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Looking Back: 1974 - Worthington and region plagued by dry conditions

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One year ago

Scott Hain, Worthington Public Utilities General Manager, said static levels at the city’s Lake Bella well fields south of Worthington were dropping about six inches per week, which was somewhat slower than the level had been dropping on a weekly basis the previous fall. Since November, Worthington Public Utilities had purchased 20 to 25 percent of its water from the Lincoln-Pipestone Rural Water system on a monthly basis.

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Sibley-Ocheyedan High School junior Alecia Martinez was the Iowa champion mime, a title she captured recently at the Iowa High School Speech Association Large Group All-State Speech Festival.

Minnesota West agriculture students were working with sediment samples from Lake Okabena to determine how much organic matter was at the bottom of Worthington’s lake and inlet. It was part of a process the Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District hoped would help point toward methods of improving the lake’s overall water quality.

The Rock County commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance restricting the sale of tobacco and tobacco-like products in the county.

Five years ago

The 12th annual Youth Talent Contest took place at Worthington’s Memorial Auditorium. Twenty-seven area students performed in 20 different acts, with options including singing, dancing, playing instruments or sharing dramatic readings. First-place finishers in various categories included Joshua Stephenson, break dance solo (elementary); tie, Maer Abella, hip hop solo, and Tracy Prins/Rachel Drietz, dance duet (middle school); and Nicole Ektnitphong, lyrical dance (high school).

Sanford Clinic Worthington celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Noemi Mena opened Mena’s Gifts & More at 924 Fifth Ave., Worthington.

The Nobles County Library, which recorded 85,000 visitors in the past year, was seeking solutions to its space challenges and sought public input on the potential for a new building.

The Nobles County commissioners accepted the low bid for the third floor remodeling project at the Nobles County Government Center, downtown Worthington. The low bid of $153,426 was to pay for relocating the administration office and the Nobles/Rock Community Health office, adding a second exit for the board room and improving the HVAC systems for the entire level.

10 years ago

The Iron Horse Riders motorcycle club of Fulda hosted its first-ever chili feed and cook-off at the Fulda Community Center in an effort to raise money for its scholarship fund. The club hoped to give three $300 scholarships to local students.

Chef Obadiah “Buddy” Stafford recently opened Café Creole in the former Thompson Hotel building in downtown Worthington.

Jackson County officials discussed adding a drug lab cleanup ordinance, with public safety at the heart of their concerns.

Ground was recently broken in Lakefield on a four-apartment building to be called Rosewood Village. The elderly living facility would expand housing options and services and was sponsored by Habilitative Services Inc.

Darlene Macklin, director of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, and Nancy Vaske, chair of the local motel advisory board, said the next step to increasing local tourism in the Worthington area was to have a convention center.

25 years ago

The District 518 administration proposed reductions in operating expenses and staff as the primary ways to trim nearly $400,000 from its 1989-90 budget. The school board also voted to keep kindergarten classes as they were and not to eliminate bus service for students living between one and two miles from the schools. The proposed cuts would reduce the budget by an estimated $76,300.

Advertised specials at Worthington’s Hy-Vee this week included a 24-ounce package of Ore Ida shredded hash browns for $1.39, three Banquet meat pies for $1, a 22-ounce Tombstone frozen pizza for $2.99, a 12-ounce can of Adams 100% orange juice for $1.09, an eight-ounce carton of Cool Whip for 99 cents, a 12-ounce package of Reames egg noodles for $1.09 and a 10-pound bag of russet potatoes for $1.69.

Henry Martin was elected the first president of the newly formed Southwest Labor Council. Martin had been acting president of the council and was elected to a two-year term. Vice president was Harry Colby, Windom. The labor council included eight southwest Minnesota counties, and its member total was 1,912.

50 years ago

Diane Sanderson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Sanderson, and David Stofferahn, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Stofferahn, were named to represent Worthington at the 1964 Girls and Boys States, respectively.

Doors opened Wednesday at the Wolff Store in Worthington after a major remodeling project was under way there for the past two weeks. Manager Ken Bunday said the work included installation of a new floor, all new fixtures, relocation of departments, a new side entrance and removal of the backs of display windows to open the store to view from the street. The project’s cost was roughly $50,000.

Dry conditions contributed to frequent grass fires in the area, as winter snowfall totaled only about six inches to date in Worthington, and the ground had been bare for six weeks. On Friday evening, Worthington firemen were called to a blaze at the Robert Hanson farm one mile south of town.

Worthington Junior College hosted the National Junior College Wrestling tournament. The title was ultimately won by Northeastern Junior College of Sterling, Colo.

A former Luverne grocer was killed Saturday night when the car he was driving went off an I-90 overpass five miles east of Sioux Falls, S.D. Eugene E. Hauge, 40, was dead on arrival at a Sioux Falls hospital. It was believed he had fallen asleep at the wheel. Hauge had operated a grocery store in Luverne until a few months ago, when he moved to Sioux Falls.

75 years ago

The Sioux Oil Company, located on Highway 59, Worthington, hosted a grand opening celebration and offered a one-pound box of chocolate-covered cherries with each $1 purchase of gasoline. Five gallons of regular gas were available for 87 cents, and five gallons or more of hi-grade oil cost 45 cents per gallon. Kerosene was sold for 11 cents a gallon.

Members of the young people’s choir of the Methodist church were entertained Thursday night at the home of the Rev. and Mrs. G.E. Martin, 35 enjoying an evening of games and a lunch following the regular rehearsal. The occasion was in the nature of a congratulatory tribute to Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Perkins, whose marriage took place about a month ago. They were presented with a gift, the presentation being made by Sidney Eide.

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Jane Moore
Jane has been a contributing writer to the Daily Globe since 1997. Previously, she held professional positions in corporate communications, alumni relations and journalism. She earned a B.A. in English with a minor in German at Carleton College. Jane handles the weekly "Looking Back" column and frequently writes education, fine arts and news features for the Daily Globe. Her blog can be viewed at www.timeformoore.areavoices.com.
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