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 little bit of dreary weather couldn't put a damper on Storytime in the Park Aug. 9 at the Rotary Pavilion at Levee Park. Even with some drizzling rain in the forecast children huddled under the pavilion, sat at the picnic tables. It was a nature themed storytime. Two big book stories were read by Barb Simmons, the children's librarian, including "Good Night Owl" and "Up, Down and Around." A scavenger hunt and earth art activity followed the stories. Activities were led by the library and Paige Marschall Bigler, the city's recreation programming specialist.
The Watt Munisotaram, a Buddhist temple located in Hampton, will celebrate the inauguration of the Mucalinda Pond Aug. 11-13. The community is invited to help celebrate the new pond located on the property with several activities throughout the weekend. "You have a hidden gem in the temple for the state of Minnesota," said Jim Hockert, a coordinator of the event. Hockert's wife is Cambodian and he has been helping with coordination at the temple for about six years. For people who have never been to the temple grounds, he said that they will be amazed.
It was a move to St. Paul and a passion for English that started a fascination with F. Scott Fitzgerald. Now, after 35 years of research and three previously published Fitzgerald books, Hastings resident Dave Page has released his latest book, "F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota: The Writer and His Friends at Home." "It's a guide to Fitzgerald's Minnesota," Page said. The book, which came out in May, features about 180 Minnesota addresses that relate to Fitzgerald, the famed 20th century writer who was born in St. Paul in 1896.
A new owner will be running the local Moms on the Run franchise beginning in September. Christine Hitchcock will replace current franchise owner Tracy Yoder effective Sept. 1, 2017. Yoder and her family will be re-locating to Colorado creating the need for a new local owner of the Hastings Moms on the Run program. Yoder said that she is confident that Hitchcock will continue the legacy of Moms on the Run in Hastings when she takes over the franchise this fall.
After 37 years of service in the Hastings community, general surgeon John Carlson retired July 21. Throughout his decades long career, he has completed around 16,000 surgeries; sometimes he would complete two or three surgeries in one day. Carlson was originally going to retire back in May, but the surgeons who are taking over for him were not starting until later in the summer. It was an easy decision for Carlson to keep working for two more months because, according to him, "since I enjoy this so much, I really don't work any day."
The Oakwood Cemetery Association was hoping to get some help with lawn maintenance that had been getting more and more difficult; instead, they found themselves with a team of historic preservationists on July 23 and 24. The eight member crew assisted with cleaning and straightening several grave markers in the cemetery. The group also trained some of the members of the Friends of LeDuc and Historic Hastings on how to clean the stone and marble markers by using water and elbow grease.
With a little beginner's luck and a Rivertown Days button, Brita Lawrence won a $500 prize for finding the Edina Realty medallion during this year's Rivertown Days festivities. It was Lawrence's first time looking for the medallion during Rivertown Days. She peeked under a tree in Oliver's Grove to see what she thought was just garbage, but it turned out to exactly what so many Hastings community members were looking for. It was the Edina Realty medallion. "I panicked, I hid it under my shirt and I ran to the car," Lawrence said.
HASTINGS — The 27th annual Antique Power Show at the Little Log House Pioneer Village was held July 28-30. More than 50 restored buildings, a replica of the Hastings Spiral Bridge, flower gardens and other restored machines were on display for visitors. In addition, the show featured demonstrations at the rock quarry, the printing press, the blacksmith shop and more. Other events included the daily parade, re-enactments by the Cannon Old West Society and a tractor and truck pull.
More than 180 of the finest cars, boats and motorcycles from around the United States will be showcased at the 2017 10,000 Lakes Concours d'Elegance on Saturday, July 30, in Excelsior, Minn. Hastings resident Kurt Zabel will be there with his 1964.5 Ford Mustang coupe. It is the fifth annual 10,000 Lakes Cours d'Elegance, which will benefit the nonprofit organization Bridging. Bridging serves the greater Twin Cities area by providing quality furniture and household goods to those transitioning out of homelessness and poverty.
Shane Rother may not have won his tennis match at the Rivertown Days tournament, but according to him, he was still a winner Saturday. "I may not have been a winner today, but I will always be a winner with you in my life," Rother told his girlfriend of two years when he dropped to one knee and asked her to be his wife. Rother said that it was kind of improvised. Rother said that he was planning to propose before the match but he had to change his plans because his girlfriend was a little late to the tennis match.