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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It didn't show up in the win column until Tuesday night, but Hastings coach Chad Feikema knew it was happening. His team, he said earlier this week, was turning a corner. They had played some of their best basketball of the season. Things were looking better. His opinion was confirmed Tuesday night with a decisive 67-49 win over Park. Hastings is now 3-19 on the season, but three of their last four games have gone especially well. "We're playing better now than we have played all season," Feikema said.
For the first time that Hastings boys hockey coach Russ Welch can remember, the Hastings boys hockey team is playing host to a section tournament game. For years, the section tournament was held at neutral sites throughout the Twin Cities. But, as the number of classes have grown, those rinks have grown especially busy, meaning first-round games are played at the higher seed. So, come 7:15 p.m. Thursday night (Feb.
Back on Jan. 14, Roseville and Hastings played against one another in girls basketball. It's easy to say the game was a one-sided affair. Roseville won, 70-20. Last week, when the two teams met again, much had changed. Roseville ended up winning the game, but the score at 49-35 was a great sight for Hastings coach Mike Harp. "I was very proud of the effort and the improvement we showed over the last time we played them," Harp said. "I know we lost, but it was a great effort on the girls' part." Hastings trailed 27-17 at halftime.
A Hastings man has been charged for allegedly fixing traffic tickets in exchange for money. He was indicted earlier this week in federal court. Abdulkadir Mohamoud Afrah, 43, of Hastings, was charged with one count of wire fraud, one count of theft from an organization receiving federal funds and one count of soliciting a bribe by an agent of an organization that receives federal funds.
Hastings will be filled with more than 1,200 singing high school students on Saturday, Feb. 26. Hastings High School's strong choirs program will be playing host to the 12th Swinging on the River show choir competition. The 24-team meet will begin at 7:45 a.m. Saturday and will run throughout the day. There are 21 visiting teams that will be competing, and the three Hastings teams will perform as well. This year's show is the biggest yet. "This is the biggest competition we've ever had," choirs director Lin Warren said. "It's the strongest field we've ever had, too.
Another big snowstorm has hit Hastings. According to the National Weather Service, Hastings received about 10 inches of snow. Another one to three inches is forecast for Monday, Feb. 21. A snow emergency has been declared in the city, and crews are ticketing and towing vehicles that are parked on city streets.
Hastings High School's Dustin Erickson placed 28th at the state Alpine ski meet Wednesday afternoon in Biwabik. He had times of 37.20 seconds and 35.62 seconds for a total time of 1:12.82. The winner, Dylan Thomas of St. Thomas Academy, had a time of 1:07.03.
Two more Suburban East Conference wins were tacked on this week by the Hastings boys hockey team. The Raiders have now won six of their last seven games and three in a row. In an 8-3 win over Woodbury on Feb. 12, the story of the night was Nate Flynn. He had one goal and six assists for the Raiders. "He was on fire," coach Russ Welch said. "He was hitting everybody with great passes. He was making some great plays." Austin Nelson had three goals for the Raiders, earning himself yet another hat trick. Andrew Lindberg had two goals.
A great season for the Hastings girls hockey team came to an end Saturday night in Inver Grove Heights. Hastings lost in the semifinal round of the section tournament to No. 1 seeded Rosemount, 3-2. The game went into overtime after the Raiders were able to tie the score 2-2 in the third period. But, at 2:54 of overtime, Rosemount scored the game-winner and the Irish advanced to the section finals. Hastings was the No. 4 seeded team. Josie Stepan scored the first Hastings goal, assisted by Courtney Boucher and Simons.
Officially speaking, last week's meet with Stillwater was called Senior Night. It was quickly changed by members of the team, though, to Tony Ring night. The change could be made for one very simple reason: Ring is the only senior on the roster for the Raiders. The lone senior was honored at the meet, then took the pool with his youthful teammates in an attempt to make the meet against the powerful Stillwater Ponies a close one. That, though, was a near impossibility. The Ponies ended up winning 92-76. "Stillwater is very good," Hastings coach Gerry Rupp said.