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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By the end of the summer, the intersection at South Frontage Road and Pleasant Drive will look a lot different than it does now.
Nearly 64 years ago, Helen Cook and Ollie Holter pulled out a big map of Minnesota. They held hands, closed their eyes and moved their hands back and forth over the map. Slowly, they lowered their fingers, stopping when they felt the paper beneath their fingertips. They opened their eyes and smiled. All of a sudden, they knew where they were going to be married. It was Hastings. In a rainstorm, the couple jumped into Ollie's 1933 Chevrolet and drove to Hastings. They found a room at the Gardner Hotel, and then Ollie got to work on the phones.
Patrick Sieben and his band, Select 3, just got the news they've dreamed of: They are opening for Bon Jovi at the Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday, April 7. The band was part of a contest called The Big Break on KQRS radio. Online voting for the contest concluded Thursday afternoon. Select 3 was one of the top two vote-getters in the contest. Sieben is a 2007 graduate of Hastings High School.
Firefighters in Hastings were busy Tuesday afternoon fighting a pair of fires in the city's south side. There was a fire inside Twin City Container, located in the industrial park. The extent of the damage is not known at this time. There also was a grass fire off Glacier Way. That fire appeared to be serious, as high winds fanned the flames. More information on the fires will be posted as it becomes available.
On Wednesday, April 7, Bon Jovi is playing a sold-out show at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. 2007 Hastings High School graduate Patrick Sieben is hoping his band, Select 3, will go on stage right before Bon Jovi, but he needs your help to accomplish that. His band and seven others are vying for The Big Break, a promotion through KQRS radio. Th two bands that get the most votes will be selected to open for Bon Jovi. Voting is being held online at http://92kqrs.com/Article.asp?id=1750616 . Voting ends at 1 p.m.
When Pizza Man opened here in Hastings in 1996, it promised great pizza at a good price. For 14 years, it did just that. But as competitors moved into Hastings and as the economy soured, Pizza Man's profits plunged. It either had to offer that great pizza at a great price, or close its doors. In mid-March, business owner Bill Cress, Hastings, chose to do the latter. His business closed down after sending its final pizzas out March 14. "I guess it was a combination of things," Cress said. "Basically, it was the economy. People aren't buying as much as they used to.
All criminal charges against Hastings Police Officer Rene Doffing have been dropped. He will get his job back as a patrol officer, and should be back on the streets in his patrol car in two to four weeks. "He'll be back working in the patrol division in the middle of April, or the first part of May," Hastings Police Chief Mike McMenomy said. "We had a good meeting with Rene on Thursday. It was very positive.
Get out your lawn chairs, your sunscreen and sandals. The second annual Hastings Music Festival is officially on. This year's festival will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 13, at the Little Log House Pioneer Village south of Hastings. The musical acts have been booked, and fans of Twin Cities music will no doubt recognize many of the names. The headliner is Martin Zellar, who helped start the band The Gear Daddies. Tim Mahoney, the Midlife Chryslers and Select 3 are also on the bill.
Since November, the entire boys basketball season was focused on one really important date: March 19. That was the night that, if all went as planned, the Hastings boys basketball team would play in the section finals. Hastings emerged from the regular season with a 12-13 record. Not bad, considering the Raiders played in a brutally tough Suburban East Conference, and played a challenging non-conference schedule. Hastings earned a No.
Monday through Friday at 8 a.m., Rene Doffing punches the time clock and digs in to a stack of paperwork. His routine is similar to those of many office employees in Hastings every Monday. But what makes Doffing different is that he was fired three years ago by the same place he is working for today. That place is the Hastings Police Department. That firing, though, was eventually overturned and Doffing was allowed to return to work. Matters were complicated when criminal charges were brought against Doffing, including two felonies.