Looking back

100 years ago

The body of Oscar Kvist, who died Oct. 9, 1918, in the battle of the Argonne Forest, arrived in Idaho Falls this week in 1921 for burial. Kvist, who had been living in the New Sweden area before going to France, was a member of Company G of the 128th Infantry. According to the report in the Salt Lake Telegram, he had a father and mother living in Sweden. Funeral services were conducted Aug. 29 at the New Sweden Mission Church under the auspices of the American Legion and his body was laid to rest in the cemetery there. A brother, Axel, who came from Sweden in 1914 and died in 1926 is also buried with him.

75 years ago

Police were puzzled by the motivations of burglars who broke into the West 14th Street home of Mrs. A. Hjort, who reported some small change and a Bible missing. According to police records, the break-in happened sometime between Aug. 27 and Aug. 29, 1946. The night lock on the front door was broken and the intruders, who left the house in disarray, evidently went out by the back door. Police said some phonograph records were broken and three ration books were torn up.

50 years ago

Three teen-aged brothers were shot to death and another youth and city marshal were seriously wounded early Aug. 28 in Driggs. A California man and Elko, Nev., woman were being held on charges of first-degree murder in the incident. Teton County Sheriff Arden Stevens said the four men were sitting in their parked car on the outskirts of Driggs around 4:30 a.m. when Michael Wren Rennpage, 27, approached the vehicle and opened fire, hitting Richard DeLuna, 19. DeLuna’s cousins, Ruben DeLuna, 19, Robert DeLuna Jr., 16, and Antonia DeLuna, 17, jumped out of the car and “were picked off like flying ducks,” Stevens said. Richard DeLuna, who’d been shot through the left ear, lay still and played dead, waiting for a safe moment to run to a phone booth and call police. When officers arrived, Rennpage reportedly shot Driggs Marshal Melvin Jones, 38, in the abdomen. Rennpage was subdued when Dr. Kitchner Head, a Driggs physician, hit him over the head with a rock. City officials said the DeLuna family had been picking peas on the Don Penfold ranch nearby but had finished Aug. 27 and were planning to leave the valley Aug. 29.

25 years ago

With the 1996 presidential election about to kick into high gear, the U.S. Department of Energy said GOP candidate Bob Dole’s proposal to cut taxes could eliminate all non-defense programs, including nuclear energy research at Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, and zero out Argonne National Laboratory altogether. Dole’s plan included a $32 billion bite out of the DOE’s budget. Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary said the cuts would dry up funding for the Yucca Mountain facility in Nevada, jeopardizing Idaho’s attempt to unload its stored spent nuclear fuel. A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, running for re-election, pooh-poohed the assertions, but Craig’s challenger Walt Minnick, said it would void his campaign pledge to support a new generation of research reactors at INEL.

Paul Menser is the author of “Legendary Locals of Idaho Falls.”

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