100 years ago, March 15, 1923

• Village Water Editorial

If anyone thinks the water supply in the village is adequate or will be for a long time in the future, just take a good look at the old water tank.

Our schools, hotels, hospitals, garages, etc., are in hopes that a water and sewer system will be installed in the village before long. Think of 400 pupils in our schools and no adequate way to dispose of the sewage and both buildings depending upon one little well for water supply. How about fire protection? The present water supply will not reach the schoolhouse in case of fire. Residents in the outlying district have absolutely no fire protection in case of a big fire.

75 years ago, March 18, 1948

• Children Rescued From Burning Bed

What might have been a bad fire occurred in the triple apartment house built by the General Ice Cream Corp. in the south part of town. One of the apartments is occupied by Mrs. Donald Thompson and two children and Mr. and Mrs. Warren Martin. An electric pad was used to warm the children’s bed, and this set the bed clothes on fire. Luckily the grownups had not retired, and they rescued the children, and the fire department put out the blaze.

The damage consisted of the burning of the bedding and smoking up the room.

50 years ago, March 15, 1973

• Library is ‘Resource Center’ for Today’s Students

What is a library? Most people promptly answer, “A place to get books.” According to Pelican Rapids School librarians Miss Marlys Benson in elementary school and Miss Judith Nelson in the high school, this is a true but incomplete answer. According to them, school libraries have become much more than “a place to get books.” Libraries are “resource centers,” places to find many types of materials for education, information, inspiration, and recreation.

The elementary library hosts twenty-four kindergarten through sixth-grade classes each week. Twenty-three classes meet twice a week, and one special education class meets once. 

During their first visit each week, pupils browse, work on assigned reports for their classes, hear stories read or told to them by Miss Benson, receive instruction on how to use the library, or are introduced to both old and new books that are on the shelves. The second period each week is used as a book check-out period.

The elementary library contains reading materials for every reading level. These books range from large picture books for kindergarten students to books of junior high difficulty for those people who read at that level.

The high school library serves the seventh through twelfth graders, with pupils using the library mostly on an individual basis. Specially scheduled class groups use the library facilities several times a week; currently, all biology class students check out books every Monday, and ninth-grade English classes each spend approximately half an hour of class time in the library each Friday. All pupils have individual access to the library during their study hall periods, noon hours, and before and after school, as well as from classes when they have passes from teachers. Last month nearly 1,700 books and magazines were checked out, and many more materials were used in the library during the school day.

The librarians’ major goal is to help pupils learn to help themselves. As pupils progress from kindergarten through high school, they hopefully should require less and less help to locate materials. Librarians are always available to help and teach pupils where to look or as a “last resort” when pupils have first tried and been unsuccessful in finding materials and information on their own.

If pupils can gradually acquire some degree of self-discipline during independent study and if they can develop independence in locating library materials in Pelican Rapids school libraries, they should be able to walk into almost any library of any size anywhere, confidently put to use what they have learned here, and find what they’re looking for whether it’s additional education, information, inspiration, or recreation.

25 years ago, March 18, 1998

• Rash of burglaries continued last week

The police list of investigations got a little longer last week, with four more burglaries to follow up.

That makes nine burglaries or attempts within a four-day period.

The first to be reported in the latest round of thefts was Pelican Floral, where about $80 in currency was taken from a cash register.

Sonja Pearson, owner, said she was in a hurry to leave last Thursday evening and didn’t remove the cash from the store. Between the time she left at 8 p.m. and returned at 10 p.m., someone had pried open the front door and removed the currency from the till.

Hit the same evening or later were Pelican Drug, the U. S. Post Office, and the Pelican Valley Clinic.

At Pelican Drug, the door into the lower level “Splash” store was pried open, setting off an audible burglar alarm.

Whether the alarm scared them off, owner Don Perrin didn’t know, but he said nothing appeared to be missing or disturbed. No cash is left in the store, he said.

At the Pelican Valley Clinic, entrance was gained by prying open the front door and then a door between the waiting room and the clinic. Nothing appeared to be missing, said Clinic Business Manager Jonelle Grunewald.

At the Post Office, where the lobby remains unlocked until 11 p.m., an attempt was made to pry open the door into the counter area.

Postmaster Melissa O’Donnell said the burglary attempt could mean the lobby might have to be locked earlier. The possibility exists that the lobby would have to be locked when employees leave at about 5 in the afternoon.

Because the door was “jimmied,” postal employees had to serve patrons through a service door until repairs were made Friday morning.

The previous weekend, attempts were made at The Laundromat, Weishair’s, and Pelican Press. Entry was gained to the public library and Farnam’s Tire Center/Genuine Parts.