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Observations from the archives, 2004: Fire department called to eight gas line breaks

1914, 100 years ago: There are only a few school board candidates for the terms of H.T. Holverson and Hugh Leach, which terminate at this time. Mr. Holverson positively refuses to accept the position again, having held it now for nine years. Mr. Leach will accept re-election if tendered him, but he will not canvas for it. Dr. J.J. Volker and C.W. Colbjornsen have also been suggested. … The county commissioners bought four grab hooks to be used in case of searching for drowned people. They are kept by the sheriff so as to be easily accessible when needed. … Girl wanted for kitchen work at the Letson House.

1964, 50 years ago: Kathy Schultz, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Al Schultz of Alexandria, will represent the city in the Aquatennial Queen contest. … Reigning over Brandon 4-H Achievement Day, crowned by the Brandon American Legion, were King Verle Grove and Queen Barbara Kloehn. … Alexandria’s representatives at the 27th annual Legionville school safety patrol training center at North Long Lake in Brainerd are Charles Purdy, Douglas Hausken, Duane Cihlar, Terry Quist, Craig Johnson, Pat Sherman and Greg Sonstegard. … Jay H. Parsons of Pasadena, CA, brother of well-known Joe Parsons of Lake Miltona, has contributed four lakeshore lots to the state of Minnesota for development as a park and a boat landing. The 2-1/2 acre park will be known as Parsons Memorial Park and is located on the east shore, directly west of the city of Miltona.

1989, 25 years ago: District 206 has been chosen as one of four districts in the nation to launch a pilot Renaissance program in its high schools. Mike Ennis, assistant principal of Central Junior High, who attended a conference, said the program includes a wide variety of perks that students could earn through strong educational performance. Advantages of the program include higher grade point averages, better attendance, lower drop-out rates, fewer discipline problems, and improved student-teacher morale. … Residents of West Douglas County will debate the question of whether or not they should build a golf course. Meetings will be at the Pair-a-Dice Café in Millerville and the Brandon Auditorium. Discussion will revolve around the community support available, feasibility of a course, golfing interest in the county, cost estimates, and a possible location.

2004, 10 years ago: The Alexandria Fire Department has been called to eight scenes where a contractor has struck a gas line. The most recent was on Third Avenue near Irving. That one forced the evacuation of two businesses, Christopherson’s Bait and Papa John’s Pizza. It took crews more than two hours to repair the line. Fire Chief Shane Schmidt said there’s always the possibility of a structure catching on fire but the worst scenario would involve the gas unknowingly moving into a low-lying area and later causing an explosion.

Just for fun – 1964, 50 years ago: Local consumption of soft drinks in 1963, according to the latest estimate, was at a rate of 129 bottles a year for every man, woman and child in the county. On an overall basis, some 2,735,000 8-ounce bottles were consumed by the local population. This was in addition to un-bottled soda served in lunchrooms and elsewhere. The reports on the soft-drink business and its operations come from the Department of Commerce and from the industry itself. They cover the nation as a whole and each of the states.

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