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From the Files Week of Dec. 25

Wednesday, Dec. 24, 1980: Grand Prize Winner. All six-year old Adam Rockwell needs now is snow. Adam won the toboggan which was the grand prize in the Christmas contest held at the L-Mart Shopping Center and received the prize Saturday from Santa Claus. Adam is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Rockwell, Menomonie.

135 Years

Saturday, Dec 27, 1884

The mercury marked 43° below zero Christmas morning. Santa Claus must have brought down a polar wave and forgot to take it home with him.

F.J. McLean’s black roadster created a sensation Christmas morning by a lively runaway on Main street. Attempting to go both sides of a telephone pole in front of Bryan’s harness shop, the cutter was wrecked and the driver left in a snow drift. No other damage.

Wm. Evans Post, G.A.R., of this city, has purchased a lot in Evergreen Cemetery, where “the boys in blue” may find a last resting place when life’s weary march is ended, and the final “taps” are sounded that herald the dreamless sleep of death.

125 Years

Friday, Dec 28, 1894

The Vikingen Society gave an entertainment at the New Opera House last night that was largely attended and much enjoyed by all present. The musical part of the program was very fine and the lute fish and oyster supper was all that could be desired. The festivities closed with a merry dance.

Mr. and Mrs. H.E. Knapp met with a frightful accident Christmas eve. While riding, their horse, a powerful animal, took the bit between his teeth and ran away. The buggy struck an obstruction, upset, and the occupants thrown to the ground. Mr. Knapp was severely injured about the hips and has since been confined to his room. Mrs. Knapp, while considerably bruised was not severely injures.

Misses Ida and Angie Heller entertained a large party of their friends Saturday evening, Dec. 22, at the hospitable home of Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Clark. Progressive cinch prevailed and prizes were awarded as follows: Head, Miss Pearl Knox and N. Sowden; foot, Miss Hattie Stone and George LaPointe. Fine refreshments were served.

100 Years

Thursday, Dec 18, 1919

Public Rinks To Be Established. First Pond Nearly Ready. Within a few days Menomonie will have a municipal skating rink and if the plan works as well as expected a system of rinks will be established throughout the city. The rinks are being installed by the Commercial club with the cooperation of the city, the first one being located on the permanent Wilson avenue between Second and Third streets in front of the Home Economics building. The block was selected for various reasons. It is well located, and has convenient warming places nearby. The west end of the block was found to be a foot and a half lower than the east end, but this difficulty is overcome by proper banking. The committee has had the block scraped and the sides baked with snow and yesterday the flooding began. There is no more exhilarating or wholesome exercise than skating and it is felt that an actual want will be filled by this means. If the plan works well other rinks will be made in various parts of the city so that the “youngsters” of all ages need not go far from their home to indulge in the sport to their heart’s content.

75 Years

Wednesday, Dec 27, 1944

Give Gift Checks At Lakeside. 220 Employees Given Christmas Gifts in Form of Checks at Party. Oldsters as well as youngsters were glad to see Santa Claus come again this year and the 220 employees of the Lakeside Aluminum company were no exception./ And Santa Claus was generous to the employees of this growing plant. Ata special Christmas party held during a half-hour recess between shifts Friday afternoon, from 4:45 to 5:15, a short program was held which a pleasant surprise was given the 220 employees. They had asked for a ten minute period to hold a Christmas observance, but General Manager C.E. Porter granted a one-half hour period. Mr. Porter left by plane last week to spend time with his family at Des Moines, Iowa, and in his place Louis Marasek, plant superintendent, took the role of Santa Claus, distributing Christmas checks to the employees as gifts from the plant owners. The checks average $20 in amount, depending on the length of service of each employee. During the one-half hour Christmas party, group singing was heard, and Truman Guenther, superintendent of the tool and die room, rendered a solo. Two high school students were featured on the program with their Santa Claus act.

50 Years

Wednesday, Dec 24, 1969

East Grade Pupils Conclude Study of Norway With Feast. The excitement… the joy...of spending Christmas in Norway! That was the experience of East school second and third graders through a special classroom project taught by Mrs. Julia Hardy and Mrs. Jean Bannen. The week of Christmas was a busy time, with the baking of Norwegian delicacies. Sandbakkesl, lefsa, rice pudding and Norwegian sugar cookies were made in preparation for the smorgasbord served last Thursday afternoon. Many tried lutefisk with melted butter for the first time. The almond in the rice pudding was found by Scott Wolfe. In Norwegian homes, finding the almond means you will receive a special gift from the Julnisse. The festivities ended by singing ‘Jer er Saa glad i JuleKvel’. Recipes for all the Norwegian goodies that were served at the smorgasbord were copied into a book, with a cover decorated with resemaling, and presented to mothers of the students for Christmas.

