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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One of the great passages of spring for track and field fans is the Drake Relays, held annually at the Des Moines, Iowa, school. The relays are broadcast, and again this year a familiar voice from Hastings will be behind the microphone. Brian Harrington will again be calling the relays for the Drake Relays Broadcast.
Last week I wrote a column about a hug. It was an issue I felt strongly about. I had hoped to hear from readers about their thoughts. I wanted to hear a discussion about it. And, I did. But what I didn't factor in was that by bringing the whole issue up in a public forum, I'd be unfairly singling out a few students at the high school. I've heard they've been caught up in this and for that I apologize. They did nothing wrong. Nobody did. If I would have just dumped the original letter in the garbage, they could have had a normal week.
A benefit is planned for noon until 6 p.m. on March 28 at the Coliseum Sports Bar, 1840 Vermillion St. in Hastings. Admission is $10. Kids under age 12 are free. There will be an all-you-can-eat chili feed, a silent auction, meat raffles and prize raffles. From 6 p.m. until close there will be a DJ and a live band. Gelhar, a Hastings native, suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling onto a concrete floor.
Turns out Jessica Reed is even faster than I gave her credit for. Last week, I wrote about how Reed, a Hastings graduate, is the new school record holder at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in the 55 meter hurdles. But by the time last week's paper came out, she had already broken her own record. She ran at the NCAA indoor track and field championships on March 13 in Indiana, and broke her previous record with a time of 8.37 seconds. While her time was a school record, she did not qualify for the finals.
Sports and Katy Hertel go together like Hastings and the Mississippi River. There's no way to picture one without the other. So, it should come as no surprise that Hertel, a 1997 graduate of Hastings High School, is still involved. And for anyone who followed her career here, or her basketball career at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, it should come as no surprise that she is successful. But what may be surprising is her new sport. Rugby. The former standout soccer player and basketball player is now a member of the USA Rugby Women's National Team.
So you want to start a new business. You need a logo, a Web site, business cards, shirts printed up with your logo, a computer network set up at your house and vinyl graphics for your car. If the owners at Moxy Media Group in downtown Hastings get their way, you'll stop at their business to handle it all. "If you want to start a business, the first place you should stop is here," said Jerome Black, one of the owners. Black owns the business with his wife, Gitl, and Brandon Blankenship. Blankenship is a 1999 graduate of Hastings High School.
The Optional Junior Olympic Gymnastics season has started out strong for Perpetual Motion. The first meet was Winterfest in January, followed by the Classic Invitational, and finally the gymnasts competed in the Tropical Twist Feb. 22. The Level 7 took 1st place in all meets this year! The level 8 team took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The level 9 team also took 3rd. The level 10 team is also winning.
Townball has always been an important part of baseball in Minnesota. More than 300 teams exist in more than 30 leagues. For the second consecutive season, the St. Paul Saints will head south down US-52 for a townball experience of their own. The Saints will take on the best townball players in the area as they play the Cannon Valley League All-Stars at historic Jack Ruhr Field in Miesville. At 2 p.m. Sunday, May 3, the Saints will open their 2009 exhibition season as they get ready for the American Association season.
Jen (Leonard) Zanon, a former HHS basketball and volleyball player, is leading a great life in Nashville. Her husband, Greg, plays for the NHL's Nashville Predators as a defenseman. The couple has two daughters, Rylynn and Alayna. Rylynn, who was born three weeks early and weighed just 4.5 pounds, is Nashville's March of Dimes ambassador this year. Last year, Jen raised $4,700 for the March of Dimes. After graduating from Hastings, Jen attended the University of Nebraska-Omaha and played volleyball.
The Hastings boys basketball team lost to Owatonna Wednesday night, 61-44, in the first round of the Class 4A, Section 1 tournament. The loss ends the season for Hastings. Hastings had two main sticking points in the loss to the Huskies: The first was their field goal percentage, and the second was turnovers. Both were too close to 20. As a team, the Raiders made 21 percent of their shots from the field. And, as a team, the Raiders had more than 20 turnovers. "It was a tough night," coach Trent Hanson said.