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Living History

5 years ago

Excerpts from the Dec. 9, 2004 Pioneer Journal

• Readers react to Bluffton halfway house issue

Ellen Wallgren, a lifetime resident of Bluffton, wrote that she must respond to a letter written by T.R. Barry, director of Rewind Inc., which expressed his displeasure with Bluffton residents' opposition to a proposed halfway house. She wrote that she did not believe Bluffton was the best choice for a halfway house for addicted ex-convicts. "If Mr. Barry feels we in Bluffton are hypocritical Christians, so be it," she added. "If he feels the need to attack us because we don't agree with him, fine. But here is one hypocritical Christian who will do anything I can to ensure the safety of our town's children and the quality of life we enjoy in Bluffton."

Nicole Hayden, Center Point, Texas, wrote to express her disappointment with the community's reaction to the halfway house. She wrote that she understands the community's concerns, but it is her understanding the applicants are screened. She encouraged Bluffton to take pride in opening up their community to people who are seeking help.

10 years ago

Excerpts from the Dec. 9, 1999 Pioneer Journal

• Youth camp rejected at Cottingham Park

Citizens of Bullard Township opposed a proposed youth camp outside Cottingham Park at the Nov. 20 board meeting. Funded by Hennepin County Medical Assistance and other state agencies, the plan was to create an enhancement camp to help troubled youths ages 12-17 with their social behavior skills as well as their general education, according to Bullard Township Supervisor Wade Kern. Art, music and theater would be major themes in the curriculum. Kern said the people of Bullard Township had some very strong reservations about the proposal. One of the major concerns was security.

• Stunning act of heroism saves Verndale woman's life

Vicki Pankrantz, 39, Verndale, and her motorized chair were stuck in the far west Verndale track with a train approaching when Norman Hines, 77, Richfield, jumped from his vehicle and rescued her Tuesday afternoon.

"The train was barreling down on her," Hines said. "I tried to push it (motorized chair) but it wouldn't budge. I seen we were both going to get hit and I pulled hard -- I got her off."

That's when the train hit the back of Pankrantz's chair. The impact knocked the chair, with Pankrantz still in it, into Hines. "My leg got pinned under the cart," Hines said.

Meanwhile, the train's vacuum slowly began drawing Pankrantz back into it. "I got up and got hold of her again," Hines said. "I grabbed the front end of the chair and the basket came out and I went rolling. I got up and got hold of the steering column and pulled her back in."

Wednesday morning Hines was stiff and sore but otherwise fine. Pankrantz, too, was fine.

25 years ago

Excerpts from the Dec. 13, 1984 Pioneer Journal

• 58th annual ESF program highlights

Sister Ancele directed the St. Ann's children's chorus accompanied by tambourines at the 58th annual Empty Stocking Fund program. Samuel Cole, 13, sang the Lionel Richie Tune "Hello" and a Christmas selection titled "Holly Jolly Christmas." PJ editor Dick Hess sang "How Great Thou Art" to close the program. The closing performance is a tradition. Hess has taken charge of the yearly event since the death of the Rev. Arnold Frei.

• Parents learn about 'good touch, bad touch'

About 40 concerned parents and citizens attended an informational meeting on the Red Flag-Green Flag sexual and physical abuse awareness program at the Wadena High School cafeteria Monday night. A key learning device for participating students is a coloring book, which explains touch. Each page illustrates touches -- both good and bad. Good touches are referred to as "green flag touches" and bad touches are referred to as "red flag touches."

40 years ago

Excerpts from the Dec. 11, 1969 Pioneer Journal

• Break-ins occur at school, Stoneman's Oil.

Burglars entered the junior high and elementary public schools in Wadena early Friday morning, according to Police Chief Art Ousley and school administrators, taking $25 from the junior high principal's office, $45.51 from the elementary and strewing records from the files onto the floor.

In what appears as a rash of burglaries in Wadena, Stoneman Oil Co. was also entered the same morning as the school break-in and burglars there took loose change in the till, police reported.

Recent burglaries occurred at Peterson Biddick, Skalman Music Company and Singer Company in Wadena.

• Wadena selected as site of state's first J-C Extension Center

The Minnesota State Junior College Board announced an exciting new educational concept for the community in that Wadena is the state's first J-C Extension Center. The extension center will be operated by the Brainerd and Fergus Falls state junior colleges in cooperation with the Wadena Area Vocational Institute.

60 years ago

Excerpts from the Dec. 15, 1949 Pioneer Journal

• Fair Oaks Lodge San has cared for 1,000 patients

Wadena County's Fair Oaks Lodge and sanatorium has cared for some 1,000 tuberculosis patients since it opened in 1918, according to "Invited and Conquered," a new book on tuberculosis in Minnesota. The book tells how tuberculosis-ridden health seekers were actually invited to Minnesota in the middle 1800s to get well in the state's "beneficial climate." As the tuberculosis victims came in droves, others in the state caught the dread disease, and the tuberculosis death rate soared to panic-inspiring heights, the book records.

• Penney store staff guests of manager

A.H. Bernauer, manager of the J.C. Penney company store, entertained the Penny associates at a Christmas party at the country club Monday evening. The 27 guests enjoyed a turkey dinner, after which gifts were exchanged and the remainder of the evening was spent at games.