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 last time we heard from Colton Peltier, he was 11 years old and had just won the first Minnesota Idol contest. He was also learning an incredibly difficult piece of music by composer Franz Liszt titled "Mephisto Walz." "If I learn it, I get a dog," Colton had told the Star Gazette. It took about a month and a half to learn, Colton said, but now he has Cinnamon, a cream colored Shi Tzu, who loves to sit under the piano while Colton practices. At age 16, Colton is still moving forward in his musical career. In the past year he played with two other metro area teens in the Auralia Trio.
Next Monday, Oct. 4, the Hastings City Council will hold two meetings. The first, a special meeting at 5:30 p.m., will address a dangerous dog appeal. The regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. the same day. Here's a look at some of the business the council will be handling. The Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority is ready to move forward on the purchase of the Hudson building downtown. HEDRA needs council approval to issue the bonds to purchase the nearly $3 million property.
When Vermillion street was widened back in the 1960s, it caused one of Hastings businesses to shut its doors. The business was Rother's Service station, a fuel station and oil service, located at the corner of what is now Vermillion Street and County Road 46/47. Loren Swanson had worked at the station when he was a boy, providing auto drivers with all the services a full-service gas station could offer at the pump - filling the gas tank, checking the tires and oil, cleaning the windows, and other maintenance checks.
Mark Beer, owner of Wayne's Auto Body in Hastings, is looking forward to his new building. He's wanted to build for some time, he said, but the timing was never right. Kwik Trip's interest in the property has provided the perfect opportunity. Since Beer started looking at open lots in May, any progress has been on paper - and there's been no shortage of paperwork.
Steve Kordosky, project manager for the new Hastings bridge and also a Hastings High School graduate, stated at the groundbreaking that he's confident the bridge will be completed by May 31, 2013. Here's a look at how they plan to meet that goal. September 2010 - Pier work begins on the main span. October 2010 - Pier and abutment work begins on the north approach. January 2011 - Pre-construction and visual quality work complete. April 2011 - Pier and abutment work begins on the south approach. Traffic re-routing near Second St.
More than 200 people walked through City Hall last Wednesday, Sept. 22, to learn all about what's in store for the new bridge. The open house offered residents an opportunity to talk directly with those involved in the project and give their feedback on the plans.
The Hastings Police Department is still taking community input surveys, but not for long. After Oct. 8, the surveys will no longer be available. "The objective from the beginning is really reflected in the title," said police chief Paul Schnell. "Hastings Police Department Community Input Survey" does, in fact, say it all. Police are asking the community to share its thoughts on crime and public safety in Hastings.
The field at Pleasant Park was alive with energy late Monday morning, as the girls of Hastings High School practiced for their upcoming powderpuff football games. Many of the girls who will play next Wednesday attended the practice. Boys from the high school varsity football team served as coaches. The girls will play their powderpuff football games at Todd Field Oct. 6. The games begin at 7 p.m. There will be two games, each lasting about 50 minutes. The sophomores and freshman will play each other in one game, and seniors and juniors will play the other. Admission is $2.
At homecoming, Hastings football fans will pile into the stands at Todd Field to watch the boys run, pass and kick for a win. But before they do, the girls will take the field. Hastings High School girls will play a set of powderpuff games at Todd Field Oct. 6. The games start at 7 p.m. Senior Hannah H. Hoffman is organizing the event. She had never heard of it until last spring, when one of the girls she golfed with mentioned her school's powderpuff game. It sounded like a blast - a chance for the girls to come together in a sport that's traditionally reserved for the boys.
The construction phase has officially begun on the new Hastings bridge. Representatives from the city, Mn/DOT, Lunda/Ames and area politicians picked up shovels Wednesday morning to throw some ceremonial dirt at Levee Park. "This is a great day for Hastings and all who travel along Highway 61," said State Sen. Katie Sieben. Speakers thanked stakeholders and all involved in the process for their hard work. They also highlighted some of the aspects that make this project special.