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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Clear water - it's a mark of a healthy river, a clean river, and a river that supports all kinds of recreational use. Sections of water in and around the Mississippi River, however, aren't doing so well. There are some who are trying to change that. The Mississippi Makeover Project is coordinated by the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District in cooperation with Dakota County, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The project's goal is to clean up Spring Lake, the Lower Vermillion River and Pool 3 of the Mississippi.
Ten years ago, Cliff and Jeanne Lewis found the perfect place to move their business. It's a commercial/residential lot along Highway 61 south of Hastings, and as well as being the Lewis's home, it's home base for Cross Country Boat Transport, Inc. "We're just a family owned business," Cliff said. They bought the business from a friend almost 20 years ago. Cliff had just been laid off from his job at King's Cove Marina, and the first owner was ready to pass the business onto someone else. "We came around at the opportune time," Cliff said. They were no strangers to boat transport.
The Spring Lake Cleanup is done, but there's another opportunity for those nature-minded people to help keep our environment clean. The Vermillion Stewards are hosting a cleanup event Sept.
Until about 15 years ago, the only way a headlight on a car would go dim was if the bulb was dying or it was covered in dirt. Since auto manufacturers started making their headlight lenses out of plastic rather than glass, drivers have seen the quality of their headlights deteriorate over time, even when they put in new bulbs. The problem is that the plastic on the outside of the light gets cloudy and yellowed, and doesn't direct the light the way it should.
This weekend, volunteers will join the Hastings Environmental Protectors to clean up Spring Lake, both by boat and on land.
They ran about three miles each, biked three miles each, conquered five different obstacles, and before the race was over, Aaron Hagen of Hastings and his cousin crawled through a sloppy mud pit. For Hagen, the mud pit was nothing new. He was in the military, so he's crawled through mud before. But it was still fun, he said. The event was the Columbia Muddy Buddy, a national fundraising event for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. For the first time, Muddy Buddy came to Minnesota - to Afton Alps, to be exact. The Muddy Buddy race is more about having fun than it is about competing.
The Hastings VFW Post 1210 has received the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Award of Merit. "It's a pretty big honor to be selected for a merit award," said post commander Bob Clark. The VFW Community Activities National Awards Program for Special Projects is designed to reward VFW posts, county councils, districts and departments for unique and outstanding community service projects that are over and above what is expected of VFW units. In Hastings' case, the award was given for their participation in the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program.
Jenna McCabe of Hastings was young when she discovered her passion. It was about six years ago, after watching a movie titled "The Ice Princess." The film features a high school girl who has to decide whether to pursue her studies and get into Harvard or devote herself to competitive figure skating. The film inspired Jenna to start taking skating lessons. "I just wanted to learn how to do it," she said, adding that it's such a graceful sport. She's 11 years old now, and after five full years of figure skating lessons she's working her way into competitive skating.
The Hampton Cardinals are headed to the state tournament. Hampton beat New Prague, 6-3, on Sunday to advance. Hampton scored the first run early, but New Prague picked up three runs in the fifth and held Hampton off much of the game. In the ninth inning, however, the game turned. Still trailing 3-2, Hampton had men on first and second base, and a fielding error at second base turned what should have been a double play - and the end of the game - into an opportunity for the Cardinals to come back, which is exactly what they did.
Traffic was slow on westbound Highway 55 at about 8 a.m. July 28. Mary Reuter of Hastings was in the line of cars trailing a dump truck causing the slowdown. She was about five cars behind it, and had been following it since she got onto the highway at Pleasant Street. As the line neared Highway 52, Reuter noticed the cars in front of her start to swerve, avoiding something in the road.