1970: Banke heads new environmental group

This week in history in Douglas County.

1920, 100 years ago: Osakis will celebrate “Legion Day” on Monday, Sept. 6. All stores and businesses will be closed so that everyone can take part in the big celebration. If you have an American flag or patriotic decorations of any kind, please decorate your business or home. It is hoped that all will be appropriately decorated and fly Old Glory.

1970, 50 years ago: An organizational meeting of the newly-formed citizens group, Environmental Information Committee (EIC), was held at the area tech cafeteria. Several suggestions in which EIC could direct itself include the possibility of diverting contaminated storm sewer water run-off through treatment systems, and checking the flow of polluted Lake Henry into Lake L’Homme Dieu in the spring of the year. Bill Banke, high school Biology teacher, and active sportsman and conservationist, has been elected president of the group.

A growing number of men and women of Douglas County are getting social security checks each week from Washington D.C. A total of 4,314 persons in the local area, more than ever before, are on the receiving end. It compares with 3,583 four years ago.

1995, 25 years ago: Construction on Alexandria’s new city hall, 704 Broadway, is progressing rapidly. The timetable to complete the project is tight because city officials need to have some areas inside the facility finished in time for November’s election to accommodate voters.

Jim Rohn of KIKV-FM in Alexandria has been nominated for the “Outstanding Broadcast Radio Personality” award to be presented at the 46th annual Minnesota Broadcasters Association convention. Rohn began his television career in Fargo, North Dakota in the ‘50s and was the Channel 7 weatherman in Alexandria since the early ‘70s before joining KIKV radio.


The Runestone Museum raised over $8,000 through an auction “to make some space” and clear out unneeded items. Some of the items auctioned off included several display cases and shelves, old furniture, wood stoves, mannequins, an old Burlington-Northern caboose complete with 60 feet of track and ties, a Viking ship replica and many miscellaneous items.

2010, 10 years ago: Eighteen motorcycle drivers supporting “The Nation of Patriots Tour” brought an American flag to Apol’s in Alexandria as a tribute to America’s Armed Forces – past, present and fallen. Their leg of the tour began in Fargo.

District 206 Superintendent Terry Quist is excited for the start of the district’s 130th school year. Alexandria Public Schools is the county’s largest employer with approximately 640 full and part-time staff members. District 206 school buses travel more than 50,000 miles per year, taking more than 2,500 students to and from school. Last year close to 50,000 meals were served; staff members and students were supported by 970 volunteers who contributed more than 16,500 hours of time.

Just for fun 1995 – 25 years ago: The “Windows 95” software package made its debut as computer buffs waited in long lines throughout the nation at stores selling the product. Owner of Computer Specialists Unlimited, Scott Gorham, in Alexandria, said, “The software sells for about $90 and what it does basically is allow computer users easier access so that they don’t have to learn a lot of computer lingo and functions.” Gorham thinks Windows 95 is a bit “over-hyped,” but users “won’t have to know all those terms like bits and bytes, ROMS and RAMS.”

Sports trivia 1970 – 50 years ago: Doug Bah and Larry Englund have been named to captain the Evansville Tiger football team this fall. Gary Johnke is in his third year as head coach. Pacing the Kensington Vikings are tri-captains Roger Swenson, Steve Augdahl and Dale Strommen. Cyrus and Barrett failed to field a football team this year so the conference schedule had to be adjusted. Villard will be tough to beat again this year and Underwood is rated by many of the coaches as the team to beat as Brandon and Ashby round out the the Little Eight Conference.

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

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