10 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF DEC. 10, 2009

As the days grow shorter and the snow falls, Meeker County farmers are still working tirelessly to harvest the corn ands soybean crops from their fields. While the mad rush to finish the harvest has not resulted in a great number of reported farm injuries, four tractor fires resulting in $975,000 in damage were called in to the Meeker County Sheriff's office in November.

The city council voted unanimously — despite some apparent reservation — to sign a purchased power contract with Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency. The extension locks the city in to SMMPA power until 2050. Council member Connie Lies said that although she did not see that the city had any option but to sign the contract she found some "disturbing issues" with it. Chief among them being the reliance on the coal-fired plant known as Sherco 3 at Becker, which to some is a dinosaur.

Bob Hermann, chairman of the Meeker County Park Board, introduced Braden Priam as the new county parks superintendent at the recent county board meeting. Priam succeeds Myron Dvorak, who retired. Braden is a six-year employee of the parks system.

20 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF DEC. 9, 1999

Jaren Winings has a new heart. The eight-year-old rural Watkins boy underwent surgery Saturday at Fairview University Hospital in Minneapolis. "He's doing really well," his mother, Kayla, said during a phone interview from the hospital. "He is ahead of schedule," she added. Jaren, a Ripley Elementary School student was placed on a level two transplant waiting list two months ago. His parents, Kayla and Brad, received word at 9 p.m. Friday that a heart was available. Arriving at the hospital around 11:30 p.m., he was prepped and in surgery by 5 a.m. Saturday. Sunday, Jaren was taken off the respirator and was sitting up, squeezing his parents' hands. "Its the best Christmas gift we could have ever wished or hoped for," Kayla Winings said.

Meeker County lost its last mink farm in November. Mink ranching has been a way of life for the Worden family since 1940, but because of the long hours and a volatile market Darryle and Dale Worden have decided to call it quits. Darryl Worden has tended to the farm's 5,000 mink seven days a week.

The state statute which permits a citizen to keep a dangerous dog under certain conditions came into focus at a recent meeting of the county board. The issue came up as the result of a recent Litchfield incident where two dogs escaped from their property, killed a dog in an adjacent residence, and wounded another at a different site. After an investigation by the Litchfield Police Department, it was determined that the marauding dogs involved could be termed dangerous under the law. This requires the owner to get, within 14 days, a license from the county to keep a dangerous dog and provide law enforcement personnel that the animal is being properly restrainef and to obtain a $50,000 insurance policy. Meanwhile, the owner of the two dangerous dogs involved agreed to dispose of them and has provided the Litchfield police chief with certification that the dogs have been destroyed.

50 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF DEC. 9, 1969

Memo to all members of the Litchfield Snowmobile Club. The snow dance scheduled for Wednesday night has been called off. No one looked with more favor on the heavy snowfall this week than members of the Litchfield Snowmobile Club. The nearly 12 inches of snow provides a perfect backdrop for the snowmobile races the club will sponsor here on Saturday. LaVon Grotto, general chairman of the event, is hopeful there will be at least 200 in the various races planned. The event will be kicked off Saturday with 30-mile cross country races in each of nine divisions. Sunday will be the best day for spectators. Lap races are scheduled around a track at the fairgrounds.

One of central Minnesota's fastest growing firms, Reinke Sheetmetal and Manufacturing Company is expanding its facilities here for the second time in three years. Work is underway on a 74-foot by 122-foot addition to the firm's facilities here. It will provide space for the firm to substantially increase production of its Cozy Cab units. Currently, a staff of about 125, working in two shifts, has been turning out about 100 units a week. The firm's growth has even taken its president, Litchfield native Arvid Reinke, by surprise. "If someone suggested 10 years ago that this operation would get this big, I would have questioned their sanity," Arvid said. Cozy Cabs have been sold in every state in the union and in use in England, Sweden and several South American countries.

If the heavy snow has put you in a skiing mood, here is good news. A bus will run from Litchfield to Powder Ridge on both Saturday and Sunday. It'll leave from the junior high at noon on Saturday and at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Cost for round trip will be $1 and persons interested may contact Dr. William Nolen in advance.

69 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF DEC. 7, 1950

The ever-increasing crowd at the Saturday turkey drawing is proof that the program is popular. Last week the crowd was the biggest since the weekly drawing started. The final drawing Saturday is expected to draw the largest crowd to date.

The Christmas candlelight service by the combined junior and senior choir of the First Lutheran Church will be presented on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m at the church. The junior choir will be wearing their new robes for the first time. The choirs will be under the direction of Mrs. Lowell Wilson and Dorothy Miller.

Miles Nelson, brother of James Nelson of the Nelson Buick staff, has joined the staff of the business. Miles is a graduate of LHS and formerly was employed by Bros Boiler firm of Minneapolis.

115 YEARS AGO: NEWS FROM THE ISSUE OF DEC. 11, 1904

William Bierman, the new clothing man, expects to open his stock to the public today with a stock of goods in complete furnishing of gents clothing needs. Mr. Bierman has experienced considerable difficuty in getting his stock here.

A.J. Anderson is preparing an ice boat, which will be put on Long Lake in Acton one of these evenings.

Albert Hanson of Manannah lost a valuable horse last week.

A basket social will be given at the home of Emelius Nelson on Saturday evening for the benefit of Arndahl Church.

Wm. Rapana of Kingston broke his leg last week while alighting from a moving train in Dassel.

Kingston has another telephone line. The last runs from Knapp to Kingston. Some few people are wondering why they can't have a telephone line from here to Watkins, but no one seems ready to take hold of it.

The young people of Corvuso had an enjoyable time skating on Atkinson Lake Saturday.

Mrs. Aveldson of Harvey had the misfortune to fracture her hip while stepping out of a buggy. Dr. Chapman was called to attend her and she is getting along nicely.

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