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Living History: Juvenile bike riders warned

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10 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 5, 2004 Pioneer Journal

• Police looking for assault suspect

Police are looking for a Wadena man who allegedly fled after assaulting an ex-girlfriend.

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Christopher Lynn Nelson, 23, of Wadena, has been charged with first-degree burglary, interfering with an emergency call and domestic assault. Nelson faces a combined maximum penalty of 21 years in prison and a $39,000 fine.

On July 27, Nelson allegedly entered the residence of an ex-girlfriend while she was in the bathroom. According to court documents, he began screaming at her and slapped her with the back of his hand, knocking her to the floor. Nelson slapped her a second time with the back of his hand, grabbed her by her hair and spit on her numerous times.

Then, two other men, who were apparently friends of Nelson, entered the apartment and she told them to leave or she would call the police. She reached for the phone and Nelson grabbed and threw the phone. it hit one of the other men and hit the floor, causing it to break. At that point, the other men dragged Nelson vout of the apartment, according to court documents.

The right side of the woman's face and temple were red and slightly swollen as a result of the assault. She and Nelson had lived together until three weeks before the incident.

Law enforcement has been unable to locate Nelson.

20 year ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 4, 1994 Pioneer Journal

• No cause cited in Verndale's fire

After spending Thursday at the Verndale Custom Home fire scene, Dick Brolsma, deputy state fire marshal, is confident that the fire started on the east side of the building near the door in the center of the building.

Though he won't list the cause, he said he is listing it as an accidental fire.

Reports from samples he took should be back in two or three months to provide further details.

"Everything tells you a story," he said, noting that despite the total damage of the fire, the cause can be identified.

Brolsma gave Verndale Custom Home owners the go ahead to clean up the site so they can begin building homes outside, starting on Wednesday.

• New rape charges filed on Bertha man

A Bertha man allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl on the same day he was released following a hearing on a separate rape charge.

Richard William Gettel, 18, was charged with first degree criminal conduct after allegedly having sexual intercourse On July 22 in Deer Creek with a minor who is under the age of 13, and 36 months younger than himself.

Earlier in the day on July 22, Gettel appeared in court on third degree criminal sexual conduct charges that he had sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl on at least eight occasions between April 1 and June 15 in Wadena Township.

After Gettel was charged with third degree rape on July 1, Judge Paul Ballard released him on his own recognizance with the stipulation that he have no contact with minors under 16 without the consent of their parents.

Gettel is currently in custody at the Wadena County Jail awaiting an Aug. 10 court appearance. Ballard set Gettel's bail at $20,000.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 8, 1974 Pioneer Journal

• Elderly lady hit crossing Highway 10

An elderly woman was struck by a car as she attempted to cross Hwy. 10 in Verndale at about 7:45 p.m. Saturday, according to Minnesota Highway Patrol.

Mabel Downing, 79, Verndale, was struck by a car driven by Daniel Thielen, Harlon, Ia., as she crossed the highway, authorities indicated.

Downing suffered a broken leg and was rushed by county ambulance to the Staples United District Hospital. She was later transferred to an Alexandria hospital, according to authorities.

Thielen was arrested for possession of a controlled substance following the accident.

Downing was hurrying north across Hwy. 10 to attend Saturday night mass at St. Frederick's Catholic church, the patrol said. The Thielen car was traveling east on Hwy. 10 when it struck the woman.

Thielen has been released from the county jail on $500 bond, according to the Wadena County Sheriff's Office.

• Juvenile bike riders warned

Wadena Police Chief Richard Hayward released a policy of the department on juvenile bicycle offenders.

The police department is sending letters of warning to parents of juvenile bicycle riders who are violating laws on bicycle riding. If the juvenile repeatedly violates the laws pertaining to bicycles, a citation will be issued by the Wadena police department and the juvenile will appear in court.

Parents are asked to cooperate with the police department in curbing bicycle violations by juveniles.

Adults disobeying laws pertaining to the riding of bicycles will also receive citations and appear in court.

70 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 3, 1944 Pioneer Journal

• Manpower is eased by labor saving devices

The two labor saving demonstrations of homemade pea sheller and grain elevator together with adjustment of binder heads and mower cutting by Clarence Barta of the University of Minnesota and held on the farms of Newman ireland in Aldrich Township and Herman Eitel of Rockwood Township, where each were attended by over 100 very interested farmers and farm women.

The homemade pea sheller made a hit with the women, demonstrating the speed and ease of that tiring job of pea shucking. The men were very much impressed with the homemade grain elevator, demonstrating the ease of handling the grain. The binder head and mower cutting bar adjustment demonstrations were very educational and helpful at this particular time of the year when haying and harvest is in full swing.

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