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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A new restaurant is coming to Hastings this summer. Fireside Social House will open at 108 Second St. E. in downtown Hastings in July. The building has sat vacant since RJ's closed in 2014. "Our motto is eat, drink and play — which is kind of the theme to what we are trying to do here," said Kim Zeigler, co-owner of Fireside.
A benefit for Danielle Lindquist will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at the Second Street Depot in Hastings. There will be a silent auction from 2-5 p.m., meat raffles, food, a beer bash and more. A DJ and live music will play from 6-10 p.m. On Feb. 5, Lindquist was in a head-on car accident. She was airlifted to Regions Hospital in St. Paul where she was rushed to the operating room for brain surgery. She underwent a bilateral decompressive craniotomy and suffered many facial fractures. Doctors operated and put in stints and plates to reconstruct her face.
About 185 community members and their furry friends turned up at the Animal Ark 3K Walk on June 3. Animal Ark raised more than $21,000 that will go toward animal care and maintenance at the shelter. The walk began and ended at the shelter where there were additional activities for the walkers. Other activities and businesses in attendance included live music, a guest appearance from the Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders, Barefoot wine tasting, Bad Weather Brewery, face painting, food trucks and games. There was also a dog contest and the Disc Dogs performed.
A group of soldiers from the Hastings, Rosemount, Northfield, Cannon Falls and Red Wing areas completed a community service project at United Heroes League in Hastings June 3. "This was a great opportunity for them to really see the RSP mantra of 'We live here, we work here, we serve here,'" said Chris Blauert, a sergeant first class at the Minnesota Army National Guard.
On June 9, four Hastings High School graduates will have the opportunity to be the last voice for the graduating class of 2017. Becca Francis, Lexi VanVossen, Gabrielle Novak and Jacob Streeter were selected as the commencement speakers out of 18 students who auditioned. All four speeches will weave together in a way that will both congratulate and encourage the class of 2017 to continue to accomplish more in the future, Francis said.
Kennedy Elementary celebrated a carnival day on June 2. Students enjoyed the sun outdoors with various activities including hockey, mini golf, block building, Kerplunk and bounce houses. There was also an opportunity for kids to get their hair done with fun colors, hula hooping, music, a photo booth and more.
The budgets for 360 Communities Lewis House domestic and sexual violence shelters have recently been cut by $168,500. The loss in funding is due to the shortfall of $6 million for United Way programs. As a result, the Greater Twin Cities United Way is reducing grants for social service programs and have eliminated Safety from Family Violence as a funding area effective July 1.
Divine Inspiration will close its doors at the end of June after 13 years at 114 Second St., but it may not be the end when they shut the doors at the downtown location. Jane and Colin Cain, owners of Divine Inspiration, began running the faith-based business about eight years ago. The store first opened 13 years ago, but the Cains took over in 2009. The reason for purchasing the store was not for a money-making purposes but they looked at it as a ministry, Jane said.
Tilden recently hosted a Family Engineering Night May 23 inside the Tilden gymnasium. The Science Museum of Minnesota presented their "Be creative-Be an Engineer" family program at the event. The program consisted of a 15-minute large group introduction followed by a half hour of table top activities.
A recommendation for the reinvestment in the school district facilities in the amount of about $49.3 million was recommended by members of the facility committee at the May 24 school board meeting.