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Living History

5 years ago

Excerpts from the May 18, 2006 Pioneer Journal

• Man charged with murder

A rural Verndale man is charged with second-degree murder after allegedly shooting his older brother.

James Norman Payne, 50, appeared in court Tuesday afternoon for an initial hearing on charges that he allegedly killed his older brother Wilbur James Payne, 61. He faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.

Just after 10 a.m. Sunday, Wadena County Deputy Eric Sonnenburg responded to a 911 call. The caller said his brother Wilbur Payne had been shot, according to the Wadena County Sheriff's Department. When deputies arrived they found Wilbur Payne dead inside the house.

• Former PJ owner dies

An area life-long journalist and involved community member died Sunday.

Bob Johnson, 80, former owner of the Wadena Pioneer Journal and resident of Wadena, died at the St. Cloud Hospital.

He owned the Pioneer Journal from January 1974 to December 1983 and continued to live in Wadena with his wife, Vera, after selling the newspaper to Mike and Jan Parta of New York Mills.

10 years ago

Excerpts from the May 24, 2001 Pioneer Journal

• Cyber center: a youth project in the works

It appears Wadena's old Radio Shack store will be getting a second life as a technology center.

The buzz is that it's a "cyber cafe," but that's not exactly right, according to Kathy Yelle, adult coordinator of the project. It's still early in its development, and the center that will occupy the building has no name yet.

• Wadena loses benefactor

On May 18, Wadena lost an early businessman and strong supporter of the community when philanthropist J. Harold Peterson passed away. Just last year in honor of his 87th birthday, Peterson gave Wadena $400,000.

In announcing the gift last year, Peterson said, "I love this town and its people. Wadena has always been good to our family. My parents, John and Victoria Peterson, moved to Wadena in 1910 when my father founded the Peterson-Biddick Company. Wadena has always been my home, and it has always been supportive to our family."

25 years ago

Excerpts from the May 20, 1986 Pioneer Journal

• Marlis Pilgrim wins big on 'The Price is Right'

Marlis Pilgrim of Wadena, not only was a contestant on CBS's "Price Is Right" game show, but she was also a winner.

A big winner! By the end of the show, which was taped April 23, Pilgrim had won a total of $26,330 in cash and prizes. The show will bebroadcast next Tuesday, May 27 [1986], at 10 a.m.

It all began as a vacation in Denver, where Marlis's sister lives. Being so close to Los Angeles, they decided ahead of time to write for tickets to watch "Price Is Right" being taped.

• From a guest editorial by the Pope County Record in Glenwood

People have a right to be plenty scared about what happened recently in Chernobyl, USSR.

It is easy to see disasters occur many thousands of miles away and assume that those disasters are not problems for us. That is not the case in nuclear matters.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the May 20, 1971 Pioneer Journal

• Students honored in awards assembly

Service organizations, the public schools and the community honored senior high students Monday morning in the school's 1970-1971 Awards Assembly.

Awards were made in the areas of band, choir, yearbook, boys athletic, cheerleading, GRA, girls extramurals, speech, drama, debate, journalism, wrestling, student council and various scholarships.

• Art show winner to appear May 27 on 'Party Line'

Keith Schmidt, 15, of Fergus Falls won the amateur (watercolor) division of the 5th Annual Rural Art Show held here recently.

His mother, Mrs. Alvin Schmidt, informed the Journal Office Keith will appear on WDAY TV "Party Line" at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 27.

60 years ago

Excerpts from the May 24, 1951 Pioneer Journal

• 80 seniors to graduate at exercises Thursday, May 31

Eighty seniors of Wadena high school will receive their diplomas at Commencement exercises at Memorial auditorium Thursday evening, May 31, 1951, it was announced by Supt. Ted Tofte.

• Bob Hall purchases East Hiway Shell

A deal was completed last Thursday by Robert B. Hall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Hall, whereby he purchased the equipment and took over the lease of "Butch" Lehmkuhl for the East Hiway Shell Service station. Hall took over management May 18, and is now operating the business under the name of "Bob's East Hiway Shell."