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Looking Back: 1969 -- Heavy snow blocks train tracks in region

One year ago

At the 88th annual Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau banquet, awards were presented. The 45th annual Community Service award went to Ken and Zuby Jansen, while Bernice Camery received the Friend of Education award. The Worthington Fire Department received the Hospitality Award after being nominated by a local business whose building and property were saved by the fire department personnels' quick and effective action.

Westminster Presbyterian Church, Worthington, hosted its 18th annual spaghetti supper on Friday evening.

The Worthington High School music department presented a winter concert Monday, featuring the WHS Orchestra, the Trojan band, and the Trojan and Concert Choirs. More than 300 student musicians participated in the concert.

Three men were in custody at the Nobles County Jail after leading multiple law enforcement agencies across Nobles and Jackson counties in a high-speed chase during which the violators traveled at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour at times. The pursuit lasted approximately 21 minutes and ended on Highway 86 south of Lakefield after the driver drove into the ditch.

Five years ago

Rural Luverne cattle producer Chuck Feikema, a former president of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association, was honored by that organization as its 2013 Cattleman of the Year. Feikema also served as the group's vice president from 2003-04 prior to his presidential tenure of 2005-06; he had continued on the board through 2008.

The number of building permits issued in the city of Worthington declined in 2013 when compared with the previous year. Brad Chapulis, director of community and economic development for the city, said it was a one-year slowdown and wasn't a big concern.

Tammy Makram recently began work as managing director of Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center, Worthington.

The 2014 Worthington High School Triple "A" award nominees were Will Dudley and Ariana Lopez. The pair were recognized for overall excellence in academics, athletics and the arts.

Showing this week at Worthington's Northland Cinema 5 were "I, Frankenstein," "Lone Survivor," "The Nut Job," "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" and "Devil's Due."

Zach Shank was the new store director at Worthington's Hy-Vee.

Lynel Hokeness retired this week from her position as Worthington's Postmaster. Hokeness spent 24 years in all as an employee of the U.S. Postal Service.

10 years ago

Worthington High School senior Whitney Behrens of Rushmore logged more than the required 65 hours of independent work to qualify for the Gold Award, the top award from the Girl Scouts. Her adviser was Paula Steve.

A major remodeling effort at Brown's Shoe Fit — the first at the Worthington store in 15 years — was completed. Steve Collins was the business's current owner/manager.

Worthington Police Department Dispatcher Tonya Aanenson was credited with helping save the life of Gerald Fuerstenberg, whose arm was nearly severed in a mowing accident. Worthington Public Safety Director Mike Cumiskey presented Aanenson with Worthington's Life Saving Award.

Robert Demuth Jr. was hired as the executive director of the Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation.

The Treasure Hunter's Roadshow was at Travelodge in Worthington this week.

Residents of Kinbrae, with a current population of eight, met to discuss the possibility of unincorporating. The town had failed to elect either a mayor of a town clerk in the November 2008 election.

Jerry Benson, an eighth-grade American history teacher at Luverne Middle School, was named Minnesota's American History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehman Institute of American History.

25 years ago

Julian Spielman of Rushmore became one of the very first residents at the new Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne. Spielman was awarded the Bronze Star for valor in World War II following his service as a front-line infantryman. He had been disabled by a stroke in 1984.

Great Lakes Aviation-United Express won the bid for serving Worthington's Municipal Airport. The business was bringing a Beechcraft 1900 19-passenger seat plane to Worthington.

Lori Fletcher, Worthington, was preparing to turn over the presidential responsibilities for the Nobles County Pork Producers Association to incoming president Kent Slater of Wilmont in mid-February.

Brenda Bullerman of Adrian graduated recently from the Physician's Assistant program at the University of North Dakota. She signed a contract with the Adrian Medical Clinic and was already at work there assisting Dr. Timothy Nealy and Dr. Nathan Rud.

The area was hit by steady snowfall Thursday, with Worthington receiving four inches, Windom five inches and Pipestone six inches. Area schools began the day with late starts and progressed to cancellation.

50 years ago

M-Sgt. Kent D. Alberts, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred J. Alberts, Slayton, received the Vietnamese Technical Service Honor Medal from Lt. Col. Le Ngoc Due, commander of the 23rd Vietnamese National Air Force Wing. Alberts was a member of the Air Force Advisory Team at the VNAF Air Training Center, Nha Trang AB, Vietnam. The sergeant was a 1949 graduate of Worthington High School.

Fourteen cars of a Chicago & North Western freight train remained caught in snow drifts near Bingham Lake Monday morning as crews worked to open the mainline tracks, which had been blocked by snow since Wednesday night. Bulldozers were being used to cut through the snow in an effort to free yet another of the 100 cars in the "buried freight." East of Lismore, the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific tracks were blocked by another freight train that had been stuck in the drifts, also since the previous Wednesday.

Continuing snow and drifting slowed the flow of incoming and outgoing mail in Worthington to an uncertain trickle. There was no mail into the Worthington Post Office from early Thursday morning until Saturday. Rural mail deliveries were prevented in many cases by heavy winds through Monday.

Voters were going to the polls Wednesday to ballot on a $55,000 bond issue for a new city hall and fire station in Brewster. If approved, the new building would replace a 60-year-old building, which was considered inadequate to meet the current needs.

75 years ago

Clarence Oppek was the new manager of the Williams Hardware company branch in Worthington. Oppek succeeded L.T. Petersen, who last week left for a nine-month assignment on the Alaska military highway. Petersen's destination on the international highway link with Alaska was secret.

The Reading Shooting Stars 4-H Club elected officers for the coming year: Ruthetta Barnett was chosen president, Billy Berger was named vice president, Lyle Wemple was named secretary and Lowell Moss was chosen reporter. Frank Nord was named leader.

Mrs. Mabel Dunning, Mrs. Louis Leitz, Mrs. H. Van Regan Morter, Mrs. John Heidebrink, Mrs. Byron Wicks, Mrs. Si Johnson, Mrs. Max Neusse, Mrs. Tone Malmquist and Mrs. M. Bassett folded surgical dressings in the church basement at Rushmore Tuesday.

The junior class at Adrian High School presented the three-act comedy "Tons of Trouble" at the school auditorium. Mrs. Harper and Miss Albrecht of the faculty directed the production, which included students Angeline Rommeling, James Reisdorfer, Peter Kruize, Lois Hogan, Norman Benson, Myrna Moret, Richard Klooster and Dorothy Knips.

Mrs. Jay Eberlein of Ellsworth received word this week that her nephew, Lieutenant Darwin Nelson, was a prisoner in a Nazi prison camp. Nelson was a bomber pilot recently reported missing in action over Germany. He was operating from England with the American bomber group there when he was forced down during one of the heavy air raids over Germany.