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Looking Back: 2008 - Local option sales tax is passed in Worthington

One year ago

The Goodwill Industries-Wall Street Mission was to break ground on an 11,000-square foot facility and retail store later this month between Fareway Foods and Tractor Supply Company on Ryan’s Road in Worthington. Company officials were planning for a late April or May opening.

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Fans and curiosity-seekers packed Northland Cinema 5, Worthington, for the opening shows of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2” movie. Several showings of the movie sold out, and lines stretched the length of the hallway.

Jose Torres-Tama, a nationally known performance artist, presented a one-man, bilingual presentation called “Aliens, Immigrants and Other Evildoers” at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Worthington campus.

Dr. William Sears, author of more than 30 best-selling books on parenting and healthy living, presented “Top Health Tips for all Ages” at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Worthington.

The four host families for the 10th annual Hospice Cottage Christmas House Walk, Worthington, were Al and Janice Oberloh, Brian and Rhonda Larsen, Scott and Greta Kraft and Kenton and Peggy Meier.

Five years ago

Nearly 60 percent of Worthington voters supported the half-cent local option sales tax, the proceeds of which would help fund renovations to Memorial Auditorium and the construction of a community center complex. In all, there were 2,553 “yes” votes and 1,697 “no” votes.

Worthington High School presented “Dracula” as its fall dramatic production, under the direction of Gillian Giebner.

Joni Reitmeier was hired as an additional school nurse in District 518, assigned to Worthington Middle School and Worthington High School.

The Green Earth Players of Luverne presented “A Ghost in the House.”

The Worthington Area United Way, with a campaign goal of $135,000, held a telethon to attract pledges and raise awareness of its cause.

Area schools took their first snow day of the season on Tuesday when freezing rain led to treacherous roads and icy sidewalks. Said District Superintendent John Landgaard, “Student safety is our top priority.”

10 years ago

Worthington Regional Hospital observed Health Education Week with tours and educational programs for the public.

A 17-year-old headed to a court hearing to address a warrant for drunk driving attempted to escape from custody at Prairie Justice Center, Worthington, but he was caught in flight by Assistant County Attorney John Gross and Worthington Public Safety Director Mike Cumiskey.

The Ashton, Iowa, theater troupe Off, Off Broadway, Inc., marked its 30th year of producing plays and presented “A Tuna Christmas.”

Students at Windom Area Middle High School organized a collection drive for Bosnian children, gathering basic school and clothing supplies.

Twenty-two youths and seven adult chaperones from Worthington’s St. Mary’s Catholic Church attended the National Catholic Youth Conference in Houston, Texas.

The two sides in District 518’s teacher contract talks remained far apart on economic issues but mutually expressed optimism that a settlement might soon be reached. The District 518 teachers had filed for mediation about three weeks earlier; negotiations had been under way since August.

25 years ago

Gary Hoffman was elected presidents of Worthington’s King Turkey Day Inc. for 1989.

Third-graders at Central Elementary School, Worthington, performed an operetta written by Australian composer Geoffrey D’Ombrain. D’Ombrain was in Worthington as part of an artist-in-residence project.

The Gobbler Café, Worthington, advertised these specials: a 10-ounce sirloin steak meal for $6.99, a jumbo fillet of cod with baked potato, Texas toast and salad bar for $5.39, grilled ham steak with mashed potatoes and gravy for $3.99 and a French dip sandwich with a bowl of soup for $3.99.

Playing this week at Excellence Theatres, Northland Mall, Worthington, were: “Gorillas in the Mist,” “Halloween 4,” “The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking” and “Punch Line” starring Sally Field and Tom Hanks.

Martha Venenga, Ellsworth, celebrated her 100th birthday. Venenga commented, “I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I just take it one day at a time.”

50 years ago

Abram Gunnick, 43, rural Chandler, was reportedly in good condition following a corn picking accident in which he lost his left hand at the wrist when it became caught in the corn picker about 3 p.m. He was trapped for one hour before fellow workmen were able to free him.

Fire damaged a mounted corn picker on the Arvid Neseth farm, five miles west of Lakefield. By the time Lakefield firemen arrived, Neseth had the flames mostly under control, and damage was not reported as serious. A small patch of corn was also burned, but no one was injured in the mishap.

Lakefield was chosen as the site of the 1964 Minnesota Corn picking Contest.

Martin Lais, 1010 Seventh Ave., Worthington, shot a 300-pound deer Saturday at Talcot Lake. The buck was one of the largest reported taken during the one-day firearms season in southwestern Minnesota. The short season was one of the most successful ever in this area. Game warden Bert Getty reported an incomplete check in Nobles and Rock counties showed 88 deer bagged, with Getty believing that count would exceed 125 when it was completed.

Seniors at Okabena High School performed the three-act hillbilly comedy “Headin’ for a Weddin’.”

75 years ago

Playing this week at Worthington’s State Theatre were “The Storm,” starring Charles Bickford, Barton MacLane and Preston Foster, and “Just Around the Corner,” starring Shirley Temple and Bert Lahr.

In “News of Society,” the following was reported: Mrs. Glen Tripp was complimented Friday afternoon in her home when Mrs. Earl Sliver and Mrs. Kenneth Sall were hostesses to the members of the Birthday club, in observance of Mrs. Tripp’s birthday. Each member presented the honoree with a towel. Three tables were arranged for contract bridge.

An advertisement: “The annual bazaar and chicken dinner of St. Mary’s Church will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 15, in the Parish Hall. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m.—adults, 40 cents, children, 25 cents. Booths open at 2 p.m. Public is invited.”

Judiciously unheralded by the moaning of the power plant siren, the big 750-gallon pumper of the Worthington fire department, bearing Chief J. A. Snyder and driven by Emil Nelson, sped early Monday to Heron Lake in response to an emergency call which also brought out the Windom department. Consumed by the flames was the Heron Lake café operated by Kirby Hady, who was north on a deer-hunting expedition. Danger to other Heron Lake businesses came from brands strewn by a breeze from the northwest, resulting in a call for help in case a conflagration threatened.