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.
- Member for
- 1 year 6 months
The Hastings City Council voted at their May 1 meeting to support the recommendations from the Parks and Recreation Committee regarding boulevard tree maintenance. Chris Jenkins, Parks and Recreation director, presented the recommendations to City Council. Jenkins said that he was pleased with the questions the council had for him and what they asked him to clarify. "It shows me they are tuned in and interested in this topic and understand it is a big topic; one that we will all have to work through together," Jenkins said.
After searching for a way to get more involved with the creative and artistic side of theater, Caitlin Weber and Libby Wasylik decided to take things into their own hands. The two co-founded (lumin)theater lab, a theater collaborative that began in November 2016. They will perform their first official production at the Hastings Arts Center May 11-13 and May 19-21. (lumin)theater will perform "Escape from Happiness," a comedy of sorts, but Wasylik said that there is more to it. "It's a comedy with a brain and a heart attached," Wasylik said.
Janet Gratz's favorite memories of Hastings Family Service had to do with giving and thanks, she wrote in an HFS booklet. It was the middle-aged man who bought her groceries when he found out she was buying for the food shelf, the 7-year-old boy who brought in coins from his allowance to help another child who needed it more, the mother and son who came after work to help distribute Christmas boxes because someone helped them last year, and many more stories representing a caring community.
The Link Crew at Hastings High School led students in a Kindness Week initiative beginning April 24. "We thought this was an incredible opportunity to bring the best out in people to really slow down as a school community and focus on kindness," said Laura Newton, one of the Link Crew advisors. Newton said that the idea of Kindness Week began after Gabrielle Novak, a senior Link Crew commissioner, approached the advisors with a desire to perpetuate kindness throughout the school.
There are four things that Superintendent Tim Collins said he foresees happening as a school and community within the next six years in District 200. It would include a bond in 2017 to reinvest in the facilities, budget reductions for operating expenses in 2018, a renewal of an eight-year operating levy in 2019 and the renewal of a 10-year operating levy in 2023. By being upfront and transparent about what the district will need in the coming years, Collins said that he hopes to continue to receive the support from the community that they have always seen in the past.
The City Council considered action at their May 1 meeting to impose a civil penalty to Due Olives LLC, formerly known as Vista Rio and currently Lock and Dam Eatery. The council had the ability to impose a penalty that included suspension or revocation of their liquor license, but chose not to invoke any penalty.
The Hastings High School drama club will perform "Les Miserables" at the Hastings High School Auditorium May 5-7. Shows will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7. The cost will be $5 for students and $8 for adults. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door with cash or check only. Cast Matthew Leifeld: Jean Valjean Yohan Morales: Javert Becca Francis: Fantine Micah Walt: Marius Annie Fox: Cosette Ian Sundberg: Enjolras Ellie Gullicks: Eponine
Wausau Homes, located at 507 Vermillion Street, celebrated their grand opening and announced that they are now building homes in Dakota County and the surrounding area. The custom home design studio, owned by Hastings native Tyler Walker, opened its doors in December 2016, but the business celebrated with an official ribbon cutting April 27. Walker said that is has been amazing to receive so much local support from fellow business owners and residents of Hastings.
A new MetroPCS store opened its doors April 13 in Hastings at 300 Vermillion St. The wireless store is known for offering great value in devices and plans. The company partners with T-Mobile for 4G LTE and coverage. The MetroPCS store originally opened in November, but it reopened under new ownership in April. Mike Kohler, the new owner of the MetroPCS in Hastings, has been working in wireless for about 20 years. He said that he began working in wireless when he sold bag phones. He has worked in the industry ever since and has seen phones change throughout the years.
In the middle of May, Hastings will see Jim Crigler pass down the Mississippi River on his canoe as part of his solo canoe trip paddling the entire length of the river. Crigler, a Winona resident and Vietnam War veteran, began his journey in Lake Itasca April 22 and will make his way to New Orleans with the hopes that it will only take him 67 days to finish. "I'm going to start a movement to get normal American citizens to find a Gold Star family in their community ... and write them a thank you note," Crigler said.