Days Gone By (Feb. 16)
By: Pat Hunter, Archivist, River Falls Journal
The area was still reeling after the murders on Feb. 5 of Hudson funeral home director Dan O’Connell and student intern James Ellison. It took nearly three years to solve the case and the suspect, a priest suspected of child abuse, committed suicide as police were closing in on him.
Firefighter of the year award went to Rick LaPorte for his “strong skills and quiet leadership.”
Wildcat gymnasts turned in a record-setting performance at their final dual meet, shattering their own school record for total team score by nearly four points.
Riverside Square Mall merchants want loitering youth to find somewhere else to hang out after school. Letters were sent to parents of 40 youngsters asking parents to be aware of the situation.
Area officials met last week to discuss funding sources to improve the city’s library. At this time city cardholders numbered 2,501; and townships Clifton, Troy Kinnickinnic, River Falls and Martell numbered 1,600.
Head coach Dave Brandvold’s wrestling team cruised to its third Big Rivers high school conference championship.
Grocery specials included cauliflower, $1.29/head; chuck roast, $1.68/lb.; red or russet potatoes, $1.49/20 lbs.; and for Valentine’s Day, half-dozen red rose arrangement for $14.99.
A group of property owners along West Pine Street opposed City Council plans to widen and rebuild the street. Losing front yards and trees did not sit well with residents, and some cited, “The street is a race track and to widen it would make it worse.”
A new bridge to be built across the Kinnickinnic was also under consideration with either fixing the Cedar Street bridge or building a new one on Division Street connecting that street with county Highway M, being options discussed.
Wildcat wrestlers won the Middle Board wrestling conference, with five title winners — Rick Jensen; 98; Jeff Miner, 105; Milt Sumption, 199; Mike Lenselink, 155; and Paul Wehking, 167.
Rod Swedenborg, son of Tom and Yuki of River Falls, earned his Eagle Scout award recently.
Diane Marie Delorit was named RFHS Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow and Judy Moe was named runner-up in the first St. Croix County Soil and Water Conservation speaking contest.
In business news here, Delbert and Elaine Johnson won a Caribbean vacation in an American Motors contest; Howard Poling’s Skogmo’s store was the place to buy spring yard goods, with wash ’n wear cottons at 39 cents/yard; Veryl Wright offered auto insurance for $49.84 per year; and the opening of the Crest Room at the Skycrest Motel on North Main Street was announced with a smorgasbord served on Sundays and regular meals daily from 6 a.m. to midnight.
Local retailer Helgeson’s Ben Franklin Store carried a complete line of Brach’s valentine candy; Skogmo’s yard good sale included sport denim at 70 cents/yard; gingham, $1.09/yard; and “Fruit of the Loom” percales at 49 cents/yard; the Modern Beauty Shop located above the Red Owl store offered poodle haircuts for $1 and complete lanoline waves, $11; and businessmen organized by Bob Moody in River Falls continued to make available a car and driver to Veterans Hospital at Fort Snelling each Thursday.
In line with the national defense program local grocers believe that housewives could help immeasurably by ordering only once a day, thus cutting delivery work to the minimum; President Roosevelt ordered clocks throughout the nation to be set ahead an hour to save electricity for defense work; and President Ames of the college here announced the academic schedule would be accelerated for those expending to be inducted into the Armed Forces.