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Living History: Tear gas grenade scatters Christmas shoppers

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5 years ago

Excerpts from the Dec. 28, 2006 Pioneer Journal

• Skogen: Man of the Year

When Jesse Ventura grabbed the microphone after his stunning victory in the 1998 Minnesota gubernatorial race, he bragged, "We shocked the world." For Dan Skogen, it was nothing that dramatic. His win over Sen. Cal Larson (R-Fergus Falls) was shocking to some, but not Skogen.

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• Woman of the Year: Kurtti

When entrance signs to Wadena were in need, but money was short, [Jane Kurtti] stepped forward. When the WDC school district tossed around the idea of establishing a charitable foundation to supplement local education, they admitted they were a long way from getting over the hump to actually doing it. But then she stepped forward.

• from a Letter to the Editor

I have a daughter whom I love very much. She has given me a wonderful son-in-law and two beautiful granddaughters. However, she is dumb as a post!

10 years ago

Excerpts from the Jan. 3, 2002 Pioneer Journal

• Warm up to some mid-winter fun

A mid-winter celebration will get under way in February as the Wadena Pioneer Journal has declared Feb. 1-9 as Long Underwear Days in Wadena.

In January 1995, the Wadena City Council made its way into national news when the group debated whether to pay for a police officer's thermal underwear. The story that was front-page news in Wadena eventually made it to Paul Harvey's news commentary.

• Ventura to deliver State of the State

Gov. Jesse Ventura will deliver his State of the State speech from his state-owned home.

"It sill be a State of the State going directly out to the people of Minnesota," he told Minnesota Public Radio.

25 years ago

Excerpts from the Dec. 30, 1986 Pioneer Journal

• Tear gas grenade explodes at Pamida

Christmas shopping came to an early halt in Pamida last Monday afternoon as a tear gas grenade was exploded by accident.

According to Wadena Police Chief Joyce Kopp, both the police and fire department responded at 1:55 p.m. Monday to a report of smoke in the rear of Pamida.

The police said a tear gas grenade was picked up in the toy department by Virgil Miller of Sebeka who was examining the grenade when it was discharged.

Police said the tear gas grenade had an altered label saying "Big Bang Cap Grenade" and Miller pulled the pin out thinking it was a toy.

• from Business Bits by Greg Collins

As most of you young fathers have no doubt realized, it's getting tougher and tougher to be a dad around Christmas time. Not only do you have to help plan the gift list and search for such highly advertised playthings as "Metroplex" but you have to have an engineering degree to assemble Christmas Eve gifts.

The most perplexing one which destroyed my theory was the new "metro-plex" which is one of those newfangled transformers. Of course most kids can do it in a matter of seconds while the dads may work on the transformation for the better part of an hour.

Every dad has a favorite toy which the children received that brings back the little boy in him ... and this year it was a special Missile Command cartridge for the Atari game which allowed me to save the world from Soviet attack ... it comes complete with satellite cruise missiles, smart bombs, bombers and multiple warhead missiles which makes it quite a challenge.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the Dec. 30, 1971 Pioneer Journal

• Adult skating at SW hockey rink planned

Wadena's Park and Recreation department announces that the southwest skating and hockey rink will be open Sunday and Wednesday nights 9:30-11:30 p.m. for adult skating only.

Information has been received that many adults would like to skate but for a variety of reasons are unable to do so during the day time.

• 33 degree temps, drizzle in Wadena

Temperatures in Wadena Thursday reached a season's high of 33 degrees.

That temperature was accompanied by light drizzle and fog that may have contributed to several minor collisions throughout the village that day. (Some not so minor).

60 years ago

Excerpts from the Jan. 3, 1952 Pioneer Journal

• One, Two, Three - Out! No traffic tickets

Cold weather Thursday evening saved a number of motorists from getting traffic tickets as they stopped on the highway to watch the fire at Merickel Lumber Mills.

Officer Fred Brauch on duty, encountered difficulty in keeping traffic moving, and when some car drivers became a little belligerent at having to move, Brauch decided the best way to cool them off was to hand out a few traffic tickets for illegal parking.

Taking his pen from his pocket, he attempted to write. No go, the pen was frozen. Digging deeper into his pocket, he brought forth another pen. It worked for the first part of one name, and it too froze.

Not to be stymied, he brought forth his mechanical pencil. The lead was shorter than anticipated and as he attempted to turn out more lead, what little was in the pencil squirted out into the snow.

This was too much - he gave up the idea of tickets and proceeded to keep traffic moving as best as he could to avoid an accident on the highway.

• National Tea to introduce new store to public Friday

Tomorrow (Friday) the National Tea Foods store open [sic] in their new quarters Stuntebeck-Merickel building at Jefferson Street and Aldrich Avenue SE.

Since the store opened in Wadena in 1944, they have occupied space in the Schacht building next to the Cozy theatre, but space was limited and the firm outgrew the quarters.

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