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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For the first time in 29 years, the Minnesota State Open golf tournament will not be held at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids. Rather, it will be held right here, at the Hastings Country Club. "It's going to be a pretty big deal for us," HCC golf pro Brad Schmierer said last week. The tournament is planned for July 24-26. One hundred sixty of the top amateurs and pros from Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota will compete in the tournament.
Bright skies. Temps in the mid-40s. Just a little breeze. For April tennis here in Minnesota, that's about as good as it gets. The result, though, was even better than the weather. In the season opener for the Hastings boys tennis team, the Raiders cruised to a 7-0 win over Rosemount. "Each year, you never know exactly what you have," HHS coach Mick Willette said. "I was feeling confident, and I didn't think we'd lose, but I didn't anticipate us winning 7-0.
April Fool's Day has come and gone. Unfortunately, news that the Minnesota Department of Transportation may have to scale back the Hastings bridge replacement is no joke. (If you missed the story, it is on Page 5A). Still, you can't help but laugh at the developments. It's just that bizarre. Last year, we were told the money was secure. The bridge replacement was a go. By the summer of 2010, work would be under way. Then came The Great Deepcession. We've started driving less and spending less. And therefore, the state is taking less of our money.
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.