Scam calls

Scammers once again are disguising themselves as the Hastings Utilities Department, according to a news release from the city issued Friday.

Customers are asked to be aware of these attempts to get their money or personal information.

Hastings Utilities reported that an automated call is warning customers that their utilities will be disconnected within 30 minutes unless immediate payment is provided. The call prompts the customer to dial 1 on a call menu to reach a customer service representative.

HU doesn’t operate in this manner and has never employed an outside agency to collect payments.

Customers unsure whether a call is legitimate are advised not to trust the phone number that may appear on caller ID. Instead, hang up the phone and dial the Utilities Department directly at 402-463-1371.

To legitimately pay your bill, you can go to or call 1-844-396-2309.

Painting crosswalks

Driving lanes will be limited as crews work to paint crosswalks along Burlington Avenue.

The Hastings Street Department will start on Monday painting crosswalks between Second and 16th streets on Burlington Avenue during the early-morning hours between 2-7 a.m.

The work is expected to continue through Aug. 6, weather permitting.

Drivers are asked to use caution in the area during the project.

Restroom vandalism

Restrooms at some Hastings parks are closing temporarily due to recent vandalism.

The restrooms at Chautauqua Park and Heartwell Park will close over the weekend, and Hastings Parks and Recreation staff will determine if they can be reopened on Monday. The daily vandalism is causing biohazard risks for staff and park visitors.

Visitors are urged to treat all public facilities with respect so the community can continue to enjoy them.

The city asks anyone witnessing vandalism being committed to contact the Hastings Police Department at 402-461-2380.

Federal drug charges

Carlos Astorga Torres, 27, of Hastings was charged in federal court with distribution and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine on March 23, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice issued Monday.

If convicted, the maximum possible penalty is life imprisonment, $10 million fine, a five-year term of supervised release and a $100 special assessment.

Beef recall

OMAHA — An Omaha meat processor has recalled more than 295,000 pounds of raw beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Greater Omaha Packing’s recall Thursday. The beef products, intended to be used in packages of ground beef, were produced on July 13 and bear establishment number “EST. 960A” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The packages were distributed in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Nebraska.

The contamination was discovered when FSIS collected a routine product sample that confirmed positive for the presence of E. coli, officials said. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of the products, according to a USDA news release.

E. coli, a bacteria found in fecal matter, can be particularly dangerous to infants, young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Associated Press