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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.
The seventh of 10 Cruise-In car shows will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, on Second Street and some of the side streets in the downtown area. The Downtown Business Association is sponsoring the shows every other Saturday through Oct. 2. The streets in the downtown area will be posted as to where parking is, and is not, allowed. People with classic cars can legally park their vehicles after 3 p.m. The Saturday Night Cruise-Ins are open to all cars 1976 and older. There can be no burnouts, no exhaust flames or hydraulics.
Shortly before 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 9, a resident observed two men who he did not recognize climbing over a neighbor's back yard fence. He called police. His response led police to apprehend two Hastings men Lucas Todd Weber, 18, and Martin James Collins, 20, both of Hastings, on suspicion of burglary of a house on the 3300 block of Malcolm Avenue. "The combination of the immediate report of suspicious activity by neighbor, prompt dispatching, quick response by officers, and effective containment of the suspects led to these arrests," said Hastings Police Chief Police Schnell.
At a recent meeting, the Hastings City Council established the polling places for the 2010, including new ones for one of the precincts in Wards 1, 2 and 3. The voting locations are as follows: Ward 1, Precinct 1, those who live in Washington county - the ballots are mailed to them Ward 1, Precinct 2 -- Hastings City Hall, 101 E. Fourth St. Ward 1, Precinct 3 -- Hope Lutheran Church, 16898 Michael Ave. (new, this year only). Ward 2, Precinct 1 -- St. John's Lutheran Church, 202 W. Eighth St.
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.