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Looking Back: 2003 - Minnesota West tops 1,000 students

One year ago

Student royalty for Minnesota West, Worthington, Homecoming festivities were Princess Tiffany Gehl, King Mitch Olson, Queen Jes Hermeling and Prince Philip Duerr.

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Grassroots Community Theatre, Worthington, mounted a production of “Leaving Iowa” at Pioneer Village. Mary Jane Mardesen directed the show.

Worthington High School hosted the Region 3 gathering of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). More than 180 students from the region attended the day-long meeting. WHS senior Maggie Malathip was secretary of the Region 3 group.

Nobles County commissioners granted authorization for its public works department to pursue additional measures to improve safety at the intersection of County State Aid Highway 35 and Nobles County 13 north of Rushmore. The action came following another fatal car crash a few days earlier at the same intersection.

The 19th annual “Corn off the Cob” variety show featuring area amateur performers took place at Worthington’s Memorial Auditorium.

Five years ago

Debbie Petersen, Slayton, opened BenLee’s Café in downtown Worthington.

The Worthington City Council voted unanimously to offer Craig Clark the position of city administrator. Clark most recently worked as the town administrator in Clayton, Wis.

More than 100 individuals representing 22 church congregations throughout southwest Minnesota were expected to stay overnight at the Brewster City Park and the Adrian Lower Park as part of the first-ever Cardboard Box City event in Nobles County. Proceeds from participants’ pledges were to benefit Southwest Minnesota Opportunity Council and Western Community Action, both of which aided homeless people.

The Union Pacific Railroad’s Challenger #2958, the world’s largest operating steam locomotive, made a whistle stop in Worthington as part of a five-state, 1,700-mile tour celebrating railroad heritage.

10 years ago

A master plan for the Casey Jones Trail, which would cover 70 miles across southwest Minnesota for multiple uses, was under way. The trail would connect Pipestone National Monument, End-o-Line Railroad Park in Currie and the Laura Ingalls Wilder historic site in Walnut Grove.

Two and a half years after his Worthington chicken plant closed, Tesfaye Mitslal was ordered to pay 49 former employees of his failed Awra Doro Inc. plant about $38,000 for paychecks he issued and that later bounced.

For the first time ever, student head count at Minnesota exceeded 1,000 — and for the first time since 1970, full-time enrollment at the Worthington campus was about 700. At present, there were 744 full-time students and a total of 1,022 students on campus.

An early morning search of a rural Reading home netted the capture of a small amount of methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as several components used to make methamphetamine.

Worthington civic leader Earl Newburn, who also farmed in the area for 34 years, died at the age of 89. Newburn was the Nobles County weed inspector for 15 years and was a longtime Chamber of Commerce member.

25 years ago

A new fire truck — total cost, fully equipped, $135,000 — was delivered to the Worthington Volunteer Fire Department this week. It had been 10 years since the last new truck was purchased. A 1951 FWD corporation truck was then retired.

The Worthington High School band participated in the marching portion of the 38th annual Tri-State Band Festival in Luverne.

Dorthy Rickers’ “Mixing and Musing” column included recipes for Chicken Wild Rice Soup, Creamed Ham with Peas and Apple-Celery Salad.

Bob and Elaine Cuff announced their sale of the Medicine Shoppe, Worthington, to Dale and Jan Eads of Sibley, Iowa. Dale had been a pharmacist at Sibley for 10 years, and the Cuffs were retiring after 11 years of owning the local Medicine Shoppe.

A grand opening took place for a new Pizza Ranch restaurant at 350 West Oxford St., Worthington.

50 years ago

Worthington’s United Fund campaign got under way this week with a 1963 goal of $31,479. Robert Demuth was the business chairman, while Mrs. Bill Brower served as the residential chairman with door-to-door drive scheduled to begin Oct. 21.

Playing at Worthington’s State Theater was “For Love or Money,” with “Spencer’s Mountain” (starring Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara) due to show next week.

Art Priebe was elected chairman, and his wife, chairwoman, of the Nobles County Young Republicans’ League at an organizational meeting. Joseph M. Feldman was named secretary-treasurer, Marv Tripp Jr. was selected publicity chairman, Clark Walker was to be membership chairman; Jay Gannon was to be program chairman.

Rock County residents donated 572 pints of blood during a recent visit of the Red Cross Bloodmobile. It was the largest total since records began being kept in 1953.

At the annual Junior Livestock Show in St. Paul, Gary Hansen of Jackson showed his Hereford to the grand championship of the show. James Kramer of Worthington showed champion Shorthorn and the number three animal.

Tom Wing and Francine Jafvert were named Homecoming king and queen, respectively, of Worthington High School festivities. The Homecoming football game was against Luverne, followed by a dance. A Thursday night bonfire and snake dance also took place.

75 years ago

The Rev. T. Goodmenson, pastor of the Lutheran church at Slayton for the past 14 years, died at his home in Slayton on Wednesday night after a lingering illness of about six months. He had preached his last sermon Palm Sunday. He was survived by his wife, three daughters and two sons.

For the second time in as many months, Vollie Laythom, Worthington, was brought before Judge G. B. McMurtry in municipal court Tuesday morning charged with fighting. Officers picked him up on a complaint filed by a local man who was the victim of the assault. He was given a sentence of 30 days in the county jail.

“Hansel and Gretel,” the Humperdinck operetta, was to be presented by the junior high chorus at Memorial Auditorium, Worthington, on Oct. 14. Among the character assignments were Raymond Lowry as Peter, Lois Ann Gustafson as Gertrude, Gerald Fraser as Hansel, Jean Albers as Gretel and Esther Shade as the Cookie Witch. Signe Ramseth was the vocal director, Ethel Stokes was accompanist and Ardith Frost was the director.

Playing this week at Worthington’s State Theater was “Youth Takes a Fling,” starring Joel McCrea and Andrea Leeds.

In Society News, it was noted that Mrs. Oscar Heig hosted the first fall meeting of the 20th Century Club.