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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Mindy Leadholm, formerly of Hastings, has been a Vikings fan her whole life. Not even crossing the river into the Packer territory of Prescott could change that. "It was the hardest thing for me to think about moving to Wisconsin as a Viking fan," Leadholm said. Changing her license plate to Wisconsin was especially difficult, but she lessened the blow with a speciality license plate — SKOL MN.
Sharing a border, roads and thousands of residents passing in between, Wisconsin and Minnesota often experience similar weather in the winter, and similar road conditions. The Wisconsin DOT has 770 trucks plowing its 34,339 lane miles, and the Minnesota DOT puts out 843 snowplows for its 30,517 lane miles. Lane miles are the preferred measurement term as plows have to cover every lane of a road. This means 10 miles of a two-lane road would be 20 lane miles. Though some techniques are the same, how the two states manage their response differs. Wisconsin
With KAJ Properties, owner Kerry Jacobson has designed a business to fill her needs, knowing that others are looking for the same. "I basically did it for a place for myself, and I thought I'd make a business out of it," Jacobson said. Located at 206 Locust St.,, the building provides leased office space, one-day office rentals, a conference room for rent and a fully furnished apartment above that's open for rent on Airbnb. "I wanted to be able to offer a variety of things for business people," she said.
A transit commission would be the next step in addressing transportation needs in St. Croix County, according to members of the St. Croix County Transit Subcommittee. Supervisor Scott Nelson and BRIDGE for Community Life Director Peg Gagnon, two members of the committee, updated the St. Croix County Board on a possible commission during the board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 5. "It gives us the ability to get more funding from federal and state agencies," Nelson said.
Hudson residents will have recourse against unwanted aerial visitors now that the Hudson Common Council has approved an ordinance regulating unlawful use of drones at its regular meeting Monday, Dec. 4. The ordinance prevents the use of a drone with the intent to photograph, record or observe someone in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy, like in their backyard or their residence. Its creation was prompted by complaints from residents including Mike Sanders, who spoke to the Star-Observer in November.
More and more children are going through the foster care system throughout the state, and local workers are trying to keep up. In Wisconsin, about 7,800 children went through the foster care system as of July 1. Here in St. Croix County, 47 children are in that system. "That number has significantly increased in the last couple years," St. Croix Foster Care Coordinator John Bretl said. Bretl has worked with the county foster care system since 1991, and said they now have more kids in their care than ever before.
After the potential placement of refugees caused conflict within the community, a new exhibit at The Phipps Center for the Arts is looking to inspire conversation among community members through art. The exhibit, "In This Place: What makes a place holy?" features three Twin Cities artists, Sylvia Horwitz, Susan Armington and Hend Al Mansour, representing through their art three of the main world religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The exhibit was proposed about three years ago by the artists themselves, but took on new significance as it was set up this year.
After a move to Hudson from La Crosse, Chris Ahrens was looking for a new work project. He found that with Kinni Storage. When he lived in La Crosse, Ahrens owned duplexes that he rented to college students. When he moved three years ago, he found it hard to maintain that project and was looking for something new. "I was looking for something else kind of like that," he said. So he decided to explore the storage business. Opening up Kinni Storage involved a lot of research, including looking into where the best spot would be to open.
St. Croix County has a new look with a new website that officially launched Wednesday, Nov. 1. The new site at www.sccwi.gov is designed to be easier for users, and provides an overdue update to the county's system. "Our current site was launched seven years ago," Systems Programmer Annette Massie said. "In the industry they usually say every three to four years you should do a refresh." Relaunching the site was part of an initiative that started at the county board. Supervisors asked the county administration to find better ways to communicate with citizens.
The intersection of U.S. Highway 12 and County Highways T and TT was the topic of safety discussions at the St. Croix County Traffic Safety meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 18. The intersection is currently a three-way stop, with traffic from the north continuing without a stop sign. "Sometimes three-way stops can get confusing," St. Croix County Traffic Safety Engineer Greg Helgeson said.