100 YEARS AGO: A young man appeared at the office of Recruiting Officer Colby yesterday afternoon and stated that he wanted to enlist. He told the officer in command, in reply to the age question, that he was “old enough” to enlist but he would bring a statement from his parents showing that they had no objection to his enlisting. The boy, although he measured up to all the requirements, appeared to the officer to be too young for service. He was told, however, to get the necessary papers from his parents and to appear again at the office. This he said he would do. This morning, R.W. Baldwin of Menominee, a well known barber, stated that his son, he feared, had misrepresented himself to the recruiting officer. “Leonard said he wanted to serve the country and had selected the Navy. I told him that I had no objection to his enlisting, but that I thought he was too young. I said I would see a recruiting officer and see if he could be enlisted. He is only 16 and I thought I had better tell you first.” Officer Colby stated that he would be unable to accept the patriotic lad because of the strict ruling that “no man under 18 years can be enlisted.” He praised the spirit that the Menominee boy had shown in attempting to enter the service. 

50 YEARS AGO: The Northern Great Lakes Resource Development Committee opened a three-day meeting Monday with a proposal for rejuvenating iron mining industries in Minnesota, Michigan and northern Wisconsin. The committee, representing 118 counties in the northern areas of the three states, was asked to consider endorsing a taconite plant which could convert low grade iron ore into economically usable pellets for mines having low budgets. The taconite process has been in operation for many years in northern Minnesota, and spokesmen said it would be of economic assistance in reviving iron ore mines in other areas. But some members of the group’s business and industry sub-committee said most mine holdings are in the hands of major firms and that the firms already own taconite plants. The subcommittee voted to study the cost of electrical power. Spokesmen said Minnesota taconite plants have their own power sources to avoid buying electricity commercially.

25 YEARS AGO: City officials vowed to tighten clean water standards and pay more attention to citizen complaints as Milwaukee’s water contamination problem appeared to be nearing its end. Mayor John O. Norquist said Tuesday that he was waiting for test results on water samples throughout the municipal system before using it for drinking or cleaning food. The advisory could be lifted today, he said. Norquist said tests on water from the city’s two purification plants showed no sign of the microscopic parasite, cryptosporidium, blamed for causing an outbreak of intestinal illness. “We want the cleanest water in the United States,” he said as he announced a directive aimed at improving the system that treats and filters the Lake Michigan water piped about 800,000 city and suburban residents. A purification plant on the south side was closed after investigations discovered that cases of the illness were concentrated in that part of the city. The larger plant, on the north side, has stayed opened through the water crisis. 

FIVE YEARS AGO: No Wisconsin city could prohibit the sale of large, sugary drinks as was recently done in New York City under a provision added to the state budget Thursday. Republicans on the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee succeeded in putting the prohibition in the budget, despite objections from Democrats who said it was infringement of local control. But bill sponsor Rep. Pat Strachota, R-West Bend, said she didn’t want anyone telling her she couldn’t order an extra-large popcorn and soda when going out to the movies. She called her proposal the “anti-Bloomberg bill,” referring to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s effort to limit serving sizes for soda. Democrats scoffed at the proposal, since no Wisconsin city has enacted such a ban. The provision added to the budget would prohibit any Wisconsin city or county from enacting a ban or resolution that disallows or restricts the sale of any food or drink based on the number of calories, portion size or other nutritional criteria. Democrats said the move was ironic given that the Assembly approved a bill Tuesday limiting the amount of junk food that can be purchased with food stamps. The argument for that Republican-backed measure was that food stamp recipients shouldn’t be able to use taxpayer-funded benefits to purchase unhealthy food. But the move to prohibit restrictions on serving sizes statewide won praise from Wisconsin’s restaurants and grocers. “This effort creates a consistent standard across the state that prohibits potential inequities from community to community,” said Brandon Scholz, president of the Wisconsin Grocers Association. Local regulations are problematic for the restaurant industry because not everyone is subject to the same ones, said Ed Lump, president of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. And, in this case, there’s no evidence that regulating what people eat or drink will improve their health, he said.