Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.
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Ethan Bernt, an eighth-grader at Hastings Middle School, won the school's National Geographic Bee on Jan. 11. The school bee was the first round in the 30th annual National Geographic Bee, a geography competition designed to inspire and reward students' curiosity about the world.
More than 100 Hastings Public Schools teachers participated in a "grade-in" Jan. 17 as they waited for the month's School Board meeting to begin. Most of them stayed for the entire meeting, causing the conference room in the district office to overflow with teachers in the hallway and some teachers seated on the floor.
The latest Black Dirt Theater production was chosen with the Hastings community in mind, said co-director Sara Pillatzki-Warzeha. "We chose this show in a real specific way for Hastings because it feels like something that Hastings specifically will like," she said.
Scott Tuin was named Rotary Student of the Month for January 2018. Tuin is a senior at Hastings High School. He plays hockey, baseball and shoot trap. He is in the National Honors Society and Link Crew. In addition, he works at Maher Well Drilling. Tuin was nominated for the award by Hastings High School staff member Mike Harp. Harp said that Tuin exemplifies the Rotary club's motto of service above self. "(Tuin's) work ethic and dedication alone are enough for me to nominate him for this award, but this is only a small reason in why I am doing so," Harp said.
The brewing business in downtown Hastings is just getting started with Spiral Brewery slated to open in 2018, but the new brewery could soon be complimented by a cidery down the street. The city has been working with Panache, LLC, who requests to acquire the land north of Artspace for construction of a building containing a cidery along with potential commercial and residential uses.
The Hastings School Board recognized six District 200 employees at its December meeting. The Employees of the Semester for semester one of the 2017-18 school year were honored with a certificate and gift card. They are Ron Behnke, lead computer technician district wide; Tim Collins, superintendent; Eric Dietz, industrial tech teacher at the high school; Korean Geiken, lead cook at Pinecrest Elementary; Kyle Latch, principal at Kennedy Elementary; and Patty Perez, paraprofessional at Tilden.
The Hastings Youth Impact Council raised a total of $4,322.82 for the Adopt a Family program with Hastings Family Service. The YIC is a collaborative group of young people made up of Hastings Middle School and Hastings High School students. Students donated enough money for the organization to adopt 11 families and spend $450 on gifts just for teens. Once the money was collected, advisors with YIC took some students to spend the money on the adopted families.
Ethan Greene, an eighth-grader at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, won the school's National Geographic Bee on Dec. 20. The school bee was the first round in the 30th annual National Geographic Bee, a geography competition designed to inspire and reward students' curiosity about the world.
Plans are moving forward to turn the last industrial property on the riverfront in downtown Hastings into a mixed-use space. City Council will vote at the Jan. 2 meeting whether or not to approve four actions related to the sale and development of the former Hudson Manufacturing building located at 200 W. Second St. They will also decide whether to authorize a parking ramp use agreement for the former First National Bank building at 119 W. Second St.
St. John's Lutheran Church hosted their first living nativity earlier this month. About 400 people came to the event in the block of Seventh and Eighth streets between Eddy Street. A stable was set up across the street from the church. Cookies, coffee and cider were served in the church and portable firepits were set up for people in need of warming up. Live animals from Wild Thing Zoo Attractions in Arlington, Minn., were at the event. A petting zoo area was located in front of the church.