Living History: Lightning strikes moving Hockert car

20 years ago Excerpts from the July 27, 1995 Pioneer Journal ?EUR? Three candidates asked back for second interview Three school superintendent candidates are scheduled for second interviews next week. The Wadena-Deer Creek Superintendent Selecti...

20 years ago

Excerpts from the July 27, 1995 Pioneer Journal

• Three candidates asked back for second interview

Three school superintendent candidates are scheduled for second interviews next week. The Wadena-Deer Creek Superintendent Selection Committee narrowed the field to Dr. Keith Redfield, superintendent of Ortonville; Earl Mathison, superintendent of Granite Falls-Clarkfield; and Dr. William Gaslin, superintendent of North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale and a native of Wadena. Those who did not make the second round of interviews were Lowell Roisum, principal of WDC High School, and Patrick Flanagan.

Interim Superintendent Larry Foley said individual interviews will be held Monday, Thursday and Friday beginning at 7 p.m. in the district conference room. Only the board members and their spouses have officially been asked to attend the informal social time and more formal interview later in the evening.


The meetings are open to the public, however.

Board members have received copies of each candidate's application file. Candidates were also sent authorization forms for credit and criminal background checks.

The district is in need of a new superintendent after Stef Palaniuk resigned from the job in May. Palaniuk was charged with felony theft after he admitted to stealing cash from the district and using school purchase orders to buy a TV and a snowblower.

40 years ago

Excerpts from the July 31, 1975 Pioneer Journal

• Lightning strikes moving Hockert car

"I've never heard of a moving car being struck by lightning but now I'm a believer," said John Hockert after the Oldsmobile his wife was driving was struck during a rain storm July 22 near Sebeka.

The Hockerts were returning from their Long Lake cabin near Hubbard about 10 p.m. Mrs. Hockert was driving when a bolt of lightning apparently struck the car and the entire vehicle was engulfed in a circle of fire. The lightning followed the chrome near the car door to the rear window. It literally blew out a large piece of chrome near the rear window and followed along to the chrome caps on the front wheels. The lightning apparently left the car at that point as shown by marks on the front tires.


"There was a terrific explosion when the lightning struck our car," Hockert said, "but none of us were bodily hurt by the bolt. The generator and alternator of the vehicle were damaged," Hockert indicated.

While there were small holes in some of the chrome on the car cause by the lightning, these holes continued to increase in size as if eaten out by acid.

There was another motorist following closely behind the Hockert car but did not stop when lightning struck.

65 years ago

Excerpts from the July 27, 1950 Pioneer Journal

• Commerce work at new rearing pond at Otter Tail Lake

Work was started last week on the state operated rearing pond near Otter Tail Lake, states last week's New York Mills Herald. A survey crew marked off the shores of the pond and the main drainage channel on Wednesday. Another crew was operating a drag line on the shore of Otter Tail Lake and making a channel from the lake to the pond.

It is planned that water will be pumped into the pond from Otter Tail Lake. The pond will also be constructed so that it will drain back into Otter Tail Lake. Both the water intake channel and outlet will be located on the northwest side of the pond.


It is expected that the pond will be completed this year, states the Herald, and that it will see its first season of operation next year. It will be about 50 to 60 acres in size and will be capable of raising 2,000,000 fingerlings. These will be distributed in lakes in Otter Tail County.

80 years ago

Excerpts from the Aug. 1, 1935 Pioneer Journal

• Blindfold drive exhibition here Saturday night

An unusual driving demonstration will be presented in Wadena Saturday between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. when Jimmy Burns, world champion stunt car driver, will give his world-famed blindfold-driving exhibition in the business district here.

For his stunt drive in Wadena Saturday evening Burns will select from the crowd a committee to supervise placing the blindfold over his eyes. First cotton batting will be placed over his eyes and sealed in place with adhesive tape and on top of that, several folds of thick cloth.

Burns will then be escorted to the car which he is to drive, a regular stock model Ford from the R.A. Stuntebeck garage. He will get in the car alone and drive for an hour over the streets of Wadena, through the Saturday night traffic, blindfolded, obeying all traffic and parking rules and making stops before the Wadena business houses sponsoring the exhibition.

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