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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Partial demolition on the former Hudson building has begun. Crews from Rachel Contracting began the project Wednesday morning, Dec. 5. Only the newest addition of the building is being torn down. The addition was built in 1974 and has no historical significance. The older sections, built between 1913 and 1946, will remain in place as reuse discussions continue. It doesn't take long to tear the building down. Crews on site estimated it would only take a couple days before the entire structure was demolished. Once it's done, the debris has to be hauled away and the site graded smooth.
Hastings residents will start to see Tennis Sanitation carts soon. Tennis, which won the city's residential solid waste contract, will replace Waste Management as of Jan. 1. Preparations for the shift in service are already under way. Tennis has been working out details with the city since it won the contract in early October. One of the requirements of the contract was that the company has to have a yard waste pickup site in Hastings. The Hastings Bus Company has agreed to let Tennis use part of its land for the compost site.
Las Margaritas is planning a new addition that will bring a new look to Vermillion Street. The addition would add 96 seats to the restaurant. The Hastings Planning Commission reviewed the site plan Monday evening and sent a recommendation for approval to the city council. The plan includes a 2,000-square-foot addition on the south side of the building, on the site of the former Tai Chi restaurant. The owners of Las Margaritas proposed a plan that would close one of the three driveways on Highway 61, leaving the northern and southern entrances.
This weekend, one of Hastings' own is competing for an international title. Miranda McClaine will be competing in the 2012 DockDogs World Championships, held in Dubuque, Iowa, Nov. 15-18. Dogs competing in DockDogs competitions jump off a dock and try for the highest or longest jump or the fastest time to get from one end of the pool to the other.
Just about a month ago, Deana Symons was working for the Union Pacific Railroad. Today, she's running a new storefront in downtown Hastings. Gracie & Me opened at 116 E. Second St. in the beginning of November. Symons decided to leave her railroad job in order to spend more time with 9-year-old her daughter, Gracie, for whom the store is named. It was a good job with good pay, she said, but it demanded huge amounts of time. She would be away long hours and weekends, and some days she wouldn't even get to see her daughter.
Stores that sell antiques and collectibles just do better when they're nearby each other. That's the understanding that Joyce McCutcheon has, and it's part of the reason she, Linda Randolph and Karen Goodale moved their store from North St. Paul to Hastings. McCutcheon, Randolph and Goodale run The Little Shop of Treasures, which opened in downtown Hastings Oct. 23. They had outgrown their space, needed parking and wanted to be around other stores like their own, McCutcheon said. The Little Shop of Treasures now occupies 1,300 square feet in the back room inside 2nd St. Market, 207 E.
Sunday, Oct. 28 A 27-year-old driver crashed at the intersection of County Road 47 and Vermillion Street at 9:07 a.m. A witness estimated he was driving 40 to 50 miles per hour when he attempted to turn right onto southbound Vermillion St. Because of the speed, he lost control of the vehicle, jumped a curb and broke off the driver's side front tire. Cited for failure to drive with due care was Julian Carlson of Vermillion. Monday, Oct. 29 A 19-year-old Hastings woman crashed into a tree at Fourth Street and General Sieben Drive at 11:38 a.m.
The Hastings City Council spent a notable portion of its meeting debating whether or not a Hastings homeowner should be granted a variance to build a new garage. The issue on the table was a relatively simple one. Blake and Rebecca Kiernan approached the council with three variance requests that would allow them to build a new garage. The property is within the Original Hastings Design Standards area, but features of the property didn't allow the garage to be built according to the standards.
For many years, the Hastings American Legion Post 47 and the VFW Lyle Russell Post 1210 have hosted a celebratory dinner every year on Veterans Day. The dinner will be held again this year at the National Guard Armory, but it will look a little different.
Plans are set for the Minnesota Department of Transportation to rebuild the intersection of highways 61 and 10 just north of Hastings. The work is scheduled for 2016. The construction would bring a handful of changes to the intersection. Southbound Highway 61 traffic will get two left turn lanes onto Highway 10 and the first 800 to 1,000 feet of eastbound Highway 10 would become two lanes. Maycrest Avenue would also be realigned to become the fourth leg of the intersection instead of meeting Highway 61 south of the intersection, as it does now.