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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.
The youth charged in connection with the April 5 Hastings Middle School lockdown incident has pleaded guilty to three felony counts of assault in the second degree. He appeared in Dakota County Juvenile Court Monday, July 26, before Judge Richard Spicer. Spicer ruled the youth as delinquent, stayed an adult prison sentence of 108 months, and placed the youth in a long-term program at the Juvenile Detention Center.
The journey to remember the more than 13,000 people buried in state institutions' cemeteries in Minnesota continues, but at the former Hastings State Hospital cemetery, the end of the journey nears. Many living in the area are still not aware of what is there -- 901 people buried in what had been unmarked graves. Many have no family members still alive. It was a different time in the state's history. Since 1994, Remembering With Dignity has been marking graves in institution cemeteries like the one in Hastings.
Hastings has no primary races, but there is still reason for Hastings voters to cast their ballots at the Aug. 10 primary. Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mayor Paul Hicks and at-large city council members Barb Hollenbeck and Mike Slavik are virtually guaranteed re-election because they have no challengers. There is a race for one of the 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.
Every year, Marty Ellsworth has looked for the Edina Realty Rivertown Days medallion. He was close to finding it several years. This year, he was determined to find the medallion. This was going to be his year. And it was. On the third day (Wednesday, July 14) Ellsworth and his brother Mitch, their children and a cousin found the medallion by the Adopt-A-Park sign in Crestview Park, off West Fourth Street.
The case involving the youth in the April 5 Hastings Middle School lockdown incident has been continued to at least Monday, July 26 in Dakota County Juvenile Court. It had been scheduled for earlier this week. In June, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom dismissed his office's request to certify the 14-year-old youth as an adult.