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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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.
After 20 years of growing their River Falls business Sajan from a small startup in their home to a global competitor, Shannon and Angel Zimmerman are selling to Luxembourg-based Amplexor International. The acquisition is set to close around July 2017, after Sajan shareholders vote on it. It is valued at about $28.5 million, and will represent a 46 percent premium for Sajan common stock shares.
A love bomb is scheduled to go off at the same time in Hudson and River Falls on Thursday, May 4, with members from both communities chalking the towns with messages of support after cases of LGBT flag thefts and burnings. The two-town response started last week when a small group of friends gathered in River Falls, concerned about the incidents happening throughout the area. Hudson resident Tony Bol said the group discussed how the St. Croix Valley can respond as a wider community.
In the midst of heated town halls around the nation, Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District held a packed town hall at Ready Randy's in New Richmond Monday morning. The event was the eighth town hall Duffy said he has held this year, as part of an attempt to hold one each year in every county he represents.
The annual Moon Glow lit up the fields of E.P. Rock Elementary Saturday night as the Hudson Hot Air Affair wound down for the day.