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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The construction phase has officially begun on the new Hastings bridge. Representatives from the city, Mn/DOT, Lunda/Ames and area politicians picked up shovels Wednesday morning to throw some ceremonial dirt at Levee Park. "This is a great day for Hastings and all who travel along Highway 61," said State Sen. Katie Sieben. Speakers thanked stakeholders and all involved in the process for their hard work. They also highlighted some of the aspects that make this project special.
We have cancer walks and we have memorial runs, but this weekend, Hastings will hold its first suicide walk. It's called the Waffle Walk, and registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 26, at the Hastings Country Club. The walk/run event is an effort coordinated by a few Hastings people - Laura Gustafson, Erica Bauer and Chris Caulkins. Each has their own reasons for giving voice to suicide awareness, but they all share a desire to remove the stigmas surrounding it. "Everyone has been affected by it," Gustafson said. The numbers are alarming.
About 350 homes are likely to get a front porch view of Hastings road construction next summer. The city's engineering department is proposing to resurface four groups of residential roads. The biggest stretch is on 14th Street between Pine and Pleasant streets.
Have you met The Garlic Man? He's a regular at the Hastings Farmers' Market - regular enough to have earned the nickname. His real name is Scott Marshall, and he runs Marshall Farms in Denmark Township. It's a family farm, built on the corner of a field that used to be part of his parents' farm. Now Marshall operates a small farm of his own there, but instead of planting wide fields of crops, he raises garlic and rabbits, primarily. He got started with garlic about 12 years ago. He and his wife, Bonnie, had their own gardens and made a lot of dishes that required garlic.
Work on what will soon be a Salvation Army family store is about midway done. The store is scheduled to open on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. "We thought it would be an appropriate time," said director of operations Tom Canfield. The Salvation Army, he explained, employs a lot of veterans, and the holiday provides an opportunity to honor them through the store's opening. "It's a good expression of our gratitude toward our vets and toward our country," he said. The building, located at 1110 Vermillion St., next to Thrifty White Drug, is getting a considerable facelift.
The Hastings City Council approved a preliminary budget and tax levy for 2011 at its Tuesday meeting. The preliminary budget is set at $25,761,519. Council members set the property tax levy at $11,264,000 - $317,000 lower than last year's levy, city administrator Dave Osberg pointed out. The preliminary tax levy is a maximum. "From this point on we can only go lower," said finance director Char Stark. Also approved was a preliminary levy for the Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority. The levy was set at about $300,000, the same amount as last year.
So many people want to improve themselves, whether its becoming more confident or learning how to be a leader or simply being comfortable in and in front of a group of people. There are all sorts of self-help books on personal development, but there's one method that's proven to work, and on Monday, it's coming to Hastings. It's called Toastmasters, an organization a handful of Hastings residents are hoping will find feet here in town. Don Scott is one of those people.
Since Stacy Huberty's son was hospitalized after using synthetic marijuana, she's been on a mission to get lawmakers to deem the substance illegal. Tuesday, she took the issue to the Hastings City Council, with a request to pass a law that night. Huberty addressed the council with the support of police chief Paul Schnell, Rep. Denny McNamara and Sen.
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.