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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The waters of the St. Croix River host a variety of creatures, and this weekend they will be seeing a few more. Mermaids will make their way to the shores of Hudson on Saturday, Aug. 11 at Lakefront Park. Among the scaled visitors will be Hudson native Claire VanValkenburg, donning her tail alongside other mermaids including Willow Ries as Seaspray Mermaid for a beach cleanup at noon. The event, the second the group has done but the first in Hudson, is designed to engage children in cleaning up the environment.
A wedding venue has received the nod of approval from Town of Troy Plan Commission after it had previously been operating without a permit. The commission recommended approval of a conditional use permit for Settlement Hill Farm, owned by Michael and Evonne Ganz, at its meeting on Thursday, Aug. 2. The Ganzes purchased the historic farmstead property off County Road U in 1996, and started fixing up the barn first for a church event, then a fundraiser and then their daughter's wedding. The economy had crashed and the budget was tight, so their barn became her wedding site.
When the 19 St. Croix County supervisors gather each month for their regular board meeting, the business begins with a prayer or a moment of silence. These invocations are led by different clergy people each time, coordinated by the county clerk. At Tuesday's meeting, Mustapha Hammida of the Islamic Society of Woodbury will lead the invocation. County Administrator Patrick Thompson said Hammida's presence came after a county staff member suggested the county be more inclusive with the clergy who leads the invocation. Thompson then reached out to the Islamic Society.
Plans for a new baseball stadium at the Hudson Gateway redevelopment were once again recommended for approval by the plan commission at its meeting on Tuesday, July 24. The final development plans for the first phase of redevelopment at the former St. Croix Meadows Dog Track were approved last summer, but after a year the city needed to approve the plans again, Community Development Director Mike Johnson said. "When it took a pause, there's a year where if something doesn't happen the plan needs to be updated and re-reviewed," Johnson said.
For the last three years, Blake Fry has been Hudson's biggest cheerleader. It's been his job, as the president of the Hudson Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. "The chance to be Hudson's biggest cheerleader as the chamber president was such a great opportunity because what a magnificent community to get to tell people about," Fry said. Fry is leaving his position as president, with his last day on Thursday, Aug. 9.
The Hudson Common Council approved setting a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 4 for rezoning of three parcels of land located west off Highway F from agricultural residential to one-family and multi-family residential. Council Member Randy Morrissette II said he wanted to make sure the council had all the maps and information needed so the public could be informed before the hearing. The property totaling about 40 acres was annexed into the city from the town of Troy in June.
The city of Hudson is moving forward on its own to do a study of St. Croix EMS with a request for proposals from consultants approved at the Monday, July 23 meeting. Council Member Bill Alms, the city's representative on the EMS Commission, said the next steps would then be candidate interviews. Once a candidate is selected, that recommendation would come to the council.
Police station remodel The council approved a remodel for the police department at a cost of $24,000. Police Chief Geoff Willems said the current station was designed eight years ago when the department had less staff. "Now we've kind of outgrown the current design," he said. The cost for the remodel will come from $180,000 in salary savings the department has this year. New city clerk Jennifer Rogers was approved by the council as the new city clerk. She will begin on Aug. 27.
After 12 years running her business from home, Lori Skutt is adjusting to having a physical location for her Onsite Apparel company. Though it means she can't wear pajamas to work anymore, Skutt said opening the location at 214 Locust St. this summer gives customers a place to visit and shop. "It's a lot easier for the customers, one, to find me and two, to know that I even exist," Skutt said.
An unlikely but affectionate friendship takes center stage in "Always ... Patsy Cline" at The Phipps. The show follows the connection between country music star Patsy Cline and her fan Louise Seger, detailing their first meeting at one of Cline's concerts in Texas. The two develop an instant connection from their first interaction, and the play sees that spark unfold over the 24 hours into a close friendship that is later sustained over the distance of Cline's career through a regular pen pal correspondence.