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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Mayor Paul Hicks delivered a State of the City address Feb. 1 at the Onion Grille. There were about 65 people in attendance of the luncheon. The theme of the speech depicted something that Hicks said many residents may already know. "There's never been a better time to live in Hastings," he said.
If walls could talk, there sure would be lots of stories coming from the buildings in downtown Hastings. Many of the shops and businesses are located in historic buildings; some date to the 1800s. Over the years ownership has changed, businesses have come and gone and renovations have taken place. Some of the spaces inside may have been originally built for one purpose, that may not be the case today. This week, the Hastings Star Gazette took a look at some stories within the walls of a few historic buildings. The opera house
Downtown Hastings will soon see a new clothing boutique located in the Meyer Building. BeLoved will feature a sophisticated romantic style, according to business owner Amy VanZee. Shoppers will still see a splash of the latest trends but VanZee wants the clothing to be able to be worn over seasons. "My goal is to have great quality and a timeless style that you can wear again the next season," VanZee said.
The Dakota County Library has expanded iLAB equipment to more locations including the Pleasant Hill Library at 1490 S. Frontage Road. The new available equipment includes 3-D printers, Apple iMac computers and Adobe Creative Suite. Mary Scheide, manager of Pleasant Hill Library, said the new equipment expands people's experience when they go to the library. "It's just one more tool for learning and creativity, and people interact with the library many different ways and this just gives them one more opportunity," Scheide said.
Ethan Bernt, an eighth-grader at Hastings Middle School, won the school's National Geographic Bee on Jan. 11. The school bee was the first round in the 30th annual National Geographic Bee, a geography competition designed to inspire and reward students' curiosity about the world.
More than 100 Hastings Public Schools teachers participated in a "grade-in" Jan. 17 as they waited for the month's School Board meeting to begin. Most of them stayed for the entire meeting, causing the conference room in the district office to overflow with teachers in the hallway and some teachers seated on the floor.
The latest Black Dirt Theater production was chosen with the Hastings community in mind, said co-director Sara Pillatzki-Warzeha. "We chose this show in a real specific way for Hastings because it feels like something that Hastings specifically will like," she said.
Scott Tuin was named Rotary Student of the Month for January 2018. Tuin is a senior at Hastings High School. He plays hockey, baseball and shoot trap. He is in the National Honors Society and Link Crew. In addition, he works at Maher Well Drilling. Tuin was nominated for the award by Hastings High School staff member Mike Harp. Harp said that Tuin exemplifies the Rotary club's motto of service above self. "(Tuin's) work ethic and dedication alone are enough for me to nominate him for this award, but this is only a small reason in why I am doing so," Harp said.
The brewing business in downtown Hastings is just getting started with Spiral Brewery slated to open in 2018, but the new brewery could soon be complimented by a cidery down the street. The city has been working with Panache, LLC, who requests to acquire the land north of Artspace for construction of a building containing a cidery along with potential commercial and residential uses.
The Hastings School Board recognized six District 200 employees at its December meeting. The Employees of the Semester for semester one of the 2017-18 school year were honored with a certificate and gift card. They are Ron Behnke, lead computer technician district wide; Tim Collins, superintendent; Eric Dietz, industrial tech teacher at the high school; Korean Geiken, lead cook at Pinecrest Elementary; Kyle Latch, principal at Kennedy Elementary; and Patty Perez, paraprofessional at Tilden.