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The long wait is almost over. Construction on a new Highway 61 bridge in Hastings should begin this fall, although some preliminary work such as utilities could begin yet this summer. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) announcement last week that it has awarded the contract to build the new bridge to the Lunda/Ames team for its tied-arch bridge design culminates years of work by city, state and federal officials to replace the existing bridge.
Enjoy some wine tasting, cheese and meat, and some locally-known jazz bands at the Alexis Bailly Vineyard on Sunday in July and August. The entertainment begins this Sunday, July 4 and continues through Sunday, Aug. 29. The "Jazz in the Vineyard" kicks off from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. this Sunday, July 4, with "Gondwana, " which will also close the series Aug. 29. The house band "Sounds as if (Thelonious) Monk is still alive," according to information on its web site.
Action, entertainment, and learn some life messages are part of two shows at this year's Rivertown Days. The Rich Wieber Bicycle Stunt Show will feature high action BMX stunts, while also presenting several important messages to the audience at 8 p.m. Friday, July 16, at the Jaycee Park boat launch area along the Mississippi River. Wieber has presented more than 3,000 shows in 46 states.
A tradition for East Hastings and the rest of the community is set to go again this year on Sunday, July 4. The annual East Hastings Improvement Association Fourth of July celebration will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday at Lake Isabel Park. The day is filled with food, music, games, drawings, and a silent auction with all the proceeds designated for the restoration of Lake Isabel. There have been improvements in the lake in recent years, most noticeably one two years ago.
America' got talent. But so has Hastings. The Rivertown Days Committee is seeking Hastings individuals and anyone else with a flair for singing for its first Hastings Sings 2010 contest. The contest is an official Rivertown Days event. There are two divisions - 13 to 19, and adult, 20 and older. All participants must complete an official entry form. Each contestant must provide his or her own CD backing track. The song cannot exceed five minutes in length and cannot contain any profanity. Contestants must perform their songs at The Point, Highways 61 and 10 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Everyone loves a parade, and in particular, the Rivertown Days parade. This year's grande parade begins at noon Sunday, July 18. The parade route is about 1 and one-half mile long and is from 10th and Tyler streets to Second Street, and then west to Eddy Street. The units will disband at Wilson Park. The deadline for units is Friday, June 25. Only 100 entries will be accepted, with preference given to floats. Vehicles not pulling floats must be decorated. Confirmation letters will be sent June 30. For the business/commercial/political entries, the fee is $150 per unit for vehicles.
It was hot, humid and windy, but for 10 residents of Norris Square Presbyterian Homes in Cottage Grove and three Hastings Rotary Club members, it was a great way to kick off the Let's Go Fishing program on the St. Croix River last week. The Hastings Rotary Club and the Hastings Area Senior Center are partnering in this venture. The captain was Chuck Edberg.
This year's annual Fourth of July celebration at Lake Isabel Park - it begins at 9 a.m. and continues through the day with music, food, games will support an asset, not only to the east side, but to the whole community. For 30 years, the group of people on the east side of the Hastings community has been dedicated, diligent and patient in pushing the restoration of the lady - Lake Isabel. It is a treasure in their back yard, but one they are willing to share with the rest of the community. "It is a treasure," acknowledged original, and continuing member Joan Warner.
When the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced June 4 that the team of Lunda/Ames would be the apparent contractor for the new Highway 61 bridge, Mn/Dot officials were somewhat surprised by the low bid. So were many others. Still the cost savings are in line with what Man/DOT is seeing for other projects this year. "From what I've been told, the cost savings we're seeing on the Hastings bridge project are pretty much in line with what we are seeing on other large projects," said Mn/DOT public affairs coordinators J.P. Gillach.
After almost a year of attorneys' arguments and motions regarding a confession he made, Tyler James Hokanson, 23, will finally have his day in court. He is charged with murder in the second degree (unintentional) in connection with the June 19, 2009 death of his stepson, Nicholas Arthur Miller. A jury trial for Hokanson, who has been lodged in the Dakota County Jail since his arrested last year, has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday, Nov.