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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For Hastings High School senior Josh Fox, setting up the perfect scare is a calling. He's been doing it at his home since fifth grade, setting up haunted house tours in his parents' garage and around the home. Fox's first haunted house was a small affair, set up in the garage when he was in fifth grade.
Get ready for a musical treat. Sixty-three students in grades six through eight will come together to produce their fall musical, Willy Wonka Junior, Oct. 26 and Oct. 28. Staff decided on the musical, a variation on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, about a year ago, said one of the directors, Michelle Munger.
On Sept. 10, Jaime McNaughton got the call from her father, Bradd, that he was in the hospital. He was on his yearly motorcycle trip with his brother-in-law, heading up to the north shore, when he got in a crash. He had five broken ribs and a broken pelvis and collar bone, but the doctor said he should be able to leave in three to five days, Bradd told his daughter. "Here we are, four and a half weeks later," Jaime said. The crash itself happened the day before Jaime got the phone call. The two men had gotten as far as Two Harbors, Minn., when they ran into a construction zone.
On Sept. 14, four Boy Scout leaders set out in two canoes to paddle the entire length of the Mississippi River. "It's something I've always thought about doing," said Brian Halloran. So he teamed up with Davin and Eric Grapentine and Maggie Matthews on a trip to bring a little extra awareness to the Boy Scout program. What they didn't expect was to be gliding along through fall floodwaters. Fast flowing water means the four are making excellent time; they've been able to move along at 4.5 miles per hour just drifting, Eric Grapentine said.
Last year, Kristie Wilson of Hastings and staff at Hidden Greens Golf Course teamed up to raise about $1,500 for the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota by letting people come jump in massive leaf piles. This year, Leaf for Lupus is back, and word on the street is that the leaf piles will be even bigger this time, Wilson said. It will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 16 and 17. The event started last year after staff at the golf course found out that Wilson, an employee at the time, has lupus.
With a spectacular view of the waterfall and access to trails that wind around the city, Vermillion Falls Park is one of the most popular parks Hastings has to offer. The Parks and Recreation Commission is considering giving one part of the park a makeover. The best known part of the park is east of Vermillion Street. The part being discussed is on the west side of Vermillion, stretching along County Road 46/47 nearly to 31st Street, with the exception of one piece of property at Maple Street.
J.D., a 71-pound Staffordshire Terrier, was deemed a danger to the public Monday at a special city council hearing. The dog's owners came to the council with an appeal of the designation assigned by the police department after J.D.
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.