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She has always met life's challenges and continued onward. Her first husband had a devastating stroke, her second had Alzheimer's, and for years, she worked seven days a week. As life happened, the family changed their plans and continued to live full lives. Today, after 100 years, Frances O'Connor Kranz McAlpin continues to look forward. Fran's 100th birthday was actually March 31 - but the party for all her Hastings friends is later this month. She was born in Red Wing, the first-born daughter of William and Mary (Schickling) O'Connor.
Two highway projects, one within the city of Hastings, the second just north of the city, are ready to be bid, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation 2010 construction plan released last week. A new surface will be placed on two miles of Highway 61 (Vermillion Street) within the Hastings city limits, from Fifth Street to Cannon Street. The estimated cost of this project, according to MnDOT figures, is about $782,000. The MnDOT project includes milling (the bad portions of the surfacing are ground off) and a new two-inch bituminous overlay of the road.
The familiar story of Daniel in the lion's den comes to the stage this weekend. The children of St. Philip's Lutheran Church, 1401 W. 15th St., will present the musical, "Rescue in the Night," at 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 11:10 a.m. Sunday, April 11, in the church sanctuary. The services are open to the community. The musical is the culmination of the children's choir year and involves 41 young people in grades two to seven this year. They choose their own level of participation, with some wanting to have lines, others wanting to be soloists. Still others just want to sing in the chorus.
A 19-year-old Hastings man, Daniil Mikaylovich Usachev, has been charged with four counts of criminal vehicular operation (felonies) and one count of fourth-degree driving while impaired (DWI) in connection with a Aug. 4 single-vehicle crash in Hastings. At the time, police allege he was under the influence due to "huffing," a practice of sniffing chemicals to get high. One of the passengers in the Usachev vehicle told police Usachev was huffing while driving, a charge Usachev denies. Usachev apparently lost control of the vehicle, left the road and struck a tree.
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).