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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A close friend, a chance meeting and an impromptu audition may have given Hastings native Ben Utecht the big break he needed. Now, this fall, Utecht will be the lead male vocalist for some 35 nationwide shows staged by well-known pianist Jim Brickman. Utecht is well-known for his athletic prowess in Hastings. He was a three-sport athlete, eventually going to the University of Minnesota on a football scholarship.
A Hastings man escaped serious injuries after crashing his car through a fence and into the small pond located adjacent to the Hastings Area YMCA at 12:05 a.m. Aug. 13. The crash occurred at the intersection of Featherstone Road and Pleasant Drive. The man had been traveling at a high rate of speed down the Featherstone Road hill.
The state government shutdown lasted just three weeks, but its impact will be far greater. On Monday, the project manager for the new Highway 61 bridge in Hastings, Steve Kordosky, said the shutdown will result in a delay of at least six months. The bridge had been scheduled to be completed by May 31, 2013. Now, it appears that the earliest the project will be finished is November 2013. The more likely scenario puts completion at May 2014. What happened? First, high water kept construction crews out of the river this spring and summer.
The Hastings High School football team begins its 2011 season at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2 at home against Mounds View. Other home games are planned for Sept. 16 (vs. Roseville), Oct. 7 (which is homecoming against Park) and Oct. 14 (vs. White Bear Lake). In preseason state rankings, one Suburban East Conference school is in the top five. Cretin-Derham Hall is ranked No. 3. The top-ranked team is Wayzata, followed by Eden Prairie. Lakeville South is No. 4 and Totino-Grace is No. 5. Also ranked are Champlin Park, Osseo, Eastview, Blaine and Brainerd.
Drivers of two vehicles escaped serious injury after a two-car crash Thursday morning at County Road 46 and Goodwin Avenue just west of Hastings. Neither driver was transported to the hospital. Circumstances surrounding the crash were not immediately available.
Emails between the Hastings Police Department and the Eagan Police Department regarding the Rene Doffing corkscrew theft case have been turned over to Doffing's lawyer. The Hastings Police Department had until Friday, Aug. 5, to assemble and deliver the emails to Doffing's lawyer, Paul Engh. The department met that deadline, and Engh is planning to begin reviewing them soon. There is no date set yet for Doffing's next court appearance. Doffing is a patrol officer at the Hastings Police Department.
Two local amateur baseball teams have advanced in postseason play. The Hastings Hawks and the Miesville Mudhens each had strong league tournaments and move on to compete in this weekend's super section tournaments across Minnesota. For Miesville, the trip to super sectionals will be short - the team plays host to a four-team tournament beginning Friday night. The first game of the night, set for 6 p.m., puts Elko up against Mankato. Miesville plays in the nightcap, set for 8 p.m., against Bemidji. Miesville has the No. 1 seed. Elko is No. 2, Mankato is No. 3 and Bemidji is No.
It was one year ago when the Hastings Country Club announced that some major changes were on the way. The course had turned semi-private, the membership rates had dropped dramatically and the restaurant had opened to the public. All the changes were made to strengthen the club. Membership had taken a dip since a major remodeling project caused rates to be raised, and the club needed to get some more dollars flowing to the bottom line. It appears the changes are working. "We're very optimistic," club president Keith Anderson said.
Last Tuesday morning, Danny Dimm was deep in the Canadian wilderness working as a logger. Within hours, his world had been turned upside down. Dimm was reunited last Wednesday with his son Timber, the 5-year-old Hastings boy who had been abducted by his mother. On Aug. 2, Dimm was at Seton Portage, an area without cell phone service. He worked all morning long and planned an afternoon break from the heat. He went to a local restaurant with an internet connection and checked his email.
Hastings Police made a difficult decision during the afternoon of Monday, July 25. An officer attempted to stop a motorist who was traveling 50 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone. The motorist, though, had no intention of stopping. Instead of hitting his brakes, the motorist hit the gas pedal as he was heading out of Hastings on 10th Street near Smead Manufacturing. The driver turned south on Glendale Road and finally onto Highway 316, where speeds exceeded 105 mph. Hastings Chief of Police Paul Schnell happened to be in a squad car at the time and was monitoring the chase.