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Eating healthy is the goal. More than a year ago, Dakota County schools began a "Smart Choices" initiative (through Dakota County Public Health), designed to support the health of students and staff by creating an environment that encourages healthy food choices. Hastings Independent School District 200 is one of the seven school districts in the county participating in the program. As part of this effort, the first Farm to School week is being observed next week, Sept. 20 to 24.
When Kari Haege of Hastings went to Liberia in April as part of the adoption process for two children, she did not expect to be impacted as much as she was. The trip has changed her life. In Liberia she saw firsthand what poverty does to a country. For many there, rice is the one and only food. There is no electricity and no running water. Haege wanted to do something to help, and she is. As part of the Orphan Grain Project initiated in Liberia, Haege and some of her family members, church family and friends are holding a benefit from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept.
Interested in learning how to shoot a gun, store evidence, and investigate a case? The Hastings Police Department is accepting applications for its second (the first was held two years ago and 14 people participated) Citizens Police Academy. "We regard the Citizens Police Academy as a tremendous opportunity to provide interested residents a chance to learn more about law enforcement generally and meet many of the experienced and knowledgeable officers who make up the Hastings Police Department," said Hastings Police Lt. Jim Rgnonti, who oversees the patrol division.
Innovative, creative, challenging. These are some of the words to describe the work of the Hastings Public Schools Foundation, founded by the community to provide funds for new, unique learning opportunities not available through current public funding. It is operated independently of the school district. Applications for the next round of "What If" grants is under way and will continue through November. The awards will be announced in spring.
The public will be able to see visual representations of the new Highway 61 bridge and designs of the public art, which will be included at an open house from noon to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Hastings City Hall, 101 E. Fourth St. Project leaders from Lunda/Ames will be present and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) will also have representatives to discuss the project. Earlier this week, Mn/DOT installed a temporary barrier along the north en of Southbound Highway 61.
Hastings resident Deb Saunders had raised her seven children and was nearing retirements. Being an active participant in the arts, Saunders was considering her next options. As a child, Saunders was passionate about the piano. Although she never performed publicly, her love of the piano continued into adulthood.
Save energy, save money. And Hastings Independent School District 200 did just that for the 2009 year. Earlier this month, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notified the district that it has earned EPA's Energy Star recognition. Basically, that means the school district achieved a 10-percent improvement in adjusted energy consumption for the eligible facilities in the district (most of it is at the high school). From the financial end of it, it means between $90,000 and $100,000 in energy costs saved.
An interim principal is now in place at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School. Hastings resident Larry Noble, a retired principal who has served in both public and Catholic schools, began his employment at the school Monday, Aug. 23. The principal position at the preschool to grade eight school became vacant with the resignation of long-time principal Rita Humbert last week. She has accepted the acting principal position at Westside Elementary School in River Falls, Wis. Meanwhile, the search process for a permanent principal at Seton School has also begun.
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.