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As part of Hastings Reads, members of the Hastings Police Department met with students at Hastings High School on Monday, Feb. 11, for hour-long "Circle Conversations" that allowed students to ask officers questions and talk with them about what is on their minds, a press release from the department said. Over 50 students joined in on the session. Students asked officers questions about traffic stop protocol, media bias, challenges, ethics and other job-related issues.
With an avid gardener for a father and a botanist for a mother, Paul Morlock was born into the world of plants. On Jan. 15, the long-time Hastings resident and business owner was inducted into the Minnesota Nurseries and Landscaping Association Hall of Fame. Morlock has been involved with MNLA since the 1970s, volunteering his time as a board member and serving as the organization's president for two years. During his time serving MNLA, Morlock advocated for continuing education for all nurseries, new and old.
Hastings Mayor Mary Fasbender gave the 2019 State of the City address to a filled banquet room at Hastings Golf Club on Feb. 6. After lunch, the State of the City presentation kicked off with with a video highlighting the city's successes in 2018, including: multiple infrastructure and development projects, new programs in the Hastings Police Department and the Parks and Recreation Department, and the start of the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Initiative.
Ever play Vingo? This fun mix of music videos and bingo can be found at Pub 55 in Hastings every Friday. The bar and restaurant, located at 880 Bahls Drive, was purchased by Caitlen Wernimont and her team last May. In an effort to make the hard to see location more recognizable, the name, previously Wyatt's Twisted Americana, was changed to Pub 55 this past fall. Other than giving the business a fresh take, the name was purposefully shortened to increase visibility from the road, Wernimont said. The bar has been a neighborhood establishment since the 1980s.
When the opportunity to write her own stage adaptation of "The Scarlet Letter" came up while working with a theater company in the 1990s, Hastings resident Kelli Tatum couldn't refuse. "It was always my favorite book in high school. The artistic director — I had probably been talking about if for 10 years — said to me, 'I put it on this season so you better write it,'" Tatum said. Now, with the members of (lumin)theater lab, it is coming to the stage in Hastings.
Starting this February, Dakota Pines Golf Club and Rudy's at the Pines will both bear new names and a new message. Soon to be Hastings Golf Club and Events and Hastings Public House will be a community meeting place for things golf, and non-golf, related. After taking ownership of the club in November, Nicole Sindelar eagerly agreed with the building's leaser that it is time to freshen up the place and try something new.
The breast cancer diagnosis came for Melissa Black, a second grade teacher and mother of two, on July 31, 2018. Both Black and her husband Charlie had a hard time finding a word that captured what they were feeling at the time. "It's a call you don't want to get. It's not what we wanted the pathology report to show, and a lot changed very quickly," Black said.
On Thursday, Jan. 24, the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce awarded the business, educator and volunteer of the year for 2018. The annual meeting and awards was held at the Hidden Greens Event Venue. The Business of the Year award was given to Millner Chiropractic, the Educator of the Year to Kari Jaeger and Volunteer of the Year to Ellie Lundquist. The first ever winner of the Legacy award was former mayor Paul Hicks.
Hastings City Council was briefed on the results of the feasibility study in a workshop meeting Jan. 22. The study, performed by the city's water consultant Stantec, aimed to look into different options for disinfecting the city's water after an E. coli contamination in September. The city began administering low levels of chlorine into the system since. The study looked at eight different alternatives and analyzed the pros, cons and costs of each alternative.
The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program will soon be taking appointments for the 2019 tax season. The free program provides trained tax preparers to help seniors and low-income households fill out their basic federal and state income tax return forms. Starting Jan. 29, appointments can be made by calling 651-480-7689. Appointments are required and will start Monday, Feb. 4, at the Tilden Community Center, 310 River St. Tax assistants will be available 3-6 p.m. on Mondays and 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays. Appointments can be made through April 16.