Looking Back: 2002 - Governor candidates visit WorthingtonA weekly look back at regional history
By: Jane Turpin Moore, Worthington Daily Globe
One year ago
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler visited Worthington for the first time Tuesday as part of a two-day trip to southwest Minnesota. Kaler toured Newport Laboratories and said it was “fantastic for people to be able to take such fundamental science to practical and important applications.”
A 14-year-old boy was dead after a crash along Interstate 90 near Beaver Creek at 4 a.m. Tuesday. Three other children were left in critical condition. The Massachusetts family was driving west on I-90 when their vehicle left the road and struck an embankment of the Rock County 6 bridge.
Ryan Odens, a rural Sibley, Iowa, beef and grain producer, was one of six farm families from Iowa to be honored with the 2011 “The Way We Live” award. The award sought to recognize farmers who love the land and the product they produce.
Cheniqua Johnson, a Worthington High School junior and FCCLA member, was named a gold medalist at the national FCCLA conference in Anaheim, Calif. She earned the honor in the job interview category.
Five years ago
Currie native David J. Hansen wrote a book about the battle for Murray County’s seat entitled “Murray County’s War: The Battle for the Murray County Seat.”
Jorge and Maria Euceda opened Tortilleria Si Senor on Worthington’s Fifth Avenue.
The Cornstalk Music, Art and Peace Festival took place at the Homer and Heidi Scott farm east of Alpha.
Worthington Middle School seventh grader Levi Leach, son of Steve and Anita Leach, qualified for the National Hershey’s Track and Field Games and traveled to Hershey, Pa., to compete in the softball throw.
The Viking Terrace apartment complex in Worthington was nominated for a national award by the Affordable Housing Finance magazine. The Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, with senior project manager Jorge Lopez, had recently completed a rehabilitation of the facility.
10 years ago
The Worthington Travel Information Center along US 59/Minnesota 60 re-opened after having been closed since October 2001.
All four major party Minnesota gubernatorial candidates were in Worthington for a public forum at Minnesota West Community and Technical College. Attending were Roger Moe, Tim Pawlenty, Ken Pentel and Tim Penny.
A new sign was posted at Worthington’s Sailboard Beach, proclaiming Worthington as the site of the 2003 Windsurfing National Championships.
Severe thunderstorms flattened fields in Cottonwood County while surrounding areas largely remained dry.
Holly Marten was the new Worthington Regional Hospital patient representative. Marten was a Worthington native who had recently graduated from Winona State University after studying health care management.
25 years ago
Jim Hibma, a 1987 graduate of Worthington High School, was one of 61 Minnesota athletes and 15 coaches who traveled to the International Summer Special Olympics Games in South Bend, Indiana, on the campus of Notre Dame University. Hibma was a member of the Minnesota Special Olympics aquatics team and competed in the 25-meter breaststroke, 25-meter butterfly and 100-meter relay.
Windom city officials closed a large water well that was thought to be possibly contaminated with a carcinogenic chemical. City well number 7 was shut down after tests showed a trace of vinyl chloride in the water.
The Rock County Fair opened, despite hot weather. A demolition derby was scheduled for Thursday night, and The Great Pretenders entertained Friday evening.
The Worthington Business and Professional Women’s Club celebrated its 50th anniversary. The day involved an afternoon open house, a group picture, a dinner, and a “remember when” style show and sing-along.
Anna Mork was named Miss Worthington at the conclusion of the city scholarship pageant at Memorial Auditorium. The 17-year-old Worthington High School senior was the daughter of Dr. John and Joan Mork. Anna was crowned by Marlae Benton, Miss Worthington 1986.
50 years ago
Joan Kuehl, 17, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Don Kuehl, was selected from a field of 17 candidates to reign at Fulda’s second annual Water Festival. A 1962 graduate of Fulda High School, the water queen had two appropriate hobbies —swimming and water skiing. Her attendants were Vicki Simmons and Kathy Luehmann.
Round Lake feted Don Miller, who was the new Minnesota Legion Commander. Miller was technically now a resident of Worthington but he had maintained his membership in the Round Lake Legion post and it was the Round Lake post (Charles Flentje Post No. 461) that sponsored his campaign for the highest Legion office. A crowd estimated at 1,000 greeted Miller upon his arrival at the Legion Hall.
Mrs. Andy Malmquist, Rushmore, reported seeing a bright object in the sky over her home Monday night, moving on a course from the northwest to the southeast. She said it was “very bright” and was visible for 15 minutes. The object was believed to be the Echo balloon satellite launched by the U.S. more than a year ago, which was still in orbit and had recently become visible over the northern plains once again.
Three men were questioned Monday night by Dickinson (Iowa) County Sheriff Ike Kissinger concerning a boating accident on West Okoboji south of Gull Point State Park Lodge. It was the second boat mishap in the Okoboji area over the weekend.
A 2-C Charles F. Field, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Field, Lakefield, was selected Airman of the Month for Headquarters Squadron, 3635th Flying Training Wing. A 1957 graduate of Lakefield High School, Field enlisted in the Air Force in 1960 and had been a personnel clerk since his assignment to Stead Air Force Base in Nevada.
75 years ago
Pumping on the new city well in the Whiskey Ditch pasture tract was being continued, to clear it up for an official test run. Seventy-five feet deep, and tapping a seven-foot vein of water bearing gravel, it was expected the project would produce 200 gallons per minute dependably, N.D. Miller, city clerk, said. Sunday’s pumping ran about 250 gallons per minute, with a drawdown of about 50 feet in the casing. Even 200 gallons per minute was expected to “add importantly to the city water supply in the course of a day’s run, and the water now being taken from the well is clear and cold.”
One of the worst traffic hazards in this vicinity, the junction of U.S. 16 and the Diagonal road from Worthington to Wilmont, was to be greatly minimized by work being done by the Minnesota highway department. Work began on widening of the grade at the Whiskey Ditch bridge and would continue approximately 500 feet southeast from that point toward town. A guard rail was being removed, the southwest side of the pavement was to be widened, and a line fence was to be moved out to standard right-of-way location.
Lakefield was selected for a new $100,000 district poultry dressing plant, owned by the Land O’Lakes Creameries, Inc. Four other towns had sought the plant, including Mountain Lake, Marshall, Walnut Grove and Lamberton. About 15 employees were to be given work at the plant.