Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.
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If you live in a township, today — Tuesday, March 14 — is your day to make your voice count at the polls and in township government. Every year Minnesota townships are required to have an annual town meeting. It is held the second Tuesday of March. Many townships, including 18 of the 20 townships in Douglas County, also hold elections in March. (The county's other two townships, Brandon and Miltona, hold their elections in November.) Polling hours vary but will be open until 8 p.m.
A public hearing on an ordinance to ban the drilling of new private wells in Alexandria drew a packed crowd at Monday night's council meeting, along with a stream of concerns and questions. Three people from out of the area who represented well drilling groups opposed the idea. Freeport Mayor Rodney Akenson told the council that people should have the right to decide where they're getting their water. He added that wells aren't causing nitrates to get into the groundwater; the contaminants are only discovered when a new well is drilled.
Off-sale liquor on Sunday? The Alexandria City Council is seeking the public's input on off-sale Sunday liquor sales in the city. Last week, Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill authorizing liquor stores to be open on Sundays — something that hasn't been allowed since Minnesota became a state in 1858. The law takes effect on July 2 and allows sales from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
A new city website, a ground lease on the airport, seasonal liquor licenses and other odds and ends were part of the Alexandria City Council's March 13 meeting. Here's a recap of items not reported in other stories about the meeting. New website The council agreed to hire CyberSprout to develop a new website for the city. Located in Alexandria, CyberSprout submitted a proposal of $8,925, to do the work. The amount is based on the approximate number of hours required. It could change slightly.
Two people were injured in all-terrain vehicle accident near Nelson Saturday. Aaron Joseph Salo, 28, of Nelson was driving the ATV near 2014 Homestead Road in Nelson when it overturned at about 5:30 p.m. A 53-year-old passenger, Diane Linda Danner, also of Nelson, was able to return to the residence and got help. Deputies found Salo unconscious near the ATV. He was treated at the scene by North Ambulance and flown by LifeLink to the St. Cloud Hospital where he underwent surgery, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. His condition is not known.
An investigation into credit card fraud and swindle in Osakis led to felony drug charges. Denise Carol Waldvogel, 47, of Osakis was charged Dec. 31, 2016 with felony theft by swindle. Her husband, Curtis Dale Waldvogel, 45, was charged with felony credit card fraud on March 1 and two drug-related counts on Feb. 1 — third-degree possession of meth in excess of 10 grams, about one-third of an ounce, and fifth-degree possession of marijuana.
Some yards in Douglas County these days look like a nearby twig factory blew up. Sticks and branches are scattered all over the place. That'll happen when you get wind gusts of 50 miles per hour or more. Douglas County was under a wind advisory earlier this week. Bracing winds out of the west gusted to 49 miles per hour on Tuesday and peaked to 52 mph on Wednesday.
Lasting Imprint recently organized a pizza and pool party for area families with children who are affected by congenital heart defects. Eleven families attended the event at Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, including families of "warriors" — children who are still battling heart defects. They are Kyler Smith, Ashtyn Fielder, Gus Lang, Riese Kluver, Easton Schultz, Brooklyn Getz, Norah Grittner, Wyatt Seidl, Natalia Remley and Brady Meyer. Also, an "angel" family attended in honor of Noah Stich, who passed away in 2012.
An 18-year-old Ashby woman was injured in a one-vehicle crash on Interstate 94 near the Brandon exit Tuesday night. Mackenzie Rayn Ecker was driving a Mercury Sable west on I-94 at about 11:35 p.m. when it went off the left side of the road and struck a median cable barrier, according to the State Patrol. Ecker, who was wearing a seat belt, was transported to the Douglas County Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office and North Ambulance also responded.
The number of gun permits issued by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office spiked to 700 in 2016. That's more than the combined number of permits, 685, that were issued during a five-year period from 2005 through 2009. It's a trend that's happening statewide.