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A group of 9th graders from Discovery Middle School in Alexandria was in the media spotlight last week during their trip to Washington, D.C. In addition to their photos appearing on the New York Times and Washington Post websites, a news crew from Japan interviewed and featured the group, as well. (Contributed)

Local 9th graders grab spotlight after shutdown ends

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It was all about timing last week for a group of 9th graders on a field trip to Washington, D.C.

Thirty-one students from Discovery Middle School and their eight chaperones arrived in D.C. on October 16, just as there was a sliver of hope that the federal government shutdown would end.


“I was just apprehensive about what we were going to be able to see. We had an alternate route planned,” said Claire Anderson, teacher and trip coordinator.

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Amy Chaffins
Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper. After graduating from St. Cloud State University, Amy’s first job was at KSAX-TV working as an anchor and reporter. From 2003-2010, Amy worked as an editor and reporter for the Pope County Tribune and Starbuck Times newspapers. During her journalism career, Amy earned writing and photography awards from the Associated Press, Minnesota Newspaper Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Amy and her husband, Brandon, live in Alexandria and together write “He Sez, She Sez,” a humor column in the local women’s magazine, Chicz
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