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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Amidst a very challenging season for the Hastings boys basketball team, there has been one very bright spot: the play of junior Darius Wilkerson. Wilkerson has been playing his best basketball lately, and his statistics prove it. He leads the Raiders in scoring. He leads the Raiders in rebounds. He leads the Raiders in assists. He leads the team in blocked shots, and he's second on the team in steals (trailing the team leader by just two). "He has been exceptional," coach Chad Feikema said. "He has worked his tail off and led by example.
Every year, the Hastings boys swim team shows up at the True Team meet with one of the smallest teams. This year was no different. Yet, the Raiders were able to place fourth at the meet, which emphasizes team depth.
Riverside Company, the top Hastings High School show choir, was the first runner-up at a competition Saturday in Johnston, Iowa. The team earned caption awards for the best band, the best choreography and for the outstanding male soloist. That soloist was Andrew Keller. There were approximately 20 teams at the competition. "It was one of the more challenging competitions," director Lin Warren said. "There were unbelievable groups throughout the day." This weekend marks the beginning of the competitive season for two more HHS show choirs.
The Hastings boys hockey team snapped a four-game losing streak and improved to 7-9-1 on the season with an 8-5 win over East Ridge on Saturday night. Ask coach Russ Welch what the key point of the game was, and it won't take him long to answer: It was the second period. Hastings scored four goals in the second and gave up just one, turning a 2-1 lead into a 6-2 drubbing going into the second intermission. "We played extremely well in the second period and got a 6-2 lead," Welch said. "We played much better defensively in the second period. Our forwards were the key.
When Hastings Alpine ski coach Jim Peine pulled into Welch early Friday morning for the annual Welch Village Invitational, the thermometer was not his friend. At 6 a.m., the mercury was at 28 degrees below zero. Peine, his fellow coaches and race organizers opted to delay the meet an hour or so to let things warm up a bit. By 11 a.m. it had warmed all the way up to 12 degrees below zero, and shortly thereafter skiers were flying down the hill. "Once we got it going, all the athletes and all the workers toughed it out," Peine said.
William Joseph Boldt, one of the suspects in Thursday's armed robbery at the AmericInn in Hastings, was found and arrested at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday. He was arrested in St. Paul without incident and later booked in the Dakota County Jail. Two other persons of interest in the case have beeen identified and are being sought for questioning, according to a press release issued by Hastings Police Chief Paul Schnell.
Hastings police are hoping the public can help them find William Joseph Boldt, 38, who is wanted in connection with the armed robbery that occurred here Thursday morning at the AmericInn Lodge and Suites. Boldt is the focus of investigators based on surveillance footage captured at the hotel. He is believed to be armed and dangerous and should not be approached by members of the public. He is described as a white male, 5'8" tall and 180 pounds.
Riverside Company, the top Hastings High School show choir, won another competition over the weekend. On Saturday, the team was the Grand Champion at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Midwest Cup. The group also won caption awards for the best vocals and the best choreography in finals. During prelims, they won for outstanding band. It was the first time Hastings has competed at the meet, held at the 3,000-seat Lied Center on the UNL campus. "This is just a beautiful theater," director Lin Warren said. "Just the opportunity to perform at a venue like that is wonderful.
At a young age, Aleeza Saande knew she had a winning smile. While riding on the back of a bicycle while one of her parents pedaled the Cannon Valley Trail, she'd stop other bikers and say to them: "A penny for my smile." Most times, the other bikers would pay up, then see the bubbly little 5-year-old grin from ear-to-ear. Her goal? To earn enough money on the trip to pay for an ice cream cone by the time her family got to Welch. Most of the time, she succeeded. When her grandparents would come to visit, Aleeza Saande had come up with a way to get coins away from them, too.
The Hastings Police Department has released images of the two men suspected in the Thursday-morning robbery at the AmericInn in Hastings. Police are hoping the public can help identify the men in the photos. If you think you know who they are, you are asked to call the department at 651-480-2300.