JULY 31

20 years ago (2000)

In the battle against noxious weeds, the warriors are tiny beetles with healthy appetites. The battleground in this case is a rolling hill near the local airport where an aggressive, exotic perennial called leafy spurge is choking out native grasses. About 70,000 beetles were released there last year, and they appear to be winning.

30 years ago (1990)

When Brainerd's Class of 1930 gathers for its 60th reunion, they will surely recall the first day of spring break in their junior year. The high school burned down. Thus, they became the first class to graduate from Washington High School, now a middle school. There are 69 surviving grads – 62 percent – and 31 still live in Brainerd.

40 years ago (1980)

Bruce Bialka may have been one pitch away from being pulled by Manager Tom Tschida in the North District VFW title game against Staples. He'd thrown seven straight balls, had two men on base, and a 3-0 count on the batter. But, he threw three straight strikes and Brainerd went on to a 2-0 win over Staples.

60 years ago (1960)

Still carrying her pail of blueberries, but minus her glasses, a 79-year-old Pine River woman was found by a search party this morning after being separated from her family and spending the night in the woods. It was 20 years ago that a 4-year-old boy was lost in the same area. A 10-day search by hundreds of searchers found no trace of him.

80 years ago (1940)

A 22-year-old farm youth, Orville Jensen, with no formal architectural training, drew the plans for all 15 buildings that will dot the fairgrounds when the annual county fair opens August 7. Jensen, who has been studying architecture on his own, had his plans approved by a Minneapolis firm with no revisions needed.

100 years ago (1920)

Children on 1st Avenue Northeast and Farrar Street are blocking the roadway and making motor travel additionally difficult by hanging on to cars. Motorists are compelled to detour through that area due to paving on other streets. The detour is difficult enough without having to dodge kids.

GALLERY: