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Living History: Local couple get scare from escaping gas

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10 years ago

Excerpts from the May 20, 2004 Pioneer Journal

• Wadena crime rate falls

Wadena crime dropped by nearly 100 offenses in 2003 but rose in narcotics, driving under the influence and disorderly conduct offenses.

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The number of crimes reported in 2003 is 829, down almost 100 from 2002, according to reports from the Wadena city police department.

The larceny total is down the most, from 195 offenses in 2002 to 119 in 2003. However, narcotics, driving under the influence and disorderly conduct offenses increased significantly in 2003.

Narcotics offenses totaled 14 in 2003; there were only three in 2002. Driving under the influence offenses were 33 in 2003 compared to 19 in 2002.

Perhaps the biggest increase in offenses was in disorderly conduct with 63 offenses in 2003 compared to 35 offenses in 2002.

"Overall, there are more disorderly conduct charges because of meth problems, "Bruce Uselman, Wadena police chief, said.

20 years ago

Excerpts from the May 19, 1994 Pioneer Journal

• Wadena man saved by quick thinking

"At 38 years old, I'm done with motorcycles, after riding since I was 15. I thank the man upstairs - it could have been a lot worse." Kevin Labarre of Wadena escaped serious injury in a motorcycle-car accident on Hwy. 71 in Wadena on May 11. It gave him enough of a scare to quit the dangerous vehicle.

Labarre, who broke an ankle and suffered a number of abrasions on his body and head, was involved in one of three accidents that occurred within the city limits on Hiy. 71 last week. His quick wits and 23 years of experiences kept the accident from being more serious.

His riding years have taught him to warily observe intersections. He always tries to make eye contact with drivers waiting at stop signs, so that he can see what they are going to do.

"But this happened too fast," Labarre said, who was traveling north on Hwy. 71 when his bike struck an eastbound 1984 Chevette driven by a juvenile male at the intersection of Franklin Avenue.

"He didn't see me and he was out there before I could stop. The police say that I left 75 feet of skid marks, but when I realized I was going to hit the car, I laid the bike down. I figured that was better than hitting it broadside. That's when I probably broke my ankle - they say I was unconscious after the accident, "Labarre said.

His quick thinking probably saved him from becoming airborne and being injured even more severely. As it was, he ended up on the car's hood.

Labarre was transported to Tri-County Hospital and went home after staff dressed his abrasions. The next morning he traveled to Alexandria where an orthopedic surgeon placed a plate in his ankle. He will be away from his job as a custodian at Wadena-Deer Creek high school for at least six weeks.

• Lumbar everywhere

A Wadena Saw mills (WSM) truck lost its load as it turned the corner from Hwy. 10 eastbound to Second St. N.W. Wednesday afternoon.

The resulting mess slowed down traffic on the highway for about 1.5 hours. Once the truck was righted, a WSM crew took 45 minutes to clean up the mess.

A broken strap was blamed for the accident. No one was hurt.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the May 23, 1974 Pioneer Journal

• Health care center admits females

The Multi-County Health Care in Wadena announced that female chemically dependant persons are being accepted for treatment.

Until this time, the center only admitted male patients.

Persons requesting admission to the treatment program should contact their County Alcoholism counselor or call the Multi-County Health Center for information.

The center has a multi-dimensional treatment modality based on the therapeutic community concept. Residents may stay as long as six months and usually enter the center following primary treatment.

• District 24 baseball pairings set

Aitkin will battle Brainerd in District 24's baseball tourney Thursday at Little Falls and C-I takes on Menahga at Brainerd Friday, May 24.

Wadena faces Pillager at Staples Friday at 4;30 p.m. Staples meets Little Falls at Brainerd Thursday in first round tourney action.

The second round will be played tuesday, May 28 and finals on Thursday, May 30.

70 years ago

Excerpts from the May 25, 1944 Pioneer Journal

• Local couple get scare from escaping gas

Dr. and Mrs. Thayer Davis narrowly missed death in their home Tuesday afternoon when they were partially overcome by ammonia gases escaping from their refrigerator. Mr. and Mrs. Davis were resting after lunch when the motor stalled on the refrigerator and caused the gases to escape.

Mrs. Davis was awakened by the ringing of the telephone and found herself in a dazed condition. She called the maid who was working in the basement and help was summoned and the offending machinery removed. The Davises quickly recovered from the effects of the gas.

• Cattle are injured as truck dumps them

Five holstein heifers belonging to Fred Mattson were injured and four others felt the thrill of being unloaded into the middle of the road from a moving truck Saturday evening. Three of the heifers were butchered at the scene of the mishap.

It was while nine heifers were being moved from the home place to the Mattson farm north of town that the accident occurred about a mile north. The end gate of the truck came open and the driver did not notice that his cargo had been unloaded until he had gone three miles. Upon turning back, however, he found that five of the animals could not get up.

Mr. Mattson places his loss at $2,000.

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