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For weeks, they were studying and learning more about this country's and the world's geography. A recent geography test determined that Faith Forstad, McAuliffe; Sarah Gathe, Pinecrest; and Aimee Fagnant, Kennedy, do know their facts about geography. For the past four years, the fourth grade students of Hastings School District 200 elementary schools have participated in the Geo-Bee Club (each school has one for invited students). The culmination of the three months of studying and discussion is a geography bee, sponsored by National Geographic.
The city of Hastings and Nininger Township remain in the same Minnesota House district under the redistricting plan announced Tuesday. There is one change -- the number of the district will change from 57B to 54B. "For the most part, it is exactly the way is has been," said Rep. Denny McNamara, Republican-Hastings, who has represented the area for 10 years. "There is a small area that changes - St.
Sarah Palin may have introduced the country to Wasilla, Alaska, but she has very strong competition now. A young woman -- she's 12 -- with a strong Hastings connection has written and published her first novel, "Chaderick - Not a Vampire, Not a Zombie, Not a Superhero," which is now available through Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Lauren DW Luchsinger Fox's book can also be purchased at several area book stores in Wasilla. "The idea just sort of came to me and it started going," said Lauren. Her grandparents Gary and Kathy Fox live here and her mother, Dena, grew up here.
Most of the students at Pinecrest Elementary School probably had never been exposed to string instruments. On Friday morning, that changed. The second- to fourth-graders became better acquainted with the help of the Royal Strings, an area musical quintet. For about an hour there was music from the cello, bass, viola and two violins as well as interaction with the musicians. The appearance of the Royal Strings, who visited Hastings schools in 2009, was made possible through a "What If" grant provided by the Hastings Public School Foundation.
Members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School's eighth-grade class served the community as they volunteered part of their day at Sharing and Caring Hands in Minneapolis Jan. 18. The parish has had a long-time relationship with Sharing and Caring Hands since it began in 1985. On the third Wednesday of each month, the parish has provided a hot, nutritious meal at the shelter. Since 1987, students have had the opportunity to serve the clients of Sharing and Caring Hands once a year.
Rick Santorum was easily the favorite of Minnesota Republican caucus-goers Tuesday night. Republican caucus goers in Hastings liked him, too. In the city of Hastings presidential preferential straw vote, Santorum won with 58 votes. Ron Paul was a very close second with 57 votes, followed by Mitt Romney with 36 votes and Newt Gingrich with 26 votes. The turnout for the Republican caucuses was not a surprise, said Tony Horton, Hastings Republican caucus site leader and House District 57B chair. "The turnout was about what our leaders expected," he said.
The Hastings community cares. That has often been demonstrated at the holidays, during disasters and crises as people reach out to help one another. For three days last week - Feb. 2 to Feb. 4, they did it again.
The winning word for Kelsey Baker was "barren." The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton fifth-grader spelled the word correctly on the 10th round of the annual school spelling bee Monday and was named best speller. Fourth-grader Andy O'Brien was the runner-up and Monica Caulkins was the alternate.
Faith, academics and service are all connected at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Hastings. That combination has helped to make the school strong for more than 50 years. Next week, Jan. 29 to Feb. 3, the Hastings Catholic school, along with others throughout the nation, will celebrate Catholic Schools Week. The school is strong and stable, stressed Principal Jill Moes, because of the parishioners, community and business support. She has been impressed by the support of the church, parents, the community and local businesses, she said.
The local election season begins here soon. The Minnesota Political Party Caucuses will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7. The ballot will be a full one this year, including the race for President, one senate position (currently held by Amy Klobuchar), all congressional seats, as well as Minnesota's legislative seats. What happens there? The precinct caucuses are meetings organized by the state's political parties.