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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Two readers wrote this week about a video on YouTube that I had to see. After viewing the video, I was happy they wrote. Both told me about color video from 1942 that is posted on YouTube of the Spiral Bridge in action. The video is part of a 10-minute-long segment on Minnesota. The segment on the Spiral Bridge comes at about 2 minutes, 30 seconds. If you're like me and never had a chance to see the bridge in person, the high-quality color video is the best option out there to get a sense for what the bridge looked like.
Downtown Hastings could soon look much, much different. The City of Hastings is in negotiations with H.D. Hudson Manufacturing Co. to move them from their large location in downtown Hastings to a vacant building formerly occupied by Intek Plastics. At a special meeting Monday, June 21, the city council gave its authorization to the Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority (HEDRA) to continue the negotiations with Hudson. Should HEDRA be able to purchase the land, the current buildings on the site would likely be demolished to make way for a new development.
The pitch came in at the perfect spot. Low. Outside. Just where Hastings catcher Jordan Schaffer wanted it. When Burnsville's Taylor Mackey swung her big aluminum bat at the pitch, it looked like she'd be lucky just to make contact. She was, and she did. Off the ball flew. It landed just over the fence in right center field. With that swing, Burnsville advanced in the state tournament and Hastings' goal of winning the state title was dashed. The Blaze won, 1-0, in the state tournament semifinals and they went on to win the state title.
An unruly student prompted Hastings Middle School to be locked down for nine minutes Thursday, June 10. The student eventually surrendered to police and was taken away by Hastings police officers. The student could face charges from the incident, but as of Wednesday morning had not been charged yet. The incident began just after 9:30 a.m. Thursday. By 9:45 a.m., the school was in a lockdown and by 10 a.m. it was all over. Hastings Middle School principal Mark Zuzek said the student was "unruly and non compliant." The student is enrolled in a program for at-risk students.
The Hastings girls softball team won its first round game against Prior Lake at the state softball tournament, 5-0, before falling to Burnsville, 1-0. Hastings will play in the third-place game at 11 a.m. Friday in Mankato.
The second annual Hastings Music Festival will be Sunday. The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Little Log House Pioneer Village south of Hastings off Highway 61. The headliner is Martin Zellar, who helped start the Gear Daddies. He will perform from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Also performing are Select Three, featuring Patrick Sieben, a Hastings graduate. His band will perform from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Select Three opened for Bon Jovi during a show in St. Paul this spring. Tim Mahoney will play from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Midlife Cryslers will play from noon until 1:50 p.m.
Staffing levels at Regina Medical Center in Hastings will not be effected by this week's nursing strike in the Twin Cities. Nurses who work at Regina in Hastings are part of the same union, the Minnesota Nurses Association, but their contract is not up until August, according to interim Regina CEO Stewart Laird. "We are part of the same union, but our contract is on a different timetable," Laird said. "Our contract runs through August.
TIF stands for Tax Increment Financing. Essentially, it works like this: Let's imagine the taxes paid on the vacant lot right now are $10,000 a year. Let's imagine that once the lot is redeveloped and the NAPA store is built on the lot, the taxes paid will be $17,000 a year. That means $7,000 in additional taxes will be generated by the development each year. Let's assume the TIF district is a 15-year district. The city would take that $7,000 per year in additional taxes and multiply it by the length of the TIF district term, or 15 years.
Last Thursday, officials at the city of Hastings officially received plans for one of the city's most-watched vacant commercial properties. The former Jiffy gas station lot and adjacent lots at 15th and Vermillion streets may, by the end of the year, be a NAPA auto parts store. The Linn Companies, based in Woodbury, is making the application to the city.
It didn't take long for the Hastings High School softball team to establish its dominance in the section title game against Rochester Mayo. Hastings' first batter of the game, Brit Robinson, hit a home run over the left field fence. Later that inning, it was Jenelle Trautmann's turn. She hit a home run to left field, too. "That was pretty awesome," Hastings coach Dean Robinson said. The Raiders went on to win, 3-2, to advance to the state tournament for the third consecutive year. Hastings has a 21-3 overall record, and has won 17 of its last 18 games.