Katrina Styx started working at the Hastings Star Gazette 2010 as a reporter. She became the editor in 2016. 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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A new initiative to help support Hastings youth is under way. Helping Kids Succeed - The Hastings Way is a project aimed at creating a web of support for youth, helping them be more successful in their lives and education.
A new program at Regina Medical Center is working to help improve Hastings residents' general health. A Healthier Hastings 4 All (AH-HA) will offer health assessments, screenings and follow-ups; community health challenges, activities and events; promotion and support of community health efforts; and a community health needs assessment. AH-HA is part of a larger health initiative spread across Minnesota and western Wisconsin that launched last year.
The Hastings City Council agreed with the administrative committee's recommendation to seek applicants for the soon-to-be-vacant city administrator position. The committee met last week and voted 2-1 to post a notice of the vacancy, rather than appointing assistant city administrator Melanie Mesko Lee. The recommendation was approved unanimously by the full council Monday evening. The council's approval came with strong encouragement to Mesko Lee to submit a letter of interest and resume for the position.
Hastings' local Chevrolet dealer has a new look. Work to rebuild the main portion of the dealership is nearly finished. Crews started gutting the old showroom, which was the original 1985 construction, last August. The old showroom was razed, leaving only the automotive service department standing last fall. Work has been under way over the past fall and winter. Rebuilding the old showroom was a directive that came to Valley Chevrolet from General Motors. GM wanted all its dealers to look the same, explained Valley Chevrolet's general manager, Tom Ward.
Hastings native Jeff Rowe just might have the next big thing. On Feb. 1, he launched Okanjo Partners Inc., (okanjo.com) a website that combines the local side of Craigslist with the instant purchase power of eBay and adds to it a way to be charitable. The 1975 Hastings High School graduate didn't start his career in the online marketplace. He started in radio. After leaving Hastings, he worked in Wisconsin, Chicago and Washington, D.C. He joined Journal Communications in Milwaukee, Wis., as a radio programmer and general manager.
The Hastings City Council's administrative committee recommends that the full council seek outside applicants for the city administrator position. The recommendation was made two days after City Administrator Dave Osberg submitted his official letter of resignation. His final day with the City of Hastings will be March 22. At the committee meeting Thursday morning, Osberg presented details on two options for filling his position. The first was to provide notice of the opening and accept letters of interest and resumes from applicants.
Two small business owners in Hastings have teamed up to provide their clients with even more services. AB CAM Services and Property Tenders, both professional cleaning companies, are teaming up to provide their clients with more comprehensive services. Adam Bonine has run AB CAM Services since 2006.
Here is this week's fire and accident report. Tuesday, Feb. 19 Police responded to a report of a hit-and-run that may have happened in either the Cub Foods or Walmart parking lot. A single vehicle crash was reported at 9:49 a.m. in the 21000 block of Northfield Boulevard. The vehicle went off the road in icy conditions. No one was injured. Thursday, Feb. 21 A Hastings Bus Company driver reported at 8:44 a.m. a minor crash that occurred earlier that morning.
When he lived in Chicago, Hastings artist David Cook created sculptures that fit the city's industrial nature. It was moody, haunting and even a little scary, he said. About four months ago, he started a new project that is vastly different. He made a collection of large, brightly colored flowers and temporarily installs them in various spots around the Twin Cities area. "I've been getting nothing but smiles," he said. Cook has been doing art for the past 35 to 40 years. A Minnetonka native, he got the bulk of his recognition in Chicago. There he was known for his sculptures.
Chrys, a long-crested eagle, was never supposed to come to the U.S. Long-crested eagles are native to Africa, and that's where Chrys was hatched. But as an adult, he was trapped and brought to this country illegally, to be sold for the black market pet trade back in the 1980s. The dealers who had captured him cut off the crest his breed is named for in an attempt to get the bird past the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Cutting a bird's feathers doesn't cause pain, explained Teri Graves, educational director for the World Bird Sanctuary. And luckily, the U.S.