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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Traffic was slow on westbound Highway 55 at about 8 a.m. July 28. Mary Reuter of Hastings was in the line of cars trailing a dump truck causing the slowdown. She was about five cars behind it, and had been following it since she got onto the highway at Pleasant Street. As the line neared Highway 52, Reuter noticed the cars in front of her start to swerve, avoiding something in the road.
Tony Rose, a former resident of the Hastings Veterans Home, has been fighting the home since January for the return of nearly $48,000. The home presented him with a retroactive maintenance bill after he received about $50,000 in social security back pay. Some residents, however, aren't convinced he has a right to the money. Donald Weeks currently lives at the home and, like Rose did, is working with a lawyer to get social security payments he's being denied. Weeks served in the Navy from 1979 to 1983.
Fans of Hastings resident MaryJanice Davidson have a new book to read. "Rise of the Poison Moon," the fifth book in the Jennifer Scales series, was released July 27. The book follows Jennifer Scales, a teenage weredragon, as she faces the struggles of her teen years as well as defending her town against those who wish it harm. The series sprung out of Davidson's earlier "Undead" series, which up-ends romance and vampire clichés alike. The series took off, the most recent of which, "Undead and Unfinished" made No.
Nearly six months after Hastings veteran Tony Rose received a $48,000 bill from the veterans' home, he's living on his own, but still fighting to see his money returned. The home billed Rose retroactively when he received nearly $50,000 in social security back pay.
Two cars collided Wednesday morning at the intersection of Highway 55 and Pine Street, injuring one driver and rendering both cars inoperable. Hastings police got the call at 8:50 a.m. According to sergeant Rod Risch, one car was headed northbound on Pine Street and was in the process of making a left turn onto Highway 55 when her vehicle was struck by another headed east on Highway 55. One driver was transported away from the scene in an ambulance. The Minnesota State Patrol handled the report. The Hastings Fire Department also responded to the scene. UPDATE: Aug.
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.