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It's back to school for about 5,000 students in Hastings Independent School District 200 schools, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church and area schools. Hastings High School The first day of school - Monday, Aug. 30 - is only for ninth grade and new students, and their Link Leaders. (Link Crew pairs new students with older student leaders to create a positive connection with the school.) All students will report for classes on Tuesday, Aug. 31. The high school will hold an open house Thursday, Sept. 9.
Following Hastings City Council approval of the site plan Monday night, the addition to the Hastings Middle School will begin soon. The eight-classroom addition will be built on the northwest side of the building - four classrooms on each floor. For the most part, the addition will not be visible from the roadway. The addition is the part of the conversion of the Middle School from a grade six to grade eight middle school to a grade five to a grade eight middle school. Voters approved the conversion last fall as part of the $19.2 million referendum vote.
The seventh of 10 Cruise-In car shows will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, on Second Street and some of the side streets in the downtown area. The Downtown Business Association is sponsoring the shows every other Saturday through Oct. 2. The streets in the downtown area will be posted as to where parking is, and is not, allowed. People with classic cars can legally park their vehicles after 3 p.m. The Saturday Night Cruise-Ins are open to all cars 1976 and older. There can be no burnouts, no exhaust flames or hydraulics.
Shortly before 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 9, a resident observed two men who he did not recognize climbing over a neighbor's back yard fence. He called police. His response led police to apprehend two Hastings men Lucas Todd Weber, 18, and Martin James Collins, 20, both of Hastings, on suspicion of burglary of a house on the 3300 block of Malcolm Avenue. "The combination of the immediate report of suspicious activity by neighbor, prompt dispatching, quick response by officers, and effective containment of the suspects led to these arrests," said Hastings Police Chief Police Schnell.
At a recent meeting, the Hastings City Council established the polling places for the 2010, including new ones for one of the precincts in Wards 1, 2 and 3. The voting locations are as follows: Ward 1, Precinct 1, those who live in Washington county - the ballots are mailed to them Ward 1, Precinct 2 -- Hastings City Hall, 101 E. Fourth St. Ward 1, Precinct 3 -- Hope Lutheran Church, 16898 Michael Ave. (new, this year only). Ward 2, Precinct 1 -- St. John's Lutheran Church, 202 W. Eighth St.
Minnesota voters can begin to make their candidate choices today. The state primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 10, with voting from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is no city primary as Mayor Paul Hicks and at-large city council members Barb Hollenbeck and Mike Slavik have no challengers in the upcoming general election. There is a race for one of the 1st District judges' position, currently held by Timothy Blakely. Stephen Baker and Larry Clark are challenging him. And, of course, there is the Minnesota governor's race.
The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating a fatal motorcycle-car crash Friday afternoon on County Road 54 near Highway 291. Killed in the crash was 22-year-old Jacob Benesh, Hastings, who was operating a motorcycle. The driver of the Ford Escort wagon was William King, 50, also of Hastings. According to the State Patrol, witnesses indicated that the King vehicle crossed over into incoming traffic hitting the motorcycle head-on. Benesh was pronounced dead at the scene.
Well done. A recently-completed state survey conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services gave high marks, very high marks to Augustana Health Care Center of Hastings. The annual survey noted no deficiencies in the quality of care and services provided by the care center. As far as Audrey Roche, director of nursing and who has been part of the care team for more than 30 years, can remembers, this is a first.
A portion of Dakota County Road 46/47 will be closed beginning Monday, Aug. 2, as utilities are replaced and new asphalt is placed on the road. The road will be closed for five days - through Friday, Aug. 6. The affected area is from Highway 61 (Vermillion Street) west to the Vermillion River bridge (just before the county highway shop). It is a distance of about 3/4 mile. According to Ross Beckwith, construction engineer for Dakota County, the project is being coordinated with the City of Hastings and the county. The utilities need to be replaced and the road surface needs improving.
There had been rain and wind earlier, but Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt does not know if that caused a tree branch in the yard of Nate Appert on West Fourth Street to fall against the electrical box on the house Thursday morning. The result short circuit caused multiple fire origins in the Appert basement. The resulting fire in the 1.5 story house did an estimated $50,000 damage. Family members who were sleeping when the fire started after 6 a.m. woke up to the sound of smoke alarms and were able to evacuate the house.