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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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.
A bald eagle rescued during a snowstorm in March will be released at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at Carpenter Nature Center in Hastings. The eagle was injured in what was believed to be a territorial dispute. Three Carpenter Nature Center staff members and volunteers drove to the house where the eagle had been seen and eventually rescued it. It was nursed back to health at the University of Minnesota's Raptor Center and staff there have concluded the eagle is ready to be released into the wild. The public is invited to attend the release. Carpenter Nature Center is located at 12805 St.
A Hastings man reported that he had trapped a raccoon in his backyard in the 800 block of 14th Street West. The call came in at 9:51 a.m. on Aug. 16. The raccoon later escaped from the cage, chased after the owner, then ran up a tree. The man wanted the raccoon shot because it was eating his sweet corn. The Hastings officer who responded to the call, though, refused to shoot the animal.
For the second time in a month, a Hastings family is left asking questions after an unknown vehicle approached its children and struck up a conversation with them. While the children in this case were not asked to get into a car, the actions of its occupants had their parents "disgusted." At 7:42 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21, Amy and Andy Peterson reported their two children were reported by an older model truck with a maroon top and a silver bottom. The man and woman inside told the two Peterson children that they wanted to be their friends.
A man named Steve is being sought in Hastings after raiding his roommate's freezer while he moved out. A caller said that his roommate, known only as Steve, was moving out of his residence in the 200 block of Sibley Street. As he was moving out, Steve apparently stole some of the man's ice cream. The caller asked police to arrest and jail Steve, but the ice cream bandit could not be located. The officer asked the caller how much ice cream had been stolen. "Does it matter?" the caller replied. The criminal offense was reported at 10:37 a.m. on Aug.
Two women with a sense of humor and a concern for their environment have received more than their fair share of laughs along Ravenna Trail south of Hastings. The pair, Denise Harder and Kathy Casperson, are close friends and have, for years, picked up trash along the roadways in Ravenna Township.
The search continues for a missing Hastings woman last seen entering the Vermillion River just upstream from the falls on July 21. For almost a month now, members of the Dakota County Sheriff's Office Parks, Lakes and Trails Division have been fighting high water levels as the search for the woman. It's been a challenge for teams of searchers, who have grown frustrated that they haven't been able to find her. Joe Leko is a captain in the patrol division at the county, which overseas Parks, Lakes and Trails.