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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Every year at this time, Hastings volleyball coach Rita Girgen is as optimistic a coach as you're going to find. This year is no different. Girgen has high hopes for her team this year. It won't be easy, as the Raiders have just three seniors and two juniors on the roster. That's not troubling her, though. Girgen knows she has a five-year starter back. She also has a four-year starter returning. Mix in some talented underclassmen, and her optimism knows no bounds. "We know we're young," Girgen said. "We're a younger team, but we have a lot of experience as a whole.
Half full? Or half empty? The answer, we all know, depends on how you look at it. The age-old debate fits this year's Hastings High School girls tennis team. If you are a half-full kind of person, you'll want to know that Hastings returns 12 of the 16 players from last year's team. If you are a half-empty kind of person, you'll want to know that the four players Hastings lost from last year's team took with them all kinds of experience, and a staggering number of wins. "We lost four of our starters, and three of them had been three-year starters," coach Craig Raway said.
It's obvious by looking through this week's incident reports from the Hastings Police Department that residents here are a bit on edge after a second possible abduction attempt was reported last week. The department fielded a number of calls from residents regarding a vehicle that fit the description in the recent attempt - a maroon-and-silver truck. Other suspicious vehicles were reported as well, including a blue-and-white van that ended up being an ice cream truck. The department welcomes the calls, Chief of Police Paul Schnell said. "This is what you hope will happen," he said.
Police responded to a disturbance behind The Coliseum at 12:16 a.m. on Aug. 20. According to the police report, multiple witnesses say a man walked in to the Coliseum and created a disturbance. He then left the establishment and was followed home by a group of people. The man reportedly then came after the group of people with a machete. Hastings police responded to the man's home on Eddy Street and found him in the backyard. The machete could not be located.
It just hasn't been a good week for the roommates living in the 200 block of Sibley Street near downtown Hastings. Last week, one man living in the residence reported someone named Steve had stolen ice cream from the residence. This week, another person living there reported a man named George stole some dishes from the residence. It wasn't immediately clear exactly how many dishes were stolen. Police haven't been able to find George or Steve.
On Friday, Abbey Rother had one of the highlights of her 26-year-old life. She was selected to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the Minnesota Twins faced the New York Yankees at Target Field. While the pitch sailed outside of the strike zone, the Twins' mascot, TC, caught the ball and then presented it to Rother. She was able to keep the ball and the jersey the Twins gave her. She was so excited about the entire ordeal, she went to bed that night wearing the jersey, her mother Kris Rother said. "She was very, very excited," Kris Rother said.
A caller reported a carpet cleaning van was dumping liquid in a sewer drain along the 2200 block of Forest Street at 3:57 p.m. Aug. 16. The caller got the number of the company on the van and reported the number to police. The Hastings officer assigned to the case called the company, Little Red Carpet Cleaning, and eventually spoke to a manager.
Hastings Police have charged Michael David Swanson, 43, Hastings, with one count of felony identity theft for allegedly stealing a credit card and using it as his own at different businesses in Hastings. According to the criminal complaint, a Hastings woman contacted police in January and reported that she and her husband had accidentally left their credit card at a restaurant in Hastings. Subsequently, she noticed unauthorized charges on the billing statement.
During one of the many blizzards the Hastings-area experienced in 2011, a small team from Carpenter Nature Center was forced to take matters in to their own hands. An injured bald eagle had been reported in the backyard of a nearby home, and there was no way for rescuers from the University of Minnesota Raptor Center to get to Hastings to rescue the bird. Jen Vieth, Carpenter's development director, had rescued birds before and knew the window of opportunity was a small one. Something had to be done.
The Highway 61 bridge in Hastings will be down to one lane of traffic between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25. Crews will be working on the south end of the bridge and need to use the lane for equipment and personnel.