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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The Smead Manufacturing Company has made Hastings its home for more than a 100 years, from 1908, when it operated out of a tiny space above the Hastings Gazette office downtown. Today it's an international company, but it has remained a family company under the leadership of President and CEO Sharon Avent, and it still calls Hastings home. What it hasn't had, however, was much of a local outlet for its products. Smead makes all sorts of office and organizational products, from folders and labeling systems to shelving to store documents.
In sports, especially contact sports, athletes constantly face the risk of injury. Head injury is a special concern, as trauma caused to the brain through a concussion can sometimes have lasting effects. This year, Hastings High School began using a testing program to help assess the severity of a concussion for its student-athletes, as well as make sure they don't get back on the field again until they're fully recovered. The test, appropriately, is called ImPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing).
Every hundred years, the numbers on the calendar line up so that one day can be marked with all numbers equal to each other. 2011 is one of those years. The first occurrence was New Year's Day, 1-1-11, and the second occurrence happened last Tuesday, 1-11-11. Kylee Jo Zgoda of Hastings has the privilege of claiming that day as her own for her whole life. After all, it's her birthday. Kylee is the daughter of Daniel and Candace Zgoda. They didn't plan to have her on a specific day. In fact, Kylee was due almost two weeks prior, on Dec. 30. On Jan. 9, at about 8 p.m., Dr.
Planning for a new Hastings restaurant is well under way. Me & Julio's is the new name, and it will be located in what used to be Papa Charrito's. "We wanted to have a name that sounded fun, and we wanted to have a name that sounded American and Mexican, 'Me' being American and 'Julio' being Mexican," said Charlie Burrows, one of the building's owners. Burrows and his partner, Linda Young, purchased the property in November.
The Hastings Chamber of Commerce recently named its volunteer of the year: Brian Radke, a certified public accountant at Radke & Mohrhauser. He was selected because of the length of time he's dedicated to volunteer work in Hastings as well as the variety of programs he's volunteered with, said Chamber President Michelle Jacobs. "Brian's been very active in the Hastings community," she said. For eight and a half years, Radke has been involved in the annual Gobble Gait event for Hastings Family Service.
Long-time Hastings resident Julie La Favor knows all too well how the effect the economy has been having on so many people. She was working for a $2 billion marketing firm in Minneapolis, and then she lost her job. After that she started working for herself from home, buying clothing and selling it for a profit on eBay. "I loved the freedom of it," she said. It's what made her realize there was a real market for used items, and she started thinking about how she could serve that niche. The answer was the The Man-Cave Exchange.
When the Hastings YMCA started working on plans to build its pool, the school district thought it might have an opportunity. If the YMCA was willing and able to build a diving/lap pool, the school could send its swim teams there to practice and start a diving team. While the partnership was being discussed, the district put off a number of large repairs to its own pool, housed in the middle school.
When the Hastings Hockey Boosters proposed building a new hockey training facility on the grounds of the Civic Arena, they and the city both hoped for a building attached to the arena through a new vestibule at the arena's main entrance. It doesn't look like such a plan will be possible anymore. In July, HHB presented two ideas to the city. One was to construct a training facility adjacent to the existing arena and add a vestibule. The second was to build a detached facility off the southeast corner of the arena.
It can sometimes be easy to forget that the men and women serving Hastings in the police department respond to more than crime, accidents and public disturbances. To highlight some of the other work our officers do, we've decided to highlight a set of calls that, to some, might seem odd jobs for law enforcers: wild animals. Last year in Hastings, police answered to 35 wild animal calls. Here's what happened at a few of them. Jan.
Since December, two parking lots in downtown Hastings have had temporary signs posted, telling those who park there that a 48-hour parking limit was being proposed. Monday night, the Hastings City Council approved parking limits in the lots, but changed the restriction from 48 hours to 72 hours. At its Dec. 6 meeting, the council first heard a proposal to enact limits on the two lots, one located at the corner of Fourth and Sibley streets and the other at the north end of Sibley Street across from the Legion Club.