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The winners in the annual Voice of Democracy Essay Contest have been selected. Winners at Hastings High School are Christina Alongi, first; Sarah Zeien, second; Kay Lynn Johnson, third; and Garret Tuin, fourth. Winners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School are Robert C. Kirtz, first; Ryan Klein, second; Mitchell O'Brien, third; Laura Church, fourth; and Emily Weldon, fifth.
A free event by the community and for the community to help restore hope will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25, in the Hastings High School auditorium. "Hope is Here" has been planned by members of the Hastings community in response to the tragedies involving Hastings youths in the past several months. It is their goal to reach out to bring back the hope within the community. "This is going to be a great night," said Doug Erickson, who was one of the people who got the ball rolling on the event. He wondered: what could be done to reach out and help others?
Hastings school district head school nurse Anne Conklin has been honored by her peers. The School Nurses Organization of Minnesota (SNOM) has selected her as its Administrator of the Year. Conklin has been the health services coordinator for Hastings schools since 1991.
Want to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner, but don't want to go through all the work? Perhaps you are alone this Thanksgiving dinner. A free community Thanksgiving dinner is scheduled again at the United Methodist Church from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22.The planning has begun and the call is out for volunteers to assist with the meal preparation that day. The event coordinator is Karrie Hamilton Williamson. For more than five years, the church has offered its fellowship hall and local businesses have ensured there would be enough food.
The area incumbents have been returned to the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate. Rep. Denny McNamara, Republican, Hastings, and DFL Sen. Katie Sieben, Cottage Grove, easily were returned to office in Tuesday's general election. McNamara defeated his Democratic challenger Joanna Bayers, Hastings, 12,493 to 9,228, or about a 57 percent to 42 percent margin. Sieben defeated her Republican challenger Janis Quinlan, St. Paul Park, 26,998, to 15,256, or a margin of 64 percent to 36 percent. "I'm excited to serve the residents of the district again," said McNamara.
Hastings resident Mike Slavik earned the biggest victory of his still young political career Tuesday night and he was excited. "I'm just very excited to begin," said Slavik, who was elected as the Dakota County commissioner in District 1. After 32 years, the district has a new person on the county board as Commissioner Joe Harris, also of Hastings, is retiring at the end of the year. "I want to thank everyone - it has been a long campaign," he said.
He was mayor of Hampton for several years, then was defeated four years ago by Paye Flomo. Now, Timothy Skog will become mayor again as he defeated Flomo 196 to 117. Skog's return to office was part of the election news in the communities surrounding Hastings. In other election results: Coates -- mayor, John Gores was elected mayor with 675 votes; For city council, Christopher Gores and Marjorie Karnick were elected with 46 and 61 votes respectively. Hampton - For city council, Amanda Jensrud and John Knetter were elected with 207 and 167 votes respectively. Miesville -- Incumbent Mayor
When the LeDuc Historic Estate was rededicated and opened to the public in 2005, Hazel Jacobsen Theel was one of the honored guests. As people walked around the grounds and into the house, she sat outside the carriage barn and looked around. A smile grew on her face and she turned to a reporter. "We did it," she said. "Isn't it wonderful?" She and others had fought the battle, so to speak, and the State of Minnesota in obtaining funds to restore the house.
A Hastings couple has been charged with multiple crimes associated with the abuse, endangerment and neglect of a 4-year-old female child. The charges were filed last week after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) contacted Hastings police about an ongoing Internet investigation involving suspected production of pornographic works involving minor children. Mark Matthew Cortes, 24, has been charged with criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, use of a minor in a sexual performance for pornographic work and possession of pornographic work involving minors. All are felonies.
Families, get ready to celebrate the fall season and the upcoming Halloween holiday. Three favorites are returning this month. On Friday, Oct. 26, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. there will be a Community Halloween Party at the Hastings High School commons. Admission will be a non-perishable food item for Hastings Family Service or cash donation to the Youth First Planning Council Scholarship Fund. This is a family-friendly event. Please wear your best costume. There will be food, games, prizes and candy for all. Recommended for ages 12 and under.