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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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.
A house, garage, pickup truck and camper were destroyed in a fire in the 1300 block of West 17th Street Monday morning. Hastings firefighters were just finishing work at an earlier fire along Highway 55 near Emerald Greens Golf Course when the house fire started, Fire and EMS Director Mike Schutt said. "Just as we were pulling away from that fire, we could see the smoke from this fire," he said. Based on the initial information, Schutt immediately called for mutual aid from Prescott, Cottage Grove and Miesville. The 17th Street fire, reported at 11:25 a.m.
It was Josh Wagner's first year of college at St. Cloud State University. He was playing intramural sports when he first noticed the pain in his right leg. Months later he would find out that at the age of 20, he had cancer. When the pain started, Wagner figured it was just something sports related. He had played sports at Hastings High School and kept active in intramurals, so aches and pains were nothing new to him. He took some painkillers, and the pain went away for the summer. The following fall, he switched schools and started attending at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Monday, April 9 Two vehicles collided at the intersection of 10th and Vermillion streets at 3:31 p.m. One rear-ended the other. Four people reported some injuries after a three-vehicle crash at the intersection of 160th Street and Pleasant Drive at 9:09 p.m. Keegan McIntosh, 18 of Hastings, was making a left turn from eastbound 160th Street and failed to see an oncoming vehicle. He struck the vehicle, spun from the impact and struck a third vehicle. The second vehicle also struck the third vehicle and caught fire. The fire was extinguished by the time police arrived at the scene.
Since last fall, Randy and Don Stenger have been working to get their big patch of dirt ready for new customers to dig up. This past weekend, the brothers opened their new business, Extreme Sandbox . Extreme Sandbox really is a giant sandbox. It's surrounded on three sides by a grassy berm. It's filled with deep sandy soil. There are toys - big ones. Kristina Mauersberger and her husband Tim Anderson of St. Paul were the first to play in the dirt.
Monday, April 2 Two vehicles were involved in a minor collision at 7:27 a.m. April 2 at the intersection of Red Wing Boulevard and Vermillion Street. One vehicle rear-ended another. Thursday, April 5 Police and emergency medical personnel responded to a single vehicle crash at 5:04 a.m. April 5 in the 300 block of West 33rd Street. Shannon Kadlec, 37 of Hastings, struck a fire hydrant with her vehicle. Kadlec told police she thought an oncoming vehicle was in her lane, so she moved over but went off the road.
Tuesday, March 27 A two-vehicle crash was reported at 11:53 a.m. March 27 at the intersection of 10th and Vermillion streets. A Welch man rear-ended the vehicle in front of him while trying to move into the intersection. He told police he didn't see the vehicle in front of him stop. There was minor damage. Wednesday, March 28 Firefighters responded to a report of a downed power line in the 800 block of East Second Street at 9:23 p.m. March 28. Responders notified Xcel Energy. Saturday, March 31 An employee at Walmart hit a natural gas line with a fork lift at 1:48 a.m. March 31.
The water from your faucets may turn reddish brown, but it's nothing to be concerned about. This spring, the City of Hastings will be flushing every single fire hydrant in the city, inspecting them and making any repairs needed. Flushing water through the hydrants serves two purposes. The first is cleaning. Over time, iron deposits tend to settle in the water pipes and collect on the walls, explained Public Works Superintendent Mark Peine and Fire and EMS Director Mike Schutt.