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Living history - Jan. 25 edition

25 years ago

Excerpts from the Jan. 28, 1993 Pioneer Journal

• City employees vote stands up to mediation service scrutiny

Employees of the Wadena City Street, Sewer and Parks Department officially have no union representation following a Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) decision.

The ruling opens the door for 1993 contract talks for only city employees without a current contract.

A 6-4 employee vote against the union had been questioned Jan. 5 by an International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 49, representative. The appeal was rejected by BMS Jan. 21.

Brad Swenson, city administrator, said a copy of the BMS decision has been put in city council packets for the Jan. 27 meeting. He said contract negotiations can now be scheduled since a "status quo" order has been lifted.

The complaint about the vote decertifying the union came from the 49ers when they learned a nonunion employee participated in the vote. BMS ruled that excluding the nonunion employee would not have affected the outcome of the election. On 30 percent of the employees needed to vote against union representation to decertify.

Swenson does not know how the employees will be represented in contract negotiations. He said they could ask one or two members to represent them, or they could all attend the negotiations.

The department is the only one in the city without a 1993 contract. The union signed a one-year contract for 1992 while all other departments signed either two-or three-year deals and have 1993 raises. The BMS "maintenance of status quo" order imposed while the employees settled the union decertification issue prevented earlier contract negotiations.

50 years ago

Excerpts from the Jan. 25, 1968 Pioneer Journal

• Rabid skunk killed Wednesday in Wadena

Three skunks apparently come out of hibernation Wednesday afternoon in an area near the old Kopveiler farm in south Wadena.

Contractor Nester Vorderbruggen reported the incident to the local police department.

One skunk chased a large golden labrador dog owned by Jack Schumacher which was in that vicinity. Nestor shot the three stinkers and then called the village police department.

Police Chief Art Ousley immediately contacted veterinarian Dr. Warren Hartman who gave instruction to Ousley in what to do in order to check the animals for possible rabies.

One skunk was immediately placed in a metal container and sent to the State Board of health. Schumaker's dog was taken to Dr. Hartman for examination and was impounded for a period of two weeks in an effort to find out if the dog might be infected.

The report came back Thursday from the State Department of Health to the local village health official Dr. Luther Davis that the skunk was pronounced rabid.

Upon receiving the information, Ousley and his police department wnet and gathered the other two skunks, took them to the village dump and had them exterminated.

Persons in this community are reminded to keep their dogs on leash as skunks are quite rampant since the weather has turned extremely mild. If a dog in the village shows signs of unusual or abnormal behavior, Chief Ousley asks the public to contact the police department so that the animal may be impounded and checked for rabies.

75 years ago

Excerpts from the Jan. 28, 1943 Pioneer Journal

• Flames light the night as Hunkey garage is destroyed

The siren screeched the warning and the Wadena Fire Department was soon in action at the scene of the burning down of the Dr. Schacht frame building, occupied by Paul Hunkey's auto repair shop. The fire broke out between 11 p.m. and midnight Wednesday night of last week while Hunkey was working on a car belonging to Fred Arens when it seemed to him that a "puff" and strong fumes started the blaze. Instantly everything seemed to be aflame and he ran to the door to open it so that the car could be pushed out, but he had forgotten to release the hoist. In returning inside the garage he fell and it was then that he suffered severe burns on one hand.

He ran to turn in the fire alarm, but the building was consumed quickly and before the blaze could be extinguished everything had burned, including the car and all of Hunkey's repair equipment. Fire however, was kept from spreading to nearby buildings.

Hunkey says that although his equipment was partially insured his loss will reach considerable proportions. He will endeavor to procure more equipment so that he may again enter the repair business.

• Fire or blackout? Don't call; operator too busy

It is only human nature to run for the telephone the instant the siren begins to sound a warning, but that part of human's weakness is not exactly appreciated by those who are charged with the protection of life, limb and property in the community.

Residents are not only urged to refrain from calling the operator to learn whether the siren is announcing a fire or a blackout, but are warned that by so doing, they jam the lines and the switchboard and thus frustrate the efficient efforts of the operator to carry out her duties of notifying those who have official duties.

It it's a blackout, the streetlights will go out. It it's a fire, the operator is too busy to tell you where it is and the firemen will put it out, if it is someone else's property. If it's yours, you will know it in time to get out, advise officials.