Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
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It's Spring Break and families around you are heading to Miami or San Diego. They're at the beach and you keep seeing their photos of blue water and sandy beaches. Your kids want to go swimming. Your only option is to send them into the puddle that has formed in the backyard because of the recent snowmelt. We're here to tell you, though, that isn't your only option. You can take them to one of two hotels here in Hastings and get them swimming for as little as $3. You don't have to stay the night. You don't have to drive out of town.
In the U.S., more than 50 million people are affected by osteoporosis. About 80 percent of them are women. On Monday, March 28, the Regina Foundation and American Association of University Women (AAUW) invite the public to a free seminar about osteoporosis and the role that vitamin D plays in prevention of the disease. The seminar, called "Bone Up On Bones," will be held at 7 p.m. at St. Philip's Lutheran Church, 1401 W. 15th St. in Hastings. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis is a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced.
Few people in Hastings live closer to Pleasant Hill Library in Hastings than Alan Gaylor and his family. With the library literally across the street from their residence, his sons spend much of their free time at the library, and Saturday was no different. But in the afternoon, as his oldest son left the library, he noticed something he'd never seen before. Police officers. And lots of them. The officers were there to take a fugitive into custody and, within minutes, they'd done just that.
The competitive season for the Hastings show choirs ended Saturday. For the team, it would be easy to say they went out on a high note. Riverside Company, the top show choir at Hastings High School, was the first runner-up at a big competition put on by Totino-Grace. The night's winner, a school from Clinton, Miss., is a perennial power and the No. 1 ranked team in the nation. Hastings was able to come in behind Clinton and the Raiders won the caption award for Best Vocals. "Traditionally, Clinton always sweeps," director Lin Warren said.
2006 Hastings graduate Doug Plumb is competing this weekend in the Canadian Interuniversity Sports basketball tournament. He plays for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds won their first-round game. Plumb wears No. 10. The Thunderbirds are the team in white and blue. Plumb is a big part of the Thunderbirds' success. He has started 26 of the 29 games he is played in and is averaging 11.7 points per game. He is one of five UBC players to average in double figures. UBC has a 29-2 overall record and is the top seed.
It didn't take long for Mike Schmitz to learn his K-9 partner was going to have what it took to be good at law enforcement. As Hastings police officers were preparing to serve a warrant at a man's home, the man fled out his back door. Schmitz and his German Shepherd, Eis, gave chase. Two blocks away, Eis found the man in a backyard. To put it gently, Eis grabbed on to the man and wouldn't let go.
The Hastings girls basketball season came to an end with a 57-43 loss last week to the Rochester Mayo Spartans in the first round of the Section 1 Class 5A tournament. Mayo was the No. 2 seed. Hastings was the No. 7. Mayo took a 14-point lead in the first half, but Hastings trimmed that lead down. "It was a game where we were very evenly matched in the first half," coach Mike Harp said. "The first 10 minutes, we just couldn't seem to score, and we had too many turnovers.
The Hastings boys swimming team was well represented at the finals for the state meet Saturday at the University of Minnesota. The Raiders had qualified athletes in six swims for the state meet, and four advanced to finals. Leading the way was freshman Colby Smith, who took sixth in the 200 individual medley and ninth in the 100 butterfly. In the individual medley, Smith had a finals time of 1:59.54, which was just a bit slower than his time from prelims of 1:58.57.
A new Hastings restaurant in a familiar space will open for business Monday. The Onion Grille will open Monday, March 14, in the space formerly occupied by the Levee Café, 100 Sibley Street in downtown Hastings. Wendy Dodge-Agen and her husband Mike purchased the space earlier this year and have since been hard at work inside. They've cleaned, painted, decorated and done miscellaneous repairs inside.
Just more than three months after it opened, the Hastings NAPA store was hit by burglars on March 4. The Hastings Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying the suspects. Anyone with information on the crime is asked to contact the department at 651-480-2300 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . More information on the burglary will be added to this story as it becomes available.