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.
- Member for
- 1 year 8 months
Little Beginnings Learning Center is making moves. The child care center moved into a new building Oct. 23, updated their logo with a new look and redesigned their website. With their move, the center that opened in 1999 added more than 3,000 square feet and space for 31 more students and five additional staff members. "We knew that we were kind of growing out our space and in order to accommodate more of the community, we felt we needed to have a bigger place to offer," said Jen Gelhar, director of Little Beginnings Learning Center.
The sixth-annual Hastings Holiday Hoopla was held in downtown Hastings Saturday, Nov. 25. The event was in coordination with Small Business Saturday. There were reindeer sleigh rides, horse and wagon rides, gourmet s'mores, pictures with Santa and the Grinch, ice carving, "Who" hair, face painting and carolers. Mrs. Claus was also walking around handing out candy canes. The event wrapped up with a lighted parade down Second Street.
Gobble Gait will be donating $127,000 to Hastings Family Service this year. It was the 20th anniversary of the race. The annual 2K and 8K Thanksgiving Day race started in 1998 and has been able to surpass donations from previous years for two decades. This year, the top men's finishers were Nick Ross and Zack Benning who tied for first place. They are friends that crossed the finish line together at 25:32. Third place was M. Clare Brandt.
Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt appears headed back to work. The City Council voted 4-3 on Tuesday, Nov. 28, that no disciplinary action would be taken against Schutt, following an investigation launched over two months ago. City Administrator Melanie Mesko Lee said Schutt will return to his role "following some paperwork and other logistics." The council held a closed door meeting lasting more than two-and-a-half hours for preliminary consideration of allegations against Schutt. Following the closed door meeting, they met in open session and voted to reinstate Schutt.
Jack Caturia has been named the Hastings Rotary Student of the Month for November 2017. Caturia was recognized at the Nov. 9 Hastings Rotary Club breakfast meeting at the Green Mill. Caturia has a 3.92 GPA and takes many AP classes. He is captain of the alpine ski team and is involved with football, track and field, trap shooting, chess club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Caturia is described as a self-starter with a great work ethic. In a nomination letter, someone wrote that he is a good decision-maker and problem-solver.
About 800 Food4Kids weekend food bags for students were packed over the weekend as part of the United Way of Hastings Acts of Kindness Week. "It all started from just the thought of how can you be kind this week," said Mari Mellick, executive director of United Way of Hastings. With so much negativity in the world, Mellick said, the state's United Way organizations decided to implement an Acts of Kindness Week to focus on the good. The Hastings organization decided to highlight just one of their initiatives during the week, which was Food4Kids.
The Hastings High School Music Department presented Jazz and the Winds Nov. 16 in the HHS auditorium. The concert featured the Hastings High School Jazz Ensembles and Concert Bands. The performances were directed by Jim Jacobsen and Duane Oldham. The Varsity Band, Jazz II, Concert Band, Jazz I and Wind Ensemble performed a variety of music for the audience.
A new church is coming to Hastings with the intention of bringing a movement and a place for community. Crossroads Church, located at 225 33rd St. W., will open Dec. 3 for the first worship services at 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. Crossroads is part of the Evangelical Covenant Church of America (ECC). It is the church's fourth campus location with others located in Woodbury, Eagan and Cottage Grove. The pastor at the church is Tim Stanley, the former director of Young Life in Hastings. He said that he hopes the church will make a great impact on the community.
Gobble Gait will celebrate 20 years of raising money to benefit Hastings Family Service with the 2K and 8K races this upcoming Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, Nov. 23. Since starting Gobble Gait in 1998, it has raised $1.4 million for Hastings Family Service. "I remember it like it was yesterday," said Mary Fasbender, Gobble Gait organizer. "It was a beautiful day ... and there was just 400 casual people going out for a walk."
Target may have announced that the Hastings store will be closing in February 2018, but the Hastings Chamber of Commerce is trying to reverse the decision. "We're still fighting," said Kristy Barse, president of the Hastings Chamber of Commerce. The chamber does not know if there is anything that can be done to keep the store open, but they have taken a few steps to try.