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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Hastings' Black Dirt Theater is offering a free performance Friday in preparation for their upcoming show in the Minnesota Fringe Festival. The theater group will perform "Paul Bunyan: An Unlikely Beginning to a Tall Tale," which tells the story of Paul Bunyan before he became a famous lumberjack. "Waaay back in the 1986," the synopsis reads, "Paul was a computer game programmer." The four members of Black Dirt Theater came up with the play about a year and a half ago, said member Andy Langenfeld.
Rex Kent of Denmark Township knows what kind of effect horses can have on people, especially children. He had them when he was younger, he watches his daughter work with their four horses, and he also gets to see 7-year-old Emma Phillips of Wyoming, Minn., find in horses the strength to battle cancer. "There's something so calming and almost magical between children and horses," Kent said. Horses are often used for therapy, so it's no wonder that one organization, Western Wishes, started using them to better the lives of children with life-altering conditions.
The Red Rock Corridor Commission is about to open its doors to public comment regarding proposed commuter rail stations in Hastings, Cottage Grove, Newport and St. Paul. Although construction on the line isn't likely to begin before 2016, and service isn't projected to begin before 2019, the commission is working to gather public input on proposed station sites and construction plans. The first round of public hearings begins Aug. 17 at Hastings' City Hall.
The Hastings City Council decided Monday to establish a tax increment financing (TIF) district on the corner of 15th and Vermillion streets, where Linn Companies plans to build a new NAPA store. "In this particular case, I think this is a classic example of the need for TIF," councilmember Joe Balsanek said after stating he's not usually a fan of TIF districts.
Every year for the past 12 years, area golf enthusiasts have been helping support Nathan Mayer and his family by participating in the Nathan's Quest golf tournament. Nathan lives in Big Lake, but his family has Hastings roots that go back for generations, and many of his great-uncles still live here and sponsor the golf tournament each year. At just 8 months old, Nathan was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a genetic neuromuscular condition that causes all the muscles in his body to be weak. At 18 months he started driving a power wheelchair, unable to even sit up without help.
The Hastings Hockey Boosters are raising funds for a new hockey training facility they hope to build at the Hastings Civic Arena. HHB is proposing two options for the facility. One would be a separate building off the southeast corner of the civic arena. The other would be adjacent to the arena at the entryway. The Hastings City Council approved HHBs request to start raising funds for the project and requested HHB conduct a study to see if it's possible for the facility to be attached to the front of the arena.
The Hastings City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, July 19, at City Hall. Here's a look at what's they'll be talking about: The council could approve a resolution allowing a modification of the city's redevelopment plan to include a tax increment financing district on the plot where Linn Companies plans to build a new NAPA store. The Planning Commission signed a resolution earlier this week finding the proposed district in agreement with the city's general development plan.
It's no coincidence that A+ Tattoo and Old Mill Pawn have both relocated recently. Both businesses were located near the intersection of Vermillion Street and County Road 46/47. The properties were sold recently to gas station company Kwik Trip. "We purchased a chunk of property," Hans Zietlow, real estate director for Kwik Trip, said.
Two Hastings pole vaulters could be competing in San Diego, Calif., next year in the State Games of America track and field meet. Brett Stricker and Trevor Lucking, both high school seniors next year, qualified for the meet through their performances at the Star of the North Games in Rochester June 19-27. Lucking finished first in his age group and Stricker finished second in the ages 17 and 18 group. "It was kind of a bad day, but I still managed to make 11 feet," Stricker said. Lucking vaulted 12-06. His jump was "alright," he said.
One of HFC United's U12 girls soccer teams is playing this week in the Schwan's USA Cup in Blaine.