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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When Lawrence Interiors moved from its location in the industrial park to downtown Hastings, they left behind one very big building. That building didn't stay vacant for long. The site at 624 Spiral Blvd. will soon be an important hub of activity related to the construction of the new Hastings bridge over the Mississippi River. Lunda Construction, Ames Construction and the Minnesota Department of Transportation will all have space in the building.
Friday Hastings won the first game of the series on Friday night in Miesville, 8-5. Barta was the winning Hastings pitcher. He threw 8 1/3 innings before being relieved by Mark Moriarty. Hastings scored two runs in the second inning after Pat Kelly, Jordy Horsch, Jake Swartout and David Vogelgesang all singled. In the fifth inning, Steve Krashaar reached on an error and advanced to third on a hit by Brandon Peterson.
For good friends Randy Johnson and Jim Hunt, Monday morning was supposed to be spent floating on the St. Croix River and catching walleyes. Instead, the two Farmington men escaped tragedy, then spent the new few hours watching from shore as crews fished their truck and trailer out of the water. At 6 a.m., Hunt picked up Johnson and they traveled to the public boat launch in Hastings, located on the Mississippi River. They got the boat in the water, but it wouldn't start and they eventually drained the battery on the boat.
Over five days last week, the Hampton Cardinals played 51 innings of baseball. Thankfully, all those innings mattered as the Cardinals pulled off a major upset Saturday -- twice. The story begins last Tuesday as Hampton and Randolph faced off in the first round of the Class C amateur baseball playoffs in Cannon Falls. After six innings, the game was halted because of rain. It resumed Wednesday and Hampton won. Hampton played Thursday and Friday in Cannon Falls, essentially setting up a big series against Cannon Falls on Saturday.
According to the calendar, the state amateur baseball tournament doesn't start for a few weeks. Don't tell that to the Hastings Hawks, though. They might not believe you. "Our state tournament doesn't start in two weeks," player/manager Adam Barta said. "Our state tournament begins on Friday." Barta says that because on Friday Hastings opens the second round of the playoffs with one very challenging matchup. Hastings will face Miesville in a best-of-five series.
The City of Hastings just took a big step toward significant redevelopment in downtown Hastings. Last week, the city's redevelopment agency approved the purchase agreement for the land occupied by Hudson Manufacturing Co. downtown. The sale price will be just over $3 million. Environmental, survey and title work is under way.
The Hampton Cardinals took a 6-0 lead in playoff action against Randolph on Tuesday night in Cannon Falls, but due to rains the game was postponed. It was to be continued Wednesday night. Results of the game were not available at press time. When the game resumed, the Cardinals had a big task in front of them. Randolph had loaded the bases with nobody out when the game was postponed. Hampton got out to a 2-0 lead when Ryan Giefer hit a two-run home run.
At the end of a long day working at her restaurant, Kim Sawicki comes home and watches shows about restaurants on her television. It's apparently a good thing she does. So far, it is helping her business. Sawicki and Connie Ling are the co-owners of the 2nd Street Depot in downtown Hastings. One of Sawicki's favorite shows is Man vs. Food on the Food Network. Essentially, one very lucky man travels the country to face off against the best challenges restaurants can throw at him.
A six-week-long archaeological excavation recently concluded in downtown Hastings near the Highway 61 bridge. The site was once home to the St. John's hotel and a neighboring saloon. Both were destroyed by one of the largest fires in Hastings history, the Christmas fire of 1899. Crews from Two Pines Resource Group found evidence of the fire, uncovering brick rubble and burned wood and ash. The hotel was rebuilt and stood on the site until 1983. Many artifacts from the site's time as a hotel were uncovered, including broken fragments of bottles, dishes and glassware.
The weeklong vacation had gone so well. Eric Olson made a homemade potato gun that he was firing all over the place. He turned his kayak into a sailboat of sorts, outfitting it with a big tarp so he could sail all over Big Wood Lake near Grantsburg, Wis. Over the years, his grandmother's cabin there had provided the Olsons the perfect place for a summer getaway. But on July 31, 2009, all that changed in an instant. Olson, a 2000 graduate of Hastings High School, ran down the aluminum dock like he had hundreds of times before.