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When Mike Pepin was a police officer in Woodbury for 15 years, he helped the community and its people. He is still doing the helping, but in a different way. He is now a financial consultant and this week he joined Biermaier Financial Management at its Hastings office. "Throughout my life, my other passion has always been finance, and I was being drawn more and more to it," said Pepin.
This is it. The Black Dirt Theater Company's production of the musical "Oklahoma" premieres this week at Hastings High School. This is community theater at its best. Community members act, sing and dance on stage, while others work behind the scenes on the music, the set, the costumes and the props. Now the community can enjoy and appreciate their efforts. This is a production for the entire community, said Black Dirt Theater Company co-founder and musical director Andy Langenfeld. That is part of the mission of the company, he said.
The orientation schedule for Hastings Middle School students has been set. Fifth-grade students will meet at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23; sixth-grade students will meet at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24. Seventh- and eighth-grade students will meet at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 25. A make-up session will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Aug.
Close to 30 teams with more than 280 members will be walking around a portion of the student parking lot at Hastings High School, raising funds for the American Cancer Society. The previous 16 events have raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society. The 17th annual Hastings Bridge to a Cure will be held from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at the high school, 200 General Sieben Drive. The walk is open to the public at no charge. "Everyone is welcome to join us as we walk for cancer survivors and victims this Friday," said Bridge to a Cure co-chair Deb McCoy.
It would be quite an understatement to say that DCA Title in Hastings is a company with dedicated employees. Richard Welshons, president, noted that a number of his employees have more than 20 years of services(18 of them do, to be exact). Last Thursday, July 14, Richard and his brother, vice-president David, held a party to honor four employees who had a combined 134 years of employment.
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.