KTTC through the years 1983-1992

Published: Jul. 13, 2023 at 3:54 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The 80′s may be known for big hair, bright colored clothing and padded shoulders, but it was also a decade that saw major socioeconomic changes thanks to advances in technology.

In 1983, KTTC had been on air for 30 years, continuing its legacy out of the old station near downtown Rochester on 1st Avenue.

One of Minnesota’s most contentious labor disputes took place in Austin. On August 17, 1985, more than 1,500 Hormel Foods employees went on strike. Citing a wage freeze, dangerous working conditions and a wage cut, they hit the streets and raised their voices.

This dispute left Hormel management no choice but to close the plant temporarily.

“We think this company has a moral obligation to its employees and to this community, which they haven’t been,” a Hormel employee from the 80′s explained.

The nation watched as the picket line held its position. In the fall of 1986, more than one year after the initial strike, union workers ratified a new contract with Hormel. Only 20% of striking employees got their jobs back.

If you have lived in Rochester for a while, you know the story of David Brom.

In the middle of the night on February 18, 1988, David killed four of his family members. His parents Bernard and Paulette, and younger siblings Diane and Rick were all gruesomely murdered with an ax.

David had been unaccounted for until he turned himself in, calling the police from a Rochester post office. The murders left the Rochester community heart broken and confused.

Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson was one of the first responding to the scene, back then as a deputy.

“There was something from the very beginning and I can’t explain it that I guess was eerie,” Torgerson said in a previous interview.

In October of 1989, David was convicted of first-degree murder and given three consecutive life sentences. The ax murderer currently resides at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Moose Lake, Minnesota. David has never revealed the motive to his crimes and continues to stump those close to the case decades later.

Moving through the years to another scary story - Halloween 1991.

Instead of tricks and treats, those in Southeast Minnesota and Northeast Iowa received a nightmare in the form of a snowstorm. A rapidly intensifying low-pressure system moved through the Midwest bringing loads of snow and ice. Parts of Minnesota and Iowa accumulated up to three inches of ice.

The storm left more than 20,000 residents without power as the ice wreaked havoc on powerlines. The National Guard was activated, providing generators to rural communities who were without power for more than two weeks. In Minnesota, the storm claimed 20 lives.

The 90′s brought bigger national and local stories as our viewing area continued to grow, and KTTC was there covering it all.