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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Something didn't look right to Jerry Harrington when he was on his way out of town for the weekend with his girlfriend, Melanie Olson. The couple was driving down Vermillion Street when Harrington noticed a vehicle parked in a parking lot near the old Mill. A woman's leg was sticking out of the vehicle. Olson told him to turn around and go back just to check it out. Olson hopped out of the car and went over to check on the woman. She immediately yelled back to Harrington to call 911. "It looked really bad, she was cold to the touch," Olson said.
Caturia Smidt Funeral Home will move to a new location in 2018. The funeral home plans to take possession of the Knights of Columbus Hall, 3075 Vermillion St., at the end of December in order to begin construction on a new facility. The Knights of Columbus Hall will be torn down in 2018 to make room for the new 12,000-square-foot facility. It will have a chapel, ample off street parking, a reception space and a crematorium.
A power outage early this morning at the Dakota County Government Center initially caused court proceedings to be cancelled. The power was restored by 10:30 a.m. and courts’ in-custody will resume at 11 a.m. All other court activities will resume at noon.
Hurricane Harvey's destructive toll on the Houston area and 33 Texas counties hit too close to home for Joshua Leone. Leone, the general manager at the Green Mill in Hastings, spent 32 years in Houston before moving to Minnesota in February. Leone still has a home that was built only two years ago in Conroe, Texas. It was completely flooded with 2 to 3 feet of water on Aug. 24 during the storms from Harvey. He arrived back in Houston on Aug. 28 to deal with the aftermath. He and his wife, Elizabeth, drove 23 hours straight until they arrived in the area.
Hastings Middle School held their first Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports assembly of the year on Sept. 6. Students walked into the assembly with the eighth-grade jazz band playing music. The first assembly had the theme of 'The Raider Way' in which students learned about what the words safety, responsible and respectful mean at HMS.
A parade of pigs joined United Way of Hastings at its kickoff event before the first home Raider football game Aug. 31. No, not live pigs, but they were life-size statues. The United Way of Hastings began a financial empowerment campaign as part of its theme of Building a Better Hastings. The five pigs, all decorated in a way that represents their sponsors, will be displayed around town. Mari Mellick, the executive director of United Way of Hastings, said that the pigs bring attention to financial empowerment and act as a visibility piece for that topic.
A Hastings man was arrested following a standoff with police Saturday, Sept. 9. Warren Kocurek, 57, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault after Hastings police responded to the 2300 block of Pine Street at 12:04 p.m. for a report of a domestic disturbance. According to police, a female victim escaped the address after being threatened with a handgun. The woman told officers that there was a male in the residence with a potential mental health crisis.
Hastings Fire and EMS Director Mike Schutt is on paid administrative leave, according to the city. Schutt was placed on paid leave Wednesday, Aug. 30, City Administrator Melanie Mesko Lee confirmed. There is an ongoing city investigation while Schutt is on leave. John Townsend, assistant fire and EMS director, is taking over fire chief responsibilities during Schutt's absence.
Farmers Insurance in Hastings will have a new location to call home after the Labor Day weekend. Shane Lanning, owner of Farmers Insurance at 1640 S. Frontage Road, will be moving to a new building. Beginning Sept. 5, the Pearson Lanning Agency of Farmer's Insurance will be open for business at 1350 South Frontage Road. "It's just got such a charm that you just don't see every day," Lanning said.
There's a monster coming to town next month. That is, in the new Hastings High School marching band production. The preview show will be 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, at Todd Field and it will feature this year's theme: Frankenstein. Each year, the marching band has a different theme or story that they portray. Emily Chandler, director of the HHS marching band, said that it is like a theater production on a football field for about six and a half minutes. After selecting the music, the theme Frankenstein was chosen pretty easily.