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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Dakota County will join several Minnesota counties in taking action against pharmaceutical companies and distributors in the sale and manufacture of opioid drugs. "Companies that manufacture, distribute and market these drugs are causing a cycle of destruction in Dakota County," Dakota County attorney James Backstrom said.
The cause of the fire at Thorwood Rentals and Retreats is still undetermined. The Hastings Fire Department requested the state fire marshal to assist in the investigation. Bruce McLaughlin, investigator with the state fire marshal, said the fire department contacted them for assistance due to the historical nature of the building and the significant loss due to damages. John Townsend, assistant fire and EMS director, said the state has assisted in other fires in the past. "We tend to use them or have them assist when we have some larger (fires)," Townsend said.
A local physical therapist from Regina Hospital recently spent a week in Chiclayo, Peru, distributing wheelchairs to people in need. Anna Mangan was part of a team of mechanics, therapists, support staff and seamstresses who served 208 people in the last week of October. "I saw many individuals hadn't walked or moved from their small home for months or years due to their disability become overjoyed by their new 'device,'" Mangan said.
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.
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."
Hidden Greens Golf Course broke ground Oct. 24 for their new banquet facility that is scheduled to open in fall of 2018. The event hall will offer seating for up to 300 people with a view of the golf course. "It's something we get to share this place with people year round instead of just a niche of golfers," said Denise Dodge, general manager of Hidden Greens.
The new Allina Health Hastings Clinic, located at 1880 N. Frontage Road, is slated to open Nov. 6, replacing the First Street Clinic location. "The new clinic is part of a $63 million investment Allina Health has made in the Hastings community," said Tom Thompson, president of Regina Hospital. The new clinic is located a mile and a half from Regina Hospital. It will house 36 providers and 140 support staff members, including lab and X-ray technicians, clinical assistants, nurses and business office staff.
The Hastings City Council has approved the final plat and site plan for an 89-unit apartment building in the Glendale Heights neighborhood. The building will be built on a 4.74-acre parcel of land located north of Eagle Pointe Apartments on Voyageur Parkway. The construction of the apartment building will provide housing for over 100 residents. "We have a demand for apartments and demand for high quality apartments so hopefully this will meet that demand," said John Hinzman, the city's community development director.
An iconic symbol of Hastings will be traveling to and from the Veterans Home in Hastings with the facility's addition of a 12-passenger bus. Through several local donors and grants, the Veterans Home received the bus with a photo wrap. The image is of the Hastings bridge photographed by local photographer David Youngren. Sue Register, of the Veterans Home Volunteer Services, said that the new bus will improve transportation services at the facility. "(The bus) adds a little more versatility to allow us to get our vets to local medical appointments," Register said.
A new piece of art is expected to to bring a "pop" of color surrounded by the blank canvas of the snow this winter. A mural will be added to the warming house that is seasonally placed at Levee Park in Hastings. Sarah Hodder, deputy city clerk, said that the warming house was chosen for a commissioned piece of art in order to bring brightness and interest to Levee Park when everything is typically washed out.