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From the Echo Press archives, 1972: Windchill plunges to minus 81 for Winnipeg-St. Paul snowmobile race

This week in history in Douglas County.

Picture of Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson

This Week in 1972 – 50 years ago: The subject of the new civil defense-fire siren was brought up again for the umpteenth time at Alexandria’s city council meeting. Alderman Chris McCabe, who’s also a volunteer fireman, said his colleagues at the fire hall were simply not impressed with the new siren and that they want the old one left permanently in its old location. Plans were to eventually move the old siren to Victoria Heights. However, the new unit – purchased with some $5,000 – has had its problems and it appears that it is not very dependable. The result: The old siren stays where it is until the new one is able to wail as it should.

1972, 50 years ago: The Alexandria City Council approved the city Planning Commission recommendation that the parcel of land on the expressway near the I-94 interchange be rezoned from R1A to B-2. This is the area on which the new Country Kitchen will be located. The council also approved a request for a service road which will extend from the Texaco station entrance north to the next township road.

About 30 people showed up at the Alexandria Depot for a public hearing regarding the Burlington Northern Railroad's request to substitute a direct mobile service for the local agent service in Ashby, Evansville, Brandon, Garfield, Nelson, Osakis and West Union. If approved by to the Public Service Commission it would mean the elimination of local agent positions and the removal of all station depots in those areas.

1997, 25 years ago: Complaints about reckless snowmobilers has been on the rise throughout Douglas County. Alexandria Police Chief Chuck Nettestad said that it’s only a matter of time before the city council will have to pass more restrictive ordinances. Nettestad reminds drivers that the legal speed limit in the city is 30 mph, but it is foolhardy to go that fast in the city. Snowmobilers should always use only designated routes in the city. Besides speeding, the most common complaints come from residents whose yards, small shrubs and trees are damaged.

2012, 10 years ago: Twenty-eight people attended a workshop at Carlos State Park to learn the Ojibwe art of making snow-shoes. Ryan Sansness and Wanda Swor led the class. By the second day, some people were wearing gloves to protect their hands. Lacing the shoes can form blisters as nylon rope is pulled taut across a white ash frame.

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Just For Fun, 1972 – 50 years ago: Have you seen the “Have a Good Day” pennant which is flying at the Alexandria 3M Company plant? 3Mers across the country are also wearing “Have a Good Day” and “Target ‘72” buttons as part of a nationwide campaign, a promotion that grew out of the feeling that the mood of the country is changing, according to R.G. Faleide, plant manager. “With the campaign, there has been a shift from overtones of frustration to a hopeful feeling of optimism,” he said.

Sports Trivia, 1972 – 50 years ago: Alexandria’s John Bosek was 25th in a field of 46 finishers of the International 500 snowmobile race from Winnipeg to St. Paul. A total of 304 machines and drivers started the most grueling of snowmobile races. The temperature was 36 degrees below zero with a wind chill of 81 degrees below zero when the racers took off. Only half the machines finished the first day. Bosek suffered frostbite from the first day on. His wife Arlene was getting to be an expert with helping racers with their burns.

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

Related Topics: HISTORYDOUGLAS COUNTY
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