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Living History: Any damage to electric wires aids the enemy

10 years ago

Excerpts from the May 6, 2004 Pioneer Journal

• Verndale deals with crossing hole

A gaping hole at the Burlington Northern railroad tracks on County 23 in Verndale was a main discussion topic at the Monday Verndale City Council meeting.

Dawn Nelson, Verndale city clerk, said the city has tried to contact the railroad to fix the hole, which is in the center of a crossing. The company patched the hole and said it would be back in the spring to repair it, Nelson said. But the promise has not been fulfilled.

"The only thing that will get it done will be to constantly keep on them," said Russ Larson, Wadena County Engineer. "It takes constant harassment."

Larson told the council to also contact state representatives.

"I will start calling and writing," Nelson said.

Mayor Roger Anderson said that the crossing is a safety hazard.

"It's terrible; it's dangerous," Anderson said. "It just seems like a never-ending battle."

When Verndale asked Burlington Northern to fix it before, the railroad asked the city to pay for a portion of the cost, Nelson said.

"I've never seen a local agency stuck with half the cost," Larson said.

30 years ago

Excerpts from the May 8,1984 Pioneer Journal

• Arsenic investigation starts here next week

An investigation of the arsenic burial site near Wadena is set to begin the week of May 14, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced today. A work crew from the state's consultant will be at the site near Leaf River for several weeks drilling new monitoring wells, inspecting existing wells and taking soil bearings.

The state Superfund project will provide information needed to determine the best course of action at the site, the agency said. A complete analysis of the arsenic contamination and the area's geology and ground-water movement is important, the agency said, in order to be sure solutions to the arsenic contamination problem permanently protect human health and the environment.

The MPCA said that it will have the final report on the project next fall. A copy will be available to the public, and the agency will also present the information at a public meeting and consider citizen's comments. It is expected that remedial work will begin at the site next spring.

45 years ago

Excerpts from the May 8, 1969 Pioneer Journal

• Two high school juniors win trip to Washington

Two high school juniors, Tim Riese, son of Reverend and Mrs. Rodney Riese of Wadena, and Lynell Thiel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Thiel of Staples, were selected as the two youth delegates to represent Todd Wadena Electric Cooperative on an all-expense paid trip to our nation's Capitol. Tim Riese attends Wadena high school and Lynell Thiel attends Bertha-Hewitt high school.

These two people, along with thirty others their age from Minnesota, will leave Monday, June 9 for Washington, D.C.

• Public Hearing to discuss Hwy. 29 route set for June 12

Highway 29, now leading from Wadena in a southwesterly direction to Deer Creek becomes a part of a contemplated change in a larger undertaking to be discussed at a public meeting by the Highway Department in Wadena June 12 "to discuss the route location and the social and economic effects of the proposed improvement of Trunk Highway from five miles west of Wadena to Junction Highway 71 in Wadena."

The district preliminary design engineer states that the five miles out of Wadena is but a segment of highway 235 to 210 from Parkers Prairie and via 210 and 29 to Deer Creek and Wadena.

The meeting is called to determine the general opinion on what route Highway 29 should take, whether it continues to follow now used between the schools or go elsewhere.

70 years ago

Excerpts from the May 11, 1944 Pioneer Journal

• Bertha man is missing in action

Mr. and Mrs. S.P. Alden of Bertha received a telegram Sunday stating that their son, Captain Cyril Alden has been missing in action since April 20 in the North African area.

In a later letter from the War Department, they were advised that he was a passenger on the troop transport sunk in Mediterranean waters.

Captain. Alden was a nephew of S.T. Alden, Genevieve and Thomas Welch of Wadena.

• Any damage to electric wires aids the enemy

Persons who damage electric high-lines by gunfire or other means are working for Hitler and Hirohito whether aware of it or not, Paul Richter, superintendent of Todd-Wadena Power and Light Cooperative Association points out.

With food production occupying a vital place in the war effort, any unnecessary interruption in electric service plays right into the hands of the Axis, he declares. This is how he describes the effect of such destructive acts:

"When a careless person shoots an insulator, he strikes a blow against Uncle Sam and his armed forces. Everybody knows that the farmer is fighting this war just as much as the man who builds tanks, guns or airplanes. The soldiers and sailors and war workers of the United Nations have to eat. A couple of million farms in this country are using electricity to help produce food - so draw your own conclusion. Electricity is the only 'hired hand' lots of farmers can get nowadays."