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Looking Back: 1964 - WJC enrollment up 31 percent

One year ago

Relief funds, allocated to five southwest Minnesota counties in the final hours of the Minnesota state legislature’s 2013 session for the purpose of aiding recovery from the April ice storm, were slow to arrive, with only about $31,000 of the $250,000 total allocation distributed thus far.

In a day-long event, representatives from Minnesota Housing led a discussion in Worthington about housing needs in southwest Minnesota. Among those in attendance were representatives from Minnesota Housing, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund and USDA Rural Development.

Former Minnesota West Community and Technical College president and civic leader Conrad “Connie” Burchill, 83, died at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne. Burchill was president of Minnesota West from Aug. 1, 1987, through January 1997. He was also a longtime trustee of the Southwest Minnesota Foundation and a past member of the District 518 school board.

An exhibit of Carl Setterberg’s art work was on display at the Slayton Public Library.

Worthington was featured in a 2 ½- to 3 ½-minute “Finding Minnesota” segment on WCCO-TV, which highlighted small-town festivals, state history and other regional events of interest

Five years ago

Tony Hastings began work as the new assistant principal at Worthington Middle School. Hastings had previously taught for 16 years in Sartell.

The city of Adrian was poised to call for bids on a 13,000 square-foot addition to Adrian Care Center — a 10-bed assisted living complex and 10-bed memory care unit. The former hospital complex was to be demolished to make way for a 4,000 square-foot addition on the north side of the nursing home. Altogether, the project’s cost was estimated at $2 million.

Wind Energy Services was operating in its new location near the Prairie Holdings Group building in Worthington, less than three months after announcing it would open a facility in Worthington.

The Moraine II Wind Farm located in portions of Murray and Pipestone counties was awarded more than $28 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program.

Nobles County Attorney Gordon Moore was to be honored by the Southwest Crisis Center as its first “Face of Hope” in recognition of his support of victims of sexual violence and domestic assault.

10 years ago

Jessica Aguilar represented Wilmont at the National American Miss pageant in the Twin Cities.

Elena Fernandez was the 2004-05 exchange student from Crailsheim, Germany. She was living with the Jeanne and Lee Mammen family, as their daughter, Nicole Mammen, had represented Worthington in Germany during the 2003-04 school year.

Cuts in city personnel and the use of financial reserves were key components of the proposed 2005 City of Worthington budget, city officials said this week.

Worthington’s Prairie Elementary had 194 kindergarten students registered on the Friday before school was due to begin — 30 more than had been enrolled in that grade the previous year. A switch to all-day, every day kindergarten was also in the works at the school.

Great Clips recently opened a shop in Worthington, on Ryan’s Road.

Twenty teams participated in a Labor Day soccer tournament at Buss Field, Worthington.

25 years ago

A burglar who had stolen cigarettes, pop, sandwiches and videos from the Food ‘n Fuel in Windom escaped into a tall cornfield around 1:30 a.m., eluding law enforcement officers who were in pursuit.

In honor of the Labor Day weekend, employees at Worthington’s County Market built a giant flag made from pop cases. Coca-Cola cartons comprised the red and white portions of the flag, grape cartons sufficed for the blue and the silver edging around the flag was made from cases of diet pop. In all, 4,000 cases were used to complete the flag.

Showing this week at Excellence Theatres in Worthington’s Northland Mall were: “Dead Poets Society” starring Robin Williams, “Casualties of War,” “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” and “Uncle Buck.”

A 2-year-old child in Slayton died after being run over by a bulk truck.

The 1989 Great Gobbler Gallop Turkey Day race team members were announced: Dave Jueneman, Terry Franklin, Kris Tutje and William Gerstner.

Jeff Rotert recently joined the staff of Worthington Regional Hospital as director of ancillary services. Rotert had previously been administrator for the Westbrook hospital and then was director of ancillary services for a hospital in Bozeman, Mont.

50 years ago

A 34-year-old Sibley, Iowa, woman died of injuries suffered Friday morning in a traffic accident on a county road one mile west and four miles south of Spafford in Jackson County. She was preceded in death by her husband, who died July 3, 1964.

Bruce Nosbusch won the Jackson soap box championship. Runner-up was Steve Hunt, while Bob Christensen finished third. The soap box derby races were sponsored by the Jackson Jaycees.

The Nobles County Historical Society museum officially opened on Labor Day with a public reception/open house from 2:30 to 5 p.m. “This is an occasion of great importance in the life of the society,” said Mrs. Hardy Rickbeil, president of the Nobles County Historical Society. “The dream of many members who have worked tirelessly throughout the years has been realized.”

Merle Dopp, Worthington airport manager, announced he would take over operation of the municipal airport at Sibley, Iowa, effective Oct. 1. A native of May City, Dopp had operated the local airport for over seven years.

The Mike Joldersman family of Edgerton grew two oversized green beans in their garden, the largest of the beans being 40 inches long, four inches in diameter and weighing more than 15 pounds. The second bean was nearly as big. Clifford Peterson of Edgerton, who provided the seeds, said they were butterbeans and could be cut into chunks for eating and prepared like squash.

A record 478 students were enrolled at Worthington Junior College — an increase of nearly 31 percent over the previous year’s 366 students. Class sizes were averaging 30 students.

75 years ago

Victor Moeller and 38 members of the Worthington municipal band departed for Primghar, Iowa, to be part of the parade featuring the old settlers’ celebration. Moeller was also to lead the massed band festival, which was a high point of the evening festivities.

Two more men joined the 50-year Farmers Club. The first was Ivie Baird, 66, who was born June 14, 1873, in Scotland. He was two years old the day he landed in New York; his parents moved directly to Rushmore. Baird was clerk of Dewald Township for the past 29 years. The second was John Rohwer, 71, who was born Sept. 20, 1867. He came to Nobles County in 1892 and had been living on the same farm in Olney Township for 37 years.

Mrs. Peter Gustav Swanson, 93, recounted for Nobles County history purposes her account of her narrow escape during the 1873 snowstorm. She and her husband settled in 1871 in a sod house near Lake Ocheda. The farm was later known as the Peter Thompson place because Thompson bought out the Swansons when they went farther west in 1881. A granddaughter of the Swansons was the widow of the late “Speed” Holman, one of the most famous of the American aviators.

An Adrian barber was arrested and fined $10, with costs of $7.50 assigned by Judge F. J. Prideaux, for fishing without a license. Charges were brought by Game Wardens D.P. Brady and M.M. Meixell of Windom, and B.A. Langdahl of Worthington.

Advertised specials this week at Worthington’s Red Owl included a lug of fresh Washington Italian prunes for 65 cents, choice lean pork roasts for 19 cents a pound, creamed cottage cheese for 9 cents a pound, a 14-ounce bottle of Heinz ketchup for 17 cents, four cakes of Palmolive (“helps you keep that schoolgirl complexion”) for 23 cents, a can of Sani-Flush for 18 cents, and a two-pound can of Beacon all-purpose cocoa for 15 cents.