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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TJ Pottinger was honored with the February Rotary Student of the Month award Feb. 8. He was nominated by Hastings High School staff member Tim Haneberg. Pottinger holds a GPA of 3.992 while taking AP courses and college level courses. He is involved with Hastings High School activities including Link Crew and National Honor Society.
The Hastings City Council approved a raise to the 2018 residential solid waste contract rates at the council meeting Feb. 5. The rates will go into effect April 1 at the beginning of the second quarter of 2018. Tennis Sanitation renewed their contract with the city in 2015. Soon after, the company learned that the dumping fee at the facility would be increased. Tennis said they decided to absorb the added cost because they had just signed the three-year extension about a month before finding out the rate would increase.
The Swingin' on the River show choir competition was held at Hastings High School Feb. 10. Eighteen groups from all over the Midwest came to compete. HHS show choirs Divaz, Upstage Revolution and Riverside Company performed at the competition. The award for best vocals went to Bemidji High School, best choreography went to Glenwood High School and the best band was awarded to Omaha South High School. The Grand Champions were Glenwood High School from Chatham, Ill. The first runner-up was Bemidji HIgh School and the second runner-up was St. Francis High School.
Hastings High School Students will perform Nothing Serious, a comedy by Rich Orloff, Feb. 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. in the HHS auditorium. The play is a collection of nine short plays. Janelle Ranek, play director, said the stories span from the very realistic to the quirky, but all of them have a poignant message. Each story pinpoints moments in everyday life and amplify them which draws the audience in.
The Shadow Men took third place, Artists' Choice and People's Choice in the Winter Carnival snow sculpture competition this year. The Shadowmen is a snow sculpture team made up of Jared Trost, of Hastings; Tim Trost, of Goodhue; and Jim Krueger, of Oak Grove. Jared and his team competed with a total of 18 teams in the competition and created their sculpture called "Eggloo."
The City of Hastings invited local residents to participate in a community meeting to provide input for future playground improvements Jan. 30 at City Hall. The Parks and Recreation Department was recently awarded a $105,000 outdoor recreation grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The funds, along with matching funds set aside in the city budget, will be used to replace the playground equipment at Lions Park, 1043 Fifth St. W.
The Hastings High School SnoWeek 2018 coronation was held Friday, Feb. 2, in the HHS gymnasium. There were performances by some of the acts from the Variety Show earlier in the week. In addition, the royalty was announced for each grade. The individuals who were crowned as 2018 SnoWeek royalty are listed below. 9th grade Blake Zak and Grace McGinnis 10th grade Sam Mezo and Amy Roach 11th grade Drew Davis and Lauren Jimenez 12th grade Griffin Myers and Grace Griffith
The Hastings Public Schools Foundation recently awarded more than $67,000 in grant money for District 200 schools. The grants were awarded to Hastings public school teachers in their classrooms Jan. 29. HPSF supports educational opportunities in District 200 by using the investment earnings from their endowment fund along with other donations to provide grants to educators for a variety of innovative projects and programs. The grants that were awarded are listed below. Hastings High School and Hastings Middle School Chromebooks
Officers found several thousand candy-like "gummies" containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) during a traffic stop last week in Lakeville. Austin James Hagen, 23, of Lakeville, has been charged with first-degree possession with intent to sell marijuana and second-degree possession, according to a Dakota County Attorney's Office news release Feb. 5. Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said this is the second case within the past week that the office has made charges involving "gummies" containing THC.
Local resident Tracey Johnson received a big surprise at a recent visit to Coborn's. She couldn't believe the kindness she received from Coborn's employee, Kim Nyberg. Johnson had left her purse at home that day and couldn't pay for her groceries. Instead of leaving empty handed, Johnson said that Nyberg whipped out her own check card and paid for the groceries. Johnson couldn't believe it.