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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By July 17, Braveheart Rescue Inc. will have shut its doors as a dog rescue. The rescue, which opened about three years ago just a few miles south of Hastings in Marshan Township, was ordered to close by the Marshan Town Board at its April 17 meeting because owner Brandi Tracy did not have a valid permit. The issue first came before the township board late last year, when two Siberian Huskies got loose from Braveheart.
Ask a Hastings resident why they like living here, and chances are you'll hear something about the small-town feel or strong sense of community. It feels friendly. It feels safe. But one Hastings family knows all too well that Hastings isn't immune to dangers often associated with bigger cities. Kyle Mickle, 24, was walking home from a bar when it happened. He had been at a friend's house earlier in the evening and got dropped off at the bar for a few drinks around midnight Thursday morning, May 17.
It was 1995 when Hastings area resident Bets Thorkelson started noticing how prevalent breast cancer is. Her son was playing hockey that year, and there were four other hockey moms that had been diagnosed. It might be a good idea to have a screening of her own done, she figured. In 2005, Thorkelson was diagnosed with breast cancer. It took a year and a half of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation to control the tumor. It was during her treatment, in 2006, that she decided at the encouragement of her niece to sign up for the Susan G.
It wasn't the prize Hastings resident Steve Foote was hoping to win, but it was a prize that the Hastings Parks and Recreation Department was thrilled to have dropped on its doorstep. The prize Foote won was a $20,000 baseball field improvement project for his city from Chevrolet's "Diamonds and Dreams" program. At first, Director of Parks and Recreation Barry Bernstein was skeptical, but with some research he realized the prize was legitimate.
It's a story of a troubled boy turned killer who holds a profiler hostage at an old farm, and it happened, in part, just outside of Hastings. The story is fictional - part of the plot for a movie titled "Profile of a Killer," a psychological thriller in which the boy challenges the profiler to make him stop committing his crimes. The farm is real. Located a couple miles west of Hastings, it's been in the Volkert family for more than 100 years. It's most recent resident, Herbert Volkert, moved into it in 1942, said his brother, Ferdinand Volkert, who lives in Northfield.
While attending the University of Minnesota, Devon Erickson's friends started wearing fanny packs whenever they went out. "I think it was more of a joke than anything at first," she said. But then it started catching on. Rather than poking fun at an outdated fashion, more and more students started taking the little hip pouch seriously.
A structure fire burned at least one building on the grounds of a landscaping business along Glendale Road in Hastings on Monday afternoon. The fire occurred around 5:30 p.m. and produced a pillar of smoke that was visible several miles away.
Midtown Center is getting a major facelift. Much of the green wooden façade that used to top Thrifty White has been removed in favor of a front to match that of the Salvation Army thrift store, and what's left has been painted to match the walls better. The reason for the change is an incoming restaurant that will occupy part of the space Thrifty White left vacant. The new restaurant doesn't officially have a name yet, said Ze Qiu, one of those working on getting the family business up and running in Hastings.
There's good news for job seekers in Hastings. A new business, Valley Staffing, has opened its doors here to help them find work. The Hastings office, located at 1125 South Frontage Road, Suite 7, is the company's fourth location in the south metro. The other locations in Lakeville, Shakopee and Faribault have been successful, explained Rebecca Nelson, director of sales and training for Valley Staffing.
Walkers who want to show support for a good cause should mark Sunday, May 6, on their calendars. That's the day of the fourth annual Walk MS in Hastings. Walk MS is hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and serves as a fundraiser to support research and programs for people living with multiple sclerosis. "Walk MS in Hastings is our big walk event," said Michelle Leppert, marketing and public relations coordinator for Walk MS. There are two routes for this year's event. Walkers can choose to walk one mile or seven miles.