Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
More than 2,000 area residents turned out Saturday to watch eight birds of prey released back into the wild at the Carpenter Nature Center along the St. Croix River. A broadwing hawk, a bald eagle and a red-tailed hawk were among the birds released. All were nursed back to health by the Raptor Center, housed at the University of Minnesota. For Carpenter Nature Center, it's a unique opportunity to let nature impact the lives of those in attendance. "With the nature center, we protect habitat, but teaching people is our key mission," said Jen Vieth, the development director at Carpenter.
For good friends Randy Johnson and Jim Hunt, Monday morning was supposed to be spent floating on the St. Croix River and catching walleyes. Instead, the two Farmington men escaped tragedy, then spent the new few hours watching from shore as crews fished their truck and trailer out of the water. At 6 a.m., Hunt picked up Johnson and they traveled to the public boat launch in Hastings, located on the Mississippi River. They got the boat in the water, but it wouldn't start and they eventually drained the battery on the boat.