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Looking Back: 2004 - Pawlenty welcomes biodiesel refinery

One year ago

A group of German citizens from Potsdam, Germany, were visiting their sister-city of Sioux Falls, S.D., and spent part of a day exploring 19th century prairie life at Pioneer Village in Worthington.

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While Nobles County had the highest rate of births to teens and the largest percentage of children living in poverty among its neighbors in southwest Minnesota, a recent ranking of overall health among the counties in Minnesota nevertheless showed that Nobles County residents fared better than others when it came to healthy living.

A computer glitch caused numerous Nobles County taxpayers to receive incorrect 2013 property tax statements in their mail this week. An outside company had prepared the statements, and a shift in the company’s system caused the wrong names to go on many statements.

By Friday of this week (March 29), a high of 58, with sun, was forecast for the greater Worthington area. Earlier in the week, temperatures hovered in the mid-30s to low 40s.

Five years ago

The Reading Community Players performed “Take Your Medicine” at the Reading Community Center.

Prairie Elementary students participated in a science fair, with 23 group and individual projects produced, from volcanoes to electromagnets.

Fifteen people attended a public hearing at the Worthington City Council meeting, with some attendees expressing support for and others opposition to proposed street and storm sewer improvements on 27th Street, 29th Street and North Rose Avenue.

Some round bales and a message to the Adrian girls’ basketball team wishing them good luck in state competition were reduced to ashes early Saturday morning when the bales were ignited during an act of arson. The bales, sitting on a hay rack, were in front of an Adrian business. Other acts of vandalism in Adrian occurred around the same time, with several vehicle windows being smashed as well as windows at the fitness center adjacent to the high school being broken.

10 years ago

The District 518 board of education ratified a new teacher contract for the 2003-04 school years. The contract called for an 8.13 percent total package increase and included health and long-term disability insurance, retirement, FICA tax, extra assignments, career increments and steps and lanes, according to Superintendent John Landgaard. Negotiations had been under way since August.

The District 518 Teacher of the Year was Prairie Elementary first grade and Reading Recovery teacher Denise Schlichte. Schlichte had more than 25 years of teaching experience.

Nobles Rock Public Health Service received full funding for a tobacco-free program, with an annually renewable $185,000 grant awarded from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty visited the Minnesota Soybean Processors facility to help break ground on the state’s first biodiesel refinery.

25 years ago

Andrea Mahlberg recently began duties as director of the Worthington Convention and Visitors Bureau. Also, Beth Mbuku joined the staff of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce as a secretary/bookkeeper.

A 21-year-old Mountain Lake man, Bruce William Fredricksen, died Monday afternoon at the Mountain Lake hospital shortly after he was injured in a 1 p.m. explosion at Sanborn Fluid Power Co.

Highway 60 east of Worthington was to be expanded to four lanes beginning in 1993. The announcement of the highway development was made at a meeting of the Southwest Minnesota Highway 60 Corporation. Don Rickers of Worthington, a guiding force behind the push to expand the two-lane highway since 1965, said later he “couldn’t stop smiling.” The expansion would come over a period of years.

Worthington area pork producer Linden Olson, a member of the National Pork Board since its birth in 1986, was nominated for a second term on the board. The board’s work had resulted in the slogan, “Pork: The Other White Meat,” among other advocacy efforts for the pork industry.

50 years ago

Advertised specials this week at the Worthington Red Owl store included a pound of Grade “A” butter for 59 cents, a dozen Grade “A” large eggs for 29 cents, four 15-ounce cans of Dole pineapple for 89 cents, a one-pound bag of marshmallows for 25 cents, a six-ounce bag of crisp radishes for 3 cents and a gallon of Fairmont ice cream (strawberry, vanilla or chocolate) for $1.04.

A few days prior to Easter, in late March, temperatures in the Worthington area were near the zero mark. An editorial comment on the weather read as follows: “Humans are optimists. It’s fortunate that this is the case when they occupy such regions of fickle weather as the southwest Minnesota prairies.”

There were four candidates for Worthington City Council seats, including Joe Roos, 40; Joe Albachten, 29; Arden Koelz, 54; and Ned Batcheller, 52.

Kathleen Bohn and Pat Cotter were chosen to represent the Brewster Legion and Auxiliary, respectively, at Girls and Boys States in St. Paul in June. Kathleen was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Bohn, while Pat was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Cotter.

75 years ago

At least one of the several royal pairs to visit the United States during the late spring and early summer was likely to pass through Worthington. But, as in the case of so many distinguished guests of the nation, the journey through Worthington would likely occur during the wee small hours. Itinerary of Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha of Norway, as mapped by Associated Press dispatches from Washington, placed their arrival in Sioux Falls, S.D., from Minneapolis on June 14 at 7:40 a.m., meaning they would be traveling via the Omaha line. This would bring them into Worthington at about daylight, when they would be transferred to the Sioux Falls branch. Last trip of a titular head to pass through Worthington was the special train of President Herbert Hoover in 1932, which stopped here for routine equipment services following his St. Paul address.

Sumner L. Clark, who resided on Sec. 16 of Des Moines River Township, Murray County, enjoyed brief prominence Thursday as being Customer No. 1000 of the Nobles-Murray rural electrification system. His formal inclusion in the list of patrons came exactly one year, two months and nine days after REA set the meter spinning on the farm of Clifford Knapp, the first customer to be hooked up on Jan. 21, 1938.