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RFK’s Turkey Day visit? Memorable. LBJ’s? Wet and pouty

Moorhead council candidate vows to spend locally; garbage dumping leads to scuffle in Clarks Grove; Moorhead increases levy 11%; and more.

Worthington’s Turkey Day celebration is coming up, and former Worthington Daily Globe editor Ray Crippen wrote about two distinguished Turkey Day guests – one in 1960, one in 1967. LBJ visited on a very rainy day in 1960. “The LBJ Turkey Day was, in its way, one of the most memorable Turkey Days. To begin with, LBJ was not invited. The Turkey Day speaker committee always aimed for the top. The invitation went to John F. Kennedy, whom the Democrats nominated for president the month before in Los Angeles. Coming to Worthington didn’t appeal to JFK, but he helped arrange for the speaker. … LBJ got the assignment. It was his first campaign appearance. … By noon it was pouring rain. Really pouring. Ultimately, even the parade was cancelled. Lyndon Johnson was hustled to the auditorium of Worthington’s Central Elementary … . HHH was there. Gov. Orville Freeman. Karl Rolvaag. Elmer L. Andersen, running against Freeman, stood at the entrance in the gushing rain, shook hands and passed along campaign material while the Democrats huddled inside. Andersen scored points with voters. LBJ pouted. Actually pouted. He sat on a step leading up to the stage and refused to talk to anyone. …  Finally, the Texas candidate did make a speech to the people inside the auditorium.” Next in Crippen’s recount comes a more flattering description. It was a gorgeous day in 1967 and “the speaker’s stand was shaded by the big trees on the front lawn of the 1894 courthouse. RFK reflected it was ‘a green and pleasant place.’ Kennedy was talking about change: ‘In such a fantastic and dangerous world we will not find answers in old dogmas, by repeating outworn slogans, or fighting on ancient battlegrounds against fading enemies long after the real struggle has moved on. We ourselves must change to master change. We must rethink all our old ideas and beliefs …’ The Worthington speech is included among RFK’s selected quotes at the Center for Human Rights.”

A candidate for the Moorhead City Council is vowing to make all his purchases in Moorhead until the Nov. 5 election, claiming he will post his receipts online as proof, reports Erik Burgess of the Fargo Forum. Burgess writes: “Dahlquist’s plan highlights long-held concerns about the business climate in Moorhead when compared to Fargo. That tension between the two cities bubbled over earlier this year when the North Dakota chamber placed a billboard in Moorhead touting the pro-business environment in the Roughrider State. The billboard was later moved.” Dahlquist said he’ll make all-local purchases except when he has to travel for work. City Councilman Mike Hulett, who is running for mayor, said Dahlquist’s “gimmick” doesn’t prove anything. Councilman Mark Hintermeyer, who is also running for mayor, said Dahlquist implies other candidates are not already buying in Moorhead. Hintermeyer said probably 90 percent to 95 percent of his expenditures are in Moorhead. 

Sarah Stultz of the Albert Lea Tribune went to the court records and pulled out this little gem on Tuesday. Apparently, someone has been dumping garbage at the end of Howard David Johnson’s driveway for a couple of years. Johnson, 68, set up surveillance cameras to catch the dumper, but no luck. On Aug. 30, he sat in his ditch in an attempt to catch the perp. A truck pulled up and began dumping garbage. Johnson went to get the license plate number, but then, as he told deputies, Herman Bert Oldenkamp, 72, of Oakland, threw a bin of garbage in his direction and began to approach him. Johnson reportedly hit Oldenkamp in the head with his walking stick. They struggled. Johnson ultimately punched Oldenkamp in the face, held him down and called 911. The call came into dispatchers at 2:24 a.m. Officers found Oldenkamp “bleeding profusely,” court documents stated. In police interviews, Johnson said the garbage also contained notes accusing him of criminal activity in 2000. Johnson faces one count of second-degree assault. The charge carries a maximum fine of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine. Oldenkamp has not been charged.

Back in Moorhead, Erick Burgess reports that the city council had decided to raise the local income tax by 11.3 percent. This would raise about $8.7 millon.  Even with the levy increase, the city still faces a $400,000 shortfall in its 2014 budget. The city is looking at implementing a streetlight utility fee – a flat charge on residents’ monthly utility bill – to make up that deficit. The final 11.3 percent total levy increase passed Monday is made up entirely of an increase to the city’s debt levy, or property taxes that go toward paying the city’s debt. The city’s operational levy, or taxes that go toward paying for city services, is virtually unchanged, Wagner said.

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New iPads for everyone is school is a great idea, except for the first day in school when everyone fires them up at the same time, according to the West Central Tribune. Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard told the Willmar School Board that “we’ve only killed the system once,” he said. He explained that the major problems were encountered on Sept. 3, the first day of school, when classes were downloading software, textbooks and applications to their devices at the same time. School technology staff had upgraded the school building’s capacity over the summer, but it was still overwhelmed on that first day. The problems were resolved after that.

The trial for an accused pet killer has been delayed, writes Kaitlyn Walsh and Rebecca Kurie of the Northfield News. Matthew David Jensen, 30, of Northfield, faces eight felony charges: first-degree burglary, four counts of second-degree burglary and three counts of mistreatment of animals for his alleged involvement in three break-ins in the neighborhoods of College, Washington and East Sixth streets in early May, in which animals were killed. He was also charged with fifth-degree drug possession, a felony, and a gross misdemeanor count of mistreatment of animals. Jensen pleaded not guilty to all 10 counts on June 14. A Sept. 16 jury trial was rescheduled Monday until Dec. 9, according to online court records.  The delay is the result of a request for  a continuance of at least 12 weeks that was made by Jensen’s public defender, Steve Ecker, on Monday morning, according to court minutes.