From the Echo Press archives, 1973: Would-be burglars did something right

This week in history in Douglas County.

Picture of Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson

This Week in 1998 – 25 years ago: In an ongoing effort to improve its coverage of news and events throughout Douglas County, the Echo Press has added a new reporter to its staff. Lowell Anderson of Alexandria was recently named to a newly created position at the newspaper: out-county reporter/photographer. He will cover school board and city council news from the cities throughout the county – Brandon, Carlos, Evansville, Forada, Garfield, Hoffman, Kensington, Millerville, Miltona and Nelson. The addition of Anderson bolsters the Echo Press news team to four – three full-time reporters and Editor Al Edenloff. There are also four other staff members in the newspaper’s Sports and Lifestyles departments and a graphics editor.

1973, 50 years ago: Tentelino Enterprises of Alexandria is in the process of a $150,000 remodeling and expansion which, when completed, will offer Andria theater-goers a choice of two movies nightly. The move was made possible with Tentelino’s purchase of the building next door which previously housed the Gamble’s Hardware store. When finished, the Andria will be one of the most modern equipped theaters in the state. Completely new projection equipment will be installed in both theaters. Some of the 700 seats in the existing facility will be replaced by new lounge-rocker type chairs. All 220 seats in the new theater will be the lounge-rocker type.

1998, 25 years ago: A bird-house building frenzy at Alexandria’s Viking Plaza was a triumph of community involvement at its best. Hundreds of people, young and old, built 1,500 houses that will become part of a three-year scientific experiment to improve habitat for wood ducks and bluebirds. It was all part of the first annual West Central Youth Habitat Day, a joint project of the Alexandria area Viking Sportsmen and the Junior Viking Sportsmen (students of Jefferson High School). Parents, children and grandparents who built the houses came from all over the west-central Minnesota area and from as far as Fergus Falls. Participants built over 900 wood duck houses and 400 bluebird houses from pre-cut wood pieces.

2013, 10 years ago: More than a foot of snow was reported in parts of the county, including 14 inches in Miltona and 13 in Carlos. On Sunday afternoon, Feb. 10, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) advised no travel in west-central Minnesota due to the heavy snow, wind and poor visibility. The City of Alexandria declared a snow emergency Sunday and schools and business, church and community events were closed throughout the area.

Just for fun, 1973 – 50 years ago: The would-be burglars didn’t know it, but they did Jerry VanKempen a favor the other night when they tried to break open a cash register at his Freeway Motor Sports building on south Broadway. Jerry says the cash register hadn’t worked right for months. “While trying to open it the ‘yeggs’ took a hammer to it. They didn’t get any money,” Jerry said, “and the cash register has worked fine ever since.”


1883 – 140 years ago: The Alexandria high school has received electrical and other apparatus, all of which have been long-needed as “educators tools.”

Sports Trivia, 1983 – 40 years ago: A new dimension in local news programming was started when Alexandria Newspaper’s new television station broadcasted a play-by-play account of a local basketball game. EchoVision 30 video-taped a girl’s basketball game between Brandon and Evansville. Alexandria Newspaper’s Larry Holverson, sports editor, gave a play-by-play description of the action. The venture was new to the staff of the newspaper and the video-taping equipment was just recently acquired. Arlan Anderson, chief photographer, ran the video-tape camera. Both Holverson and Anderson agreed that the taping went well and local programming will improve and expand its scope as more video-tape is recorded.

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

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