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Living History: $1.107 is state average gas price

10 years ago

Excerpts from the May 27, 2004 Pioneer Journal

• Student graduates college, high school

David Westman will have to be careful that he grabs the right mortarboard to wear for graduation on Friday night at Wadena-Deer Creek High School.

Westman will accept his second diploma in two weeks when he graduates from high school.

"When you are in high school, you never expect to go through a commencement ceremony before you graduate from high school,' Westman said.

He graduated from Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Wadena on May 13 with a degree in computer and network technology.

Westman decided to consider a post-secondary enrollment option after attending a job fair at the high school during his sophomore year at WDC.It was during that career fair that he went to a presentation about computer careers sponsored by the college's Computer and Network Technology Department.

Westman talked to his dad, who teaches at the high school, about going to college the last two years of high school. A meeting was set up with then-principal Dick Rhoades, high school counselor Sue Turner, M State vocational counselor Nancy Rach and his dad, Byron Westman.

Westman continued to stay involved at the high school after he started at the college.

20 years ago

Excerpts from the May 26, 1994 Pioneer Journal

• Carlson veto cuts nearly $40,000 from TCH

Gov. Arne Carlson's veto of the Health and Human Services bill took away between $30,000 and $40,000 from Tri-County Hospital (TCH) in Wadena. The funding loss is about 4 percent of the hospital's budget.

Jim Lawson, hospital executive director, said TCH will not be impacted as badly as many hospitals, such as the Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria, which lost about $200,000, or several Twin Cities hospitals, which will lose $1 million or more in state and federal funding and may have to close.

Lawson said the funding helps the hospital serve the poorest patients that cannot pay for care. The hospital is required by law to serve anyone who needs care, regardless of their ability to pay.

The bill passed by the legislature would have reinstated state aid to hospitals that was cut by legislation last year. The 1993 Legislature directed that nearly $14 million in state medical assistance and general assistance medical care funds be cut as of july 1994. That meant hospitals would receive less state help for caring for poor patients. The vetoed bill would have reinstated 80 percent of that cut, or $11 million.

Carlson called the bill an unacceptable level of overspending.

• $1.107 is state average gas price

Memorial Day travelers will find Minnesota gasoline prices slightly higher than they were for the Easter holiday. The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline is $1.107 per gallon. According to the AAA Minnesota, this is an increase of almost two and a half cents since the Easter holiday.

AAA predicts that there will be 4.5 million Memorial Day travelers in the Midwest this year, which reflects a two percent increase over 1993. The major reasons for the increase in holiday travel include an improved economy, low gasoline prices and stable lodging and meal costs.

Fuel data has been provided to AAA by Computer Petroleum Corporation (CPC), the nation's only electronic information and trading network, located in St. Paul.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the May 30, 1974 Pioneer Journal

• After 30 years, has college degree

It was 30 years after her junior year until she earned a Bachelor's degree at St. Benedict's College on Saturday, May 25.

From her junior year until now, she and her husband have reared 13 children, one of whom graduates Friday night from Wadena Senior High.

Mary Lou Reilly Merickel is that woman who attended college for three years, left in 1941 for financial reasons and through a college friend, Sally Merickel, secured a job at Merickel Lumber mills in Wadena.

In 1942 she married Tom Merickel in San Diego and they have 13 children. Harry, Mary Jo, Maggie and Casey, of the younger set, will be attending Wadena schools this fall.

Tom graduates Friday night and plans to attend St. John's University next fall.

About 10 years ago Mary Lou started taking extension courses here in Wadena, anticipating that some day, she would have sufficient credits to graduate from college.

Two years ago, St. Benedict's added the "continuing education" department to their curriculum, wherein credits were given for independent study courses ind individual tutor classes.

"I needed sixteen additional credits for an english major, which I obtained by taking classes in Shakespeare, contemporary literature, mystery writers and history of news media," Merickel said.

Merickel hopes to start working on her master's degree and at this moment is interested in history, but she might decide on psychology.

70 years ago

Excerpts from the June 1, 1944 Pioneer Journal

• Auto burns while standing in field

Forest Knapp of this vicinity lost his car by fire last week in a strange manner. Knapp had driven his car to the field where he was plowing and upon crossing the field, he looked back to see the car in flames. The car and two cans of gasoline were consumed.

• Lightning strikes, kills cattle

Three head of cattle owned by Leonard Wegscheid were killed by lightning on his farm north of Bluffton Monday afternoon.