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It was up close and personal Tuesday morning when children's author Lehman Riley met with the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School students. From questions about being published to his personal tastes, the students were curious about Riley. They were also hungry. Selected students from the third to eighth grades had luncheon meetings with Riley in the library. Three sessions were held as the students ate their spaghetti dinners and asked questions. Media center specialist Christine Meshak arranged Riley's appearance at Seton School.
Its move is on schedule, and Hastings Family Service will open for regular business hours Tuesday, Feb. 15, at its new location, 301 E. Second St., in downtown Hastings. The agency continues to hold regular business hours at its current location, 121 E. Third St., this week and will only be closed two days - Saturday, Feb. 12 and Monday, Feb.
It was all good news last Thursday morning, Jan. 27, as member of the Hastings Public Schools Foundation fund-raising committee visited Independent School District classrooms. Three musicians, Jonathan Moes, Craig Nielson and Gretta Utecht, led the way as the committee members presented grants to the accepted recipients. Close to $60,000 in grant monies were presented. Since the first grants were presented in the fall of 2004, grants have been presented to 160 educators in the district. The recipients were: English 10 Literature Circles - Hastings High School.
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.