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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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.
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.
Dakota County Board Chairman Mike Slavik had a positive outlook in his April 5 State of the County address at Royal Cliff Conference Center. Dakota County is a great place to live, work and play, Slavik said. In a residential survey conducted by the county in 2016, 95 percent of residents rated having a high quality of life in Dakota County. Slavik said the results of the survey reinforced the work that the county is doing.
The Dakota County Sheriff's Office purchased two drones last summer. Chris Melton, a sergeant at the Dakota County Sheriff's Office, said the county is on the cutting edge of new technology with the more than $17,000 purchase. The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration. The sheriff's office became certified through the FAA in January 2017. Nine people at the sheriff's office are certified to fly the drone. Every time it is flown, it needs to be manned by two people — the pilot and a visual observer.
Lights, camera, action. The big screen be could in the future for three Dakota County Sheriff deputies. They recently had the opportunity to work as extras in the upcoming Woody Harrelson movie titled "Wilson." According to the Internet Movie Database ( www.imdb.com ), Wilson is about a lonely, neurotic and hilariously honest middle-aged man who reunites with his estranged wife and meets his teenage daughter for the first time.
The Dakota County Sheriff's Department reported that every mailbox and unlocked vehicle in a section of Hampton was riffled through over the weekend. The affected area included Aspen, Birch, Colorado and Birch Bay streets. There are 61 houses in the area and a majority of mailboxes were found open Saturday morning. Pat Enderlein, captain at the Dakota County Sheriff's Office, said mail was torn open and left all over the street. The crime was first reported at about 6:45 a.m. on Saturday.