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Editor's column: Hastings Star Gazette to increase news staff

The Hastings Star Gazette has been providing content for readers since the 1860s in one capacity or another — albeit under a few different names.

Throughout the years, the newspaper's objective of providing local news has remained a constant. What hasn't is how readers consume the product or how we provide it. While last Friday's closing of the Hastings Star Gazette office building marks a new chapter, the objective from Day One remains the same.

Over the past two years, RiverTown Multimedia has made it a priority to refocus its resources into people, not buildings. With the building closure, the Hastings Star Gazette will be better equipped to provide the local news coverage that our readers deserve. We've seen this shift in resources work through the same action in five other locations.

Part of the change will include the hiring of a news reporter who will dive deeper into Dakota County issues, as well as education and community topics within the city of Hastings. The individual will come aboard in January. Readers can continue to look forward to the content produced by reporters Kelsey Roy and Alec Hamilton. On a larger scale, enterprise reporters Jackie Renzetti and John Russett will be at the ready. In addition, we have Rachel Fergus, who will write about the arts throughout RiverTown.

Come talk with me

On the horizon, there are a couple of things that you can expect in the weeks ahead. First, we will be introducing our news team on pages of the Hastings Star Gazette so you will have a better idea of who is covering the issues you care about most.

Second, from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Nov. 29, I will be working at Dunn Bros. in Hastings. I invite you to stop by during that time and talk with me so together we can build community engagement. Look for the guy wearing the RiverTown logo wear and a laptop.

Third, we will be holding our second Hastings' Readers Board meeting in early December.

In the meantime, I welcome all calls, emails, ideas or concerns. You can reach me by calling 651-301-7880 or via email jpfeifer@rivertowns.net.

Jake Pfeifer

Jake Pfeifer is a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, which encompasses the Hastings Star Gazette, Farmington-Rosemount Independent Town Pages, South Washington County Bulletin and Woodbury Bulletin. He previously worked as a sports reporter and outdoors editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and as a multimedia artist/editor for Detroit Lakes Newspapers.

(651) 301-7880