From the Echo Press archives, 1998: Wild turkeys multiply in Douglas County area four years after release

This week in history in Douglas County.

Picture of Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson

This Week in 1973 – 50 years ago: A computerized Job Bank, which links Alexandria with approximately 60 other State Employment Services offices, now is in full operation statewide. The local employment office, 1118 Broadway in Alexandria, receives a fresh listing daily of all jobs available through any of the employment bureaus in Minnesota. Usually about 3,000 jobs are listed daily. The Job Bank is made possible by computer technology and modern communications equipment.

1883, 140 years ago: County Auditor Bordsen has received official copies of the bridge bills relating to Douglas County as follows: Appropriating $400 for a bridge over the north branch of Long Prairie River in Miltona, $300 for a bridge over the outlet of Lake Darling, $400 for two bridges over the Chippewa River in Urness and $400 for two bridges over the Long Prairie River in Belle River on the state road from Osakis to Perham prairie.

1973, 50 years ago: In 1969 the Business and Professional Woman (BPW) started advancement scholarships for the working women who need additional education or training to qualify for better jobs. The scholarships are also available to women who wish to re-enter the job market, and 396 Career Advancement Scholarships, totaling $95,868, have been awarded to women in 47 states. Marlene Lorsung, president of BPW, and Laurane Wold, BPW, Alexandria Foundation Chair, stated, “Only one Minnesotan has had the advantage of this opportunity and we hope we may find applicants in the Alexandria area.”

1998, 25 years ago: Alexandria needs to develop a high-tech communication system, one that will meet the needs of modern business and industry. According to the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission, this community has actually lost potential new business because it can’t offer things like high-tech video conferencing, electronic commerce and other currently available technology. MEANS (Minnesota Equal Access Network Services) Telecom hopes to provide a solution. MEANS held a conference on integrated telecommunication networks. The organization is a cooperative owned by 67 independent Minnesota telephone companies. It was formed eight years ago to connect smaller companies to major long-distance carriers. It’s also the state’s largest Internet service provider, having just purchased MRNet.

2013, 10 years ago: Viking Coca-Cola Bottling Bottling Company in Alexandria is directing a portion of its sales of the products, Powerade and Powerade Zero, back to participating schools under a program called “Powerade 4 Schools.” Money will be collected on all Powerade and Powerade Zero products sold throughout the Viking Coca-Cola Bottling Co. territory and then divided to high schools based on a percentage of purchased beverages. The program’s goal is to encourage active lifestyles through support of athletic programs within the Viking Coca-Cola Bottling Co. franchise territory. Participating schools include Jefferson High School, Brandon/Evansville, Minnewaska, Browerville, Bertha, Sauk Centre and Osakis.


Just for fun, 1998 – 25 years ago: Carrington House on the Lake bed and breakfast of Alexandria and Xanadu Bed and Breakfast of Battle Lake were named runners-up in the recent Minnesota Office of Tourism advertising contest. Their joint entry culminated in the creation of four two-night packages with extra surprises. The “Lovers Hide-a-way” was enjoyed by their February guests and the “Promise of Spring” special will be available in March and April.

Sports Trivia, 1998 – 25 years ago: Thanks to a wild turkey release program started in 1994, there are anywhere from 300-400 wild turkeys in the wilds of Douglas County. Thanks to the same release program, the first wild turkey hunting season ever will open in Pope County this spring. Four years ago, the first batch of wild turkeys were trapped in southeast Minnesota and released in Pope and Douglas counties. The trap and release program is a joint project of the Department of Natural Resources, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and the local chapter of Gobblers of Glacial Ridge.

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

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