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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A couple days in her own barber shop was all it took for Jenna Darcy to know she found where she belonged. Darcy has been in the industry since she was a sophomore in high school. Now she's opened her own place, The Barbers Den, located in Escape Salon at 2421 Hanley Road. Darcy's first exposure to cosmetology was as a receptionist in Hudson. The stylists she worked with there bought her a pair of shears, and told her to jump in. "It kind of just became a part of me," she said.
The daughter of a nurse, Kathy Allen learned respect for elders at an early age. She remembers going to work with her mom, a single-mother of four, and talking with seniors, combing their hair and making their beds. "That was very important to her to have us be connected," she said. The sense of respect and care has stayed with Allen, who has now started a concierge business, St. Croix Valley Concierge Service, to help those who need services and companionship in the area.
Shopko will close all of its stores as it has been unable to find a buyer for its business after declaring bankruptcy in January, according to a media release on Monday, March 18. Retail operations will begin to wind down this week. A liquidation process is expected to be complete in 10-12 weeks. The release said the business will work to minimize the impact on staff and customers, as well as the communities it serves.
For nearly 40 years Julie and Roy Leek shared a life and a business. The two opened their jewelry store J.R. Haubrich in downtown Hudson shortly after they were married. They were planning their farewell to the store, closing it for retirement this year. Now Roy is facing a greater loss after Julie's death in February. The two first met while working at the same jewelry firm in Minnesota. Back then, Roy was Julie's boss. "You see how that turned out for me," he said.
Two Hudson Ambassadors have been removed from their roles representing the city. Maddie Zabel and Rachel McKenzie were removed at the end of January after being crowned two of four ambassadors at the end of June 2018. Hudson Ambassador President April Simmons said the beginning of the program year did not go well and showed it was not a good fit. "They just were not a fit for the program," she said of McKenzie and Zabel. Parents of McKenzie and Zabel said they are upset and confused about the removal, and the process that led to it.
Late on a Friday morning, regulars of Angel's Highway 63 Diner in Ellsworth still linger past the breakfast rush, sipping on coffee and catching up with friends. The restaurant feels like it always does, welcoming, like home. Still one thing is missing — its owner and namesake Angel Johnson. Johnson died Feb. 7. With her loss, the fate of the diner, a frequent stop for local regulars and others passing through, was unknown. Originally Johnson's children planned to close the diner.
Longtime River Falls resident Nick Zimmerman was always fascinated with the law. While attending River Falls High School, his plan was to go to UW-Madison, and stay for law school. Once he made it to Madison, he realized what he'd left behind. "I just missed it so much," he said. He found his way back home, transferring to UW-River Falls. A new interest led him to study physical therapy, but when he learned he could go to law school with any major, he was decided. "At the time I found that out, it was a no-brainer," Zimmerman said.
Step into the world of whimsy, curiosities and, of course, chocolate in "Willy Wonka, Jr." at The Phipps. The Children's Theater production brings the well-known characters and storyline to life, with pieces from the book, the movie and musical adaptations. The musical is an upbeat, fun adaptation that will leave audiences feeling good, with a song or two stuck in their heads.
The Hudson Fire Department reminds residents to keep fire hydrants clear of snow after several heavy downfalls. A video from the Oshkosh Fire Departmnet shows the extra time it can take firefighters responding to a call when the hydrants are not clear. Hudson Fire Chief Scott St. Martin also said residents should be sure to keep gas meters and furnace vents clear, and be careful of falling icicles.
In May, the Ellsworth Shopko will close its doors to the community. The announcement was made last week, following news that the company had filed for bankruptcy in January. The pharmacy at the store already closed Feb. 5, and the full store will close May 5. "It's very unfortunate for the community," said Kim Beebe of the Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce. The store was the only of its kind in Ellsworth, and Beebe said it offered residents convenience.