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Observations from the archives, 1914: Ice harvest starts with 40 carloads

By Rachel Barduson - Echo Press Columnist

1914, 100 years ago: The annual ice harvest on Big Stone Lake near Ortonville commenced last Friday with a shipment of 40 carloads. The railroad ice houses at Aberdeen, Milbank, Montevideo and Fargo will be filled with ice from this point, besides several icehouses owned by individuals along the line. The work is being conducted by Krueger Bros. of Aberdeen, and Fred Petterson and Son of Alexandria. The ice is about six inches thick.

1964, 50 years ago: The village of Evansville has become the third municipality in Douglas County in recent months to benefit from a federal grant for a utility improvement. Senators Hubert H. Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy wired this newspaper the following: “We are pleased to inform that the Department of Health, Education and Welfare has awarded $34,050 water pollution control grant to Evansville, Minn., for two lift stations, two force mains, interceptor sewer, sewage treatment plant and outfall sewer. Total project cost $114,100.” In other words, the federal grant will pay for $34,050 of the $114,100. In other news, ABC Radio’s live coverage of the events surrounding the Winter Olympics is broadcast on KXRA at 5:40-5:50 p.m. with daily interview programs from Innsbruck, Austria by sports commentator Tom Harmon. ABC Radio will also broadcast 16 five-minute programs live from Innsbruck each week with Jim McKay, Jim Simpson and Curt Gowdy as commentators.

1989, 25 years ago: If the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and the Alexandria Police Department ever decide to merge their dispatching functions into one location, the chief of police wants it to be at the police station. Chief Charles Nettestad made that abundantly clear at the Alexandria City Council meeting. Currently, the sheriff’s department and police department, just two blocks apart, do their own dispatching. Because of the 911 emergency system and other crises that arise, there is some overlapping of dispatch duties and communication between the two systems. As it is now, all 911 calls come into the sheriff’s office. Nettestad told the council that the police station has always provided easy main-street accessibility to people and that he would like to see the station remain that way: people-oriented. With just minor remodeling, said Nettestad, the police station could easily be transformed into a dispatching center for both police and sheriff duties. The station’s recently purchased computer system could easily be adapted to the 911 emergency capabilities, he added.

2004, 10 years ago: Another successful year for the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission (AAEDC) is in the books. Literally. The AAEDC recently released its annual report for 2003, showing a combined value in excess of $4.5 million for its projects. Its projects for the year led to a tax capacity increase of more than $86,000. “We met our mission of increasing economic vitality to the area and creating wealth through tax base and jobs,” said Jason Murray, AAEDC director.

Just for fun – 1964, 50 years ago: The next Senior Citizens party will be held this Friday, January 31, in the Lincoln School auditorium and will be sponsored by the Alexandria Traveling Men’s Association. Master of Ceremonies will be Ercel Aga and entertainment will be provided by Dr. Paul Hanson’s 20-piece Senior Citizens Band. Salesmen are reminded to be on hand Friday night to provide transportation for senior citizens who wish it.

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