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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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.
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.