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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Heroes come in all sizes. This story is about one of the smallest heroes you'll ever meet. He is Peyton Erickson, a 4-year-old Hastings boy who, as his neighborhood sees it, saved a house. Friday afternoon, Peyton was nestled comfortably in front of the television, watching "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" while his mother, Angie, prepared dinner. "Out of nowhere, he said, 'Mom, I see smoke and fire,'" Angie Erickson said. "I looked outside and went 'Oh, my gosh.' You could see there was a deck on fire.
Local softball fans won't have to travel far to watch the state's No. 1-ranked softball team in action this year. That team is located at Hastings High School. When the season's first statewide rankings came out this week, Hastings took the top spot. Eagan is No. 2 and North St. Paul is No. 3. "I went to the girls and told them," Hastings coach Dean Robinson said. "We just have to keep our heads on straight. We can't go around talking smack.
About a year ago, the Fed Ex delivery truck brought some awful news to Joe O'Brien Chevrolet. This week, that same truck should deliver some of the best news to ever arrive at the Hastings dealership. After 10 months of bad news, lawyers, more bad news and more lawyers, Tim and Holly O'Brien learned last week over the phone that Chevrolet will reinstate their dealership. The paperwork was to arrive this week. "This will be a visit from the Fed Ex truck that I won't mind," Holly O'Brien said Monday.
At first, April 2 was a sad day for Patrick Sieben. He learned through Facebook that two winning bands had been notified they would be opening for Bon Jovi. Sieben and his band, Select 3, didn't win The Big Break competition. Or so he thought. As he sat in an airplane waiting to fly back to Minneapolis from Denver, though, Sieben got a call from his friend. "Congratulations," his friend yelled into the phone. Confused, Sieben took a minute to explain to his friend that Select 3 had in fact not won. But the caller had good news: Someone at KQRS had made a mistake.
Both Pleasant Drive and Westview Drive will see major construction this summer in Hastings. The Hastings City Council voted recently to approve the work, which will begin in June and likely last into September. At last week's city council meeting, city engineer Nick Egger said that construction will not be taking place on both roads at once. Rather, the contractor will need to finish all of the construction on one road before beginning on the other.
Lorie Line will be in concert at Hastings Middle School for one show at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 18, at the Hastings Middle School auditorium. The concert is part of her 42-show tour that began a week ago and runs through August. Line is playing a number of small venues across Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota as part of the tour. Included in that mix is Hastings. "We go to all these great communities across the Midwest," said husband and spokesman Tim Line. "We find these charming venues and go in and do these shows. It has been a lot of fun. We're taking the music out to the people.
Residents living along Westview Drive and Lyn Way got the news they wanted to hear at Monday's city council meeting. When their roads are rebuilt this summer, new sidewalks will not be part of the construction. More than 30 residents living along those streets came to the council meeting, and many spoke up during a public hearing on the matter.
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.