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Observations from the Archives: 2007: Freedom to Breathe Act bans public indoor smoking

1917, 100 years ago: The farmers of this county are steadily securing well bred stock and developing that industry to a remarkable extent. John Uptegraft of Belle River just received a full blood Holstein bull calf, and he reports that the mother of the calf produced 40 pounds of milk a day and 40 pounds of butter in a week. This is some record and will soon show results in Mr. Uptegraft's herd. ... The A.C. King and John Giesler cottages on the north side of Lake L'Homme Dieu were destroyed by fire last Sunday. The Giesler family was out to the cottage during the day and had left shortly before the fire broke out. They do not know what caused the fire.

1967, 50 years ago: Julian Loken, chairman of the Douglas Soil and Water Conservation District boasted success as they finished the tree planting season with their newly purchased tree planter, planting more than 41,000 trees in about 11 eight-hour days. Loken said the 33 people who used the planter really marveled at its operation. About 30,000 additional trees were hand-planted by other producers, making for 71,000 trees planted to reforest the county lands ... Bellanca Aircraft was awarded "Plane of the Year" by Plane and Pilot magazine, stating, "Pilots buy planes by performance, price, looks and reputation, and the Bellanca Viking 300 rated tops. Its 24,500-foot ceiling is some 6,000 feet above its closest competitor and the price is from $6,000 to $7,500 lower than similarly equipped aircraft." ... Persons older than 70 years of age will now be able to get free fishing licenses. Sen. M.W. Bursch was a co-author of the measure passed by the 1967 legislature.

1992, 25 years ago: The state of Minnesota purchased a large quantity of the "Desert Storm" food to sell to government agencies, according to Sheriff Bill Ingebrigtsen. Four thousand of those meals were then purchased by the Douglas County Sheriff's Department for $1,000 — 25 cents a meal, saving local taxpayers about $5,000. Originally intended to be eaten on the battlefields of Saudi Arabia, Ingebrigtsen noted that food for prisoners is usually bought in bulk from local distributors and usually amount to about $25,000 a year ... Wayne Quernemoen, director of technical operations at the Alexandria television station, KCCO-Channel 7/12, announced that a new state-of-the-art, professionally designed news set is being built. The set has been designed to "be original and identify the station to viewers" with complimentary images to make the newscast more presentable to the public ... Jennifer Rentz, R.N., Cardiac Rehabilitation Coordinator at Douglas County Hospital, was elected to the Board of Directors of the newly organized Minnesota Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

2007, 10 years ago: Douglas County Hospital is one of a few Minnesota hospitals to offer active patients a unique alternative to total hip replacement: Birmingham hip resurfacing (BHR). Paul Dale, MD at DCH, performed the first BHR in the state of Minnesota outside the Twin Cities and Stillwater ... Signed into law on May 16, the Freedom to Breathe Act will eliminate indoor smoking at all bars, restaurants, bingo halls and other public places in the state. The bill goes into effect Oct. 1.

Just for fun — 2007 — 10 years ago: Legendary band man Johnny Holm will headline Alexandria's "Awake the Lakes" festival. Holm, leader and frontman of the "most widely known and traveled band in America," will stage his raucous, largely impromptu show at Second Avenue along the shores of Lake Agnes.

SPORTS TRIVIA — 1967 — 50 years ago: From Erc Aga's Potpourri column: "The Sound of Music at the Andria, broke all records for playing here. Six weeks and two days. Over three times the population of Alexandria attended in the first four weeks. Ray Vonder Haar tells me he was amazed at the repeat business ... some saw it three times ... many, many saw it twice. Good show."