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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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.
Schoolhouse Scoop is now dishing out dessert in Cannon Falls. Hastings' Schoolhouse Scoop expanded this summer with the opening of the new location on July 1. "I feel like every small town needs to have a hard-scooped ice cream parlor," said Amy VanZee, owner of Schoolhouse Scoop. Ice cream has always been nostalgic for VanZee, who has memories of growing up in St. Paul and making frequent visits to the Dari-ette, which also happened to be where she got her first job.
Anna Fox is no stranger to back to school shopping. Walking from aisle to aisle in the school supplies section, Fox filled her basket with items on the shopping list. Fox was shopping for two children in the Hastings school district, one in elementary school and the other in middle school. Back-to-school shopping can be fun for the kids, Fox said. But for the parents, it can get a little frustrating. Some of the items on a school supply list might be very specific or the store might run out. Then there is the price tag.
The Watt Munisotaram, a Buddhist temple located in Hampton, will celebrate the inauguration of the Mucalinda Pond Aug. 11-13. The community is invited to help celebrate the new pond located on the property with several activities throughout the weekend. "You have a hidden gem in the temple for the state of Minnesota," said Jim Hockert, a coordinator of the event. Hockert's wife is Cambodian and he has been helping with coordination at the temple for about six years. For people who have never been to the temple grounds, he said that they will be amazed.
HASTINGS — The 27th annual Antique Power Show at the Little Log House Pioneer Village was held July 28-30. More than 50 restored buildings, a replica of the Hastings Spiral Bridge, flower gardens and other restored machines were on display for visitors. In addition, the show featured demonstrations at the rock quarry, the printing press, the blacksmith shop and more. Other events included the daily parade, re-enactments by the Cannon Old West Society and a tractor and truck pull.
The new Greenway Trail segment of the Vermillion River Regional Greenway trail project is open for use. The new section in the city of Hastings completes a full 10-mile "Scenic Circuit" around the city. Nick Egger, the public works director for the City of Hastings, said that the new segment is another feather in the cap of an already outstanding trail system. "It's another piece that people can get on and enjoy and get access to a lot of things by heading around that loop," Egger said.
This year's $2,500 National Merit Scholarship winners were announced by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. on May 10. The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from more than 15,000 finalists.
In the middle of May, Hastings will see Jim Crigler pass down the Mississippi River on his canoe as part of his solo canoe trip paddling the entire length of the river. Crigler, a Winona resident and Vietnam War veteran, began his journey in Lake Itasca April 22 and will make his way to New Orleans with the hopes that it will only take him 67 days to finish. "I'm going to start a movement to get normal American citizens to find a Gold Star family in their community ... and write them a thank you note," Crigler said.
Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center will host the Hastings Area Birding Festival from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 22. Advanced registration is preferred, but walk-in registration at CNC on festival day is welcome. "This year it's an early spring, so there are many great opportunities to get outdoors and learn about birds," said Jennifer Vieth, executive director at CNC.
Rep. Tony Jurgens, R-Cottage Grove, has reached an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation regarding a proposed speed limit increase on Highway 316 in Hastings. MnDOT has agreed to not raise the speed limit in the area until after a safety study has been completed. "I appreciate that MnDOT was willing to continue meeting and talking about this and the involvement of the city as well ... I think we got to a resolution where everybody wins," Jurgens said.