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Living History

PJ file photo The WDC homecoming candidates from 2000: (front, l-r) Kelsi Anderson, Marilyn Goeden, Dan Pederson, Tyler Currie; (middle) Amanda Hutson, Mikaela Schmitt, Lacey Hall, Eva Anderson, Matt Schiller; (back) Bryan Stromberg, Steve Bayer, John Piere.

5 years ago

Excerpts from the Sept. 22, 2005 Pioneer Journal

• Deer Creek school to close

Deer Creek Elementary will close at the end of the school year, the Wadena-Deer Creek school board voted Monday.

The board voted 5-1 to move the fifth- and sixth-graders to Wadena.

Currently, WDC fifth- and sixth-graders attend school in Deer Creek. Pre-kindergarten through fourth grade attend elementary school in Wadena, and seventh- through 12th-grade students attend the high school in Wadena.

• Area prepares to send more soldiers

Another 15 members of the Wadena National Guard unit plus Wadena soldiers attached to units in other towns are being called to serve in Iraq.

The soldiers are part of 2,500 statewide who are being sent overseas. The soldiers first will be trained in the United States, said Karla Richardson, Family Readiness Group coordinator.

10 years ago

Excerpts from the Sept. 28, 2000 Pioneer Journal

• Community one step closer to creating new image

It's been in the works for almost two years. Creating a new look for Wadena - well, not exactly a new look. It's more like accentuating the positive that already exists and finding the negative so as to give that a facelift.

The community feels that the lack of job opportunities in Wadena is the greatest threat to its future, while downtown business people feel the greatest threat is absentee ownership of commercial property.

• Pellets fired at Verndale dance

After being asked to leave the Verndale homecoming dance Sept. 23, three juveniles fired a CO2-powered pellet gun at the school at 11:54 p.m. The teens were not Verndale students and allegedly entered the dance without paying admission, according to Verndale Principal Dean Krogstad, who told the teens to leave. The driver was upset and fired at a school window as he and two passengers drove away, according to police records. The teens were apprehended in the Super One Foods, Wadena, parking lot at 12:10 a.m. and taken to the Wadena County Sheriff's Office. Charges are pending. No one was hurt and there was no serious property damage in the incident.

25 years ago

Excerpts from the Sept. 24, 1985 Pioneer Journal

• 'Round Table' plan proposed to rev up Wadena retail trade

"We have to get ourselves and the retail trade business revved up and that means doing a better job serving our customers and not ourselves," were opinions expressed by Mike Ebner and Archie Poehls, two of 30 individuals who attended Friday's extended economic developmental session at the Wadena city council chambers.

The 30 persons attending the meeting were in accord that something must be accomplished immediately to reverse noticeable business trends and to meet in more "nuts and bolts" sessions to discuss projects and methods to help bolster local economy.

• From Business Bits by Greg Collins

Last week's Mexico City earthquake came home to Wadena as a local amateur radio operator helped communicate into the stricken city.

Bob Tapley of Tapley's Ben Franklin was contacted by Bill and Velia Philips of Denver, Colo., to help find out of relatives in Mexico City were unhurt.

The Philipses were vacationing in the Brainerd area and heard of the news on the morning radio. They saw a Radio Shack store which is owned by Tom Nilsson as they drove through Wadena and stopped to find a radio operator.

Nilsson remembered that Tapley was an avid radio operator and sent the couple to see him. Bob took the couple home and placed a call into the Mexico City area through his Ham "Amateur Radio Operator" and gave a Mexican Ham phone numbers to check on.

Mexican Hams had set up stations throughout the band and were assisting relatives, many from the United States, in finding information about loved ones.

After an hour and a half wait the message came back that relatives had been contacted and everything was alright.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the Sept. 24, 1970 Pioneer Journal

• Program to implement computer as instructional device at Wadena ATI

A program to implement the computer as an instructional device in the Wadena Public Schools was started Tuesday, September 15, as 45 teachers, administrators, and other school system personnel attended the first in a series of in-service training sessions.

The course is designed to provide interested school personnel with the necessary background and operating skills to effectively utilize the IBM 1620 computer presently on order by the school district.

• History of historic structure told

During the past week many of the Wadena County Courthouse regulars and visitors have experienced rather mixed emotions.

County officials and their staffs are well settled in their new quarters in the new courthouse that has been duly dedicated to serve the citizens of Wadena County for at least the next 100 years.

60 years ago

Excerpts from the Sept. 28, 1950 Pioneer Journal

• Zing! Bumble bee packs wallop... lands family in hospital

Mr. and Mrs. Tom Kirk and son, Leonard, of Wadena, were on their way to Duck lake on a fishing trip when the freak accident happened about 1 p.m. Monday. The family was on a winding road around the lake when son Leonard, who was riding in the front seat of the car with his father, picked a bumble bee from the windshield. Before Leonard could expel the bee, the little unwanted hitchhiker in an ugly mood stung Leonard.

In the excitement, Leonard pressed against his father's leg, forcing his foot on the accelerator. The car lurched forward, going out of control on a corner. The vehicle left the road and crashed into a tree.

• Andy Theisen: Wadena soldier writes from battle zone in Korea

Seems kind of funny, whenever we have a war, I'm "lucky enough" to get right in on the ground floor. Maybe they are afraid to start one without me.

We've been on the battle line for about a month, but last week was the roughest. We were attacked, surrounded, and cut off from our main force for five days. Planes dropped supplies to us as we fought our way out of the encirclement.

Our planes do a nice job of bombing and strafing. We've got a new type bomb they are using. It's sort of a jelly-like blob composed of gasoline and other ingredients, and when it hits, the ground ignites.

I'm communication sergeant in a tank company, and all I have to do is handle about 20 tank radios and 25 other sets. It keeps me busy as I only have one helper. It wouldn't be so bad if the repair work could be handled behind the lines, but it gets a little nerve wracking trying to dodge enemy fire while on a repair job.

Food is plentiful, and we get more cigarettes than we can smoke. Some of the fellows have a few extra cartons stashed away for reserve, but I don't think that is necessary.