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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Thousands of times a day, cars on Highway 55 just outside of Hastings zip by Endres Processing. Few, though, know what the firm does. Regardless, Endres was just named the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce business of the year. The firm was honored Tuesday in a banquet. So, what do they do there? Essentially, the firm picks up truck loads of expired baked goods. They bring that food to their plant along Highway 55. It leaves not long after as a food supplement for cattle, pigs and poultry. The business is owned by Leon J. Endres, a 1980 graduate of Hastings High School.
Hastings High School showed off its talented students Monday night during the Snow Week Variety Show. Colton Peltier won the show for his piano solo. Sean Kelly placed second with a vocal solo, and Ali Smith placed third with her vocal solo. Snow Week coronation is planned for Friday at approximately 1:30 p.m. at the high school. The coronation caps off a week full of activities at the school.
The Hastings gymnastics team scored a nice Suburban East Conference win over Cretin-Derham Hall last week, 127.075-125.125. "The varsity girls are all starting to add new skills and are changing things up in their routines," coach Jeanne Kasel said. "That is starting to show in their scores." Jamie Becker led Hastings with a third-place finish in the all-around with a score of 33.15. Courtney Kasel had a 31.7 to place fourth and Ali Kromer was fifth with a 30.7. Becker score a 9.1 on floor, her personal best.
A four-game winless streak came to a great end last week for the Hastings girls hockey team. The Raiders snapped the streak with a resounding 8-1 win over East Ridge. Hastings had a 0-3-1 record in the four games leading into Friday's game with the Raptors. Hastings scored three first-period goals, added a single goal in the second period and then exploded for four third-period tallies. "It was nice to get a win and to get a lot of goals," coach Jeff Corkish said. "The kids played really well. We've played some tough teams lately during a tough part of our schedule.
A win still eludes the Hastings girls basketball team. Last week, the Raiders faced a considerable obstacle in search of that win: White Bear Lake. The Bears are the state's No. 3-ranked team, and Hastings found out why in a 48-22 loss. "They are an incredibly talented team that will, more than likely, get to the state tournament and challenge for the title," coach Mike Harp said. "They just moved the ball well. They don't make mistakes.
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.