Looking Back: 1989 - 'Dark black storm' causes extensive damage in Cottonwood County
One year ago
Suzy Brandner, a 22-year District 518 teaching veteran, was named the 2013 Education Minnesota Worthington Teacher of the Year. She was currently a third-grade teacher at Prairie Elementary.
The U.S. Drought Monitor released last week showed Worthington was on the line between a moderate and severe drought. National Weather Service Hydrologist Mike Gillispie of Sioux Falls, S.D., said there was no strong sign of a drought-buster in the forecast.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimated $26.2 million in damage was done across southwest Minnesota during the April ice storm.
Officials from the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival announced that for the first time in the event’s history, a Color Dash run would be part of the weekend’s events.
Five years ago
The Southwest Star Concept school district took no formal action toward implementing a four-day school week, but did plan to request an operating levy referendum and took other steps to trim $100,000 from its budget for the 2009-10 school year.
The Worthington Chamber Singers performed a spring concert that included guest musicians of the M State Chamber Chorale of Fergus Falls.
Worthington High School alumnus and former Minnesota House Minority Leader Matt Entenza announced his bid for governor in a press conference at the Worthington High School media center.
Former Minnesota Viking Matt Blair was the guest speaker at the 24th annual YMCA cruise dinner in Worthington.
The 2009 King Turkey Day race team was announced: Tammy Anderson, Jodi Almberg, Paul Larson and Jim Henning.
10 years ago
Worthington High School Bruce Blatti was named Principal of the Year by the Southwest Division of the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals. About 100 principals had been nominated for the honor.
A groundbreaking ceremony took place for the new gas station complex just east of the Travelodge, Worthington. The 4,500 square-foot facility was to have a convenience store and automatic car wash, and was due to be completed by late August.
Two Worthington High School Trojan speech team members made it to the final rounds of the Minnesota State High School AA speech tournament. They were Laura Hibma, who finished sixth in Extemporaneous Speaking, and Rick Lonneman, who finished second in Extemporaneous Reading.
Sandy Demuth and Kathy Steiner opened Scrapbook Paradise in downtown Worthington.
Connie Burchill, Worthington, was honored as the 2004 recipient of the Southwest Minnesota Foundation award at the organization’s annual banquet in Morton.
Minnesota Department of Transportation officials shared plans with the public for U.S. 59 between Worthington and Fulda, with construction scheduled for mid-May through September.
25 years ago
A “dark black storm” roared “like a train” across a swath of Cottonwood County, and while it was not certain whether it had been a tornado, a series of tornadoes or simply straight-line winds, damage was nevertheless extensive. Damage reports came from a region 15 miles wide and 26 miles long, and were notably severe from the Storden/Jeffers area. A boom truck owned by Borsgaard Construction was lifted from the ground and damaged during the storm.
Movies showing this week at the Northland Mall cinema were “Speed Zone,” “Disorganized Crime” and “Red Scorpion.”
Jim’s Drive-In of Ocheyedan, Iowa, advertised that “delicious broasted chicken is back” after a four-year absence.
Larry Bjore was the new golf pro at the Worthington Country Club.
Les Crowell, 81, Windom, was recovering after having been pinned under a tree he was cutting, breaking his leg in three places. Crowell, who was working alone near String Lake, managed to use his chainsaw to cut the tree into smaller sections so he could roll himself free. He then crawled up a 40-foot incline to his tractor, hoisted himself onto his tractor, and drove four miles to seek help for his injuries.
50 years ago
A total of 1,200 students from 44 southwest Minnesota schools competed in the state regional music contest at Worthington High School.
A Friday fire destroyed a pioneer landmark of Dickinson County, Iowa, when the farm home of Ross Doolittle burned to the ground. The house was built in the 1860s by the late Charles A. Arnold, a grandfather of Vinton C. Arnold of Spirit Lake. It was the first home of the Arnold family after whom Arnolds Park was named. In the early 1870s, the house was sold to the Doolittle family and moved to its present site. The Doolittle sisters, Agnes and Ellie, were students of Dickinson County history, and a collection of items and pictures of historical value were lost in the blaze.
Showing this week at the Gay Drive-In, Worthington, were “A Yank in Vietnam,” “War is Hell!” and “A New Kind of Love” starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.
The 14th annual Fourth District Minnesota Parent-Teachers Association conference took place in Worthington. The keynote address was delivered by Andres Thompson, state treasurer of the Minnesota PTA.
75 years ago
Game wardens B.A. Langdahl of Worthington and D.P. Brady of Windom asked fishermen to cooperate in reserving the west bay of Lake Okabena for a fish spawning grounds. The men staked out a portion of the lake to warn anglers of the beds. The ban on fishing in the bay would be in effect until July 15.
John Apel, faithful rural mail carrier on Worthington routes for 30 years, laid aside his mail bags Saturday after completing his round of Route 2. Apel retired April 30 after a long record of distinguished service in the post office. “I don’t feel much like retiring,” said Apel, “but Uncle Sam says the word.” Apel started in the postal service in Worthington Sept. 6, 1909, when the post office was in the building now occupied by the Court Square Tavern. Apel had come to the area from Illinois in 1888 with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Apel, when he was 14 years old. Apel was also on the Worthington school board for six years, serving as treasurer.
Advertised specials this week at Worthington’s Fairway Market included a three-pound can of Crisco for 48 cents, two bunches of green-top carrots for 9 cents, four bars of Fels Naptha soap for 18 cents, three pounds of brown sugar for 17 cents, a quart of dill pickles for 17 cents, a pound of Wisconsin Long Horn cheese for 16 cents and a two-pound jar of peanut butter for 23 cents.