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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Spots are filling up for the River Valley Charities "Spread Your Wings" golf fundraiser to be held Monday, Sept. 25 at Troy Burne Golf Club. The shotgun start is at 12:30 p.m., with a dinner for golfers and others who register at 6 p.m. All proceeds from the event goes to backpack programs in the St. Croix River valley area including Hudson, River Falls and New Richmond. Dinner will feature live music and silent and live auctions, with several items donated from the community including items from the Green Bay Packers.
Sean Lybert served almost 12 years in the U.S. Army, with two tours to Iraq, and now he's working to serve veterans like him here in the region. Lybert joined Rep. Sean Duffy's Hudson office as a veterans outreach specialist, a position made possible through the Wounded Warrior fellowship project.
With its fourth year, organizers of the Spread Your Wings golf fundraiser decided to aim higher. Last year the event raised $5,000. This year, their goal is even larger — $30,000. "We're going big or going home," said Nancy Martel, one of the organizers.
Forced into marriages and slavery, taken as prizes of war, many women in the Middle East have experienced brutal treatment at the hands of ISIS. A New Richmond couple is doing what they can to help them heal. Carl and Julie Gaede founded Tutapona, a trauma counseling organization, in 2008 in Uganda after hearing about the atrocities occurring there during the war. "We just really felt like we needed to get involved and do something," Carl said.
RIVER FALLS — With a disinfecting swipe and a quick two seconds to implant, Sam Bengtson had access to his computer, cell phone, credit card and more — all in the palm of his left hand. Then he put his other hand on the table, jokingly ready to do it all again. Bengtson, the lead developer of a microchip project at Three Square Market, had no reservations about joining about 50 other employees in volunteering to have a radio-frequency identification chip implanted. "I can understand how it can be scary," Bengtson said. "But it is very simple and very secure."
Spanning 100 years of history, Hudson resident Kristina Boucher's first book was a puzzle of many pieces. "I just tried to piece the puzzle together," she said. The book "Lost Farms of the St. Croix Valley" is an agriculture study of farmers on both sides of the river that spans from 1860 to 1960. It was born out of curiosity. A fan of photography, Boucher would spend afternoons driving around back country roads, taking photos of the old barns. She found a beauty to them, and wanted to know the story behind them. "I wondered why they were abandoned," she said.
On one of the first hot days of the year, Andrew and Margo Hanson-Pierre sat on the deck overlooking their farm, listening to the birds chirp. "The soundtrack's amazing," Andrew said. The Hannon-Pierres rent the land for their Clover Bee organic produce farm near River Falls, and share the acreage with two other farms. They're not the only ones in the area. The two can rattle off a list of others just up and down the road, not to mention those in the wider region. "In these 10 miles, you can come up with a whole dinner," Margo said. She wishes people would.
For Angie Payden, recovery is like a game of Jenga, strengthened by individual pieces such as Alcoholics Anonymous, religion, family, friends and more. If she loses one piece, the whole structure could come crashing down. The fragility of sobriety is something Payden knows well. She went through recovery several times after struggling with alcohol abuse for years. In August, she'll be four years sober. "This is my last recovery," she said. A dormant disease
Rain held off as a crowd gathered for the official groundbreaking of the St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center in the River Falls Sterling Ponds Corporate Park on Wednesday, May 10. With office and manufacturing space, the business incubator is designed to serve 10 new and existing businesses including start-ups and existing companies while also providing work spaces for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Its goal is to provide resources for the development of new businesses, jobs and growth.
Designed to serve 25 businesses, the St. Croix Business Innovation Center will break ground with a ceremony at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10 at Sterling Ponds Corporate Park at 1091 Sutherland Avenue in River Falls. The incubator center will serve a combination of new and existing businesses, start-ups and enterprises in the region. Sitting on 3.7 acres, the building will have 13,000 square feet of manufacturing space with an additional 18,000 square feet of offices. Project Manager and Director Danielle Campeau said the River Falls area is a magnet for new businesses.