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Roman Tokarev, charged in a police chase through Hastings more than a year ago, appeared in Dakota County District Court Monday. Motions were filed and additional court dates scheduled. Tokarev's next court appearance is at 9 a.m. April 1, with a jury trial set for June 14. The judge ordered an evaluation of Tokarev before the next court date. Tokarev's attorney has filed a motion for a change of venue from Dakota County. Since the chase, Roman Tokarev has been incarcerated through the Minnesota Department of Corrections at Oak Parks Heights prison.
Boxing, jujitsu, and karate are what it is all about at Little Gloves MMA, a new business in the Hastings Business Park. It is located at 625 Commerce Dr. in the same building as Majeski Plumbing. The owners of Little Gloves are Gabe Greenberg, Doug Fredricksen, Mike Owen, Nick Owen and Kyle Hinsh. The trainers are Fernando Ortiz, a boxing coach; Nikki Ortiz, the women's boxing/cardio instructor; and Steve Peterson, the jujitsu instructor. The volunteer instructor is Fred Litschke.
The building that Spiral Natural Foods occupies in downtown Hastings has been sold. Hastings Family Service will relocate from its current location on East Third Street to the west side of the building within two weeks. Spiral Natural Foods will not move for several months, but its members and board are actively engaged in a process to ensure its continuation. It needs the community's help. The board of directors of Spiral Natural Foods has been aware of the possible sale of the building for several months and has been looking at other sites.
Reduced caseloads and reductions in staff have resulted in a restructuring of the Dakota County Attorney's office. "We are eliminating our Juvenile and Protective Services Division and combining this work with our Criminal and Civil Divisions," said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.
Dianne Witt always wanted to open her own restaurant. Last week, her dream came true as "Witt's End" opened for business in the Westview Center (at the former location of the old Nancy's Café). The cozy, warm and inviting café features breakfasts and lunches Tuesday through Sunday. "This is something I always wanted to do - open a small café," Witt said earlier this week, "and another opportunity came for me to get it." That was last winter and Witt and her husband Greg and other family members have been working hard to get the business open.
Hastings Family Service is moving. As of Tuesday, Feb. 15, its new location will be 301 E. Second St., the former location of the Great River Art Gallery. That business moved earlier this month to 109 E. Second St. The move of Hastings Family Service is the seventh one since the agency began 40 years ago. All of its leased locations have been in the downtown area. Its most recent location has been 121 E. Third St. (across from the Hastings Police Department). "This is exciting; this is fast," said Hastings Family Service resource development director Amy Sutton.
In what is now seen as an iconic image from a terrible American tragedy, he is seen carrying a critically-injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords from the scene of the Tucson shooting Jan. 8. Not much of Tom Schwartz's face is visible, but there he is, doing his job. The photograph appeared on the front page of the New York Times. It dramatically captured the scene that Saturday morning at the Safeway store. For former Hastings resident Schwartz, it placed him at the tragedy, doing what he has done for a living for 13 years.
A Hastings man, Carl Edward Moeller, 47, has been charged with one count of harassing conduct (a felony) and one count of assault in the fourth degree against a peace officer following an incident last spring at a Hastings business. The charges were filed in the fall, and the court proceedings continue in Dakota County District Court. According to the criminal compliant filed in the Dakota County Attorney's office, a Hastings police officer was on duty April 30 when he went into Walgreens. He was looking for an individual wanted in connection with an order for protection violation.
Hastings High School junior Esther Susag has been elected lieutenant governor and is looking forward to helping the governor next year. Seriously, she is. Among more than 1,300 Minnesota high school students who were participants at the recent Minnesota YMCA Youth in Government program, Susag is second in leadership. Alex Streff of Red Wing, Susag's friend, is governor. More than 70 Hastings students participated in weekend events held Jan. 6 to Jan. 9 at the state capitol in St. Paul and Hilton hotel in Minneapolis.
Mark Zuzek wants it known. It is humbling to accept the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year award. He couldn't do what he does without the help and support of so many people, including his family, staff, community people he said. Zuzek is the Hastings Middle School principal, a position he has held since 1999. He loves what he does. "I am the luckiest man in the world," he said. "I can't think of working in a better community; I know I'm working in an awesome school with colleagues I love, and with kids who are terrific." Zuzek used to be one of the kids.