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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The bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River were the perfect spot to watch the Rivertown Days fireworks on Saturday night. To see more of the weekend's celebration, check out our online photo gallery.
Each time John Kosec's mother, Gretl, opened her freezer, she had no idea what would be staring at her. There were ducks. There were fish. There were squirrels. All frozen, all mixed in with her vegetables. The critters came mostly from the Mississippi River bottoms in Hastings, where her son spent as much time as he could. What was he doing with them? At the youthful age of 12, he was beginning his career as a taxidermist. He loved the outdoors and wanted everything mounted.
A judge has ruled against Wal-Mart in a class-action lawsuit, saying the discount retailer violated state labor laws two million times by cutting workers' break times and "willfully" allowing employees to work off the clock. Dakota County Judge Robert King Jr.
Alex Aamodt and Devon Alwin were all smiles as they took their places just before the start of Friday night's graduation at Hastings High School. They were the first two members of the Class of 2008 to receive their diplomas. In all, 450 students graduated.
Runners race down the Featherstone Road hill during the seventh annual Nick Clare Memorial Run on Saturday. The run is held in tribute to Hastings graduate Nick Clare, who died after a car accident in 2001. Proceeds benefit HHS athletic programs and the scholarship in his name.
No matter who you are, there's probably someone just like you in the Hastings-based National Guard unit. They're young and old, men and women, white, black and Hispanic. Some have the traditional military-style haircut, some are bald and others have full heads of hair. Some wear glasses and a few sport moustaches. Charlie Company of the 834th Aviation Support Battalion gathered at Hastings High School Sunday with members of the public for a farewell ceremony.
Talk about a rude awakening. At 3:32 a.m. Thursday, April 17, Dan Niedere's phone rang. It was the Hastings Police Department, calling to tell him that his business, Papa's Bar and Grill, was on fire. Niedere raced to the scene and called his friend and co-owner, Adam Notch, on the way. "I didn't know exactly what to expect," Niedere said. "It wasn't looking too good when I got there. There was quite a lot of smoke coming out." Notch, too, hit the road immediately. He could smell smoke and see lights from 180th Street. "I couldn't believe it," he said.
I'm starting to think that my wife should be the editor of this paper, based on the number of comments I received about her column last week. For the record, we have learned that the name of the gentleman she wrote about was Charles Johnson, the former principal at Hastings High School.
Most of the time spent at Innovative Surfaces in Hastings is spent making beautiful countertops for kitchens. Corian, Cambria and stone surfaces are designed, fabricated and installed by the Hastings firm, located in the industrial park. Day in, day out, the 85 employees at Innovative Surfaces come and go. It's been this way since 1994. But what the firm helped with over the past couple months was anything but the norm. Innovative Surfaces made a substantial donation of time and resources to help Kyle Anderson, a U.S. Marine Corps lance corporal.
As the editor of the Hastings Star Gazette, I had grand visions for our Web site. In particular, I had high hopes for our article comments. Turns out, I was too optimistic. Today, April 15, I removed all comments. In their place, we're offering a Talk About It feature, where readers can submit comments. Those comments, though, will be reviewed by me before they are posted. I apologize to the responsible readers of our online community.