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Looking Back: 1968 -- Blixt announces retirement from Worthington Motors

One year ago

Brent Droll planned to open his own microbrewery in Worthington in the coming year. Sexy Beast Brewing Company would serve a dozen locally brewed beers on tap — four staple beers that would be available year-round, four seasonal beers and four rotating craft-style beers such as stouts, porters and IPAs.

Staffers from the offices of Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Tim Walz were in Luverne to discuss assistance and strategies after Pilgrim's Pride announced last week it would close its Luverne poultry processing operation Dec. 29, leaving approximately 200 employees without work. Representatives from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development were also present, along with the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council.

For the second consecutive year, a Windom High School FFA team earned a national championship. Those earning first place in the Floriculture CDE contest at the National FFA convention were Victoria Schultz, Linsay Muller, Eliza Ford and Dakota Scott.

Jay Milbrandt, Worthington, published a fifth book, "They Came for Freedom: The Forgotten, Epic Adventure of the Pilgrims." Milbrandt was a 13th-generation descendant of Pilgrims Miles Standish and Edward Doty.

The United Way of Nobles County board set the 2018 campaign goal at $195,000, a $20,000 increase over the previous year's goal.

Five years ago

The Worthington Liquor Store recently upgraded its checkout stands, adding credit card machines at the end of each and expanding the aisle space to better accommodate

customers.

The Windom State Theater celebrated the restoration of its interior and marquee with a Friday night lighting ceremony. A group of concerned citizens had formed Windom Theater Inc. the previous year to save the theater, and spent the intervening months restoring it. Buckwheat Johnson was the group's president.

Walt and Alice Kellen of rural Adrian were named the 2013 Nobles County Conservationists of the Year.

The city of Worthington received $108,550 to aid in building five new single family homes for low income individuals. The funds were from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, which distributed $54 million across the state for the construction of more affordable housing units.

The Green Earth Players of Luverne performed the play "Leaving Iowa."

10 years ago

Two Murray County barns gave the county a clean sweep in the first-ever Minnesota Barn of the Year contest, sponsored by the Friends of Minnesota Barns. The grand prize in the family-owned division went to Lee Leysen, owner of a barn that dated to 1929. First-place winners in the group-owned division were the owners of the historic round barn at the Murray County Fairgrounds. The round barn was built between 1935-37 by the Work Progress Administration.

Xcel Energy and enXco announced plans to construct a 201-megawatt wind farm in Nobles County. The farm would contain 134 1.5-megawatt General Electric wind turbines, which would produce enough energy to power approximately 66,500 homes. The $500 million project was to be developed and constructed by enXco.

After nearly a decade of planning and fundraising, a groundbreaking ceremony took place at the future site of a new Worthington Area YMCA on the grounds of Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

Troy Menke recently opened Pillars Pub & Eatery in downtown Jackson.

Murray County Central High School presented a production of "The Wizard of Oz," directed by Andy Malvin.

City of Worthington voters approved a ballot question that would allow a half-cent sales tax to be assessed, with the revenue to fund community improvement projects.

25 years ago

Wayne Freese, a Worthington resident since 1972, was elected the newest member of the Community First National Bank's board of directors.

Sterling Drug, Worthington, celebrated its 11th anniversary. The drugstore offered free blood pressure screenings, door prizes and free coffee and cookies during the celebratory period. Staff pharmacists were Ron Scharpen, Tim Ackerman and Bob Willardson.

Russell Tobias retired after 47 years as a chiropractor in Pipestone. Tobias opened his practice there on Oct. 2, 1947. His wife, Linda, had also worked at the practice for 18 years.

Water rates in Worthington were projected to rise by four percent, although the city's electric rate was expected to remain stable, the Worthington Water and Light Commission members learned at a meeting this week.

The newest Up with People show, "World in Motion," entertained audiences in Pipestone and Luverne this week. Performers from 22 different countries were involved with the show.

The Worthington Area United Way had received $45,503 in cash and pledges to date, bringing it to 39 percent of its $118,000 goal for the year.

Worthington Community College President Connie Burchill was lobbying state legislators for a $650,000 bond that would allow the college to construct two building connectors on campus. A legislative delegation was in town this week to tour the campus and investigate the need.

50 years ago

In mock presidential elections at both Worthington Senior High School and Worthington Junior High School, Hubert Humphrey won a narrow victory over Richard Nixon, and George Wallace drew a small percentage of the vote. In two other races on the senior high ballot, Ned Batcheller topped Leo Ruder for county commissioner in the Fifth District, and Republican Lyle Nelson edged incumbent public service commissioner Paul Rasmussen. When the votes from both schools were added together, Humphrey had about 50 percent of the vote, Nixon 41 percent and Wallace nine percent.

The September barrage of 60 traffic accidents was trimmed to 46 during October, according to figures compiled by Capt. Merle Rotschafer. But only three personal injuries were reported. As in the previous month, male drivers were involved in more than twice as many (51-21) accidents as female drivers. About half of the drivers involved in the accidents were under 30 years of age. Fourteen were 61 or over.

Ed Blixt, president and general manager of Worthington Motors Inc., for 19 years, announced his retirement. Blixt was raised on a farm about eight miles from Worthington near Round Lake. His father had taught him how to repair machinery. Blixt had been a member of the city water and light commission, president of the YMCA board of directors and a school board member, among other community leadership roles. He and his wife, Evelyn, planned to continue living at their home at 406 Olander, Worthington, but would perhaps travel more often to see their two children and nine grandchildren in Minneapolis and California.

Twelve calves and a pony were lost in a barn fire on the Robert Nasers farm one mile north and three miles east of Sibley, Iowa. No complete damage estimate was immediately available, but observers believed it would exceed $10,000.

75 years ago

E.L. Jones, attorney, was elected president of the Worthington Kiwanis Club for the year beginning Jan. 1, 1944. Other officers elected were Harry Greier, vice president; M.C. Leonard, treasurer; and Dr. O.M. Heiberg and Gene Stower, directors.

Mrs. Caroline Sieve, about 70, was found dead in bed this forenoon at the home of her son, Al Sieve, about a mile south of Wilmont village. Her death was discovered around 9:30 a.m. by her daughter-in-law when the aged woman failed to put in an appearance for the day. Dr. E.A. Kilbride, coroner, ascribed her death to natural causes. Mrs. Sieve had been in failing health for some time but had not been confined to her bed. Recently she had returned after spending about a year on the Pacific coast with children. Her husband had been dead for nearly 30 years.

Among the "daily values" at Silverberg's grocery, Worthington, this week were two pounds of sweet red grapes for 29 cents, a pound of cranberries for 27 cents, a 48-ounce can of V-8 vegetable juice for 35 cents, three packages of OK Wheat Flakes for 19 cents, a 100-pound bag of cabbage for kraut for $3.49 and two large bars of Swan soap for 19 cents.

A junior Chamber of Commerce was formed by a group of young businessmen at Pipestone. Officers who were launching its first administration were the Rev. Lars Bache-Wiig, president; M.G. Martinson, vice president; William Silverberg, secretary; and Charles Foy, treasurer.

Boy Scout Troops 119, 120 and 121 of Worthington met at the Presbyterian church parlors for the recognition of advancements and the award of merit badges, with V.M. Vance, advancement chairman, and Arne Karhu, field executive, presenting. Advancement to the grade of second class scout was earned by Bart Andrews, Bob Oanes, Gordon Boudreau and Jerry O'Hearn of Troop 119, and by Robert Willardson, Eugene Phelps and Ray Hyke of Troop 120.

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