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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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.
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.
The Ellsworth Shopko will close May 5, following an announcement from the company that it had filed for bankruptcy and would be restructuring. Though not a part of the initial closing announcements, the Ellsworth store has now been added to the list of closings on the company's website. It was previously announced that the pharmacy portion of the store would close in the beginning of February. The Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce posted to Facebook about the store closure Wednesday evening, calling it unfortunate news.
Todd Bol's home in Hudson is a reflection of the man who lived in it. Overlooking the St. Croix River, the modest house he shared with his wife Susan has two Little Free Libraries in its front yard, and a room being built onto the back specifically to fill with friends and families for parties and holidays. "He loved this," his brother Tony Bol said, gesturing to the view from the deck where Todd Bol would often sit.
The familiar East Ellsworth bar Snowball's has turned its lights on again after being closed for more than a year. The bar, which has been in business on Wall Street for 60 years, has a new start with new owners Tony Peterson and Sina Hill. "Different faces, but still Snowballs," Hill said. The two previously worked at The Hub on Main before it closed, and wanted to continue in the bar business in which they both have a lot of experience. Hill started bartending when she was in college. "I have kind of always done that as a part of my job," she said.
As the sun sets on the valley, lights turn on over diners and at the hands of guests at the bar, a fire heats the cooler night air, horses take off on a wagon ride, live music floats through the air; pizza, pasta, and of course, wine, makes its way to tables on the patio, and guests laugh and chat while gazing out at the vineyard and canopy of trees that surround them. Enjoying the full experience, from the food and drinks to the valley view, is what it's all about at Vino in the Valley. But one thing is missing — the wine.
In 1968, Dick and Linda Galletin tied the knot in a Catholic church in St. Paul, with a reception in the church's basement. Spring Valley resident Dean Madson, then a journalism student at UW-River Falls, borrowed a school camera, grabbed some film and captured it all. Something must have stuck. Fifty years later, Mike and Ashlie Moldenhauer celebrated their marriage at The Hidden Meadow and Barn in Pepin, with Madson serving as both the photographer and officiant. It was the last of more than 1,300 weddings that Madson has photographed.
With a number of connections to the Ellsworth community, Musty-Barnhart insurance agency is looking to take its relationship with the town further, opening an office at 167 W. Main St. in September. It was a natural step for the company, owned by Dee Whipple and Bob Kubes, with both customers and employees in the town and the surrounding area. "We wanted to basically put a brick up because we're already helping a lot of those people over there," said Whipple, a resident of the Ellsworth area herself.
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.
A 100,000-square foot Mayo Clinic could be coming to Hudson in the future, pending conditional use permit approval by the city. The clinic would be built on a 9.2 acre-site off Stageline Road, north of the Hudson 12 Theatre near the intersection of Interstate 94 and Highway 35. If approved, the clinic would include 60-75 clinic rooms, six to eight operating rooms and four procedure suites. It will offer both clinic functions with primary and speciality care providers, as well as outpatient surgical services.