25 Years

Sunday, Dec 25, 1994

Officers commended for nabbing murder.

The quick actions of Menomonie police officers which led to the arrest of a Chicago man wanted for murder, was investigative work that did not go unnoticed by the Chicago Police Department

Sgt. Douglas Briggs, Officer Rick Hollister, Officer Rick Biondich and Officer Mike Olson received commendation awards from the Chicago Police Department and also from their own department for their work. The commendation attributes the capture of Michael Wagener on Dec. 5 to the officer’s “investigative expertise and cooperation.”

Wagener was picked up in Menomonie after he allegedly fled Chicago. He was charged with beating his wife, Mary, to death and hiding her body under an enclosed porch. He fled the state taking his 3-year-old daughter, Ashley, with him.

“Your actions resulted in the apprehension of a murder fugitive and the subsequent recovery of the victim’s body. You also located Ashley Wagener, before she could suffer a similar fate,” the commendation said. Wagener waived extradition this week and has been returned to Cook County where he’ll face First Degree murder charges.

15 Years

Sunday, Dec 26, 2004

2004 Dunn County top 10 stories.

1. Local National Guard company departs for active duty and eventual service in the Iraq war.

2. As a swing state in one of the most hotly-debated presidential elections since 1960, the Chippewa Valley was visited by all four presidential and vice- presidential candidates, some several times.

3. A Menomonie High School senior was charged after school officials received an “anonymous death threat” that caused cancellation of school for a day.

4. Fire destroys Cutch’s Parkside Restaurant In Menomonie.

5. The base price for milk reached $19 per hundredweight In May, which was an all-time high., making Dunn County dairy farmers happy.

6. The 3rd District Court of Appeals in Wausau upheld the murder conviction of David R. Krause, who was found guilty in the 2001 shooting death of John (Pat) Styer in his rented rural Menomonie home.

7. Volunteers removed the “killers” message that was painted on a trailer in a Menomonie trailer court.

8. The Thunderbird Mall has been sold and will receive a multi-million dollar facelift.

9. Boyceville girls dropped a 48-45 decision to Ozaukee in the state division 3 championship game. It was the second time in three years that the Bulldogs were Division 3 runners-up.

10. Dunn County supervisors approve of negotiations with Menomonie Youth Hockey Association (MYHA) for use of facilities at the rec park in Menomonie,

10 Years

Sunday, Dec 27, 2009

Southern Dunn County residents have an unexpected visitor for the holidays. According to a report from the Wisconsin DNR, an image of a cougar was captured by a trail camera Dec. 19 on a farm between Downsville and Eau Galle in southern Dunn County. Jason Weber was hunting with a friend on his property the day the image was captured. “We both noticed that the deer seemed to be acting strangely,” Weber said. “They usually come right up to the field where we were, and it seemed like they were spooked.” Weber said when he checked a motion-activated trail camera the next day, he saw the image of a large cat. “It was probably within a half hour of when we left and we were right about where the camera was set up,” Weber said. On Dec. 21, DNR wildlife biologist Jess Carstens accompanied Weber to the area where the footage was captured, and the two men discovered a deer carcass. The partially eaten carcass was covered with cornstalks, which is a common practice for cougars. It is believed that the cougar could be the same animal that was captured by video in Champlin Park, Minn., earlier this month. A cougar—also known as a mountain lion—was also spotted in Stillwater, Minn., and tracks were found on a farm near Spring Valley on Dec. 16.

5 Years

Wednesday, Dec, 24, 2014

On a recent cloudy and snow-free day, Lower Chippewa River Alliance (LCRA) members from Menomonie, Eau Claire and Durand assisted the Alma Department of Natural Resources staff with a prairie restoration project on the Tiffany Wildlife Area west of Round Hill. The crew cut and treated stumps of Siberian elm, red cedar, and black locust. This will allow the native grasses to spread throughout the prairie. A prescribed burn will be conducted on the prairie in the future to further reduce encroachment by trees and shrubs.

LCRA members had agreed to volunteer for projects like this on public land along the Chippewa River to help the DNR qualify for grants for land management activities. Projects have involved invasive species control and prairie restoration work.

LCRA members, along with the Dunn County Fish and Game Association from Menomonie, and many private donors have raised more than $52,000 that is in an endowment fund for public land management along the Lower Chippewa River. Interest from the account is available each year to a public agency for a public land management activity.

Please note, due to an incomplete 1919 newspaper collection, we will not have an article for the week of Dec 25, 1919. Rather we will complete the date using the Dec 18, 1919 edition.

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