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Students from Hastings Middle School and Hastings High School who participate in the Youth in Government program at the YMCA went to the state Capitol last weekend to participate in this year's Model Assembly. The Model Assembly invites students in YIG from around the state to participates in a mock-state government each year. The program allows high school students to run for office as the youth governor, state House and Senate, and Supreme Court. Students can also have the opportunity to act as the media or act as delegates at the National Issues Forum.
This year's Hastings Reads theme is "All Are Welcome," in tune with the city's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative. The two books chosen for elementary grades were "Wishtree" by Katherine Applegate and "Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun" by Maria Dismondy. The book chosen for middle school students is "Posted" by John David Anderson. The selection for high school students and adults is "Dear Martin" by Nic Stone.
Downtown business, Tenacious K's, will close its doors at the end of this month. "That's business," owner Tony Berens said of the store's closing. "Art doesn't sell the way you want it to." The local artist gallery, which will officially close Thursday, Jan. 31, opened five years ago and was operated by Berens' wife Korrinne. Korrinne died one year ago. "It's been a good run. I have met a ton of great people in this store. That's all of the fun," Berens said.
The founder of the Langenfeld Foundation, Paul Langenfeld, has been chosen to speak at the Points of Light National Conference in St. Paul in June. The Points of Light organization was started by President George H.W. Bush to recognize volunteers across the nation who are making a difference in their communities.
Friends and supporters of Hastings Mayor Mary Fasbender gathered outside her office Monday, Jan. 7, for a welcome reception before she was sworn in at the City Council meeting. In her speech at the meeting, Fasbender thanked her friends, family and the members of the council. "That is why we are here tonight as a group — to let you know that we are here for the city of Hastings," Fasbender said. Kelsey Roy / RiverTown Multimedia
Swearing in of elected officials To start off the Monday, Jan. 7, Hastings City Council meeting, interim City Administrator Julie Flaten swore in Mayor Mary Fasbender. At-large council members Lori Braucks and Mark Vaughan were also sworn in for their second terms. Community Development Block Grant budget The council unanimously agreed to authorize the submittal the Community Development Block Grant budget to Dakota County.
The temperatures may be dropping, but don't forget it's still important to get some fresh air. With a large number of parks, as well as public skating rinks in the area, there are many ways to get outside. Here are some special events in the Hastings area to help get you, your friends or your family off the couch and into the brisk air this January. What: Live Music Series at Mad Jaxx Where: Welch Village When: Saturdays at 4 p.m.
In 1968, a 9-year-old Paul Hicks begged his parents to let him stay up to watch the national conventions on television. "They say that was the year that changed America. It was also the year that changed me," Hicks said. "I remember thinking that this politics stuff I was seeing on the TV is really important. There are people dying and protesting. They are trying to change their government. People like Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were dying trying to do that. I thought it might be something I wanted to get into."
After five of years hard work, the Riverfront Renaissance project was completed in November 2018. "It's time that we go back to focusing on our roots as a rivertown. It's who we are," Mayor Paul Hicks said of the project's completion. "It's great to be able to bring people down to the river for concerts, Rivertown Days and events like that during the summer."
Editor's note: This story is part of a series looking back at some of the biggest stories of 2018. Find the rest of the series here: Top Ten 2018. The results of a feasibility study looking at options for disinfecting the city's water system are on the horizon according to Public Works Director Nick Egger. "There will be discussion amongst staff and we will take time for them to digest the results before we make them public," Egger said.