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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Most school teachers find fun summer jobs.
If all goes as planned, the city of Hastings will have a new police chief by July. Since current chief Mike McMenomy announced last month that he would be retiring at the end of May, city staff, council members and the three police commissioners have been busy figuring out how the process of hiring a new chief will work. At a recent public safety committee meeting, Hastings City Administrator Dave Osberg laid out the following timeline: At its April 5 meeting, the city council will be asked to give its approval to begin advertising for the position.
Hastings High School's Elliot Wilcox saved his best for last. The decorated Hastings swimmer placed second in two events at the state meet Saturday night at the University of Minnesota. In the process, he broke a 15-year-old school record and earned All-American honors. "Elliot had a strong state meet," Hastings swim coach Gerry Rupp said. "It was quite a statement from him." Wilcox got his meet off to a great start Friday by swimming the fastest time in the 50 prelims at 21.11 seconds.
The present looks bright for the Hastings boys swimming team. And so does the future. The present? Hastings senior Elliot Wilcox qualified for two events at this weekend's state swimming meet at the University of Minnesota. He has the second-fastest qualifying time in the100 freestyle, and the fourth-fastest time in the 50 freestyle. The future? There are just two eighth-grade swimmers who qualified to race in individual events. Both are from Hastings.
The Hastings boys basketball team is back to .500, thanks to a three-game winning streak. Hastings beat Park on Tuesday, Feb. 23, to improve to 11-11 on the season with three games to play. Those three games won't be easy ones by any stretch, as the Raiders face White Bear Lake (16-7), Forest Lake (18-5) and Stillwater (17-6).
Countless hours of time spent swimming back and forth at Hastings Middle School have led to this for the Hastings swim team: the section meet. The section team title is out of reach for the Raiders, but there's still plenty on the line. Individual trips to the state tournament are up for grabs at the season's biggest meet. It begins at 3:30 p.m. today (Thursday) at the Rochester Recreation Center. Finals begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Hastings has two No. 1-seeded swimmers. Hastings senior Elliot Wilcox has the No. 1 seed in the 100 freestyle and Colby Smith is the No.
The Hastings gymnastics team ended its season over the weekend at the section gymnastics meet. Hastings finished with a team score of 128.35 points. "The section meet was a challenge for us as we dealt with injuries, sickness, and a tough rotation," Hastings coach Megan Latch said. "The meet started with us on beam, which is always a hard event to start on. After beam, the girls did a great job of pulling things together.
The last remnants of local government aid to the city of Hastings would be wiped out if Governor Tim Pawlenty gets his way. Last week, Pawlenty announced $250 million in added cuts to city and county government aid as part of his proposed 2010 budget plan. Those cuts would eliminate the last $130,000 of aid to Hastings. The cut, though, didn't come as a surprise to the city. "We knew this was a possibility," Hastings Mayor Paul Hicks said. The city had budgeted to use that $130,000 toward a future purchase of a fire truck. It appears as though that will be put on hold.
Hastings jumped out to a 3-0 lead, watched as Park cut the lead to a goal at 3-2, and then pulled away down the stretch for a 5-2 win over the Wolfpack Thursday. Hastings got three goals and an assist from junior Austin Nelson to lead the charge. Nelson scored his first goal at 1:47 of the first period, assisted by Cole Claussen and Eric Kasel.
For most swimmers on the Hastings boys team, this week was a welcome relief. On Friday of last week, most of the members of the team began their tapering process to prepare for the section meet. That process brings with it a gradual reduction in the amount of swimming they do every day at practice. It was a welcome relief for the members of the team, who have been hit hard with morning practices, afternoon practices and meets. Now, just two meets remain on the schedule for the varsity swimmers -- the section meet, and the state meet. Sections begins Thursday, Feb. 25, in Rochester.