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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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 new option will be available for those in need of medical attention starting Saturday, Jan. 6 when Urgent Care opens at Vibrant Health at the River Falls clinic at 1687 Division St. Urgent Care will be available Saturday and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. "This is an important addition to the community because it gives patients options beyond the emergency room," Urgent Care Director Dr. Dan Zimmerman said in a news release.
Members of Hudson-based SITTAB are gearing up for a road trip—traveling the 2,000 plus miles from its Wisconsin home to a new facility in the Fresno area in California. The new location will be an expansion of current operations in Hudson, and owner Martin Bertilsson, employee Tom Flaherty and Greger Blomster of the Sweden side of SITTAB will be making the trip. "We in a sense just looked at a map and thought there was a little bit of a black hole in the market on the West Coast," Bertilsson 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.
After requests for public transportation in the city, Prescott is taking the first step for a potential bus line by surveying residents. The survey was mailed out to all Prescott residents starting Nov. 21, and will be open for response through Dec. 20. An online version is also available at the city's website prescottwi.org. "One of the first steps we have to do is to find out if people are willing to use it," City Administrator Jayne Brand said.
His own effort to quit smoking cigarettes was Don Golightly's inspiration for opening Big Top Vape at 123 Main St. in River Falls. "A friend of mine suggested I try an e-cig," Golightly said. "And I did." Another friend was selling the products, leading Golightly to open his own business with them in 2015. Since then the products have continued to evolve and grow in popularity. "I didn't realize how popular it was on the East and West coasts," he said. "There's more to it than basic e-cigs." His store has worked to keep up with the new aspects.
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.
River Falls cosmetic company Klass has found a new home in Hudson at 155 Second St. The makeup and skincare company started back in 2014, when Nick Raehsler teamed up with his employers Crystal and Tim Knotek of River Reflections Med Spa and Salon. "We just knew that this is what God wanted us to do," Crystal said. The company's line, from primer to lip gloss, focuses on natural ingredients, many of which are made in the U.S. All cosmetics are also cruelty-free. Product are given names with personal meanings—from their faith and family.