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1968: State warns pollution threatens lakes Winona-Agnes-Henry

1918, 100 years ago: Fire broke out in the back shed of the Central House barn, burning it to the ground and almost destroying the main building. The firemen did splendid work, otherwise the whole structure would have gone and probably other buildings as well. It was first noticed by Selma Johnson, one of the telephone girls who gave the alarm.

Charles Lange is progressing nicely with the fine new barn he is erecting on his place on Lake Henry.

A letter received from Albin Michaelson by his parents stated that he was enroute to France. He had been at Camp Lewis, Tacoma, Washington, and passed through Willmar and St. Paul. He was not permitted to telegraph his folks so they did not get to see him.

1968, 50 years ago: The familiar path to the door of the Board of Public Works to pay your monthly utility bill will be a little longer when the new warehouse and office building of the Alexandria Light and Power plant will be occupied. The new steel building is located at 4th and Fillmore, next to the new power plant.

A total loss of the Winona-Agnes-Henry chain of lakes for recreational purposes will likely result unless effective remedial action is started in the immediate future. A report by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency concerning the "eutrophication" of the chain was requested by the Board of Public Works. A survey found that nutrients discharged into the lakes spur the growth of a variety of algae which is said to cause ear and skin diseases contracted by swimmers. Chief contributor of these nutrients causing algae growth is considered to be the sewage plant.

The new office of the Soil Conservation Service is now located at Quincy and Highway 27 in Alexandria.

1993, 25 years ago: Local residents and environmental officials are taking steps to save an area masterpiece — Inspiration Peak. The 82-acre park, located in south Otter Tail County off County Road 38, has one of the highest scenic overlooks in west-central Minnesota. High traffic volume is causing the park to be overrun with vandalism, damage by off-road vehicle use, and soil erosion problems, according to DNR personnel from Lake Carlos State Park, who maintain the property.

The search is on for a name! Because the new middle-level school being built on McKay Avenue belongs to the residents of District 206, the school administration is inviting the public to participate in the name process.

2008, 10 years ago: Construction of the new public works building — located on a 17-acre site near the fairgrounds — could begin as soon as October.

Alexandria Orthopedic Associates and Nordic Trails Golf Course hosted 34 bionic golf participants and six medical professionals at the seventh annual Bionic Golf Challenge for individuals who have had joint replacement surgery. Proceeds from the challenge are donated to the Arthritis Foundation.

Just for fun 1968 — 50 years ago: From Erc Aga's Potpourri column, "If zip codes are bugging you, the Mrs. Jaycees have the answer. A full book of national Zip Codes is now available for one buck a throw. Most stores have them and they are sure handy to have on hand."

Sports Trivia 1968 — 50 years ago: Wayne Elton, playing probably the best golf of his life, won the Alexandria Country Club Championship by defeating Poik Weatherwax. Elton was pretty close to par all summer. In the tournament, he whipped Dick Wagner in his first match and then proceeded to knock off Greg Rose, runner-up in last year's Resorter's tourney, and Pete Boerner before finishing off Weatherwax.

2008 — 10 years ago: Alexandria's Kyle Donlea set five state records as a competitive powerlifter in his 198-pound weight class earlier this year. The 2008 Jefferson High School graduate set the new standard in the bench, squat, deadlift, total and in the raw open division for squat. That success earned him an opportunity to compete in the United States Association of Powerlifting Raw Nationals, which takes place in July.

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