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Looking Back: 2004 -- Hurricane-force winds flatten crops

One year ago

Bud’s Bus Service was preparing for the 2013-14 school year, serving District 518 students after the district’s transportation contract was awarded to it in April. For the two preceding years, American Student Transportation handled the district’s busing needs.

About 150 pigs were killed in an early morning barn fire Thursday northwest of Lismore. The destruction was discovered by Jeff Tweet when he arrived to do chores at the site.

Tom Busch, rural Brewster, hosted a group of 30 international guests at his farm Tuesday afternoon. Group members hailed from 10 different countries and had a variety of backgrounds.

The former Kmart building was declared a hazardous site at the Monday night meeting of the Worthington City Council. A letter was sent June 24 to the owner of the Northland Mall property outlining the violation of various codes and regulations and declaring the building to be unfit for occupancy.

As part of the annual capital fund program, the Worthington Housing and Redevelopment Authority (WHRA) was awarded $139,032 through the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. It was to be used for capital improvements to Worthington’s public housing properties, explained Randy Thompson, WHRA executive director.

Five years ago

Maynard’s Food Center, Westbrook, celebrated its grand re-opening. A fire had devastated the downtown business on July 5, 2008.

District 518 faculty and staff discussed the potential move of the district’s fifth grade students from Prairie Elementary to Worthington Middle School.

The planned four-lane expansion of Minnesota 60 was still on target to start in July 2010, and detours had been announced for the next phase of construction.

A Jackson man who had allegedly assaulted another man told authorities his girlfriend had told him to humiliate the victim and beat him up. The perpetrator appeared in Jackson County District Court facing charges of first degree burglary, terroristic threats and fifth degree assault.

Alex Ling, 19, Worthington, recently returned to Minnesota after spending two months as part of the Jesus People U.S.A. in Chicago, Ill., working in intercity missions.

Playing this week at Worthington’s Northland Cinema 5 were “District 9,” “The Ugly Truth,” “G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra,” “Funny People,” “Aliens in the Attic” and “Orphan.”

10 years ago

Ecumen was the new name of the parent company of The Meadows of Worthington.

RSVP volunteers made tote bags for foster children who were being aided by the Nobles County Family Services office. The goal of the bags was to help ease the transition into foster care by providing some personal items for children at times of crisis.

The Lake Shetek Baptist Camp’s new dining hall was being rebuilt with the help of more than 80 volunteers. A single lightning strike on May 1 resulted in the former dining hall going up in flames. The 8,000-square-foot hall was to house a dining space, kitchen, camp store and office area.

Lack of available sub-contractors was to delay by one month the U.S. 59 project from Worthington to Fulda, a Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman reported.

Farmers in Rock and Nobles counties saw their hopes of a bumper crop dashed when hurricane-force winds blew through the region and flattened many crops in the area.

25 years ago

A stone boat sculpture by artist Janet Lofquist titled “Habitat” was newly in place near the Highway 59/60 rest stop just south of Org.

Jill Olson and Lori Holthus of Worthington attended the All-State Orchestra camp at St. Olaf College in Northfield. The two girls qualified for the all-state status as student violinists.

Featured recipes in this week’s “Mixing and Musing” column by Dorthy Rickers included Zucchini Jam, Microwave Herbed Carrots, Dilly Carrots, Carrot Coconut Bread and Oat Bran Carrot Cake.

Don Rauwenhorst was hired as the new Extension Agent for Osceola County, Iowa.

Dr. Tim Toso, a University of Minnesota School of Medicine graduate, was to begin practicing medicine with the Worthington Medical Center effective Sept. 5.

Aaron Kruger, 7, Slayton, was given the opportunity via the Make a Wish Foundation to visit Pee Wee Herman and tour the set of “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” in Los Angeles. His mother, Stephanie, accompanied him on the trip. Aaron was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was seven months old.

50 years ago

Gary Schiernbeck, Ocheyedan, and his sheep won the title of grand champion showmanship in the senior sheep division at the Osceola County Fair in Sibley, Iowa, while Jerry Hembd, also of Ocheyedan, took grand champion honors in the market-lamb class.

A 17-year-old girl, Carol Sommerland of Jackson, was hospitalized with injuries suffered in a 9 a.m. Thursday traffic accident. Her car went out of control as it went down a steep hill on Highway 71 near the country club at the town’s north edge; it then rolled down a 20-foot embankment. Meanwhile, slick, wet pavement led to an accident on Worthington’s Oxford Street Thursday morning, in which a car driven by a 24-year-old Reading man was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by a 22-year-old Sibley, Iowa man.

A group of 13 farm and communication experts from Africa and Asia arrived in Worthington for a two-week stay, the purpose of which was to learn about American agricultural skills, and also to study first-hand the various ways in which agricultural information is shared with farmers.

Gov. Karl Rolvaag sent a request to Agriculture Secretary Orville Freeman to grant haying and grazing privileges to Pipestone and three other Minnesota counties. The request was made after an investigation of the condition of feed grain crops showed two areas of Pipestone to be particularly hard hit by drought conditions. The grant of haying and grazing privileges allowed farmers to use diverted acres.

One person was killed and four others seriously injured at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday in a two-car intersection collision three miles north and one mile east of Currie. Dead was Mrs. Lester Pierce, 49, of Pocatello, Idaho.  Both cars were demolished. It was reported the Pierce family was in Minnesota to attend funeral services at Slayton for Mrs. Pierce’s brother-in-law.

75 years ago

Heavy rains descended on Nobles County on Aug. 10, putting a stop to all threshing activities and raising the question of whether too much rain and cold might lead to early frost and a soft corn crop. Farmers were getting worried about their shock and combine threshing. Frequent rains and muggy weather had encouraged rotting of shocks at the bottom, necessitating the turning of bundles before threshing. Further aggravation: much sweet clover and other growth in the stubble, which was growing so rapidly the bundles had little opportunity to dry out. Farmers were worried about corn being stimulated to such growth that it would have no time to ripen. Corn was growing taller and more rank than for many years. On top of it all, the temperature dropped to 40 degrees on Wednesday this week, for the lowest dip of the season. “Some of the old-timers are shaking their heads, saying it feels like an early frost year.”

Boosters of U.S. 59 arrived in Worthington for an interstate dinner meeting at the Hotel Thompson.

While Nobles County land values had taken a bad beating since the boom days of 1920, the quality of the land and the improved farming practices here had held the county price level on a consistently high level in comparison with other counties. In 1920, average price per acre of land in Nobles County was $185; in 1935, it was $70. Other counties showed similar ranges: Jackson, $166 in 1920, $65 in 1935; Rock, $231 in 1920, $66 in 1935; and Murray, $157 in 1920, $51 in 1935.

Larry Hays, leader of the Tiny Little dance band, emerged without serious injury from a motor accident not far from the diagonal corner in Worthington. Extricated from his car (which was lying on its top in a cornfield), Hays refused to go to a hospital for examination, and was left at his lodgings at the F.L. Dodge residence on 10th Street.