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 7 months
One local author is bringing back the phrase "you smell barn" with the release of her new book. Hastings resident Janet Letnes Martin and her co-author Suzann Nelson recently released a new book called "Growing Up Rural: You Smell Barn." "It's a humorous book of what it was like from the clothes that we wore to the peddlers that came to the farm," Martin said.
Thorwood Rentals and Retreats, located at 315 Pine Street, caught fire early Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. Officials said the call came in at 5:30 a.m. Firefighters were still working to put out the fire at 9 a.m. Once it has been put out, firefighters will investigate the cause of the fire. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
A priceless experience with the residents at the Hastings Veterans Home prompted a former employee to donate 130 pieces of art. "We are so excited to be able to receive these paintings and then offer them to our veterans for their rooms," said Sue Register of the veterans home. The donated pieces will be used as Christmas gifts for the residents to decorate their rooms. The residents will have a choice of two different sizes of artwork and a number of different prints.
A local physical therapist from Regina Hospital recently spent a week in Chiclayo, Peru, distributing wheelchairs to people in need. Anna Mangan was part of a team of mechanics, therapists, support staff and seamstresses who served 208 people in the last week of October. "I saw many individuals hadn't walked or moved from their small home for months or years due to their disability become overjoyed by their new 'device,'" Mangan said.
Little Beginnings Learning Center is making moves. The child care center moved into a new building Oct. 23, updated their logo with a new look and redesigned their website. With their move, the center that opened in 1999 added more than 3,000 square feet and space for 31 more students and five additional staff members. "We knew that we were kind of growing out our space and in order to accommodate more of the community, we felt we needed to have a bigger place to offer," said Jen Gelhar, director of Little Beginnings Learning Center.
The sixth-annual Hastings Holiday Hoopla was held in downtown Hastings Saturday, Nov. 25. The event was in coordination with Small Business Saturday. There were reindeer sleigh rides, horse and wagon rides, gourmet s'mores, pictures with Santa and the Grinch, ice carving, "Who" hair, face painting and carolers. Mrs. Claus was also walking around handing out candy canes. The event wrapped up with a lighted parade down Second Street.
Gobble Gait will be donating $127,000 to Hastings Family Service this year. It was the 20th anniversary of the race. The annual 2K and 8K Thanksgiving Day race started in 1998 and has been able to surpass donations from previous years for two decades. This year, the top men's finishers were Nick Ross and Zack Benning who tied for first place. They are friends that crossed the finish line together at 25:32. Third place was M. Clare Brandt.
Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt appears headed back to work. The City Council voted 4-3 on Tuesday, Nov. 28, that no disciplinary action would be taken against Schutt, following an investigation launched over two months ago. City Administrator Melanie Mesko Lee said Schutt will return to his role "following some paperwork and other logistics." The council held a closed door meeting lasting more than two-and-a-half hours for preliminary consideration of allegations against Schutt. Following the closed door meeting, they met in open session and voted to reinstate Schutt.
Jack Caturia has been named the Hastings Rotary Student of the Month for November 2017. Caturia was recognized at the Nov. 9 Hastings Rotary Club breakfast meeting at the Green Mill. Caturia has a 3.92 GPA and takes many AP classes. He is captain of the alpine ski team and is involved with football, track and field, trap shooting, chess club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Caturia is described as a self-starter with a great work ethic. In a nomination letter, someone wrote that he is a good decision-maker and problem-solver.
About 800 Food4Kids weekend food bags for students were packed over the weekend as part of the United Way of Hastings Acts of Kindness Week. "It all started from just the thought of how can you be kind this week," said Mari Mellick, executive director of United Way of Hastings. With so much negativity in the world, Mellick said, the state's United Way organizations decided to implement an Acts of Kindness Week to focus on the good. The Hastings organization decided to highlight just one of their initiatives during the week, which was Food4Kids.