Weather Forecast


Living History

5 Years Ago

Excerpts from the Jan. 3, 2008 Pioneer Journal

• On Formanek Pond

The ice glows underneath the floodlights. The scoreboard flashes waiting to tally goals as pucks fly through the nets. Formanek pond is ready for a hockey game.

The 45-foot-by-65-foot ice rink is no ordinary skating site, however. The frozen spectacle is located in the backyard of Jim and Traci Formanek's First Street Southwest home.

The Formaneks' backyard has turned the heads of passersby since they built an ice rink last year. This fall they expanded the rink, installed a refurbished scoreboard and added more floodlights for games on dark, winter nights.

• Tri-County Hospital and Wadena Medical Center announce integration

Tri-County Hospital and Wadena Medical Center announced the integration of the hospital and clinic services. WMC staff (excluding physicians) became TCH employees Jan. 1, 2008.

"We are excited about the changes to our business, but the day-to-day operations of WMC will not change," said Judy White, WMC Clinic Administrator.

10 Years Ago

Excerpts from the Jan. 9, 2003 Pioneer Journal

• Man steals car, but fails to get away

After asking for directions to Brainerd at the Wadena Sheriff's Department, a man allegedly stole a car from Hunke's Transfer and drove to Aldrich before he was pulled over by the Wadena County sheriff.

Randy William Vonruden, 19, of Brainerd was charged with felony theft - unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. The maximum penalty for the charge is five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Vonruden was released from custody about two days after the incident, Wadena County Attorney Jon Edin said. He was supposed to appear in court on Monday, but didn't attend his Rule 8 hearing. This is the hearing where the defendant enters a plea. There is a body-only warrant out for Vonruden for failing to appear in court, which allows law enforcement to arrest the suspect without bail.

• Moose takes stroll through area farm

Donna and Duane Trana's visitors don't often stop traffic.

But a moose that took a Sunday afternoon jaunt through the neighborhood near the airport had drivers stopping to let the animal lumber across Highway 29.

Donna Trana was at her home four miles west on Highway 29 and one half-mile north of Wadena, when a neighbor saw the moose running along the fence line on Mose and Jonas Gingerich's farm.

From there, Trana and other neighbors and passersby watched the moose as it traveled through neighbors' property, looking for a way out. When it came to a fence, it merely stepped over it. Trana thinks the moose was a full-grown female, but she didn't venture too close to it.

25 Years Ago

Excerpts from the Jan. 7, 1988 Pioneer Journal

• New family business offers Wadena-to-Fargo shuttle service six days a week

"This is actually something that we've been thinking of for years," Bobby Robbins said of his newly started business. "But after having a family reunion this summer, we decided there really was a need for a shuttle service in the area."

Robbins and his daughter, Bobbie Bullard, collaborated on the formation of their business, Mid-Central Passenger Service.

"We hope people will begin recognizing us by our red star," Robbins said, pointing to his hat with the company's logo on it.

• Area students on director's list

Gary Stelzer of Wadena, grade point average (GPA) 3.500, Law Enforcement 1, and Bruce Uselman, also of Wadena, GPA 4.00, Law Enforcement 3, were named to Alexandria TI's director's list on Dec. 31, 1987.

Those students have to achieve at least a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) for the fall quarter.

40 Years Ago

Excerpts from the Jan. 4, 1973 Pioneer Journal

• Police arrest 10 in mini-riot

Complaints have been filed and signed against more than 10 persons, including both men and women, who were involved in a mini-riot New Year's Eve at Memorial Auditorium during the American Legion sponsored dance, according to Police Chief Hayward.

Hayward indicated that the mini-riot started when two persons became engrossed in a fight at Memorial Auditorium at approximately 12:20 a.m. Jan.1.

When the police department arrested one person involved in the mini-riot, others joined in. More than 30 persons were involved in attacking the four policemen on duty who were trying to stop the fight.

• Graftaas has the zest for making Norwegian lefse at 91 years

She hasn't lost a bit of that zest and vigor that goes into making life worth living, even at 91 years.

Her pastries she bakes regularly are as peppy as she is. The sparkle in her eyes has the warmth and personality of her native Norwegian fjords.

Synneva Graftaas observed her 91st birthday with her daughters, Clara Johnson and Anne Richter of Wadena, Dec. 31.

She was 91 Monday.

Born Jan. 1, 1882, in Laerdal, Sogn, Norway, she immigrated to the United States in 1903. Synneva resided at Churches Ferry, N.D., near Leeds for 15 years while the past 54 have been spent at Gonvick, Minn. She re-visited her native Norway twice while in her 70s.

60 Years Ago

Excerpts from the Jan. 15, 1953 Pioneer Journal

• Milk hits the spot

Mr. and Mrs. M.W. Gaslin are in receipt of a letter from their son, Warren, who is now serving in Korea. Warren had just been on a five-day leave in Japan, where he had his first taste of real milk in a long time. It was the occasion of a real celebration and considerable comment in the letter home.

• Pussy willows Jan. 14

Ewald Heidorn, who now lives near Verndale, found fully developed pussy willows in his meadow Jan. 14 and brought them into the Pioneer Journal as proof of the find. The unusually mild winter thus far has upset many of nature's normal procedures.