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 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.
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.