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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When Kathy Horsch was 17, her father, a regular blood donor, asked her a question as he was leaving for a donation event. "He asked me if I would like to go along with him and give blood, so I did," she recalled. At first she donated because it was something her father believed in. If it was something he did, it had to be a good thing, she said. "I really admired my dad," she said. As Horsch got older, however, she realized there were more reasons to give blood. "I really felt it was appreciated," she said.
About seven years ago, Animal Ark, a Hastings no-kill animal shelter, started introducing a new method of controlling feral cat populations. Instead of euthanizing growing cat populations, Animal Ark decided to prevent populations from growing by making sure the cats couldn't breed. The program caught the eye of a North St. Paul resident, Doug Edge, who wanted to help control feral cat populations in his neighborhood. Animal Ark's trap-neuter-release (TNR) program is operated in multiple cities, including St. Paul.
When Steve Foote signed up for a contest at a Twins game last summer, he was hoping to win a new truck. He didn't win the truck, but he did win a $20,000 ballpark improvement project for the City of Hastings. The award is part of the Chevrolet "Diamonds and Dreams" program, which gives major league baseball fans a chance to win some help for their local youth baseball teams. One hundred entries were selected, including Foote's. Foote - and Hastings - were awarded one of 20 youth baseball field makeovers.
Darbie Johnson, manager of the Hastings Family Aquatic Center, always walks through the facility's main building on her way to the pool deck. It's her routine. But in the 12 years she's been working at the facility, she had never seen what she saw Oct. 7. There were long cracks in the ceiling, holes as big as three feet in diameter punched through the ceiling sheet rock and insulation spilling out onto the floor.
When Don Borash was a boy, he heard his father play violin for street dances. People would drop pennies and nickels in a coffee can for him as he played. When Don got the opportunity to follow in his father's footsteps playing the concertina - a folk instrument similar to an accordion - with a small band, he began what would be the start of a family tradition. At age 9, Don's son Mike Borash started playing drums with his father's band, Don and the Drifters. It was a family band, with Mike's sister Beth (Eidsor) playing guitar.
Forty-six Regina Medical Center employees - including 13 health care providers and 33 staff - are preparing to become Allina employees after the two organizations agreed it would help all employees function more cohesively. The two health care organizations entered into a collaborative venture in 2007.
Governor Mark Dayton put his pen to work in the fight to keep Asian carp out of Minnesota waters. On Sept. 12, he documented an action plan to keep the fish at bay. The plan gives the state's executive agencies authority to take action in seven ways. Among them is one that hits close to home here in Hastings: evaluating and, if feasible, installing a bubble or sound barrier at the mouth of the St. Croix River in Prescott to slow carp migration. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is looking into the bubble barrier for the St.
The Hastings Hockey Boosters have begun their fundraising campaign for a new hockey training facility in Hastings. Efforts began about a month and a half ago, said Dustin Vogelgesang, a member of HHB's alumni committee. The facility is to be built on the grounds of the Hastings Civic Arena. It would be a separate building located off the southeast corner of the Civic Arena, designed to give mini-mites to high-school-level hockey players a place to develop their skills year- round. It will include shooting, stickhandling, passing and goalie stations and a plyometric training area.
In two years, attendance at the Leaf for Lupus event more than tripled, from 200 people its first year to nearly 700 last year. The event is back again this year and is scheduled for Oct. 15. Leaf for Lupus raises money for the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota, which helps support research toward a cure for Lupus. Lupus is an auto-immune disease in which a person's immune system attacks the body's own tissues as well as bacteria, viruses and foreign materials. There is no cure. Kristie Wilson of Hastings was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 17.
For two summers, the Hastings public boat launch in Jaycee Park has been reduced to a single lane after the western lane was found to be broken away under the surface of the water. Boaters will have to wait another summer for a permanent fix, but the good news is that both lanes are expected to be open for use next year. City staff suspects river currents and eddies are responsible for eroding the launch away.