Looking Back: 1964 - Bigelow mayor's race is tight

One year ago Forty-seven people jumped into freezing Lake Okabena in Worthington to raise nearly $25,000 for the Jami Cummings Learn to Swim program in the Deep Freeze Dip that was part of Winterfest 2013. Jaden Nickel, 8, Worthington, was featur...

One year ago

Forty-seven people jumped into freezing Lake Okabena in Worthington to raise nearly $25,000 for the Jami Cummings Learn to Swim program in the Deep Freeze Dip that was part of Winterfest 2013.

Jaden Nickel, 8, Worthington, was featured in a Twin Cities area promotional campaign for the American Heart Association.

At the first regular Worthington city council meeting of the year, Mayor Alan Oberloh thanked outgoing council members Mike Woll and Lyle Ten Haken for their years of service and welcomed new members Diane Graber and Rod Sankey.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar visited the Minnesota Soybean Processors facility near Brewster.


Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was among Twins representatives stopping in Worthington as part of the 2013 Minnesota Twins Caravan.

Five years ago

Winter weather resulted in several vehicle crashes in the region, including one on Minnesota 91 north of Adrian that caused the death of a 66-year-old Adrian woman Friday.

The Buffalo Ridge Drug Task Force was named the number one drug task force in the state (out of 23 in all) by Minnesota Gang and Drug Task Force coordinator Bob Bushman. The ranking was based on factors including progress, operations, professional development, record keeping, compliance, accountability, sustainability and a few other points.

Minnesota West Community and Technical College President Richard Shrubb said as many as six employees would be laid off by the time the college fully reacted to a $347,000 unallotment of state funds. Most of the system’s budget was used for personnel, so a reduction of that size spelled employee layoffs.

Committee members were working with Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. to finalize plans for the layout and façade of the 4,400 square foot addition to Worthington’s Memorial Auditorium. The project was expected to be completed by spring 2010.

10 years ago

A late Monday night propane explosion at the Lake Wilson fire hall damaged homes, businesses and other buildings over a 2½-block radius and caused what emergency management officials called the most devastating disaster the town had ever faced. Police, fire and rescue personnel from the surrounding area responded to the scene around 11:15 p.m. Monday.


Martha Cardenas, manager of Worthington’s Home of Hope, received an invitation from Minnesota First Lady Mary Pawlenty to attend a special reception at the governor’s mansion for women in teaching, philanthropy and social work areas.

Dorthy Rickers’ “Mixing and Musing” column featured recipes for Moroccan Chicken, Roast Chicken, Roasted Vegetables with Rosemary and Frozen Cranberry Banana Salad.

Brent and Tawny Riemersma recently opened Tawny’s Candles & Leather on Worthington’s Diagonal Road.

Nikki Hodapp of rural Adrian was crowned Minnesota Cattlemen’s Association Beef Princess in early December. Hodapp was a senior at Adrian High School and was the daughter of Mark and Deb Hodapp.

25 years ago

Monfort Pork decided not to pursue a $32,000 claim filed last year against the city of Worthington. Monfort officials claimed that a contaminated water supply was the cause of a loss of more than $32,000 when operations were halted for a portion of a day shift and all of a night shift in mid-October. Monfort officials initially sought reimbursement from the city for its financial loss.

The Luther College Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Douglas Diamond, presented a concert at the Luverne High School Little Theatre. Hope Bakker of Worthington was a student violinist with the orchestra.

Three members of the local composite squadron of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) were invited to Fairmont to show a slide presentation on CAP and its program. Lt. Barney Harstad, Capt. Casey Ingenthron and Capt. Jay Hvistendahl flew to Fairmont for a meeting with 30 area residents interested in forming a CAP unit there.


50 years ago

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Bezdicek were nearly asphyxiated Sunday morning when a clogged flue allowed gas to fill their home. They had suffered a similar experience a year earlier. Mrs. Bezdicek said she was awakened about 1 a.m. and that both she and her husband felt ill. She fell down on her way to the kitchen, but managed to get to a telephone to call her daughter. When her daughter arrived, both of the Bezdiceks were lying on the floor near their bed.

The Bigelow mayor’s office was still in dispute following recount negotiations Saturday. Lewis McEldowney, a write-in candidate, received 52 votes and Wesley E. Butcher, the incumbent, had 44 in the Dec. 3 election. Eight ballots were questioned, all of which were credited originally to McEldowney, ending in a 44-44 tie. Butcher currently led in the recount race at 44-43, with seven disputed ballots still to be decided.

Worthington Junior College was offering a new series of winter quarter night classes beginning Jan. 20, announced Dean W. Donald Olsen. Among the offerings was a student art class in oil and water painting, and a knitting class. Others were beginning mathematics, beginning accounting, American history, biology and chemistry.

E.A. (Skinny) Mahlberg was the “man at the switch” during first-round competition in the Worthington Toastmasters’ annual speech contest Tuesday night. Mahlberg timed contestants, who were required to speak at least four minutes, 45 seconds, but not more than seven minutes, 15 seconds. Birk C. Lowther beat Robert Darling and Dr. Ross DeWitt in the first round.

75 years ago

Township boards in an eight-township district surrounding Worthington were to be enlisted in support of the proposition of providing rural firefighting equipment, in the comparatively near future. Gus Wahl, chairman of the Worthington township board, consented to call a meeting of the chairmen of the boards of Lorain, Elk, Worthington, Bigelow, Indian Lake, Dewald and Summit Lake townships, at which the matter would be discussed.

The Nobles County Co-Operative Oil Company was to pay a record dividend of $40,000 to 1,600 stockholders. While the percentage of dividend had been exceeded in years past, it had never yet attained the money volume of this year.

The high temperature in Worthington on Friday was 26 degrees, and the low temperature that day was 20.

Twelve high schools from three states enrolled in the first speech festival staged by Worthington High School. A “very fine loving cup” was donated by the local Civic and Commerce association, to be given the winners of the tournament.

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