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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The water from your faucets may turn reddish brown, but it's nothing to be concerned about. This spring, the City of Hastings will be flushing every single fire hydrant in the city, inspecting them and making any repairs needed. Flushing water through the hydrants serves two purposes. The first is cleaning. Over time, iron deposits tend to settle in the water pipes and collect on the walls, explained Public Works Superintendent Mark Peine and Fire and EMS Director Mike Schutt.
For John Blaha and his wife, Katie, it was time to move. Currently living in an apartment in Farmington, the couple was ready to upgrade and buy their own home. On April 18, they'll get to start moving to their new home in Hastings - one of four new houses under construction here. It's the Blahas' first home.
A crash between a loaded semi-trailer and a full-sized pickup last Thursday evening was cause for a medical rescue, fire suppression and hazardous material management all at the same time. The semi, which was driving northbound on Highway 52, struck a full-sized pickup that crossed the highway in front of it. According to the Minnesota State Patrol report, James Mike, 53 of Hastings, was eastbound on 200th Street (County Road 66) and failed to yield for traffic on Highway 52.
Business has been good for Suzie Dillon, owner of Lilypad Day Spa in downtown Hastings, but the time has come for the business to close its doors. "It's time for me to reinvent myself," Dillon said. Dillon has been doing massage for 21 years, the last nine of which have been in Hastings. The business has had three locations downtown. It is currently located at 103 Sibley St. Dillon got her start in Hastings working for Walker Chiropractic and also worked for Nu Wave Salon before moving to West St. Paul for 12 years.
At the age of 8, David Rondeau of Hastings had a stroke. He was in the hospital, in the middle of a temporal lobe resection when blood flow to his brain got pinched momentarily. To Rondeau's mother, Angie Duffy, who now lives in Cottage Grove, the stroke was an unfortunate byproduct, but not her main concern. Rondeau had been suffering from multiple severe epileptic seizures on a daily basis prior to the surgery. It's been about five years, and Rondeau, 14 now, has been seizure free ever since.
A 2002 Hastings High School graduate is making a bit of a splash in the online film community. Billy Sullivan is a graduate student at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and the writer and producer of "Frat House Musical," a three-part web series that premiered last week at one of the largest film and music festivals, South By Southwest, in Austin, Texas. The musical, made up of three five-minute episodes, was one of four winners of the Subway Fresh Artists Filmmakers Series competition. This was the second year of the contest.
A Hastings family has been chosen to be the face of the Red Wing March for Babies walk, a part of March of Dimes. Brad and Erin Maulucci and their two children Matthew and Christopher are the event's Ambassador Family this year. The Mauluccis got involved with March for Babies last year, after Christopher's premature birth. Now 19 months old, Christopher was born three months premature. It was about 10 p.m. when Erin started feeling like something was off. She and Brad woke up Matthew and went to the hospital here in Hastings.
Tuesday, March 13 Two vehicles collided at the intersection of 14th and Pine streets at 9:28 a.m. March 13. Wallace Schweich, 56 of Hastings, had stopped at the intersection on 14th Street and pulled into traffic. He was struck by Patricia Mann, 62 of Hastings. Mann complained of some pain but was not taken to the hospital. No citations were issued. Wednesday, March 14 Three people complained of pain after a two-car collision at 3:06 p.m. March 14 in the 400 block of East 31st Street.
For years, the Hastings Parks and Recreation Department has been trying to work out a safer trail route in the area of County Road 46/47 and Pleasant Drive. This summer, a new trail will be constructed that will get pedestrians and bicyclists off the road and away from vehicle traffic. Currently, trail users traveling in that area have to travel along the shoulder of CR 46/47 between Village Trail and Pleasant Drive, and along Pleasant Drive to the trail connection at Northridge Drive.
Katelyn Birk was only 6 years old when she read in the local newspaper about a family friend who donated her hair to Locks of Love. Katelyn's grandmother wore wigs because cancer had taken her natural hair, and Katelyn felt it would be wonderful to give someone her beautiful, shiny blonde hair. The minimum length to donate is 10 inches, but Katelyn and her family had always kept it short because she had a sensitive scalp. Brushing her hair was just shy of a nightmare, Katelyn's older sister said. But Katelyn had her mind made up, no matter how arduous the process would be.