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1918: Railroad wrecks claim five lives

1918, 100 years ago: Five persons have met death by railroad accidents. A section crew of eight men, coming home from work on a motor section car, had reached the overhead bridge when they saw a through-freight coming from the south. They got across the bridge and all got out except Edward Schuck, a Bohemian, born in Austria. The second accident happened when an automobile was struck squarely at a crossing. Reports are that a party of five from Brooten were driving very slowly, viewing the lake. Either the engine stalled on the track or they got on the track just in time to be struck by the noon local going south, killing four.

The Red Cross chapters of Brandon, Moe and Urness, will join in a big auction. There will be various amusements to entertain the people; also the ladies of the three chapters have arranged to serve lunch all day.

1968, 50 years ago: Fleet Airlines announced a continuation of Flight 421 and 422, ensuring afternoon departure service from Fergus Falls and Alexandria to the Twin Cities. Fleet is now equipped with Beech 18 VOPAR conversion aircraft, providing greater passenger and baggage capacity than the Piper Aztec aircraft previously used. The new aircraft will have a pilot and a co-pilot.

The Alexandria Telephone Company noted an increase in the number of telephones from 6,367 to 6,799 and long distance calls from 309,689 in 1966 to 360,782 in 1967.

Darling Ranch Resort estimated that over 7,000 visitors flooded in to their open house last week.

1993, 25 years ago: The Alexandria City Council issued a conditional use permit to the Lakes Area Humane Society to construct an animal shelter in the Industrial Park. The humane society has not yet purchased the land, but a local resident has generously agreed to front the costs and the next step will be to make a request to purchase the lot from the city.

Garfield Elementary School was awarded a $700 grant for the Adopt-a-Room program as part of a parent involvement project. The state mandated that money be spent on activities that involved parents working together with their children and the teachers on school projects, according to Tom Andert, school principal.

2008, 10 years ago: Molly Vogt will take on the role of principal at Voyager Elementary School after Scott Heckert became principal at Washington Elementary. Vogt was one of seven candidates for the position out of a pool of more than 60 applicants.

As part of an effort to encourage more physical activity, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota has selected Douglas County as one of eight Minnesota communities to receive its Active Living funding, which will support a variety of grassroots initiatives designed to make towns, cities and counties across the state more active-living friendly for walking and biking.

Just for fun 1968 — 50 years ago: From Erc Aga's Potpourri column: "Bellanca was entertaining the idea of presenting Arthur Godfrey with a Viking 300 as a gift...until they looked into it a bit. The old Red Head would be happy to have one along with a little stipend for accepting the gift...which in itself would most likely be several times the amount of the plane! By and by...the 137th Viking 300 (that's the new model) will roll through the hanger door this week."

Sports Trivia 1968 — 50 years ago: From Dave Harris' column, Sport Shorts: "Baseball experts claim pitching is 75 percent of the game and if this is so, then that could be one reason the three Alexandria baseball teams, the Clippers, Legion and VFW, are doing so well. Kurt Sieve, Tom Bergner, Jim Lantz (the only left-hander in the group) and Norty Blanchard have compiled a 10-3 record, 6-3 with the Clippers and 4-0 with the Legion. The VFW has only played two games, but indications are that pitching could be strong there too with Dave Christianson and Rob Ahlfors."

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

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