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1968: Feds set aside funds for Evansville center

1918, 100 years ago: A big July 4th celebration is to take place on Lake Freeborn at Ole Holm's park. The big speaker of the day will be Chas. A. Lindbergh. The Holmes City Symphony orchestra will furnish the music and dinner will be served by the Ladies Aid of the Swedish Lutheran church.

J.O. Olson of Nelson had his Oakland car badly damaged when he was run into by a big touring car driven by Fred Martin. The accident happened near the Brinkman farm just this side of Osakis. Fortunately the parties in the cars escaped serious injury but both cars were badly damaged, Mr. Olson's having the radiator, fenders, lamps and some springs broken.

1968, 50 years ago: A Department of Housing and Urban Development federal grant of $330,514 has been reserved for the Village of Evansville until plans for a new community center are finalized. The funds will cover three-fourths of the cost of the building and the community will raise the remainder of the cost.

3M's new plant stands along the new double lane freeway access just south of the city. The 53-acre plant site was purchased in December 1966 through Alexandria Developers and is one of 10 3M plants in Minnesota.

The technical school welcomed the first class in the United States designed to train young men to handle aircraft electronics at a technician's level. The 14 young men who comprise the first class will be joined by another 20 in September.

1993, 25 years ago: Another techno-wonder: digital radio music via satellite via cable TV — has reached the Alexandria area. Called DMX (Digital Music Express), it's being offered by TCI (Telecommunications, Inc.), the Alexandria cable TV company based in Denver, Colorado. DMX is a 24-hour music service, for $10 monthly, with 30 channels of mind-boggling variety of music — everything from soft rock, classical, oldies to big-band swing.

Announcing: First Bank is opening their convenient "walk-up and drive-up" service, at 701 Broadway in Alexandria.

To help expansion of a strength-training room at Jefferson High School, the District 206 School Board decided to chip in $33,000 from the capital expenditure fund.

2008, 10 years ago: Alexandria has been selected as the site of a new veteran outpatient clinic, expected to open in 2009. Ray Kallstrom, director of the Douglas County Veterans Service Office, said the clinic will serve about 3,000 veterans from a 30-mile radius, providing on-site primary care staff, modern outpatient clinics, tele-health systems that maintain contact with specialty doctors, and telemetry of health data or images.

A bit of Garfield's history came tumbling down as workers tore down the old 1916 brick section of the Garfield Elementary School.

Just for fun 2008 — 10 years ago: A symbol of history was purchased by the Alexandria Police Department — a vintage 1971 Honda Police Bike. It was originally purchased by Margaret and Jerry Van Kempen in the early '70s when Jerry was a Honda dealer and he and his wife went to a Honda Motor Show in Tokyo, Japan. Although it was never used in police pursuits, it's the one and only motorcycle ever used by the Alexandria Police Department and is used to lead parades and funeral processions. Police Chief Wyffels said, "It's an important piece of the department's history. History is the roots of where we come from."

Sports Trivia 2008 — 10 years ago: Winning the Alexandria Invitational, the Central Lakes Conference championship, the North-Sub-section 8AAA championship, as well as finishing as the Section 8AAA runners-up ... all added up to a 22-5 record, the best ever by a Cardinal softball team.

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