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 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.
A man was cited for trespassing after he refused an officer's order to leave a building in the 1100 block of Bahls Drive at 5:57 p.m. Aug. 9. The man was waiting to speak to a woman inside the apartment. She didn't want to speak with him. Officers made contact with the man and told him he needed to leave the property. The man asked officers what would happen if he didn't leave. The officer told the man he'd be arrested for trespassing. The officer then asked the man to leave and he again refused.
Officers responded to a store in the 1700 block of Market Boulevard at 4:33 a.m. Aug. 13 on the report of stolen merchandise. When officers arrived at the scene, they learned a middle-aged male in an orange sweatshirt had entered the store and was seen drinking from a vodka bottle while in the store. An employee at the store asked the man to stop drinking while in the store. Later, the same employee saw the man drinking again. She again told him to stop, and he ran away. He was later seen near the deli meats. He made his way to the cash register, but never paid for the smoked ham.
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.