Looking Back: 1964 - Spirit Lake man earns national business recognition

One year ago The Rev. Gordon Orde, who had served Worthington's First United Methodist and Emmanuel Methodist churches for the past 12 years, was retiring. A 2013 Worthington High School graduate, Elizabeth Luke, designed the 2013 Windsurfing Reg...

One year ago

The Rev. Gordon Orde, who had served Worthington’s First United Methodist and Emmanuel Methodist churches for the past 12 years, was retiring.

A 2013 Worthington High School graduate, Elizabeth Luke, designed the 2013 Windsurfing Regatta T-shirt, which was on sale in advance of the festival weekend.

The McCallum Museum of Sibley, Iowa, was featuring an exhibit entitled “Children’s Fashions of the Past” throughout the month of June.

In an effort to reduce costs, the Worthington branch of the U.S. Postal Service would no longer have two daily mail pick-up times. The change affected the 561 and 560 postal code areas.


Four fire departments battled a major blaze early Tuesday morning at White Wolf Web, a northwest Iowa printing company, which published the Northwest Iowa Review as well as other area publications.

Five years ago

Barb Jefson retired after more than 32 years of service as a records clerk with the Worthington Law Enforcement Center.

The Worthington City Council discussed how it would spend about $23 million in hospital sale proceeds during a special meeting. Options included a soccer field complex, an adult community center, trails, parks and lake improvements, new city signage, green alternatives, a new fire hall, and a sports and recreation fund.

Between 40 and 50 Worthington JBS employees were transported to Sanford Regional Hospital Worthington Tuesday morning after they were sickened by an ammonia leak inside the pork processing facility. As of 4:15 p.m. that same day, five patients remained in fair condition at the hospital, while the remainder had been treated and released.

The “Amazing” Worthington City Band’s 116th season of summer concerts in Chautauqua Park began this week.

Worthington Police Department’s K-9 patrol Thor, along with partner Brett Wiltrout, nabbed a man who had allegedly chased two young boys while exposing himself.

Mark Schleisman, a Slayton West Elementary teacher, won a $10,000 award from the WEM Foundation for being named one of six Minnesota Academic Coaches of the Year. Besides his regular teaching assignment, Schleisman helped lead local and regional spelling bees, National Geography Bee competitions and the Math Masters program.


10 years ago

Chuck Bobendrier, rural Pipestone, was a third-generation sheep producer who became the 134th inductee into the Minnesota Livestock Hall of Fame at the annual convention of the Minnesota Livestock Breeders Association.

More Worthington sites were added to the list of vandalism incidents in one week. The Worthington Country Club reported smashed windows, damaged granite markers, flower boxes and outdoor structures, plus a broken irrigation access that caused flooding. Centennial Park, Mick’s Repair and the city swimming pool also reported damage. The crimes were all under investigation.

Principal Bruce Blatti said 142 students graduated at the 117th annual graduation ceremony of Worthington High School.

More than 1,000 head of 240-pound hogs died when two hog barns were damaged and a feed mill destroyed on a farm owned by brothers Jeff and Brad Lynn during a late Saturday night storm southeast of Lismore.

25 years ago

The Environmental Protection Agency awarded the city of Jackson a $1.2 million grant for a total upgrade of its wastewater treatment plant located southeast of the town.

The Minnesota Multiple Sclerosis Society gave $15,000 to Worthington Regional Hospital to make the building’s front doors more accessible to the handicapped.


Shauna Gilbert, a Worthington High School rising junior, was selected for the Minnesota All-State Band as a trombonist. Lisa Roslansky, a rising WHS senior, was named an alternate to the auditioned ensemble as an oboeist.

Worthington’s Emmanuel United Methodist Church celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Three members of Worthington Community College’s Class of 1989 were all from one family: Mother Rose Ruppert Hansen, 52, of Adrian and her children, Dorothy Vastenhout, 30, and Lorrell Hansen Jr., 18.

50 years ago

R.F. Patterson, dean of the school of business at the University of South Dakota, was the commencement speaker at graduation exercises for 222 Worthington High School seniors.

Berkley W. Bedell, 43, of Spirit Lake, Iowa, was named the National Advisory Council on Small Business Administration’s “small businessman of the year” and was invited to the White House this week to tell President Johnson how he ran $50 into a million-dollar business. Bedell’s firm, Berkley and Co., Inc., employed 250 of Spirit Lake’s 2,500 townspeople and produced fishing lines and leaders, marine cables and cordage, and special industrial wire and cable. At age 15, Bedell used $50 he’d earned delivering newspapers to buy some fly-tying equipment, and by the time he graduated from high school, he had seven people working for him. His business success progressed from there.

Jackson opened its speedway track for the first time this season on Saturday and was forced to turn away over 1,000 customers. The VFW-sponsored attraction seated 3,500 adult fans and at least 700 children, but more were clamoring to get in the gates. More seats were to be erected at the Jackson Fairgrounds during the week in order to better accommodate more fans for the remainder of the season.

It took only a few minutes Saturday afternoon for fire to destroy a barn at the Liona Ely farm four miles south of Worthington on the Round Lake road. The loss included a quantity of hay and straw but no livestock. A traffic jam resulted near the scene of the fire, and firemen had to remind residents that following fire trucks and getting in the way of firemen was illegal.

75 years ago

The Rev. William J. Ratz delivered the baccalaureate sermon to the Worthington High School Class of 1939 at Memorial Auditorium. His message was titled “I Dare You.”

The Nobles Cooperative Electric sent its first check to the U.S. government Saturday to apply on the principal of the money borrowed to construct lines. The payment was $1,353.45, and others were to be made each month thereafter. The REA had waived payments on the principal until such time when associations had a line load that would give them a surplus income, and the Nobles Cooperative was one of the first in the state to go on a paying basis, with 1,077 customers in the two counties.

The horde of rats that had multiplied in Nobles and neighboring counties as the result of the large amount of corn in storage had become Public Problem #1 for County Agent Gene Stower. Calls from desperate farmers seeing hundreds of dollars’ worth of damage to sealed cribs due to the growing rat population had taken the county agent to 25 farms in the last few weeks to give cribs and rat dens the cyanide gas treatment. Stower said the calls were coming so fast that rat killing was taking nearly all his work time. The rat problem was getting so serious that Jackson County AAA officials had hired a full-time rat man to go out on rat killing jobs for a tenth of a cent per bushel of corn protected.


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