This Week in 1996 – 25 years ago: Plans to combine two Alexandria ice rinks into an “ultimate skating center” hit a rough patch when bids for the project came in at just over $450,000 - $100,000 higher than expected. The Alexandria City Council approved the skating center plan back in June. The project would connect the city’s Runestone Community Center with the Alexandria Area Hockey Association’s new west rink. While expressing strong support, the council decided to defer the bids for two weeks and try to come up with a way to cover the extra costs.

1971, 50 years ago: Stan Kaess, Principal of the Evansville High School, was selected by a county committee as the Outstanding School Administrator of Douglas County. Stan represented the county at the School Administrators Recognition Day at the 1971 Minnesota State Fair. The Board of Directors of the Minnesota School Board Association and the Minnesota State Fair Board were sponsors...It wasn’t the middle of the winter, but a snowmobile show was held at the Alexandria State Bank parking lot with nearly all dealers represented. Included in the show was a drawing for a snowmobile suit which was won by Wayne Whiting.

1996, 25 years ago: In preparation for the upcoming primary and general elections, Harvey Tewes conducted an election process class with about 50 election judges throughout the county. As in previous years, Tewes emphasized the importance of adhering scrupulously to the state guidelines, especially during the ballot-counting process, adding that paper ballots must always be counted into stacks of 25...Productive Alternatives, a non-profit corporation with a branch in Alexandria, is helping area residents with a variety of disabilities find jobs in the community. Headquartered in Fergus Falls, the corporation also has branches in Little Falls, Moorhead, Parkers Prairie and Perham. Community Service Coordinator, Lynette Holtberg, said Productive Alternatives was established to promote the social welfare of people with disabilities through vocational and rehabilitative training...Luree Lybeck is about to begin her 70th year of subscribing to the newspaper. Lybeck grew up on a farm near Union Lake, where she developed her fondness for reading the Echo Press, then called the Lake Region Echo. Since then, she has seen many transitions, including the unification of the Lake Region Echo, the Lake Region Press and the Lake Region Shopping Guide.

2011, 10 years ago: Walking and bicycling to Lincoln Elementary School in Alexandria will soon be safer. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported that Alexandria’s application to receive a $268,432 grant through “Safe Routes to School” program was approved. The project calls to build sidewalks on both sides of 12th Avenue, and as a second priority, on the south side of 13th Avenue between Lark and Elm Street. The plan also includes 6 new street lights, 20 stop signs, crosswalks, crossing guard areas and other improvements designed to improve safety and encourage walking and biking.

Just for fun – 1971 - 50 years ago: Alexandria’s Garden Center has scheduled a grand opening for its newly remodeled and expanded bowling facilities. Now hailed as the largest and finest bowling center between the Twin Cities and Fargo, Garden Center boasts 20 fully automatic lanes plus a complete Pro Shop. LeRoy Meyer, owner, will also start several new bowling events. He’s also offering Gold Bond Stamps as gifts for bowling achievements.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Sports Trivia 1971 – 50 years ago: The 1971 Jefferson High School football cheerleaders are Pat Fitzgerald, Pat Klein, Carla Solum, Anne Nodland, Mary Jo Fladwood, Lynn Boysen, Terri Wienk and Kim Haaven...1996 – 25 years ago: Hal Miller, former Alexandria athlete and graduate, has begun his 19th season as head girls tennis coach at Willmar High School this fall. Miller has had a most successful career while at WHS.

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