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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HASTINGS — The Journey Church will launch in Hastings April 15 at 9:30 a.m. inside the Caturia, Smidt and Starkson building at 201 Seventh St. E. The new non-denominational church will be led by local Hastings man Pastor Paris Pasch. Pasch has 36 years of ministry experience in the city. He retired from Christ Family Church at the beginning of this year, but but he quickly realized he still had a lot of energy, passion and an assignment to help people add faith their life. "So there was no reason to stop," Pasch said.
In true Sleeping Beauty fashion, the daughter of Barb Duray-Keene's niece would pretend to prick her finger on a spinning wheel in her home and fall asleep. Duray-Keene would pick the girl up, play the prince by giving her a kiss and the little girl would wake. "(That's) the one that I have the most emotional attachment," Duray-Keene said.
HASTINGS — Hastings' thirst for a local brewery will soon be quenched with the grand opening weekend of Spiral Brewery in downtown Hastings April 20-22. What can brewery patrons expect when they visit? "Great beer is probably the most important one," said Amy Fox, one of the owners. Owners Amy, Nick Fox, Jen Fox, Luke McGuire and Claire Sandahl have been working since August to get the building, located at 111 Second St. E., ready for patrons.
Hastings Middle School Principal Mark Zuzek announced to colleagues April 10 that he has accepted a position as superintendent for Intermediate School District 917. The details of a transition are yet to be known, but Zuzek said he is committed to ensuring the transition is smooth. He plans to complete projects prior to his departure including making sure the budget and schedule are ready for the 2018-2019 school year.
HASTINGS — The new owners of Westview Center hope to bring the mall back to life. Anne and Maher Ismail will be working to update the building inside and out and fill tenant vacancies. The building was purchased by Maher and his business partner Abdulla Tobasi, but Maher will be doing most of the construction work with Anne working as the property manager.
The week of April 9-13 is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota. The campaign for awareness reminds Minnesotans about weather hazards and provides resources to minimize the risks associated with severe weather. A Tornado Drill Day will take place Thursday, April 12 where the sirens will sound at 1:45 p.m. to allow Hastings schools and businesses to practice their emergency plans. A second sounding of the sirens will be at 6:45 p.m.
Hastings High School students got to test out some of the action and adventure someone in the United States Army might experience March 28 with some virtual reality equipment. The exhibition was set up in the north parking lot at HHS. A large truck was parked next to the tents that had been set up. Michael Beck, with the U.S. Army Recruiting Company in Minneapolis, said the truck travels all across the country. It contains equipment for virtual reality experiences and a simulator for an AH-64 Apache Helicopter.
Hastings Council Member Tina Folch accepted the 2018 Clean Energy Community Achievement Award from the Minnesota Department of Commerce as the sustainability coordinator with the City of Red Wing. The award was presented March 28 in St. Cloud at the Community Driven Clean Energy Conference, which recognizes communities contributing to Minnesota's clean energy goals by planning and implementing programs, policies and technologies that encourage energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy generation.
"Simon Says...the Rockin' Trial of Simon Peter" will be performed April 8 at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. at St. Philip's Lutheran Church. A special preview show will be performed at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7. Anyone in the community is welcome to attend the performances. The children's musical is directed by Ellen Diischer, Heidi Nelson and Ann Fischer. Diischer has been directing the annual musical for about 20 years. This year, there will be 37 children in second through eighth grade performing.
HASTINGS — After some information meetings about the tentative contract settlement, about 85 percent of the members of Education MN in Hastings voted "yes." With the approval from Education MN, the contract will be brought to the School Board meeting in April for a vote. Lisa Hedin, School Board president, said the board's negotiation team has been updated the board as negotiations have progressed, so she has every reason to believe it will be approved at the April meeting.