning to the help of a consultant to better plan its future and its connection to the community. Church Doctor Ministries helps churches be more efficient with their outreach, mission and purpose. Founder Kent Hunter said churches across the country are dealing with a plateau or a decline in congregations. "The delivery systems need to change," Hunter said.
The weekend was supposed to be one of celebration for Wendy and Doug Helm. They were marking their 15th wedding anniversary with a trip to Nashville, while Doug's mother Laurelie watched their sons Max, who is in seventh grade and Eli, a third-grader, at their home on Autumn Oak Lane in the town of Hudson. The couple had just hung up from a phone call with the kids and grandma on Saturday evening, when a notification went off on Doug's iPad — the garage had reached a temperature of over 200 degrees.
"How can we help?" was the question of the night Monday, Sept. 24 at the Feed the Future golf tournament fundraiser for River Valley Charities, a nonprofit organization working to help at-risk youth by supporting the programs already on the ground in the area. Backpack programs from all across the St. Croix Valley area including Hudson, River Falls, New Richmond, Ellsworth, Prescott and more are the focus for the nonprofit. "We say, 'How can we help, what do you need?'' River Valley Charities board member Tim Jaynes told the crowd at Troy Burne Golf Club.
Artists of all formats filled Lakefront Park Saturday and Sunday for the annual Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival. More than 90 artists offered their creations in their booths along with new demonstrations like aerialist Laura Emiola and chalk artist Allison Severson.
"When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me, and I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves and satin sandals and say we've no money for butter..." So begins the "When I Am Old" poem that the local Hudson Red Hats group, like others in the nation, has taken up as a motto of sorts. The group of women, ages ranging from 60s to almost 90, meet monthly to connect with friends and gather donations for a different charity each month, while donning their red hats and purple outfits.
On a surprisingly sunny and warm day, as summer began its first turn toward fall, a group of women gathered on the grass overlooking woods extending around them in every direction at Willow River State Park for a session of outdoor yoga. Some were first-timers, some were regulars who had already hiked, kayaked and more, a couple came with friends and a few came alone, for the Women in the Parks event. The program is designed to be a comfortable environment for women to get more experience outdoors with other women.