1920, 100 years ago: With characteristic enterprise, the businessmen of Alexandria are planning a big community festival in celebration of the completion of their street paving. A free lunch, band music, community singing, all kinds of sports and dancing on the newly paved streets are only a few of the things planned.

1970, 50 years ago: The City of Alexandria will no longer be directly involved in the garbage collection business. At a special meeting, city council members present voted 3-1 for a plan devised by Mayor Hansen. The Mayor proposed that the city would let the collection and disposition of trash out for bids to interested private haulers. While the actual collection of garbage within the city will be done by private contractors, the city will still have control of the operation through the purse-strings and ordinance regulations.

National School Lunch Week will be observed in over 77,000 schools across the nation as the National School Lunch Program celebrates its 24th anniversary.

The Alexandria City Hall will undergo some minor remodeling on the inside. A surplus in the building repair and maintenance fund will take care of the $1,200 renovation. The work will include several door location changes and a new hallway leading into the back offices. Presently, traffic is routed through the council chambers or the city clerk’s office, the only access to the rear offices.

1995, 25 years ago: Easy access to information, convenient courses from a college or university and statewide conferences without ever leaving town. All of this could be available in the next two years if Douglas County is selected for two new telecommunication grant and aid programs. The programs were introduced to the county commissioners by Peg Werner, the director of the Viking Library System. Werner asked the board to set aside $13,737 this year to indicate interest in the programs. The first, she explained, would make Douglas County eligible for nearly $8,000 in telecommunications aid for equipment and training. The second could mean $2 million to $3 million to set up a new regional telecommunications linkup with interactive television and the Internet (the information highway).

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2010, 10 years ago: A newly formed group, the Lakes Area Theatre, is joining with KXRA 1490 AM to offer local audiences the opportunity to listen to “mindful theater” through radio performances. The idea of forming a local radio theater group came from Mike Roers of Alexandria. The troupe is made up of many talented regional individuals working as writers, directors, voice actors, sound effects technicians, musicians and recording technicians. The theater plans to use the talent of area individuals to produce weekly shows.

The Alexandria Technical and Community College recently provided “Caterpillar Basic Engine and Diesel Engine” training for 35 members of the Minnesota National Guard. Randy Goeke, diesel instructor, provided the training.

Just for fun 2010 – 10 years ago: Lee Olmschenk of Sauk Centre hauled in a 55-inch Muskie out of Lake Miltona in September. He caught it using his own custom-made bucktail that he calls the Triple-Z. Olmschenk says he’s on the lake from June to mid-October and has caught a number of muskies ranging from 50-52 inches, along with a 53-incher off Miltona and a 54-inch catch on Mille Lacs.

Sports trivia 2010 – 10 years ago: Alexandria’s Andrew Rentschler proved himself as one of the best shooters in the country when he participated in the World Trapshooting Championships in Sparta, Illinois. Rentschler brought home a third-place award for his class in the Clay Target Championship. He shot 197 out of 200 to put him in a tie with eight other Class B competitors. Rentschler stepped up in a pressure-packed shoot-out to cement his third-place finish. He busted all 50 of his targets.

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