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The Christmas spirit arrived early for Karissa Rother, 12, and her neighbors and friends Halie and Mikaela Harder, 10 and 12 respectively. Through hard work, time and a desire to help others, the three friends, who live next door to each other on Owen Avenue just south of Hastings, will reach out to children thousands of miles away this holiday season. Their project was to fill as many shoeboxes as possible through the international organization, Operation Christmas Child.
What do a tuning fork, crystal goblets and rubber bands have in common? All three can be used in producing sound. For almost an hour last Thursday, the first- and second-grade students at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton learned about sound - one of the wonders of science - through demonstrations presented by the Science Museum of Minnesota. Katie Urban was the leader. Throughout the hour, she and the students plucked objects, blew into and on glass objects, rubbed together objects, and listened and watched.
When 41-year-old Michael Frederick Schmidt of Hastings was convicted in September of first-degree criminal sexual conduct of a nine-month old, he was ordered to undergo a presentence investigation and a psychological investigation. That order is still to be completed. At Monday's sentencing hearing, Schmidt's attorney, who he had apparently fired, then rehired, indicated that Judge Joseph Carter's order had not been fulfilled. Carter set a new sentencing hearing for 9 a.m. Monday, Dec.
For years, his family farmed the land west of Hastings that would be become one of the Dakota County's regional parks. Then, Carl Schaar and his wife Dorothy moved near another county park, this overlooking Lake Byllesby near Cannon Falls, where they lived there for 20 years. At the age of 102, Carl Schaar died Thursday, Nov. 4, at Angel Care Center in Cannon Falls. More than 30 years ago, the land the Schaar family lived on and farmed, became Spring Lake Park. The beautiful area overlooks the Mississippi River and Spring Lake.
The young people did their part and the community responded again this past week. Five separate food drive collections helped to restock the Hastings Family Service food shelf for this upcoming holiday season. A total of 8,452 pounds of food and $2,255 in cash donations were presented to Hastings Family Service Monday afternoon. Hastings Family Service Executive Director Chris Koop praised the generosity of the of the community for its giving spirit. "Every ounce of the food will go back to help people in our community this holiday season," she said.
Doing "less with less." That is how Dakota County Finance Director Matt Smith described the recommended 2011 Dakota County budget to the Dakota County Board of Commissioners this week. The recommended budget is $307.1 million, compared to the 2010 budget of about $368 million. The recommended levy for the 2011 is $129,402,073 (the amount property owners pay), or an .8 percent increase over this year's levy of $128.4 million. Smith said the budgets for both county operations and capital improvement program (CIP) will be smaller.
It was close, very close. When the final votes were totaled early Wednesday morning, Senate District 57 incumbent DFLer Katie Sieben had won re-election to another four-year term. She defeated Republican challenger Karin Housley, 15,812 votes, to 15,206 votes. In Dakota County, Sieben received 6,095 votes to Housley's 5,861votes.
Dakota County Sheriff Dave Bellows was elected to a full four-year term Tuesday, defeating Apple Police Sgt. Mitch Scott by a 54- to 45-percent margin. Bellows earned 67,377 votes to Scott's 56,216 votes. The Dakota County Board of Commissioners had appointed Bellows sheriff in February after former Sheriff Don Gudmundson announced his retirement from the position.
When the Minnesota House of Representatives District 57 B race began seven months ago, challenger David Page, DFL, Hastings, was realistic about his chances to win - slim at best. He was right. On Tuesday, incumbent Rep. Denny McNamara, Republican, Hastings, was returned to the House by 2-1 margin. With all 21 precincts reporting, McNamara had 10,885 votes to Page's 5,726 votes. "I'm just so thankful to the voters of the district," said McNamara late Tuesday night. "I'm humbled by their votes." "Denny is a pretty hard opponent," said Page.
The seemingly-endless television commercials, mailings and door knocking by candidates will end soon. The 2010 general election will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2. Voters across Minnesota will elect a new governor and cast ballots for other state officials and their choices for Minnesota House of Representatives and a third of the State Senate.