Looking Back: 1931 -- area’s first female aviator pursues license

One year ago More than a year after torrential rains caused considerable damage to farmland across southwest Minnesota, a Presidential Disaster Declaration was bringing much-needed financial assistance to landowners to repair, re-establish and cr...

One year ago

More than a year after torrential rains caused considerable damage to farmland across southwest Minnesota, a Presidential Disaster Declaration was bringing much-needed financial assistance to landowners to repair, re-establish and create conservation practices. Thirty-six counties in Minnesota, including Nobles, Rock, Murray, Pipestone and Jackson, were to share in $10.6 million in funds administered through county Soil and Water Conservation District and Natural Resources Conservation Services offices. The funding was for flood damage inflicted between June 11 and July 11, 2014.

PurNet Inc. of Worthington, under the direction of owner and CEO Darlene Vortherms, moved to its new 10,000 square-foot building in Worthington's Bioscience District this week.


Edgerton's 66th annual Dutch Festival took place, featuring a barbecue cook-off, carnival rides and the Johnny Holm Band.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Split Rock Creek in Pipestone and Rock counties Monday after several inches of rain fell in portions of far southwest Minnesota. Flood stage on the creek is 91 feet, and the level had risen above flood stage to 94 feet as of 7 p.m. Monday.

The United Way of Nobles County reached its 2015 fundraising goal of $160,000, with a total of $160,032.15 pledged or paid as of Tuesday afternoon. Twenty different agencies across Nobles County would benefit from the money.

Five years ago

"Who Shot Calhoun Cahootz?" was the comedic murder mystery performed at Worthington's Pioneer Village as part of the site's Old-Fashioned Independence Day festivities.


Area farmers reported that crop growth was progressing slowly after a cool, wet spring.

A quilt being raffled off to benefit the 2011 International Festival, Worthington, was etched with the word "welcome" in 39 languages.

A Tuesday night "Shop Worthington" event featured clowns, bands and hot dogs.

The Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation marked its third anniversary in its current form. The Foundation had received $5.4 million in 2008 as a result of the sale of the Southwest Minnesota Radiation Center and Worthington Regional Hospital to Sanford Health. The foundation's new emphasis was on supporting community health initiatives in the region.


The United Way of Nobles County met its annual goal of $140,000. It was the second consecutive year that a $140,000 goal was met.

10 years ago Worthington's 13th annual International Festival took place on the grounds of the Nobles County Government Center in downtown Worthington. Worthington native Paul Summers LaRoche and his Native American band, Brule, performed two concerts as part of the festival.

A 20-year-old Slayton man was killed when the ultra-light aircraft he was piloting crashed into a soybean field west of the Slayton Municipal Airport.

The Murray County Commissioners approved three conditional use permits for expanding feedlots in the county.

The Nobles County Commissioners ended their 11-year participation with the Southwest Minnesota Multi-County Housing and Redevelopment Authority in favor of a newly created, county-wide Housing and Redevelopment Authority with Economic Development Authority powers. The commissioners hoped for a more efficient and economical HRA for the county.

Worthington native Emily Sudmeier was chosen as one of 180 national Fulbright recipients for the coming year. Sudmeier was to leave for Germany Sept. 3 and serve as a teaching assistant there for a year.

25 years ago Firefighters from Adrian and Ellsworth were called to the Delbert Bullerman farm near Adrian for a third time in four days early Sunday. The Bullerman farm home was once again ablaze on Sunday, after having been first spotted on fire Thursday morning. The Thursday fire damaged the house's roof and attic areas. The house was checked around noon on Friday, but the fire reignited at about 1:30 p.m. Friday. At approximately 5 a.m. Sunday, a passing motorist noticed the house was again on fire. The blaze was extinguished at 7:30 a.m., but no further fires were expected from the former residence, as by that time it was completely demolished.

Fulda's fire department, in its centennial year, was honored as part of the community's fifth annual Wood Duck Festival, with the parade theme being "Fire Away."

Showing this week at Worthington's Northland Cinema were "Robin Hood," "What About Bob?" and "Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear."

School District 325 voters in Lakefield passed a special levy referendum by a vote of 752 to 465. The five-year measure would provide needed funds for the local schools while creating a 10.53 percent tax increase for district residents. The successful referendum was conducted by mail.

Melissa Kolander, Okabena, was selected Miss Heron Lake-Okabena at the fifth annual Heron Lake-Okabena Scholarship Pageant. Kolander was the daughter of Wayne and Joan Kolander, and she performed a vocal solo in the talent portion of the pageant.

50 years ago Bulldozers pushed over the walls of the old White Front Cafe in downtown Worthington on Thursday this week. The building, erected shortly after World War II, was being removed on instructions of a group of Worthington businessmen who had purchased the property for a parking lot. The old Farmer's Elevator was right behind it, but was expected to disappear within three years when its lease ran out. In addition to the elevator and cafe, the area formerly contained a service station and a lumber yard. All of this was located at the intersection of Second Avenue and 10th Street.

July 4th produced an official high temperature reading of 99 degrees at Pipestone, the warmest reading there since July 18, 1957, and the hottest reading reported in southwestern Minnesota for the holiday. The high temperature on July 4th in Worthington was 98 degrees.

A lone man, who was unknown locally and was almost ignored by all in the vicinity, led a picket protesting American involvement in Vietnam near the courthouse during 4th of July festivities in Worthington. His sandwich sign read, "Let freedom ring in S.E. Asia. End the war in Vietnam today." The good-natured crowds lining the streets seemed much more interested in watching holiday activities than in heeding the man's request, it was reported.

Corn rootworm larvae were beginning to appear in southwestern Minnesota. Francis Januschka, Nobles County agent, said the larvae could be detected by pulling up a corn plant and laying it for a few minutes over a container of water. The larvae would fall into the water, where they could be easily detected. They were "tiny white worms with black spots on their heads. If uncontrolled, the worms will tunnel through corn roots, weakening the plants to the place where severe lodging could be expected later in the season. Some infestations can become heavy enough to result in 100 percent loss in the field." Januschka suggested all farmers check their cornfields immediately.

85 years ago An alarm was turned in about 9:30 p.m. Saturday from the West End grocery, which was the signal for a record Saturday night crowd to chase the fire trucks down Worthington's 10th Street to where a small storage shed at the rear of the store was blazing fiercely. The fire was extinguished without damage to surrounding property, but the shed was so badly burned that it had to be rebuilt. About $60 worth of soft drinks and some garden tools were lost, according to Reginald Brown, the store's proprietor. A large tank of petroleum products stored in the building had fortunately failed to explode.

Pearl Anderson, 9, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Anderson, suffered a compound fracture of the right leg as well as minor bruises when she was struck Monday afternoon by a car driven by Brune Harber, Fairmont oil station operator. The accident occurred on Worthington's 10th Street, in front of the Golden Rule. It was reported the little girl had darted out from between parked cars. She was taken to the Clinic hospital, where it was determined the fractured leg was the worst of her injuries.

Her first solo flight having been successfully negotiated, Miss Ruth Sterling, Worthington girl flyer, was on her way toward being the first woman in southwest Minnesota to secure a private pilot's license. To accomplish this end, she had to have 10 hours of solo time in the air and have passed a written examination before a representative of the Department of Commerce. Miss Sterling had begun her aviation instruction last August and had utilized every opportunity to further her ambition to become a flyer.

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