From the Echo Press archives, 1973: Fuel shortage leads to chilly Central School in Alexandria

This week in history in Douglas County.

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Rachel Barduson
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This Week in 1973 – 50 years ago: The announcement blurted out through Central School’s address system on Monday, “We’re asking all children to dress a bit warmer tomorrow...we’ve been forced to cut back on room temperature because of a fuel shortage.” This was the first real indication that the long talked about fuel shortage was reaching out this far. School Business Administrator Harvey Tewes told the Echo that school was informed that their supplier – Apco – could no longer supply its fuel oil needs. The old portion of Central is heated by steam. However, the new addition uses natural gas, with No. 2 oil as standby heat. Tewes said that there was an 8- to 10-day supply of fuel on hand when it was decided to turn back the thermostat to conserve what they had and school will not be closed due to the shortage. Both Jefferson High School and the area tech school appear safe from jeopardy as they use No. 4 oil, which is more plentiful than No. 2.

1898, 125 years ago: The Third Annual Silence Tournament of the Whist Association will meet in Alexandria. Members of this “hush” association talk little, smoke profoundly and ponder deeply.

1973, 50 years ago: When the Alexandria Area Technical School opened its doors in 1964, three business courses were offered: general secretarial, accounting and clerical training. Each of those three sections had 20 students. This year 110 students are enrolled in the clerical program. The nine-month clerical-key punch program is designed to provide students with saleable skills in basic accounting, typing, business machines, filing and data processing machines, key punch and on machines associated with key punch operations.

1998, 25 years ago: So far, almost 11,000 people have seen the movie “Titanic” in Alexandria. Seldom has there been a more popular movie, said John Perino of Tentelino Enterprises, which owns the Cinema 7 movie complex in Alexandria. The only movies in recent memory that came close to the success of Titanic are “Grumpier Old Men,” “Dances With Wolves,” and “Jurassic Park.”

2013, 10 years ago: Osakis-based Panther Distillery, Minnesota’s first and only legal whiskey distillery, bottled its first batch of White Water Whiskey and it hit local liquor store shelves last week. During its tasting and signing events held in Alexandria, Osakis and Nelson, Master Distiller Brett Grinager and Panther Distillery owner Adrian Panther, visited with customers about the new whiskey and its production process.


Just for fun, 1998 – 25 years ago: Interest in a fictional murder-mystery plot on the Internet is thickening. Organized by the Echo Press and the Alexandria Police Department, “Big Ole’s Revenge” debuted on the Internet for those who want to try to solve it. An entire 6th grade class pre-registered for the mystery’s grand finale – “Community Crime Solver Night” – at Discovery Middle School. At Crime Solver Night, those who have read the mystery will be able to question suspects and examine evidence to try and solve the made-up crimes. Prizes, including a $100 prize from the Echo Press, will be awarded to those who uncover the most clues.

Sports Trivia, 1973 – 50 years ago: Lefty Ranweiler, sports editor of the West Central Daily News in Willmar, reports that a meeting will be held in Benson trying to come up with a workable new conference because the West Central Conference is trying to realign now that Glenwood and Sauk Centre have dropped out. The idea would be to have two six-team units in the conference. The large schools in the present WCC, Alexandria and Willmar, would team up with new schools from Fergus Falls, Brainerd, St. Cloud Apollo and St. Cloud Tech for one division. The other four schools left in the loop, Montevideo, Litchfield, Benson and Morris, would invite Hutchinson and Breckenridge, to join them.

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

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This week in history in Douglas County.
This week in history in Douglas County.
The following is an opinion column written by an Echo Press editorial staff member. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.
In total in Douglas County, we have fewer than 10 prosecuting attorneys to review and prosecute the roughly 12,500 cases that come before them.