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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Well, I did it. I don't think I should have. But I did. It's too late to turn back now. I think I'm starting to hallucinate. I need to go to bed. I ate a one-pound burger at RJ's Tavern on Main in Hastings on Friday. Oh, it was good. It was loaded with pepperjack cheese, jalapenos and bacon (my wife was gone over the weekend, so nobody got hurt in this experiment). The hardest part about eating the burger was simply ordering it. It's called, after all, The Artery Blocker. I kinda stumbled at first, then mumbled as I ordered it.
If you think the most important part of a burger is the burger, then Duff's Tavern on Main in Vermillion is where you want to be. The restaurant has three burgers -- the hamburger, the cheeseburger and a California burger. There are no weird toppings. No sauces. No frills. What there is, though, makes up for what there isn't. The real star at Duff's is the beef. Patties are made by hand and char broiled, according to the menu. Those 85 percent lean, thick patties are placed between toasted buns, and you have yourself a hearty meal. It's a burger lovers' burger.
If Rick King fixed cars and trucks for just his relatives, he'd probably be able to run a successful business. He has 13 siblings, countless nieces and nephews, and strong family ties all over the county. King has taken his show on the road and just last month, he opened King's Automotive at a new location. It is now located near the intersection of highways 61 and 316. It's the fourth location for the business. It all started when he was growing up south of Hastings on a farm. Things needed to be fixed, and he was often helping his brothers get things running again.
Fall officially arrived Sept. 22 this year, but for Hastings residents, it didn't begin to look like fall until last week. Colors are at their peak this week, including at the Vermillion River falls.
United States Senator Norm Coleman is planning to visit Hastings Thursday morning. Dean Barkley, who is running against Coleman, is visiting Friday. Coleman will meet voters beginning at approximately 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 16 at The Point, located at the intersection of highways 61 and 10. He will be there for approximately 45 minutes. Dean Barkley, the Independence Party candidate for the U.S. Senate, will meet and greet voters at Dunn Bros. Coffee in Hastings from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17. The Barkley event was organized by Craig Carroll of Hastings. Dunn Bros.
Throughout his days of playing hockey in Hastings, Ryan Gelhar seemed to have a different nickname every year. He was "The Ox." Then "The Wall." Then "The Rock." And now, his family just wants him to wake up and smile at them. If he did so today, on his 24th birthday, well that would be OK. For now, though, the family waits. The doctors wait. The nurses wait. And, slowly, there appear to be some good signs. He has coughed, he has moved an arm and his eyes flutter. But nobody knows when he'll emerge from the coma. Nobody knows what will happen when he does.
Sometime during the year 2002, Josh and Jodi Campbell decided they were ready for kids. They wanted two. Preferably, a boy and a girl. Their home out on 80th Street in south Washington County would be perfect for a nice little family of four. Six tragedy-filled years later, and tens of thousands of dollars later, they finally have that foursome. The story begins in, of all places, Omaha, Neb. While on a road trip as a gymnastics coach in '02, Jodi fell ill. She just didn't feel right, and ended up taking a pregnancy test. It was positive.
Elaine Mikel, center, reacts after being crowned the Hastings High School homecoming queen at coronation festivities on Friday afternoon. Also pictured are Elise Koop, left, and Lauren Pool.
Consider yourself lucky you didn't drop by my office Thursday afternoon: I would have burned your eyebrows off with my breath. This capability was no doubt induced by the fact that I ate the Bonzai Burger at The Busted Nut for lunch. I was nuts for doing so. OK. It wasn't really that hot, but if you consider black pepper to be spicy, don't go near this blend of pepperjack cheese, Jalapenos and habanero mustard. I got mine with waffle fries for $8.75. There were a couple other fun burger options on the menu, including the Black and Bleu Burger. It has black olives and bleu cheese on it.
Two Hastings men led police on a chase Tuesday night through the Three Rivers Mobile Home Park. The chase ended in a ditch along Highway 316. The two men are expected to be charged at noon in Dakota County court Friday, Oct. 3. They have been in custody since they were apprehended Tuesday night. The chase began after a Hastings Police patrol officer attempted to pull over a vehicle that had a tail light out. The vehicle sped up and attempted to flee the officer.