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Observations from the archives, 1963: Loretta Seppanen honored as top leader

1913, 100 years ago: In a recent article in the Dailies we find arrangements being made to construct a speedway across the state from the Twin Cities to Browns Valley. The state is to share the costs says the report. This means that part of the money collected by the one mill tax under the Dunn Good Roads law is to be used for this construction. The report goes on to say that “the state will pay 80 percent of the cost of construction.” The counties benefiting by the road improvements must pay the balance.

1963, 50 years ago: Loretta Seppanen of the LaGrand Busy Bees 4-H Club was honored as the top 4-H Junior Leader in Douglas County. She was presented with the coveted Thornton Junior Leadership trophy, a trophy awarded for many years by the late R.S. Thornton and now awarded annually by his son, Municipal Judge Joe G. Thornton. In more news, the new McCarthy’s Drive-In on South Broadway, the second McCarthy’s to open in the state, began operation on October 17. Hours are from 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Owner, Len Oswald is a retired postal employee who moved to Alexandria from Minneapolis in 1960.

1988, 25 years ago: By an informal vote of 64 to 5, Westwood Addition residents requested the LaGrand Township Board oppose an annexation proposal made by the city of Alexandria. The residents “voted” by signing their names on a tablet passed around the town-hall room after a 90-minute discussion of the pros and cons of the city’s annexation plan. The vote, unlike a referendum, has no legal weight. More than 100 people and the LaGrand Township Board members attended the public meeting, but only Westwood residents were allowed to vote. In the area proposed for annexation, there are 78 homes and 218 people. Last week, the city of Alexandria announced it intends to annex a residential area to the west of the city limits next to Lincoln Elementary School and Lake Winona. In other news, heavy equipment knocked down the old Standard Oil gasoline station at 5th and Broadway in downtown Alexandria. The building, which was thought to have been built in 1917, was removed to make room for a parking lot that will service Anderson Furniture and other businesses on Main Street, north of the location.

2003, 10 years ago: The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry is honoring Alexandria Extrusion Company for its achievement as a Minnesota Star (MNSTAR) worksite. MNSTAR is a Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) program that recognizes companies where managers and employees work together to develop safety and health management systems that go beyond basic compliance with all applicable OSHA standards. Alexandria Extrusion joins an elite list of only 12 MNSTAR worksites in Minnesota.

Just for fun – 1913, 100 years ago: Handkerchief Social: Where? Schoolhouse, District 17. When? December 5, 1913. Ladies, please bring a handkerchief of red, white or blue, hem-stitched, bordered or an initial, and a box lunch or two. Gentlemen, please bring the ladies and well-filled purses, too. The pupils and teachers are preparing a program of songs, dialogues, drills and recitations. The proceeds will be used to buy extras for the school.

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Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.