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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Anyone in downtown Hudson on a summer day knows the city sees its share of visitors, but the city didn't know just what impact tourism has on it — until now. Tourism brought $48 million in visitor spending to Hudson in 2017, according to a study by Tourism Economics. The company does annual studies for the state of Wisconsin on the economic impact of tourism in the state, and to individual counties. This is the first year the Hudson Chamber of Commerce and Tourism was able to see the 2017 numbers on Hudson specifically.
When he was 19 years old, Kevin Hines tried to kill himself by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. More than a decade later the he's using his story to help others and explore the impact of suicide in the film "Suicide: The Ripple Effect." Emmy Husfloen of Red Wing was first exposed to Hines' story in a youth mental health first aid class. The class was one of many efforts Husfloen made after her son Logan died from suicide.
Spread out across the living room of their Hudson home, Yam Haus makes it clear that they're more than just the four guys on the cover of their album. Sitting alongside bandmates Seth Blum, Zach Beinlich, Lawrence Pruitt and Jake Felstow on a Monday afternoon is just part of the "village" that has made their soon-to-be-released album possible. There's studio owner Jordan Erdman, producer Mark Heimermann, street team member Oprah Wood and manager Patrick Veilleux, all filling their own roles and seats in Yam Haus.
The newly-elected St. Croix County Board met, minus one member while a recount is conducted in District 13. Supervisor Roger Larson was re-elected as board chair against Supervisor Andy Brinkman. In discussion before the election, Larson said the county has been doing well during his last four years of service as chair. He said he attends a lot of meeting and events throughout the county, and thinks making himself present brings the attention back to the county board. "I'll just stand on what I've done for the last four years," Larson said.
Rain held off Tuesday morning as members of the River Falls community joined Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker in a 1.2-mile jaunt across the newly-extended Kinnickinnic Trail. The trip was part of the Walk with Walker program that the First Lady has held in towns throughout the state to promote health and wellness and highlight tourism destinations. Though the pace of the walks aren't always rigourous, Walker said they have provided for rich conversations with the communities she's in while getting up and moving.
River Falls residents are getting the chance to show off the town, and get some exercise in while they're at it, on Tuesday, May 8 when Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker visits as part of her "Walk with Walker" event. Rain or shine, the event will take walkers 1.2 miles along the Kinnickinnic Trail starting at city hall at 9:30 a.m. River Falls is the first of six communities that will welcome Walker, who started the "Walk with Walker" initiative to provide awareness of health activities and showcase the tourism draws throughout Wisconsin.
From the classroom to Lakefront Park, Hudson celebrated Arbor Day over the course of two days, Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28. At Willow River Elementary School on Friday, students sang and spoke in celebration of the Arbor Day event there. As a follow up on Monday, students planted a tree in memory of classmate Lillian Fuglie, who drowned in Lake Superior last summer.
Jim and Christine Barnes love seeing the transitions people make with Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping, from wide-eyed and scared on day one, to people with a completely new attitude at the end of the 10 weeks. "How it changes people's lives," Jim said. "And we get to see it almost every day." They've been through that transformation themselves at Farrell locations on the Minnesota side of the river, and they're excited to open their own gym here in Hudson at 1301 Gateway Boulevard, Suite 400. "We think we have the right stuff and Hudson has the right stuff," Jim said.
Transportation, funding and staffing were the main focus of a visit by Wisconsin State Sen. Patty Schachtner to BRIDGE for Community Life in Hudson on Monday, April 23. Schachtner said it was important for her to make the visit. "My whole career before being in this part has really been helping give voice to people who don't have voices," she said.
Jodi Emerson is trying to work herself out of a job. As a human trafficking advocate with Fierce Freedom, Emerson told the audience at Bethel Lutheran Church on Monday night that she hopes to go out of business, and effectively stop trafficking.