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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Watching paint dry is often used as an expression to describe something boring. For spectators at the Veterans Home in Hastings, the expression could be taken in the literal sense with a rather riveting experience.
As a result of what they like to call wise choices, Wise Family Funeral and Cremation Services in Hastings will be expanding their parking lot and adding a crematory to the existing building located at 400 Spring St. Hastings City Council approved the site plans April 16 allowing them to move forward with the project. Local builder and contractor Greg Stotko of Stotko Speedling Construction will be overseeing the project slated to begin within the next couple weeks.
As the winter snow melts, the Mississippi River has been rising which means a potential for spring flooding. Nick Egger, public works director for the City of Hastings, said the river could reach a stage of 17.5 feet around Wednesday, May 2. "Seventeen-and-a-half feet is a little more than nuisance flooding," Egger said.
Hastings Middle School students performed an original play called "Insert(drama)Here" in the HMS auditorium April 19. The play was directed by Zach Filkins, but Filkins said it was a collaboration between himself and the students. "Insert(drama)Here" was a humorous take on the process of theater from auditions to after the final performance. Following the play, a brief question and answer session was held for the audience to ask about how the process of coming up with an original play.
Hastings High School sophomores were trained in how to save a life April 19 through the Stop the Bleed Training with HealthEast clinical director Paulette Groshens. Students were trained in how to apply pressure to a wound and use a tourniquet. According Groshens, a person can bleed out in six minutes, but it can take about 12-15 minutes for first-responders to arrive. That means a person who has been injured could bleed out before receiving any sort of medical attention.
The faces of Hastings are changing. Mayor Paul Hicks talked about a changing community in his State of the City address in February. "It is time we begin a community dialog on how we can become a more welcoming and inclusive community," he said.
Class, elegance and simplicity are three words that Nicole Sindelar would use to describe the updated banquet facility at Dakota Pines Golf Club in Hastings. Sindelar is the catering and events director at the club. "This is ten times the space that it was," Sindelar said.
Planet Beach recently joined businesses in downtown Hastings; moving across town into the space located at 105 Second St. E. Heather Smith, owner of the Hastings Planet Beach, said they will celebrate the grand opening of the new location April 28 from 2-10 p.m. Visitors are invited to tour the different services they have to offer.
Marie Schaefer was walking on the trail by the river in Hastings she thought, "Wow, I am so lucky." Schaefer said the beauty of the nature in Hastings stood out to her and she saw everything was moving. There was a lot of beauty in it. Schaefer's walk that day inspired her to write the poem "Junction of Motion." She is one of the new residents at Hastings Artspace Lofts in downtown Hastings.
The final phase of the Riverfront Renaissance Project is ready to begin, if only the weather would cooperate. The final phase which includes the reconstruction of the alley connecting the parking area beneath the new bridge to the Levee Park Parking Lot and Sibley Street was scheduled to begin April 16. Public Works Director Nick Egger said the latest snow storm delayed the project start, but as of the Hastings Star Gazette print deadline, pavement removal was scheduled to begin April 19.