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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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.
With a total of 54 graduates, Spring Valley High School hosted its commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 29. The school had a three-way tie for valedictorian, with Tatum Huntress, Kaitlyn Schreiber and Zachary Maier all holding the honor. These three presented their addresses along with salutatorian Grace Larson.
Beneath a sky of clouds people gathered at Willow River Cemetery Monday, May 29 to recognize Memorial Day with the annual service. Rev. Paul Martinson gave the address this year, focusing on what Americans can do for the world, not just during war, but during the aftermath of it. New this year was a POW-MIA table recognizing those taken captive or missing in action..
Stroke by stroke, a new mural is coming together in downtown Hudson. The artist is the community. The mural at Ciranda on Vine Street near Second Street was lined by local artist Liz Malanaphy, but community members will paint the rest. Paint is provided, and painters can reference a key for what colors to put where. "It is just like a giant paint by number," Malanaphy said. It all came together when Malanaphy, who had been eying the wall for a while, mentioned her idea to a worker at Ciranda.
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
After several years of build up, a little rain didn’t stop Hudson High School from celebrating the official start of its construction project Monday evening. The groundbreaking for the $88 million project was held with school officials, local leaders, project managers and community members. School Board President Jamie Johnson said the celebration was for all who would soon benefit from the building, from the students to the teachers to the community.
Hudson Middle School Principal Ann Mitchell resigned her position with the school effective June 30. Mitchell has served as the school's principal since July 2015. In a statement from the Hudson School District, Mitchell said she was grateful for the collaborative family support in the Hudson learning community. "I have deeply appreciated and enjoyed meeting so many families here in the middle," she said. "Together we have accomplished important and meaningful work." Though she will be leaving, she said she looks forward to seeing the school's continued success.
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.
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.