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Remembering the drought of the 1930s

5 years ago

Excerpts from the April 5, 2007 Pioneer Journal

• Smokers: 'Where'd our rights go?'

Passage of a strict, state-wide smoking ban by the Minnesota Senate March 27 has relit the debate over smoking in bars and restaurants.

The bill bans smoking in all public Minnesota workplaces other than well-ventilated outdoor patios. A House version is under debate. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has promised he will sign the bill into law if it passes through the Legislature.

• Game On: Gamers test their skills at MSCTC

The computer gamers' tournament Saturday at Minnesota State Community and Technical College Wadena was intense.

Dave Brauch, of Hewitt, is a self-described "hard core gamer" who came to Saturday's event to play Battlefield 1942, though he said his main game was Counter Strike Source. Brauch said he and friends from Staples set up tournaments of their own, and usually play Counter Strike Source, a first-person shooter game.

Derek Franz, of Staples, said he prefers the MMORPG - that's Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game - and his favorite right now is Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne.

10 years ago

Excerpts from the April 11, 2002 Pioneer Journal

• Verndale WWII veteran receives Jubilee of Liberty medal

Lowell Thompson, 81, of Verndale received the Jubilee of Liberty Medal for fighting in France. He received the medal at a presentation in Willmar, Minn., on March 16 with 17 members of his family present.

• Editorial: Changing term makes sense

A proposal to elect state representatives once every four years instead of two makes sense.

Rep. Roxann Daggett, R-Frazee, is shepherding a proposed constitutional amendment to change terms from two years to four years in the Minnesota House.

25 years ago

Excerpts from the April 7, 1987 Pioneer Journal

• Wadena county farmers' fight against grasshoppers, drought, great depression remembered

The removal of over 400 tons of arsenic-tainted grasshopper bait buried adjacent to the old Great Northern railroad tracks in the mid-30s by a removal firm under the supervision of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency earlier in March near the golf course is a mute reminder of tough times for local farmers in the Great Depression and those drought stricken years more than 50 years ago.

The Wadena arsenic site in Leaf River township had the greatest tonnage of the substance once used by farmers throughout the county in an effort to destroy grasshoppers which were gobbling up their small grain and hay crops.

Former Wadena County Agent Miles G. Rowe, who began his long stint as extension agent here in 1934, recalls vividly the plight of the farmer in those early 30s and in his words, "To understand why the need for a place to mix grasshopper bait one must take a look at conditions on the farm."

• from Business Bits by Greg Collins

Smokers beware ... your time has come ... following the example of other districts around the state the Wadena School Board recently passed a resolution making the Wadena district smoke-free ... in simple terms you're about to see John Edinger cry.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the April 6, 1972 Pioneer Journal

• from Pioneer District News

The telephone jangled early one morning while I was out doing the chores. After a bit my big fat wife came out to where I was tending hungry Holsteins and informed me that I was supposed to telephone Mike Lorentz.

Mike is Todd County's zoning co-ordinator. All counties in Minnesota have until July 1,1972 to come up with a zoning plan or the state of Minnesota will impose a zoning plan on them whether they like it or not.

While Mike was glibly giving me a snow job over the telephone, I got to thinking over past experiences. Every so often some headachy job shows up that nobody wants. But if you don't accept it, somebody with a special interest that may be directly opposed to yours or your community will take it and you'll spend the next 20 years howling about it. If you do take the job, you will get chewed by everybody and his dog.

• Mayor's Proclamation

April has been designated as Cancer Control Month in Wadena by Mayor Milt Gaslin.

He urged the citizens of the community to support the Wadena County Unit of the American Cancer Society and its life-saving cause.

60 years ago

Excerpts from the April 10, 1952 Pioneer Journal

• Sgt. Hotakainen with 2nd Division in Korea

Willard W. Hotakainen, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Hotakainen of Wadena was recently promoted to sergeant while serving on the muddy Korean battlefront with the 2nd Infantry Division.

Patrols from the division have been probing Communist positions along the central front despite the handicap of mud, fog and rain typical of Korea in the spring.

Sgt. Hotakainen entered the Army in March 1951 and joined the 2nd Division in September of 1951.

• Easter services at local churches

Radio station KWAD, Wadena, will carry the Good Friday services from the Congregational church in Wadena, 1-3 p.m. Easter Simdau afternoon, 2-2:15 will be the Protestant hour and from 2:15 to 2:30 will be the Catholic hour. From 3-3:30, a special Easter program will be broadcast under the title of "Story of Easter."

Traditional Easter morning sunrise services from across the nation will be broadcast over WCCO, 6 a.m., Easter Sunday, listeners will hear a sunrise service from Natural Bridge, Va. The sunrise service from the famed Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colo, which annually attracts thousands of worshippers, will follow at 6:30. At 7 a.m., sunrise services from the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, Calif., have been scheduled.