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Living History: ‘Dead’ resident protests tax hike

10 years ago

Excerpts from the April 29, 2004 Pioneer Journal

‘Dead’ resident protests tax hike

A man who is still very much alive was recorded as dead two years ago and has been paying increased property taxes because of it.

“I never thought I would be dead still walking on Earth,” said Blaine Hay Jr.

Hay talked with the Wadena County Board of Commissioners April 22 about his reported death. His father, Blaine Hay Sr., died in 2002. Hay told commissioners that someone went to the county assessor’s office and said Hay Jr. was dead. The elder Hay lived in Montana at the time of his death. A death certificate was not presented and wasn’t needed at the assessor’s office. Because Hay Jr. was reportedly dead, his property classification was changed from homestead to non-homestead.

Hay said he didn’t notice that the classification had been changed. He paid $276 more one year and $268 more another year for his property taxes. His 2004 taxes due in May were corrected. He also said his property tax bills have changed his name from Blaine Hay to Blaine Hay Jr., then back to Blaine Hay. He wanted to know if anything could be done about the years he had been overcharged.

Commissioner Orville Meyer said the oversight is not Hay’s fault and made a motion to grant an abatement back to 2002, if allowed by statute.

20 years ago

Excerpts from the April 28, 1994 Pioneer Journal

  • Nixon dead at 81

Governor Arne Carlson has ordered flags in Minnesota flown at half-mast for 30 days in honor of former President Richard Milhous Nixon, who died at 81 Friday, April 22, at New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center.

All government offices were closed for his funeral service April 27. The Wadena post office had an open lobby, but did not have window service.

Nixon’s living will required no extraordinary measures be taken to prolong his life. He was unable to recover from a stroke, dying after lapsing into a coma Thursday. He was the 37th President and served from 1969-1974.

He was the only President to resign from office, which he did under pressure of the Watergate break-in scandal. He was pardoned by President Gerald Ford.

He is credited with reopening U.S. relations with China.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the May 2, 1974 Pioneer Journal

  • Fire destroys utility shed

Fire late Sunday afternoon destroyed a utility shed and some electrical equipment on the Roger Nelson farm located three and a half miles west and a mile north of Wadena, according to the fire department.

Also housed in the building were grains and seeds, one fire department spokesman said. The local fire department was notified of the blaze at 5 p.m. When firemen arrived the structure was completely engulfed.  Firemen, however, kept the blaze from reaching other farm buildings.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known.

50 years ago

Excerpts from the May 7, 1964 Pioneer Journal

  • Wadena becomes new hub center for United Parcel Service, Inc.

A new hub center for United parcel Service, Inc., has begun operation here in Wadena. All told, seven trucks are routed into Wadena and then their merchandise is shipped out to other northern communities.

As of now, the Wadena center is the main outlet for all towns north of St. Cloud and into northern parts of North Dakota. The company at present is renting three trucks from Goetz-Everson Motors. According to Dennis Goodenough, center manager, the company hopes to acquire the authority for intrastate delivery. Goodenough stated that this authority could be given by the end of this week.

Further plans call for the construction of a building. At present the company is using a building owned by Merickel Lumber Mills.

“Wadena is a perfect hub center and is centrally located for deliveries throughout the state,” Goodenough said. “I would like to thank the people of Wadena for their hospitality and their cooperation in helping this business become organized.”