Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.
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Mary Poppins is scheduled to fly into Hastings at the end of this month. Black Dirt Theater will present the musical "Mary Poppins" July 28-30 and Aug. 2-3, 5-6 in the Hastings High School auditorium. Robin Starch, one of the founders of Black Dirt Theater, said that they will be able to fly Mary on stage. "It's a technical enhancement that not all theaters can do, but because we have a fly system at our high school we are excited," Starch said.
The Chase Passauer Memorial Golf Tournament will be held Friday, Aug. 11, at the Dakota Pines Golf Club in Hastings. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Chase Allen-Lloyd Passauer Memorial Scholarship at the University of Minnesota. Passauer died in a shooting in St. Paul last year when he was working in a law office above the W.A. Frost & Co. restaurant on Selby Avenue. His killer, Ryan David Petersen, was found guilty of all charges against him including first-degree murder.
The new Greenway Trail segment of the Vermillion River Regional Greenway trail project is open for use. The new section in the city of Hastings completes a full 10-mile "Scenic Circuit" around the city. Nick Egger, the public works director for the City of Hastings, said that the new segment is another feather in the cap of an already outstanding trail system. "It's another piece that people can get on and enjoy and get access to a lot of things by heading around that loop," Egger said.
Adele Salon, located at 219 Sibley Street, recently had a facelift. After seven years at the same location, it was time for a new look and the changes are visible on the inside and outside of the building. Adele has been located in downtown Hastings since 2010. Owner of the salon, Jenni Deal, said that her and her team got to choose the paint color for the outside of the building. Adele Salon, named after Deal's mother, chose the color green. Green was her favorite color, Deal said.
Maintenance of Oakwood Cemetery has continued to get harder and harder since 2014 when lawn care service was left to volunteers. The county used to care for the lawn through its Sentence to Serve program, but in 2014 they no longer had any money in the budget to put toward mowing the cemetery. Oakwood Cemetery was established in 1856 and it has more than 500 people interred on the property. Heidi Langenfeld, president of the Friends of LeDuc and Historic Hastings, said the site is historic and that taking care of it is a worthwhile project.
After 30 years of service, Hastings Police Department Lt. Joe Kegley will retire this month. His last day will be July 21. Over the course of his three-decade-long career in the police force, Kegley said that he has seen a lot of changes. When he first joined the department, the office was located in a single hallway building near the fire department. This was before the Government Center was located in the city and when the middle school was located at Schoolhouse Square.
The Carpenter Nature Center summer programs are in full swing. The Fishing Fun program and the Raptor Camp were held July 6. The fishing adventure involved a half day of fishing fun. Children brought their own rod and reel if they had one or used a provided one. Another Fishing Fun day will be held July 19.
The Miss Hastings Scholarship Pageant has partnered with several businesses in Hastings Independent School District 200 for the Pageant Pennies fundraiser. Jars will be placed at various businesses throughout the area from July 14 through July 24. Community members are encouraged to place change or donations inside the jars during that period of time. Pageant Pennies donations will go toward operating expenses for the Miss Hastings Scholarship Pageant that recently revived after a three-decade hiatus. The program will return in 2018.
The wooden signs on the side of the major highways entering town that say "Welcome to Hastings" will soon have a new look if it is approved by City Council. The city recently asked for input on the final two design options that they have come up with through an online survey. There was $25,000 budgeted in the general fund for the 2017 fiscal year to remove and replace one of the welcome signs in Hastings. The remaining two signs would be phased in as money is set aside in future budgets.
In the July 6, 2017, edition of the Gazette it was incorrectly stated that the pool at the Hastings Family Aquatic Center was repaired. The pool was closed June 29 through July 1 for the second repair of the season, but maintenance crews were unable to repair the leak. The pool reopened, but there is still a leak. Chris Jenkins, the parks and recreation director, said that a leak was detected, but the area where they thought the leak was located had been inaccurate. The leak was eventually located underneath the toddler play structure.