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She has been through a lot in her almost century on this earth. She lost her husband at a young age, has outlived all her sisters and brothers, and buried four of her eight children. But as she approaches her 100th birthday April 7, Gertrude "Gertie" Leifeld smiles a lot, and takes joy in her family and friends. She as born April 7, 1910, in Bird Island and had four sisters and three brothers. She has outlived all of them. She married Peter Leifeld Feb. 11, 1928, in South St. Paul. Shortly afterwards, they moved to Beloit.
It has become a Hastings religious community tradition. This year's ecumenical Good Friday service will be held at 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 2, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 2035 W. 15th St. "That's a good word - tradition," said the Rev. James Perkl, pastor of Seton Church.
A 24-year-old Hastings man, Andrew Edward Schutte, has been charged with 10 felony counts of possession of pornographic work involving minors. Hastings Police filed the charges last week after the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force searched computers on a peer-to-peer network that have known or suspected child pornography videos and images available for download. The searches were completed in February. By using a special software program, the officers received information that a computer with an address in Hastings was offering to distribute one or more child pornography files.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation will discuss the planned Highway 61 projects in and near Hastings this spring and summer at an open house from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 31, at Hastings City Hall, 101 E. Fourth St. The resurfacing of Highway 61 (Vermillion Street) within the city limits, from Fifth Street to Cannon Street, is scheduled to begin in mid-May.
A 26-year-old Hastings woman, Danielle R. Solberg was killed in a one-vehicle crash Thursday evening on Highway 52 near Cannon Falls. She was a passenger in the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle, Jeffery Huetamaker, 25, of Loretto, was treated for minor injuries. Solberg's two children also sustained minor injuries. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the Huetamaker vehicle was southbound on Highway 52, south of Highway 19. The vehicle apparently went off the left side of the road, entering the median.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom hopes to have the Roman Tokarev case resolved by the end of the year. The 27-year-old man involved in a Dec. 2 incident in Hastings was charged by Backstrom's office last week with four felonies - two counts of assault in the second degree by means of a motor vehicle, one count of fleeing a peace officer by means of a motor vehicle, and one count of theft of a motor vehicle (temporary control).
The Mississippi River at Hastings is expected to reach flood stage Friday, March 19, and continue rising through the middle of next week. In its latest flood warning update, as of March 16, the National Weather Service in Chanhassen is forecasting the river will reach flood stage of 15 feet by Friday. As of 10 a.m., Tuesday, March 16, the river was at 12.6 feet, an increase of more than two feet since Monday morning. If the river reaches flood stage, the First Street railroad underpass begins to flood. That's it.
The trend is a downward one. According to the annual report released this week by the Dakota County Assessing Services, the majority of property market values in Dakota County showed a decrease this year. The information was presented this week to the Dakota County Board of Commissioners. It showed that most residential properties values have decreased between 7 percent and 8 percent for 2010. Apartments are experiencing an aggregate reduction of 7 percent, while commercial properties have decreased 6 percent. Estimated values for agricultural land decreased 25 percent.
It's new and combines boating and fishing on the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers, and all area seniors and kids are invited to participate. Plus, the Hastings Area Rotary Club has bought a pontoon boat for use in the new venture. A Hastings Let's Go Fishing! chapter is about to be organized, with the Rotary Club involved in getting it started. An informational meeting for all interested will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 6, in the second floor event room at Premier Bank, 909 Vermillion St. Lunch will be catered by the Green Mill Restaurant. Price is $3 if reserved by April 1.
The Sts. Barbara /John Catholic Aid Society, with the support of the tri-parishes of St. John the Baptist Catholic, Vermillion; St. Mathias Catholic, Hampton; and St. Mary's Catholic Church, New Trier; are sponsoring a special presentation of a play, with the proceeds benefiting their Catholic education and Little League baseball. The comedy production, "Til Death Do Us Part - Late Night Catechism 3," will be presented by Entertainment Events Inc. at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 10, at Hastings Middle School.