10 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF MARCH 17, 2008

Doug Hughes and Duane Hickler spent two weeks in Gautier, Mississippi, helping to change the landscape, one house at a time. The two drove down and back in Hickler’s pickup and spent Feb. 18-29 in Gautier with other volunteers from churches in Minnesota and Michigan, repairing homes struck by Hurricane Katrina.

Each day the volunteer group ventured into the community to help with previously arranged repair projects. One day, Duane noted, the volunteer workers might be putting siding on a house; the next day, the work might involve installing hardwood flooring.

The dairy herd of Mark and John Hulterstrum of Litchfield had a high production of 29,984 pounds of milk in recent tests. The Hulterstrum herd also had high herd fat production and high herd protein production.

A new communications tower likely will soon loom over the Beckville area landscape. The Meeker County Board of Commissioners approved entering into a purchasing agreement to acquire a tract of the Lekander property in Beckville as a site for a new 330-foot communications tower.

Under a tentative plan, the county would own the tower site, and the State of Minnesota would cover costs of erecting the tower and adjoining maintenance structure.

When completed, Sheriff Jeff Norlin said emergency communications in the south part of Meeker County would be much improved.

20 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF MARCH 22, 1998

Varsity girls hockey will likely be a part of the athletic scene at the Litchfield and Dassel-Cokato high schools beginning in the 1998-99 season.

At its Monday night meeting, the Litchfield School Board approved a proposal to add girls hockey to the athletic program with the stipulation that it also be approved by the Dassel-Cokato School Board and that at least 20 girls from the two schools sign up for the sport. Indications are that the Dassel-Cokato School Board also supports girls hockey.

Litchfield activities director Don Pietsch presented a budget of $22,500 for the first year of girls hockey with a 12-game schedule proposed.

The crew at the Litchfield Aspen Trailer Company took time off from the job Thursday to record the first trailer coming off the line at the new firm. The 35-ton unit is bound for Winnipeg.

A trip to Washington D.C. from July 1 to 6 for the Litchfield High School Marching Band was approved by the School Board Monday. The highlight of the trip will be marching in the annual Washington D.C. Fourth of July parade.

Bowling in the Wednesday Trio League on March 5, Rusty Valiant recorded his second perfect 300 game of his bowling career. Only four perfect games have been bowled in league competition at the local lanes, and in an unusual twist, just two bowlers have recorded the perfect games, Rusty and Darren Randt.

A Meeker County couple, Roger and Janet Huhn, was recognized at a recent convention in Long Beach, California, as the Minnesota winner in the 1997 National Corn Yield contest.

A check for $1,350 was recently presented to the Meeker County Food Shelf from the Litchfield Knights of Columbus. Eric Mathwig made the check presentation on behalf of the Knights to Deb Jensrud, food shelf coordinator. The money was raised through the Knights’ pancake breakfast.

50 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF MARCH 22, 1968

When Litchfield Police Chief G.A. Fenner arrived at the stark frame farmhouse on the Harold LaPlante farm northwest of Darwin just before noon Sunday morning, Virgil Nelson, 23, lay in front of the house, gasping his dying breaths.

Six bullets from a .22 caliber rifle had ripped into his neck, head and back, inflicting fatal wounds.

Fenner summoned a doctor and ambulance. Nelson died en route to the hospital in Litchfield.

Being held on first degree murder charges in connection with the shooting is a 24-year-old divorcee, Karen King, the mother of three preschool-aged children. She had moved onto the place with her children about six weeks ago.

Nelson, a native of rural Dassel, had worked as a farmhand in the area at one time. County Attorney George Neperud said a grand jury will be called to investigate the shooting.

Mrs. King reportedly talked freely about the shooting and did not resist arrest.

Litchfield High School students Pamela Thompson, Sandra Meline, Gary Holmgren and Doug Stubeda placed high in District 20 speech competition at Willmar. The quartet earned its way to the regional competition Saturday in Richfield.

A large barn, milk house and an adjacent pole barn were destroyed in a quick-spreading fire on the Darrel Kaping farm just northeast of Corvuso Thursday evening.

Just one animal, a bull, perished in the blaze. The fire was reported just after 8 a.m., and the Litchfield and Cosmos fire departments were at the scene.

69 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF MARCH 22, 1949

School 100 years ago was the theme of a Centennial program presented at District 85. Derbies, dense mustaches and old fashion dresses were evident as parents and students took part in the program.

Among the adults taking part were Willis Wakefied, Geroge Taylor, Carl Wagner, Herman Rick, Mrs. Gordon King, Mrs. R. Rosnow, Mrs. John H. Johnson and Mrs. Carl Wagner. Students taking part included Hugh Wagner, Frances Rosenow, Bernita Moll, Dean Johnson and Wanda Wagner.

Friday morning very early found the teachers and students of school districts 51 and 91 boarding a chartered bus and starting on an excursion to Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Mrs. Donald Martin, teacher at District 91, and Miss Janette Greeley, teacher at District 51, were chaperones assisted by Mmes Earl Brown, Philip Neidermier and Emil Beckman.

The group visited the Dayton department store, the Foshay Tower and the public library. From there, they went to St. Paul, where their first stop was the state capitol for a visit with State Senator Stanley Holmquist. After a tour of the Capitol, they visited the Science Museum and the Historical Society. Last stop was the Como Zoo.

A weary group arrived home that night, but all agreed it was an exciting and fun day.

April Fools Day Dance — Community Hall, Litchfield. 6 Fat Dutchmen playing German, Scandinavian, Bohemian and modern dance music. Admission: Ninety cents.

Allen Brekke, son of Mr. and Mrs. Art Brekke, tore some tendons loose while playing at school. He will have to walk on crutches for a month.

Norman Bohn celebrated his eighth birthday Thursday evening at the home of his parents. Guests were Mr. and Mrs. Lyman Gjermundson, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Bohn and Hazel; Mr. and Mrs. Paul Nelson, J.H. Nelson and family; Mr. and Mrs. Louis Bohn and daughter; and Mr. and Mrs. Milton Nelson.

115 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF MARCH 21, 1903

The village council has selected the Louis Larson site, 75 by 150 feet in extent, as the location for the new Carniegie Library. At a special meeting Thursday, the council put an end to all discussion, which had waxed warm for days, over a site location.

The discussion developed into a good-natured scrap between residents of the north side of town and the south. Only the best of feeling was exhibited by all in the discussion.

The site is a commanding one on Sibley Avenue, scarcely a block and one half from the depot. It is on a high and dry spot in full view of our business district and standing where it will be it will be a strong advertisement for the progressive spirit of our community.

The burglar system recently installed in the First National Bank pealed forth to the world yesterday morning shortly after 5 a.m., giving notice that something had gone wrong at the bank.

A considerable number of citizens were aroused from their slumbers and hurried to the scene of the noise. Nothing out of the ordinary, however, was discovered, and if anyone had tampered with the device, he had made his disappearance. The system proved its way of waking up and gathering people at the bank.

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