- Member for
- 5 years 6 months
The third time around was the “lucky charm” for Jack Raway. On Wednesday, Jan. 14, the seventh-grader won the Hastings Middle School Geography Bee. He had previously been one of the 10 finalists in his first two years at the school. “It’s just awesome,” he said about winning the contest. The annual contest is sponsored by National Geographic and has been for 27 years.
Authors’ visits, movies, book discussions and family events highlight Hastings Reads 2015 with its theme of “Journeys: Riding the Orphan Trains.” The community-wide reading program seeks to encourage reading and discussion of books and the ways in which they can help us understand the lives and experiences of ourselves and others. The book discussion at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb.
The Hastings community has been very good to him, Greg Stotko says. He said he’s focusing on repaying what has been given to him over the years. The Hastings Area Chamber Board of Directors believes that his efforts and community service are more than that. This week the board presented Stotko with its Spirit of Hastings Award. It will be presented Tuesday at the Chamber’s annual banquet. “We don’t present this award every year,” Chamber President Michelle Jacobs said.
Tom and Marcy Sherwood believe they are representative of the large number of volunteers at Hastings Family Service and the Hastings Area Senior Center. They do not need any recognition or plaques; a spoken word of thanks or smile or hug is more than enough. Some believe otherwise. On Jan. 27, the Sherwoods will be honored as the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce Volunteers of the Year.
Paul Hicks remembers running in the hallways of Hastings Junior High School when Jerry Dempsey suddenly stopped him by grabbing his ear. “He knew my name and said, ‘Mr. Hicks: in my office,” said Hicks, who is now the mayor of Hastings. “I had no choice but to go to the office and he told me the advantages of not running in the hallways.” Years later, Hicks and Dempsey, then a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, recalled the incident. “He was in the Legislature and I worked for it,” said Hicks.
Angie McGinnis was not seeking another position. She said she was very happy as the St. Philip’s Early Learning Center director. But when the position of Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) director in Hastings Community Education opened, due to the retirement of Missy Thompson, McGinnis was interested. She soon applied and will officially be hired later this month. Her new position with the Hastings School District means McGinnis no longer can serve on its School Board. She resigned Wednesday, Jan.
When the Hastings Reads program began in 2009, organizers wanted to encourage reading and the discussion of books for all ages. That continues this year with the announcement of the theme, book selections and some of the upcoming activities. Nationally-known author Christina Baker Kline, author of “Orphan Train,” will culminate the month-long activities when she appears Feb. 24 at the Pleasant Hill Library in Hastings.
The giving spirit is strong in Hastings. It continued again this most recent holiday season when Hastings Family Service’s Project Share reached out and touched more than 400 Hastings families. Project Share has been a community tradition supporting Hastings Family Service (HFS) since the organization was founded in 1970.
The second part of the giving for the annual Christmas Stockings project was completed this week. About 200 brightly decorated and filled Christmas stockings were delivered to the Minnesota Veterans Home Hastings residents and the Lewis House families, ensuring a happier Christmas holiday for residents at each home. For a short period of time last week, they were stored in the Adult Basic Education (ABE) classroom of coordinator Gaby Postiglione at Tilden Community Center.
The Minnesota House of Representatives is now controlled by the Republicans, while the Minnesota Senate and governor’s office remain under the control of the Democrats. But Rep. Denny McNamara, Republican, is hopeful about the upcoming legislative session set to begin Monday, Jan. 5. “Call me naïve, but I think we are going to get along,” said McNamara. “It will be tough as we have different priorities, but in the end I believe we can come together.” McNamara has already been in contact with Sen.