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Looking Back: Blue Mounds State Park tragedy was 10 years ago this week

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One year ago

The Worthington City Council cast the first vote in favor of a downtown Sterling Drug Monday, approving its share of a tax abatement plan requested by Astrup Drug Inc.

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A community garden, featuring 16 10- by 10-foot plots, grew out of a meeting with members of the Rock County Composters group. Ted LaFrance, Luverne's economic development director, helped get the project "in" the ground.

Students in Deb Martin's Worthington High School floriculture class planted lilac and honeysuckle shrubbery on the grounds of the Worthington Sunset Hospice Cottage.

The Worthington City Council allocated funds for a new fire station and defined other projects on which the city would spend $5 million in hospital sale funds. The council voted unanimously to allocate $4.1 million of "legacy" dollars toward design and construction costs for a new fire station on the former Campbell Soup property.

Five years ago

The Worthington WalkAmerica, with about 200 participants, aimed to raise $25,000 for the March of Dimes.

Tsehau Retta opened Queen Sheba Restaurant in the Hotel Thompson building; it was Worthington's first Ethiopian restaurant. Retta was a native of Lalibela, Ethiopia.

Kia Vander Kooi and DiDi Christopherson were both finalists for the Princess Kay of the Milky Way title, to be announced in August at the Minnesota State Fair. Each young woman was the third daughter from her family -- the Dave and Deb Vander Kooi family and the Dean and Carol Christopherson family, respectively -- to qualify for the honor.

After many years of Sunday afternoon commencement ceremonies, Worthington High School made a change for the Class of 2006, with the 175 graduates receiving their diplomas on a Friday night.

10 years ago

Worthington's Home of Hope marked its one-year anniversary. The Home of Hope served people new to Worthington with temporary housing if they had inadequate resources to afford it.

Bewilderment and uncertainty reigned in Luverne following the murder of 20-year-old Blue Mounds State Park employee Carrie Christine Nelson. Nelson was found dead in the office building of the park's entrance around 2:45 p.m. Sunday by other park staff members.

A truckload of chickens was abandoned by the driver at the Worthington Travel Plaza on Minnesota 60. Cold temperatures and a stiff wind caused their condition to deteriorate as the hours wore on.

The Oelke triplets -- Jill, Julie and Jamie -- were among the graduates of Southwest Star Concept High School.

An 18-year-old Adrian high school senior was killed when the car he was driving struck a median barrier pole on I-90 four miles west of Adrian.

25 years ago

Playing this week at Worthington's Northland Cinema: "Cobra" starring Sylvester Stallone and "Poltergeist II."

A Saturday evening special at Worthington's Windmill Café was the prime rib for $7.95, including choice of potato, vegetable, dinner roll, soup or salad bar.

Judy Rickbeil directed a musical production at Worthington's St. Matthew's Lutheran Church including 50 children. "The Music Machine" featured both the cherub and the junior choirs.

Norwest Bank Worthington announced the appointment of Steve C. Hull to senior vice president, replacing Terrence E. O'Toole.

Two of the area's agricultural education institutions were retiring at the end of the academic year: Walt Larson, who had worked in the Worthington school system for more than 37 years, and John Wright, who had logged more than 25 years here. Larson had recently been awarded the Instructor of the Year Award, and was a past Worthington Teacher of the Year.

One hundred forty-four Worthington High School students graduated Sunday.

50 years ago

Diane Kramer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Kramer, Worthington, was named the Nobles County Dairy Princess.

Stockholders of the Adrian Cooperative Creamery agreed informally to sell their 20-year-old business to the Sioux Valley Milk Producers Association of Sioux Falls.

Four cars were damaged and two drivers injured -- one hospitalized -- in weekend accidents reported by the highway patrol.

Dr. C. R. Stanley of Minneapolis, who formerly practiced medicine in Worthington and Fulda, was honored by the Minnesota State Medical Association this week for 50 years of practice. Dr. Stanley had practiced medicine in Worthington from 1920 until 1956, and prior to that was in Fulda.

Top students at Slayton High School this year were Carol DeJong, valedictorian, and Joan Abramson, salutatorian.

Specials this week at Johnson's Red Owl included one pound of Tom Sawyer all-meat skinless wieners, 49 cents; six Sunkist lemons for 19 cents; three dozen Grade "A" large eggs for $1; and a pound of sliced bacon for 49 cents.

75 years ago

A Worthington building contract was among the first in Minnesota to use a new type of concrete floor and roof slab construction. Consequently, the building's progress was being watched by American Builder, a contractor's magazine of national circulation.

More than 70 seniors in the Worthington High School bid permanent farewell to their studies and sallied forth from the comparatively sheltered halls of learning to "directly cope with everyday life problems." To quite a number of this year's class, however, it would be just another summer vacation, for many were to return to Worthington to begin their first year of junior college.

Members of St. Mary's Council No. 2757, Knights of Columbus, were hosts to an attendance of more than 250 Sunday at the first initiation of candidates since the institution of the local body in December 1934. Degree ceremonies took place in the Memorial Auditorium. Following the lodge work, the company adjourned to the basement of St. Mary's church, where a hearty banquet was served by the ladies of the altar society.

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