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Looking Back: 1938 - Worthington rings in new year with large, well-behaved crowds

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One year ago

Hope Charity Rayne Grant was the first baby born at Sanford Worthington in 2012. The daughter of Sonja Grant, Adrian, Hope arrived at 11:43 a.m. Jan. 1, weighing seven pounds, six ounces.

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Demolition began at the former YMCA on 11th Street in downtown Worthington. Later in the week, demolition debris accidentally fell through the roof of Prairie Decorating, which is adjacent to the building being demolished.

With $300,000 available from the county's Clean Water Partnership fund and the potential to access more money from the city's sale of the hospital in Worthington, managers of the Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District began identifying projects to benefit water quality in Lake Okabena.

Mark Edward Wetsch, 49, of Minneapolis, was arrested in St. Peter shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday. His vehicle matched the description of the one used at the robbery of the Rolling Hills Bank in Brewster. Wetsch had been released from prison only in October and was a suspect in several other robberies committed recently throughout Minnesota and the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

JBS employees provided a major boost to the Worthington Area United Way campaign by contributing $72,133 to the annual drive. The campaign's goal was $150,000.

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners unanimously authorized bidding for the Jackson Speedway after a proposal was made by a potential buyer, Tod Quiring.

Five years ago

Owen Vincent Olsem was the first baby born at Worthington Regional Hospital in 2008. Owen, the son of Ryan and Melissa Olsem of Fulda, arrived at 2:44 a.m. Jan. 1, 2008. Weighing in at 8 lbs, 4 ounces, Owen was about one week overdue.

The Salvation Army kettles in Worthington brought in $12,382.07 this holiday season, which volunteer Wally Scholten said was the most collected in the 15 years he had worked with the organization.

Traffic halted on Minnesota 30 near Hadley Thursday morning when a semi-trailer heading west jack-knifed because of poor road conditions and blocked the roadway for several hours. Finger drifts and high winds made for poor visibility and dismal travel conditions throughout the region.

10 years ago

Tatiana Seifert-Garcia, the daughter of Alesha Seifert and Santos Garcia, was the first baby born at Worthington Regional Hospital in 2003. The seven pound, eight-ounce girl arrived at 12:25 p.m. Jan. 1.

The Prairie Queen Bakery in Sheldon, Iowa, announced it would reopen for business next week. The bakery had been closed since a devastating fire on Nov. 16 burned the adjacent Iowa Theatre and Pizza Ranch to the ground.

The Windom Cable TV Board voted to keep KARE-11, an NBC affiliate based in Minneapolis, as part of its cable lineup. The board had investigated bringing in a different NBC station --KDLT of Sioux Falls, S.D. --after KARE announced it would charge 15 cents per subscriber for the right to rebroadcast its signal.

25 years ago

Jeffrey Singsaath was the first baby born at Worthington Regional Hospital in 1988. Jeffrey, the son of Bouamay Singsaath, Worthington, arrived around 4 a.m. Jan. 1 and weighed eight pounds, three ounces.

The first hours of the new year saw a recorded low temperature in Worthington of minus-15, with unofficial readings as low as minus-21.

Justin Dekker, Worthington, received first place in the Optimist Club essay competition. Michelle Hodge and Patty Lang placed second and third in the contest, respectively.

A major fire erupted late Sunday at the Magnolia Bar and Steak House, one of the region's most noted eating establishments. The alarm was received at the Rock County law enforcement center at 11:06 p.m. Sunday. Nine fire departments joined to battle the blaze.

The Worthington Water and Light Commission approved a final plan for a task force to examine the feasibility of upgrading Worthington's water treatment facility. Consultants hired estimated that upgrading the plant would cost about $2.69 million.

50 years ago

Fire caused extensive damage on the morning of Jan. 2 to the William DeBeer farm home, three miles south and two miles west of Adrian. The flames were discovered about 6 a.m. when smoke awakened the family. DeBeer told firemen he just had time to awaken his children and get them out of the home; no one was hurt.

Judge Vincent Hollaren issued his annual report on activities of probate and juvenile court in Worthington during 1962. The report showed decreases in the number of cases involving juvenile traffic offenders, in vandalism and in breaking and entering cases. However, the report showed the age of youths involved in break-ins was lower than in former years. A total of 71 traffic cases were heard during the year; 125 hearings were held concerning delinquency. Other activities of the court included hearing 19 dependency and neglect cases, seven termination of parents' rights matters, 20 decrees of adoptions and 20 informal dispositions of cases involving minor infractions. Six youths were committed to the Youth Conservation Reception Center at Red Wing.

Mary Veda was the first baby born at the Worthington hospital in 1963. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Myrick of Lake Park, Iowa, Mary arrived at 11:37 a.m. Jan. 3. The Myricks had been married for 22 years, and Mary was their first child. The Myricks farmed, and Mr. Myrick was also employed at the Lake Park Farmers Elevator.

75 years ago

Though Worthington was full of people on New Year's Eve, with record-breaking crowds everywhere, the evening was devoid of disturbances, and may be set down as a remarkably orderly ushering in of the New Year. By far, the largest turnout was at the armory, where the annual New Year's Eve ball of the Worthington Country Club featured Tiny Little and his orchestra, who played to 1,200 people in the largest dance ever held in the drill hall. Local restaurants started service to dinner parties early in the evening and kept going until midnight and after. At the State Theatre, the midnight matinees crowd jammed lobby and foyer, and overflowed the sidewalk under the big marquee. Attesting to the lack of New Year's Eve nuisance was the fact there was only one arraignment before Municipal Judge G. B. McMurtry on Jan. 3, when Andrew Jensen, a Lytle truck driver, pleaded guilty to a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Statistics for the December just past showed that 14 inches of snow fell in the area during December 1937.

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