1918, 100 years ago: Mr. and Mrs. Carl Wold were recipients of a very pleasant surprise when a large host of friends from all parts of the county came and gave expression to the high regard in which this couple is held by the farmers of Douglas County. Mr. Ole Langhaug was the spokesman of the gathering and handed the couple a purse containing more than $350 as a practical demonstration of the feelings of the country people towards the former editor of the Park Region Echo and his wife.
1968, 50 years ago: Hospital rates in Alexandria will increase $5 per day as of Nov. 1, according to action taken by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners. Present rates at both Our Lady of Mercy and Douglas County hospitals are $23 per day in a double room and $25 per day in a single room, increasing to $28 and $30 respectively. This action was taken at the recommendation of the Douglas County Hospital Board, which also recommended increases in salaries for employees of the hospital. Our Lady of Mercy hospital will be raised the same, covering all employees.
Lester H. Gaugert, president, has announced that, effective Sept. 3, 1968, the First Farmers National Bank in Alexandria has changed its name to the First National Bank.
Four bucket seats were stolen from a 1962 Corvair and a 1964 Pontiac at the Angen-Auto Sales Used Car Lot. Harland Angen said that the seats had a total new value of $800.
1993, 25 years ago: A television show called "NYPD Blue" brought about 100 picketers out in force on the sidewalks just outside the KSAX-TV station in Alexandria. The picketing is part of a nationwide effort by some groups to convince television stations not to show "NYPD Blue," a police show series. The picketers say they object to the female frontal nudity, profanity and violence in the series.
The 68 people arrested in an 18-month drug sting operation in the Douglas County area did not comprise any sort of drug network "octopus" or "cartel," according to Douglas County Attorney Ann Carrott. The sting operation was a series of arrests based on extensive undercover law enforcement work. The drugs seized most often were small amounts of marijuana, although in a few instances cocaine and LSD were confiscated.
2008, 10 years ago: Alexandria resident and owner of Pete's County Market, Maynard "Bud" Peterson, has donated $1.5 million to the new YMCA in honor of his wife, Sylvia Peterson, who died in 2003. In recognition of Peterson's contribution, the two-story, 56,000 square-foot building will be named the "Maynard and Sylvia Peterson Program Center." Included in the contribution is a $600,000 match challenge, meaning Peterson will match "dollar for dollar" the total money donated by the entire community, up to $600,000.
Workers dug out sections of the city's biggest parking lot, located on Fillmore Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. The lot serves many popular downtown businesses, including Raapers Sports Bar and Grill, Cowing Robards and From the Heart.
Just for fun 2008 — 10 years ago: Mel Paradis, co-owner of KXRA Radio and Paradis Broadcasting in Alexandria, will be inducted into the Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame in October. Paradis is among 10 of the 2008 honorees from throughout the state.
Sports Trivia 1993 — 25 years ago: Hal (Buzz) Miller, 1966 Alexandria graduate, begins his 16th season as head girl's tennis coach at Willmar. In his career, Miller has a 262-69-1 record overall and has a 105-22-1 record in the Central Lakes Conference. In the 16-year history of the CLC, Miller's teams have won seven championships.
1993 — 25 years ago: Dave Harris will kick off the fall sports season on KXRA-AM (1490) Radio with his "Coaches Corner" show live from the Country Kitchen in Alexandria.
Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.