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 Thanksgiving tradition of Gobble Gait in Hastings reached its goal this year. More than $60,000 was raised and 1,600 pounds of food collected for Hastings Family Service in the annual 8K run/walk and 2K fun walk held Thursday morning in downtown Hastings. "We are close to $300,000 raised in our 10 years," Gobble Gait co-chair Jay Kochendorfer said. "It was an awesome day." The funds raised were about $5,000 more than 2006. In its 10 years, more than $280,000 has been raised and more than 9,600 pounds of food collected for Hastings Family Service.
At least two Hastings-area restaurants are providing diners with free food in exchange for a toy. Chipotle and King's Place in Miesville have promotions planned for December. From 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5, Chipotle in Hastings will give away a free burrito, burrito bowl, salad or order of tacos for anyone who donates a new, unwrapped toy. From 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18, King's Place on Highway 61 in Miesville will offer a similar promotion.
When the hail storm of June 20, 2007, blew through Hastings, many homeowners got a blessing in disguise: new roofs. For most, it was a matter of picking out new shingles and deciding which contractor to hire. Most people, though, don't have copper roofs. And most homes in Hastings weren't designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. So you can imagine the process for Mike and Cindy Hovgaard. They own the building at the intersection of Highway 55 and Pine Street in Hastings.
Brandy Eastman, and husband, Shorty, are the new owners of Affordable Elegance Furniture store at 1800 Vermillion Street in Hastings, but she's not new to the business, nor to the building. Eastman learned the furniture business from her parents, Joe and Robyn Ptacek. They operated the Furniture House and the Oak Room at the same location. For the last decade, Eastman worked with them. When the Furniture House and the Oak Room closed over the summer, Eastman stepped up and got to work. She bought new inventory, changed the business model and put on her painting clothes.
Starting with our Oct. 18 issue, the Star Gazette will join the hundreds of other weekly newspapers across the country in charging for obituaries. While the charge will be minimal (we will still publish death notices for free), this will eliminate us from the burden of deciding for the family what we will print and what we will not print. As anyone knows who has written an obituary, they're incredibly important.
An angler trolls the waters of the St. Croix River early Friday morning. The angler was fishing north of Prescott near the mouth of the Kinnickinnic River.
The summer of 2008 in Hastings is shaping up to be full of traffic, bright orange signs and brake lights. Monday night, city officials and about 50 residents of Hastings heard the Minnesota Department of Transportation's plan for repair work on the Highway 61 bridge here. While MnDOT officials made certain to point out no decisions on the work planned for 2008 have been made yet, the prospects of 24-hour single lane traffic on the bridge appear to be daunting. Residents here know full well what traffic is like when bridge inspections take place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the summer.
A young Hastings man was hit and injured by a vehicle while attempting to cross Vermillion Street at approximately 3:45 p.m. Wednesday. The teen was transported via ambulance from the scene. The intersection of Vermillion and 23rd is located near Auto Stop and Las Margaritas. There is no crosswalk at the intersection. More information will be posted here as it becomes available.
The Hastings Dairy Queen, located on Vermillion Street, will be closing a month earlier than usual this fall. And, by the time the store reopens in the spring, it will look much different. Crews will demolish the existing building, which has been in use for 55 years, and begin work on a new facility. When the new site opens in February, it will feature a drive-thru window and the Orange Julius line, well known for its smoothies. "People don't realize this store has been here for 55 years," said Scott Jelley, one of the store's owners. "It's time for a new building and a new look.
I've never had a nice car. Now, I'm just wishing I had a car. During a recent trip back to the office from Hastings Ford, my hail-damaged 1992 Nissan with 154,000 miles broke down in Cari Park. This is where the story gets good. Later that night, my neighbor Leonard and I drove out to Cari Park to tow the car to the repair shop. On the way to south Hastings, it became apparent that his truck wasn't running very well either. In fact, once we got my car hooked up to his truck, the truck died.