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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Some veterans are honored with ceremonies and memorials. This weekend, four local golf courses will honor all military veterans and their families by helping them relax and enjoy a day on the greens. Tee it Up for the Troops begins Sept. 10, the National Day of Golf for the Troops, and continues through Sept. 12. Soldiers will be able to golf for free at the Hidden Greens, Bellwood Oaks, Emerald Greens and Afton Alps golf courses. Immediate family members are being offered a half-price rate those days.
Two Hastings men landed unexpectedly Sunday morning in a Rock Elm, Wisc., field after their plane's engine failed. Stephen Weber, 58, and Leon McNamara, 64, were flying from a private airstrip in Hastings to the Log Cabin Airport near Mondovi, Wisc., when the engine stalled and forced an emergency landing in a soybean field. The landing occurred in the southeastern part of the town of Rock Elm, Wisc. "It was just an off-field landing," Weber, the pilot, explained. "They're not uncommon." The incident was not a crash, he said.
The Hastings City Council will hold its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, in the council chambers at City Hall. The meeting is moved back one day due to the Labor Day holiday. At the meeting, the council will consider approving a resolution to adopt the preliminary 2011 city budget and set the preliminary 2011 tax levy. The preliminary levy is set at $11,264,000, with the understanding that the council hopes to adopt a lower final levy. The preliminary levy is $317,000 lower than last year's $11,581,000 budget. The city still has some work to do to balance the 2011 budget.
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.