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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Last Thursday was all about setting priorities for the Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority. Specifically, it was about setting priorities regarding the former Hudson Manufacturing building along West Second Street. One point was made clear: HEDRA wants to keep the building, not demolish it. "I feel pretty strongly about that," said chairman Dennis Peine. "I think we should definitely be looking at reuse." Beyond that, HEDRA had to nail down what it wanted to see happen at the site in 2012.
It wasn't the sort of skiing accident Dani Truax ever expected to have. A junior at Hastings High School, she has been skiing on the Welch Village Developmental ski team since she was in third grade. On Feb. 11, she was with her team at the Coffee Mill Ski Area in Wabasha for a competition. Her accident didn't happen on the slopes, though.
A new restaurant is getting ready to move into part of the vacant space at Midtown Center, in what used to be the Thrifty White drug store. Tokyo Grill, a Japanese restaurant, has signed a lease with Mid-America Real Estate Group, which is managing the property. The restaurant would not occupy the entire space available there. The lease gives Tokyo Grill 3,900 square feet adjacent to the Salvation Army, said Jesseka Doherty of Mid-America Real Estate Group.
For more than 35 years, Hastings has had a Hallmark store. Next month, it is expected to close its doors. Ric Claydon first opened the store in Westview Center in 1976. "We were building a chain of stores, expanding our business," Claydon said. He had two other stores, one in Red Wing and one in Cottage Grove, and the Hastings location fit right in line with the others. The shopping mall was just being built then too, and Hallmark prefers to locate in shopping centers, he explained. Back then, Westview had the list of typical shopping center tenants, Claydon said.
When Tracy Yoder moved to Hastings with her husband a year and a half ago, she wanted to get involved and get to know other women in the community. Fitness was already a big part of her life, so naturally she started looking for some sort of local running club. Outside of a few store clubs aimed more at pushing fitness goals than getting to know people, however, she found nothing. A wider search introduced her to Moms on the Run, a running club for beginner runners that had a group in Apple Valley.
Two years ago, Kari Haege and her husband Mike began an adoption process for two girls in Liberia. Adoption was something Haege had always wanted to do she said, because she herself was adopted. "I was very blessed to have a family that loved and treasured me very much and I wanted to give another child that chance," she said. The Haeges have been supporting two girls in Liberia, but the Liberian adoption program was closed in early 2009.
At about noon Jan 23, Jennifer Dorschner, 35 of Hastings, spun out and hit a traffic sign at the intersection of Second Street and Nininger Road. Dorschner said she hit a patch of ice and the rear of her vehicle spun out. The passenger side of the vehicle struck the sign. Damage to the vehicle was estimated at about $500, with damage to the sign estimated at $200. Robert Danaher, 33 of Hastings, slid off the road and hit a fire hydrant and tree at 1:39 p.m. on South Frontage Road behind Target Jan. 23. His vehicle spun out after hitting a slippery spot.
Hastings residents Tom Schiller and Greg Schmotzer are no strangers to placing high in the St. Paul Winter Carnival ice carving contest each year. They've earned top spots again this year. Schiller, along with his teammates Rob Grams of Minneapolis and Terry Reis of Iowa, carved the first-place multi-block sculpture, "Das Wintermachenmachine." The sculpture is a Dr. Seuss-inspired work of a machine that makes winter. The team won $2,000. Schiller and his team ousted Schmotzer as long-time reigning champion.
Whenever Jeff Welle drives over the Highway 61 bridge in Hastings, he finds himself looking at an empty piece of land right along the river at the east end of downtown and thinking it would be the perfect spot for a senior housing cooperative. Welle is the housing manager at Greenhouse Village in Roseville as well as a developer for Greenhouse Village. The company is definitely interested in developing the block, Welle said, but needs to know the community would be willing to support it if they decide to go forward. "We're right at that point where we know the feasibility is good," he said.
Come this spring, there will be some highly visible activity happening at Valley Chevrolet. The dealership will undergo a major renovation, replacing its entire front and updating the interior with state-of-the-art equipment. The facelift is being done because of a General Motors directive to make all Chevrolet dealerships uniform in appearance, explained Valley Chevrolet General Manager Tom Ward. "So it's recognized by everyone who sees it," he said. It will definitely be a noticeable change.