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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We know they're good. Hastings High School's top show choir, Riverside Company, already has two Grand Champion wins under its belt this season. Apparently, producers at NBC think they're pretty good, too. After seeing some of Riverside Company's performances from previous years on YouTube, they invited the choir to audition Sunday for the sixth season of America's Got Talent. The choir's director, Lin Warren, got the call.
With the council's approval Tuesday evening, the Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority is moving forward with two final agreements that will allow the construction of a new park and ride lot in downtown Hastings. The lot will be in the vacant gravel lot just south of Second Street and east of Tyler Street, but it won't take up the entire block. "We're not going to be leasing the whole block over," Community Development Director John Hinzman told HEDRA at its Jan.
HEDRA names new leaders At its first meeting of the year, the Hastings Economic Development and Redevelopment Authority restructured its leadership. Ron Toppin is the new president, Dennis Peine is vice president and Pam Holzem is treasurer for this year. Leadership positions in HEDRA are rotated annually to provide each member a leadership opportunity. HEDRA will provide temporary parking lot From the middle of March through the beginning of June, HEDRA will convert one of its vacant lots, located across Fourth Street from City Hall, into a temporary gravel parking lot.
The Smead Manufacturing Company has made Hastings its home for more than a 100 years, from 1908, when it operated out of a tiny space above the Hastings Gazette office downtown. Today it's an international company, but it has remained a family company under the leadership of President and CEO Sharon Avent, and it still calls Hastings home. What it hasn't had, however, was much of a local outlet for its products. Smead makes all sorts of office and organizational products, from folders and labeling systems to shelving to store documents.
In sports, especially contact sports, athletes constantly face the risk of injury. Head injury is a special concern, as trauma caused to the brain through a concussion can sometimes have lasting effects. This year, Hastings High School began using a testing program to help assess the severity of a concussion for its student-athletes, as well as make sure they don't get back on the field again until they're fully recovered. The test, appropriately, is called ImPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing).
Every hundred years, the numbers on the calendar line up so that one day can be marked with all numbers equal to each other. 2011 is one of those years. The first occurrence was New Year's Day, 1-1-11, and the second occurrence happened last Tuesday, 1-11-11. Kylee Jo Zgoda of Hastings has the privilege of claiming that day as her own for her whole life. After all, it's her birthday. Kylee is the daughter of Daniel and Candace Zgoda. They didn't plan to have her on a specific day. In fact, Kylee was due almost two weeks prior, on Dec. 30. On Jan. 9, at about 8 p.m., Dr.
Planning for a new Hastings restaurant is well under way. Me & Julio's is the new name, and it will be located in what used to be Papa Charrito's. "We wanted to have a name that sounded fun, and we wanted to have a name that sounded American and Mexican, 'Me' being American and 'Julio' being Mexican," said Charlie Burrows, one of the building's owners. Burrows and his partner, Linda Young, purchased the property in November.
The Hastings Chamber of Commerce recently named its volunteer of the year: Brian Radke, a certified public accountant at Radke & Mohrhauser. He was selected because of the length of time he's dedicated to volunteer work in Hastings as well as the variety of programs he's volunteered with, said Chamber President Michelle Jacobs. "Brian's been very active in the Hastings community," she said. For eight and a half years, Radke has been involved in the annual Gobble Gait event for Hastings Family Service.
Long-time Hastings resident Julie La Favor knows all too well how the effect the economy has been having on so many people. She was working for a $2 billion marketing firm in Minneapolis, and then she lost her job. After that she started working for herself from home, buying clothing and selling it for a profit on eBay. "I loved the freedom of it," she said. It's what made her realize there was a real market for used items, and she started thinking about how she could serve that niche. The answer was the The Man-Cave Exchange.
When the Hastings YMCA started working on plans to build its pool, the school district thought it might have an opportunity. If the YMCA was willing and able to build a diving/lap pool, the school could send its swim teams there to practice and start a diving team. While the partnership was being discussed, the district put off a number of large repairs to its own pool, housed in the middle school.