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The outdoor skating rinks in Hastings will open for the season Monday, Dec. 13. Weather permitting, the rinks will be closed Feb. 21. The City of Hastings Parks and Recreation Department will operate and maintain warming houses for three recreational skating rinks and three hockey rinks. The rinks are free for the general public to use during posted days and times. Two additional rinks are flooded and maintained, but they will not have open warming houses. The participating rinks are Wallin Park, Isabel Park (includes the oval), Wilson Park, Lions Park and Pioneer Park.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce has fined a Hastings couple $100,000 for their part in an alleged mortgage fraud scheme dating back to 2005. According to the department, Kristina Marie Birt of Hastings bought eight homes between 2005 and 2006. The homes were allegedly purchased as investment properties with the intent of flipping them for a profit. Birt bought the homes, which were routinely for sale-by-owner or private sales, at substantially higher amounts than the listing price to allow for cash back at or after the closing.
DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton continues to lead the state-wide voting for the state's highest-elected position - even after the recount - but in Dakota County, it is a different story. It was that way on Election Day, Nov. 2, and continues that way after the votes were recounted last week. Republican Tom Emmer carried Dakota County Nov.
Dakota County District Judge Joseph Carter sentenced Michael Frederick Schmidt, 41, Hastings, to a sentence of 27 years, 18 of which must be served in prison.
Another holiday tradition will return to Hastings at about 4:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, when the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stops at the depot on East Second Street. As in previous years, the stop offers entertainment and an opportunity to raise food and funds for the food shelf at Hastings Family Service. Before the brightly-decorated train arrives, there will be some other activities at the depot. All are invited. A sing-along with Kelly Casey-Spavin from Entertainment Shows starts at 3:30 p.m.
After two and one-half days of deliberations a Dakota County jury on Thanksgiving morning convicted Tylar James Hokanson, 24, formerly of Northfield, of two counts of murder in the first degree and two counts of murder in the second degree in the death of his stepson, Nicholas Arthur Miller, 17 months old. Nicholas died June 23, 2009, in Wisconsin. The trial began Nov.
Spiral Foods Co-op, 307 E. Second St., downtown Hastings, has announced the selection of Baard Webster as its new general manager. He brings a wealth of experiences sin management and small business operation, including more than 30 years of retail experience. In 1995, he and his wife, Diane, started Funkie Gardens a very successful specialty nursery in Prescott, Wis.
After two and one-days of deliberations a Dakota County jury on Thanksgiving morning convicted Tylar James Hokanson, 24, formerly of Northfield, of two counts of murder in the first degree and two counts of murder in the second degree in the death of his stepson Nicholas Arthur Miller, 17 months old. Nicholas died June 23, 2009, in Wisconsin. The trial began Nov. 1. Following the reading of the verdict, Judge Robert King sentenced Hokanson to life in prison. "Nicholas Miller suffered horrific injuries through the actions of his stepfather," said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.
Hastings High School senior Katarina Gapp, Hastings Middle school student Nick McGrath and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School student Mike Tappella are the winners in the annual Hastings Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1210 essay contests. Gapp won the Voice of Democracy contest and McGrath and Tappella won the Patriot's Pen competitions at the other two schools. They will read their essay as next year's Memorial Day observance.
When approximately 350 seventh-grade students heard the theme, "Vision of Peace," they took their image of it and created artwork. Last week, the winners were announced in the annual Rivertown Lions Club Peace Poster contest. The top winners are Ciara Christensen and Dharma LeMoine-Tennant. Second place winners are Erin Smothers and Kalyne Henrichsen. Third place winners are Kaylee Morris and Kallyn Lutz. Helping to judge the contest was Jeanne Mamer, retired Hastings Middle School art teacher. The contest is open to seventh-grade social studies students each year.