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An inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility now serving a sentence in Faribault will be sentenced Jan. 16 after being convicted of conspiracy to murder Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom. Jurors reached a verdict Friday, Dec. 7, in the trial of John Stephen Woodward, 49. The jury found Woodward not guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree assault against a witness in Woodward's Dakota County criminal case in 2007. Originally, Woodward had been charged in 2010 with two counts of conspiracy to commit premeditated first-degree murder.
When St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School students reported to the principal's office last Wednesday (Nov. 28), they were told to wear their coats. The thermostat was working fine in Principal Jill Moes' regular office, but she was not there. She had temporarily moved her office out to the playground. Spending part of the cool day outside was part of a promise made earlier this year by Moes. "We raised and met our goal of $42,000 for the marathon," said Moes. "We actually raised $43,000. "I told the students that if we met our goal, I would move my office to the rooftop.
A Hastings man, 45-year-old Louis R. Oliver, faces a felony charge of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree after he allegedly sexually assaulted a college student near Riverside Park in Minneapolis on Nov. 19. Oliver made his first court appearance in Hennepin County District on Tuesday (Dec. 4). According to the criminal complaint, the female was walking to a St. Catherine College building near the park. She was approached by a stranger.
Dakota County deputies arrested a duck hunter at Spring Lake Park Thursday, Nov. 29, after he allegedly shot at another hunter during an argument at the park in Nininger Township, west of Hastings. The individual, whose name has not been released has since been released from jail and the investigation continues. As of Wednesday morning (Dec. 5) no charges have been filed. According to the Dakota County Sheriff's office, deputies were called just after 2:30 p.m. to the park on the report of shots fired at a duck hunter.
They are just barely in a new school setting, learning how to adjust to hundreds of other students and a very large school building. Fitting right into this structure of learning what is outside the four walls for sixth- grade students at Hastings Middle School is the Junior Achievement's Economics for Success program. This is the first year of this particular Junior Achievement program at the middle school. Different components of Junior Achievement have been under way at the elementary schools and Hastings High School for several years.
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.