Chad Richardson is the news director for RiverTown Multimedia. He was the publisher of four RiverTown publications until 2016, when he was named news director. He was previously general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He worked at the Hastings 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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In July, an officer at the Hastings Police Department left the force. Since then, Hastings Chief of Police Paul Schnell has been at work to fill his position.
Here is a preview of this week's police report. The entire report can be found on Page 4A of this week's print edition of the Star Gazette. A Hastings resident in the 1700 block of Forest Street reported that he had tomato plants and tomatoes stolen from his residence. The theft took place overnight. Four plants went missing. The value of the property was put at $12.50. The white bucket the plant was in was valued at $3. The metal rod to hold the plant was valued at $5. The plant itself was $ and the dirt was worth $2.50.
Good news continues to be made by the Hastings volleyball team. On Monday night, the Raiders beat Farmington to improve to 6-3 on the season. "We had really good composure," coach Rita Girgen said. "We handled ourselves so well in the pressure situations." Hastings won the first two games, 25-22 and 29-27, before losing in game three, 21-25. Hastings closed out the match with a 25-20 win in the fourth game. "We have been making really good plays on the ball," Girgen said. "We're getting smart out there. Defensively, we have been all over the place.
Thursday, Sept. 8, was definitely a day to forget for the Hastings boys soccer team. The team's bus had a small fire that prompted the team to pull off to the side of the road on the way to Roseville. The end result was that Hastings was late to the game, and only had a few minutes to warm up. Roseville took advantage, scoring just one minute into the game. Hastings ended up losing, 7-1. "We were completely unprepared," Hastings coach Shane Lanning said. "We just were not ready to play.
In August, a Hastings family reported to police the city's second possible abduction attempt. The family's two children were outside playing when they were approached by two people in an older model maroon and silver truck. The occupants of the vehicle reportedly asked the children their names and where they lived.
Torri Holm wanted to help her team. She came into the season as a forward, but approached head girls soccer coach Joanne Teigland and said she'd be willing to play wherever needed. She just wanted to see the field. During a game last week, Teigland moved Holm to defense, where she had a strong game. Then Teigland got another idea - she wanted to try Holm at goalie. "I asked her if she could get some goalie gloves in time for our game on Saturday," Teigland said.
For Hastings football fans, there was nothing wrong with the beginning of Friday night's football game against Woodbury. It was the ending that fans here didn't like. Hastings took an early 7-0 lead, then a 14-7 lead in the second quarter. Eventually, the Raiders built a nine-point lead at 23-14. In the fourth quarter, though, the Royals scored 15 unanswered points and went on to win the Suburban East Conference matchup, 29-23. Hastings is now 0-2 on the season after a pair of close losses.
Anyone needing proof that the future of the Hastings boys cross country team is bright needs to look no further than the results from the recently-held Dakota Classic. The boys varsity team had a solid sixth-place finish at the meet. The especially good news is that the Raiders' top two runners were sophomores. Runners No. 3 and No. 4 were juniors.
It didn't take long to figure out the Hastings Raiders girls swimming team was vastly superior to their opponents from Forest Lake on Thursday. After just four events, Hastings had built a 41-21 lead. After a 1-2-3 finish in the 500 freestyle and a 1-2 finish in the 200 freestyle relay, Hastings built an 86-38 lead. "Our first home meet was a success," coach Katie McAlpin said. "The girls were in some mixed-up events and still did a great job. They went out and raced hard on every race. We really have a fantastic group of kids this year." The swimmer of the meet was Tyna Jurigova.
The Dakota County Drug Task Force came to Hastings last week and made quite a discovery. They found approximately 300 wild marijuana plants growing in a wooded section of the city. Some of the plants reached as high as 6 to 10 feet. Hastings Police were called to the area after there was a report of several people in the area who were presumably trying to harvest some of the plants.