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Sherryl Meier remembers going with her father, Conrad Eckhart, when he made a number of sales calls for the business he started - Eckhart Vacuum. That was her introduction to the vacuum sales and repair business. Her sisters went along on those rides too. In 1990, she and her husband, Harry, would take over the business and continue to run it. Now, 58 years after Conrad Eckhart began the business, which became a very familiar name in the Hastings area and beyond, the Meiers have decided to close the business. It's a changing world, said Harry. "It's about plastic now," he said.
A former Hastings group home employee, Jill Kirsten Sampson, 34, of Prescott, will serve two years probation and make restitution of $1,500 in connection with the theft of money from two residents in late 2009. District Court Judge Mary Theisen accepted Sampson's Alford plea to a gross misdemeanor charge last week. The original felony theft charge was dismissed. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but rather acknowledgment there is sufficient evidence to convict.
As the clerk for the City of Vermillion, Patricia (Patty) Ward paid all of the city's bills and issued checks for the city. A criminal complaint filed last week in Dakota County District Court claims that Ward, no longer employed by the city, used city funds to also pay for personal expenses. She faces two felony charges of theft by swindle. An investigation was initiated in October 2009.
A Hastings tradition is here. The 2011 Rivertown Days festival, complete with music shows, arts and craft fair, lots of food, lumberjack show, demonstrations, tournaments, duck races, river run, fireworks display, and other activities is this week - July 14 to Sunday, July 17. There is something for everyone. The Edina Realty Medallion Hunt kicked off earlier this week. Teen Night at the Hastings Family Aquatic Center is scheduled from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, July 14.
For many, the highlight of the Hastings Rivertown Days is the parade. This year's parade will begin at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 17, and there is a new route from 10th and Ramsey streets, down Ramsey Street to Second Street. Then the parade goes to the east to Eddy Street, going north on Eddy Street to Fourth Street where it concludes. The parade will be going the wrong way on Ramsey Street, and Ramsey Street in the parade area will be closed to all other traffic.
A 46-year-old Rochester man with 10 prior drunk driving conditions is in trouble in Dakota County following a July 3 incident in Vermillion Township.
A number of Hastings area businesses are holding special activities during this year's Rivertown Days. Schoolhouse Square Schoolhouse Square Rocks, sponsored by businesses - Green Mill, Premier Bank, Verizon, Dunn Bros, Affinity Credit, Schoolhouse Scoop and Anytime Fitness - includes events throughout the day Saturday, July 16. A three-on-three basketball tournament is scheduled at 9 a.m.; an open adult basketball three-on-three tournament will be held at 1p.m. Premier Bank will hold a petting zoo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Hastings Area YMCA ducks are getting ready to float. Ducks in Training Day was held June 30 at the Y. About 2,000 ducks were put into the pool to test those who could swim and those who dunked. The Hastings Area YMCA Rivertown Days Duck Race will wrap up the Rivertown Days events and will be held shortly after the Rivertown Days parade at about 3 p.m. Sunday, July 17.
Something brand new and an event which has proven popular in past Rivertown Days events return. Pig racing will be held at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 15; at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July16; at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, July 17, in Jaycee Park. Pig racing is a sport in which young pigs race around a small enclosed dirt, fake grass or gravel track. This racing is usually just for entertainment. Pig racing is most popular in the southern United States.
Edina Realty's medallion hunt officially kicks off this year's Rivertown Days next week. The celebration runs through the weekend of July 15-17. Edina's first clue will be released Monday, July 11, at the Edina Realty office, 1640 South Frontage Road. The clues are updated daily and available during regular business hours at the office. They will also be announced on KDWA radio. The medallion will be hidden on public property within the city limits. The prize is $500 with a Rivertown Days button or t-shirt, $250 without the button.