Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.
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A Hudson man is organizing a golf tournament to raise funds for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Scott J. Nelson, a captain with the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport Fire Department, is hoping to enlist community support for the cause. One hundred fourteen firefighters died in the line of duty across the United States in 2008, Nelson says.
Tenth State Senate District candidate Alison Page announced her support for a plan to close tax loopholes and invest the money in highway projects and higher education during stops at western Wisconsin newspapers and television stations on Wednesday of last week. "Wisconsin needs to make a serious investment in our economy to get it moving again," Page said during a visit to the Star-Observer office. "This is a job creation plan.
Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton made a swing through the 10th Wisconsin Senate District on Monday, campaigning with Alison Page, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Sen.
Things are back to where they should be. Kraig Urbik will be at right guard, and Eric VandenHeuvel, at right tackle, when the University of Wisconsin Badgers open the 2008 football season against Akron University in Madison's Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday. The two Hudson natives had good success opening holes for running backs and protecting the quarterback on the right side of the offensive line last season until VandenHeuvel went down with a leg injury in the Nov.
The St. Croix Valley Drug Task Force that has been at the forefront of the battle against methamphetamine trafficking is in jeopardy of being disbanded. Federal and state budget cuts reduced the task force's funding to $56,185 for 2008, and officials are worried that no federal money will be available for 2009. "The indication we are getting from the Office of Justice Assistance in Madison is that next year there will be no funding for the task force," St. Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead said last month. Does that bother him? "Well, yeah. It does," he said.
Realty agents Cindy Otten and Laurie Larsen are making the best of a bad situation. With dozens of repossessed homes on the market because of the mortgage meltdown, Otten and Larsen have found a niche in selling them. "A home buyer should absolutely be looking right now," says Otten. "They should find some very nice deals on the market." According to Otten, a Century 21 agent based in Hudson, there are 20 to 25 repossessed homes currently for sale within the Hudson School District.
The cause of a fire that destroyed a historic Baldwin grain elevator and feed mill may never be discovered. Lee Seim, the Baldwin-area dairy farmer who owned the facility, didn't have insurance on it.
Gov. Jim Doyle asked people to urge their state legislators to approve a statewide smoking ban in all public places during a stop at Pier 500 restaurant in Hudson Wednesday morning. "Whether you like the ban or don't like the ban, it is going to happen," he said. "The entire United States will be smoke-free at some time." Doyle said he would prefer an immediate ban on indoor public smoking to the gradual ban that passed the state Senate Committee on Public Health by a 3-2 vote on Tuesday. The ban approved by the Senate committee wouldn't apply to bars and restaurants until January 2010.
The new St. Croix Valley Rotaract club for young professionals will hold its first big event at Hudson Golf Club the evening of Dec. 5. The "Keys to Success Dinner" will feature motivational speaker Kenny Ray Morgan talking about "Seven Keys to Becoming a Winning Professional in the 21st Century." Morgan is the founder and CEO of Morgan's Custom Clothiers and Kenny Ray Live! Seminars. An Eden Prairie, Minn., resident, Morgan worked as an accountant for four Fortune 500 companies before deciding to pursue his real passion - clothing.
Leading proponents of the Wisconsin Senate Democrats' plan to provide health insurance coverage for nearly all residents of the state made their case for the "Healthy Wisconsin" program during a visit to Hudson last Thursday night. "This is the absolute most-right thing to do," said State Sen.