Katrina Styx has been a reporter for the Hastings Star Gazette since 2010. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. Prior to coming to Hastings, Katrina reported for weekly newspapers in Jordan, Minn., and River Falls, Wis.
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Since the age of 10, Hastings resident Tessa Ries has known she wanted to help. She had taken a family trip to Guatemala, and while she was there, she realized that not everyone enjoys the same comforts as most U.S. citizens, and that not everyone has access to something so basic as food. Now at age 17, Ries is already making a difference. Technically a high school senior at Red Wing High School, Ries is in her second year of full-time PSEO (post-secondary enrollment option) courses at the University of Minnesota.
Dickey's Barbecue Pit has a new owner. Cory Sessions bought the business Oct. 2. Sessions owns another Dickey's in Woodbury, which will celebrate its first anniversary in mid-December. Opening a location in Hastings was one of his original goals, he said, but it didn't work out right away. When the previous owners of the Hastings store decided to sell, Sessions stepped in. "It was a win for everyone, I think," he said. So far, everything's going well, he said. The night Sessions bought the business he kept it closed.
A Hastings man was killed Monday morning, Oct. 22, when a backhoe tipped over and fell on top of him. A Jordan, Minn., company, S.M. Hentges & Son Inc., was contracted to dredge a drainage pond just across Highway 5 from the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport, said Patrick Hogan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission. Jeffrey Tukua, 46, was driving a backhoe on the project at about 10 a.m.
It's the season of scares, and with Halloween right around the corner, many people are getting their fill of all things dark and creepy. But not everyone wants to be frightened. For those who want a bit of tradition without the fright, NewBridge Theatre Company is showing a musical version of "Sleepy Hollow." The show is the company's first full-length production.
When Jenna Ballinger graduated from Hastings High School in 2010, she was expecting her college career would lead her to the film industry. These days, she's well on her way to a career in communications and marketing. Ballinger attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design for filmmaking initially, but after a year decided it wasn't what she really wanted. As she went through her classes, she realized that she didn't have a knack for making films, but she did have a knack for getting the right people together and producing films.
Hastings High School senior Nick Schweich loves his school. From the teachers and his fellow students to Raider sports and the building itself, "it's just a great school," he said. His enthusiasm earned him a relatively new honor at HHS. At the end of the school year last year, he was named Hastings' 2012-13 superfan by Lenny Weiss, who was last year's superfan. It's a tradition that began just three years ago with Mikey Klein, who passed the title to Weiss. Whoever carries the Raider flag picks the next superfan. Superfans aren't uncommon in area high schools.
Hastings resident Wayne Bauer never really talked about his experience in the Vietnam War until he got involved with veterans' groups like the VFW, American Legion and Metro Marines. But since the beginning of January, 2011, Bauer's experience in the war has been part of a public museum exhibit at the Lawshe Memorial Museum in South St. Paul. Nancy Hanson organized the exhibit.
For the past two decades, Waste Management has been a familiar presence in Hastings, but starting in 2013, the city will have a new waste pickup provider. The Hastings City Council awarded a three-year waste collection and recycling license to Tennis Sanitation Monday evening. The city re-evaluates its waste collection and recycling service every three years. Three years after being licensed, a company can be given a three-year renewal, or the city can ask for companies to submit new proposals.
The Hastings public boat launch is closed while construction crews repair the launch and renovate the site. The launch has been partially closed for the past few seasons, since the city discovered river currents had caused the lower portion of the west launch to fall away. Because of the launch's location on the Mississippi River, the city is working with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to repair the boat launch. Along with the boat launch repair, several ground improvements are also being made.
Monday, Sept. 10 Police responded to a crash in the parking lot of the LeDuc Historic Estate at 1:32 p.m. to city hall. A van had backed into the reporting party's rental vehicle. An officer contacted the van's driver regarding the incident. Two vehicles crashed at the intersection of Third and Vermillion streets at 12:30 p.m. One driver, thinking the vehicle in front of him had turned onto Vermillion Street, drove forward. The other vehicle, however, had not moved. Tuesday, Sept. 11 Firefighters extinguished a crop fire at the intersection of Highway 316 and Michael Avenue.