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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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.
The space at Westview Center formerly occupied by Big Lots and County Market will soon have a new tenant. Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota will open a store that will sell clothing and household items. The store is expected to open in early July. The new store will have 15,000 square feet of sales floor and a drive-through donation center. According to a release from Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota, the new store will be configured like other Goodwill stores in Eagan, Stillwater, Maple Grove and Shakopee.
A stop sign and street sign are blanketed in snow after a March 31 snowstorm in Hastings. The city received five inches of snow.
It has been an up-and-down couple of weeks for Lynette and Allen Schmaltz. They were hoping that on March 21, they'd visit doctors in St. Paul and those doctors would give their 8-month-old son, Adam, a clean bill of health. That didn't happen. Adam, who is beating a form of cancer called neuroblastoma, had a number of scans done on the 21st. Doctors found that Adam still had active cells on the bottom of his liver and in his liver. The main tumor mass in his abdomen had shrunk, and a bone scan showed improvement.
Daniel Swanson couldn't wait to get started hunting for eggs at the 21st annual Edina Realty Easter egg hunt on Saturday at Roadside Park in Hastings. He saw all the eggs in the snow and didn't want to wait until 10 a.m. to get started hunting. He is being comforted by Becky Swanson. Daniel was eventually turned loose and fared well in the hunt.
Pinecrest Elementary students took part in the fifth annual Mitch O'Brien Jump-a-thon last week, honoring Mitch O'Brien and raising money for two of his favorite activities. The proceeds will be divided between the physical education and art departments at Pinecrest and the American Heart Association. Mitch O'Brien died in June of 2003; he was just 10.