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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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.
A bus carrying the Hastings boys soccer team to their game in Roseville Thursday night caught fire, shutting down one lane of Interstate 35E during rush-hour traffic in St. Paul. The fire was minor and was quickly extinguished by the bus driver and the St. Paul Fire Department. A brake line had apparently ruptured. Every time the bus driver applied the brakes on the bus, brake fluid was hitting the brake pads, and flames would flare up. By the time the bus driver, Bill Ziemer, pulled it over, smoke was visible from the rear of the bus.
Dickey's Barbecue Pit in Hastings will be opening sooner than scheduled. The new restaurant will open at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 12, at 1316 S. Frontage Road. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. They feature eight different kinds of meats on sandwiches and dinner plates. The meats include chopped brisket, sliced beef brisket, turkey breast, chicken breast, Polish sausage, ribs, pulled pork and spicy cheddar sausage. They also have 12 different side dishes and non-alcoholic beverages. A special grand opening celebration is planned for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tuesday turned out to be one very memorable day for several Hastings residents. Shortly after President Barack Obama landed at the airport in Bloomington, they were shaking his hand and getting autographs from him. Two-year-old Sasha McCauley even had her arm autographed by the president. Her mother, Bobbie Jo, was right there and couldn't believe it as it was happening. "He was just going through and greeting everybody," Bobbie Jo McCauley said. "He signed another kids' arm next to us, and then saw Sasha.
Stillwater's swimming team is, again, one of the state's top teams. They are the heavy Suburban East Conference favorites and they are ranked No. 2 in the state. The Ponies, though, got quite a scare last week when they faced off against Hastings. Stillwater ended up winning, but only by 11 points. "The girls outswam even our greatest expectations," coach Katie McAlpin said. "A lot of our girls came out of the gate ready to go. Usually, you expect to ease in to the season.
Going into this season, Hastings coach Dana Strain had a couple big goals for his team. Atop that list? Being competitive in every single game. Strain's aim was to have his team in position to win games in the second half. On Friday night against Mounds View, Hastings accomplished just that. Unfortunately for the Raiders, the game ended in a 13-6 loss, but the Raiders were right there with the Mustangs. Last year, Mounds View beat Hastings, 42-7. Hastings fell behind 13-0 in the first half.
Derrick Radke and his fiancée were out for a relaxing weekend on the Mississippi River. They had boated to Prescott from Hastings and had pulled up to shore, where they were going to pitch a tent. That's when Radke noticed what he thought was a muskrat swimming toward the shore. The more they watched the creature, the more they realized it wasn't a muskrat. It was a three-foot-long alligator. A pet owner had apparently let the creature go when it outgrew its home.
The Hastings football team lost its season-opener to Mounds View on Friday night, 13-6. Hastings fell behind 13-0 before Aaron Stoneberg connected with Ellis Williams on a touchdown pass. The two teams were scoreless in the second half. The game was played at McNamara Stadium at Todd Field. Hastings travels to Woodbury on Friday for its second game.
The Hastings girls soccer team has already equaled its win total from the 2010 season. On Thursday, in the season opener, Hastings beat Henry Sibley, 3-0. The Raiders scored two first-half goals, then added another in the second half. "They played so awesome," coach Joanne Teigland said. "It was so fun. They played really well. We dominated pretty much the entire game.
I guess you could consider me a camping snob. While car camping is better than getting a sharp stick poked into my eye, I'm not a big fan. It is to camping like turkey bacon is to the bacon at Little Oscar's. It's better than nothing, but it just makes you yearn for the real thing. So over the years, when I've wanted to camp, I've gone to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota.