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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Last season, the Hastings girls tennis team had what most people would consider a very strong season. But throughout the season, it seemed like whenever there was a really close Suburban East Conference match, the victory went to the opponent. There were some very close losses, and the team vowed this season to not let history repeat itself. Evidence of this could be found in last week's match against Stillwater. Hastings beat Stillwater this year, 5-2. "Everyone from last year's team is back, and they all remember that match from last year," head coach Craig Raway said.
An outbreak of hepatitis C in the Hastings area has fanned concerns here about the use of heroin by young adults in Hastings. Over the summer, the Minnesota Department of Health learned that 12 Hastings-area residents were diagnosed with the disease. More often than not, the disease is spread by sharing drug needles. The 12 residents range in age from 16 to 26. A total of 16 cases were reported in Dakota County during the first half of 2009.
The Hastings boys soccer team had a big goal going into this year's season. It was to be more offensive and, ultimately, that means their goal was to score more goals. Through the first seven games of the year, the team wasn't able to accomplish that, scoring twice as they began the campaign with an 0-7 mark. On Monday, though, things turned around a bit for the Raiders as they beat a non-conference opponent, New Richmond, 2-1. Hastings coach Shane Lanning said the Raiders switched up their formation, adding an extra body up front.
The Hastings swimming team scored a big Suburban East Conference win last week, beating the Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders in a meet that came down to the final event, 91-79. With just one event remaining for the night, Hastings held a slim 81-75 lead over Cretin. That final event, the 400 freestyle relay, ended up being a good one for the Raiders. Hastings teams placed first and third, earning the team 10 points, all the margin the Raiders would need to get the win. The swimmer of the meet for Hastings was Brina Kari, who won the 50 freestyle and took second in the 100 backstroke.
At first glance, it looks like the Hastings girls soccer team is off to one very rough start. While it is true that the Raiders have an 0-5 record, three of those losses were by one goal, and all three could have gone the other way. Case in point? Thursday against Mounds View, a strong Suburban East Conference school that improved to 4-1-1 with the win over Hastings. They were able to sneak out of Hastings with a 2-1 win. "That game, it was unbelievable," coach Joanne Teigland said. "Honestly, they played so hard and they were so focused.
In the first week of the season, the Hastings boys football team played White Bear Lake even in the first quarter, heading into the second at 0-0. In week No. 2, Hastings trailed East Ridge just 7-0 after one quarter. By halftime, though, each game looked much, much different. Against the Bears, Hastings allowed 21 second-quarter points and trailed 21-0 at the half. Against the Raptors, Hastings allowed 21 second-quarter points and trailed 28-0 at the half.
The story of the Hastings cross country season continues to come in small packages. Sophomore Bri Strandberg placed fourth overall to lead the Hastings contingent at its lone home meet of the year, the Dewey Minnaert Invitational at Spring Lake Park on Thursday. Strandberg had a time of 16:20.70 to lead the team. "She was a little nervous," Hastings coach John Dewall said. "She had some pre-race jitters. She shook them off and went out there and had fun. She had a phenomenal race.
While Abra Hovgaard slept comfortably in her home early Tuesday morning, her friends received a frightening e-mail from her. She had been robbed at gunpoint, had her cash and credit cards stolen and was desperately seeking money so she could fly home. It was all a hoax. Someone had taken control of her e-mail account and sent out the e-mail, hoping to find someone in the United States gullible enough to wire $2,450 to England, immediately. "As far as I know, nobody sent money," Hovgaard said.
A groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of a new Highway 61 bridge in Hastings over the Mississippi River is planned to begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Levee Park in Hastings. An informational open house is planned to begin at Hastings City Hall at noon on Sept. 22.
By 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 5, Nicole and Marshall Halbach were fast asleep. It had been a great weekend up to that point, and with Labor Day, they were excited to spend another day off with their two boys and the friends who were sound asleep in their basement. Then a speeding car flew into their lawn, smashed into their Cadillac and came to a stop. The car was driven by an 18-year-old Hastings man, Joseph Andrew Walsh, who was booked on probable cause charges of driving under the influence, hit and run and hit and run with property damage.