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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Hastings Middle School proved it has some talented students. On Nov. 18 and 19, 10 choir students participated in the Minnesota State Honor Choirs at Gustavus Adolphus College. There are three state honor choirs - one for grades four through six, one for seventh- and eighth-grade boys and one for seventh- and eighth-grade girls.
The city council was the first to hear the experts' opinions on what could be done with the old Hudson Manufacturing building in downtown Hastings. The Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority got the second look. On Nov.
Every year, band directors at Hastings High School nominate five to eight of their students to participate in honor band festivals. This year, they sent 10. Honor band festivals are one- or two-day events in which top musicians from multiple schools come together to practice and perform. This year, students were split between three festivals. Chase Fasbender, Nick Junker and Jolena Zabel participated in the University of St. Thomas honor band Oct. 29.
Outside, snow was falling, quickly coating the grounds and the roads with the first notable snowfall of the season. The weather, however, didn't stop visitors from traveling a couple miles off the beaten path to the Alexis Bailly Vineyard. Inside, the sounds of bottles and glasses clinked under the noise of conversation while people meandered through the Hastings vineyard's tasting room and store Saturday. Eight stations were set up on rustic wooden tables and wine barrels decorated with roses were displaying several bottles of local wines with cheese, summer sausage, chutney and chocolate.
From the day they are born, children are inundated with media. Babies sit in front of a television to watch programs that are supposed to encourage brain development. Toddlers are plopped in front of the shiny black box to help keep them occupied so parents can devote their attention to another task. Children as young as elementary age are attending school with cell phones. Video games take interactive entertainment to a virtual level. Schools guide students to use computers to research and produce educational projects.
There will be nearly 200,000 spectators and 60 million cable television viewers, and Hastings native Tyler Corrington will be at the center of it all in just a few weeks. Corrington, 25, is riding saddle broncos in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev., Dec. 1-10.?It is the first time he has qualified for the national finals. "It's basically the Super Bowl of rodeo," he said.
There's movement at the corner of Ravenna Trail and Glendale Road east of Hastings, and there's some big equipment at the center of the activity. But the excavator, bulldozer and skid steer aren't there to prepare the land for new development. They're there to play. Randy Stenger of Farmington is the owner of the new business, named Extreme Sandbox. The concept is to give adults with no construction experience an opportunity to try their hand at operating heavy equipment. "Our motto is, 'Let the kid in you play,' and that really speaks volumes," Stenger said.
As of Jan. 1, 2012, the City of Hastings' historic reference library, the Pioneer Room, will see its hours cut by more than half. The change is a result of the city's proposed 2012 budget, which cuts funding for a paid curator. The Pioneer Room is a historic reference library focused on collecting and preserving local records and artifacts and making them accessible to the public.
Downtown Hastings has several stores filled with mixtures of antiques and old items. It has stores filled with new items centered around a specific theme. What it doesn't have is a place where people can find an eclectic mix of new items. Until now. On Saturday, Nov. 5, The Carousel opened its doors at 109 E. Second St.
There's a lot of "could-be" when it comes to the former H.D. Hudson Manufacturing building along West Second Street. The Hastings City Council heard the results of a MnDOT sponsored reuse study Monday evening, but offered no clear preference for any of the three potential reuses suggested. The presentation was not designed to give the city options from which to choose a course of action, however.