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.
- Member for
- 4 years 6 months
A hot topic — regulating e-cigarettes or vaping — is back on the Alexandria City Council's agenda for Monday, Oct. 23. The council is considering what would be its biggest crackdown on vaping yet — enacting a local clean indoor air policy that would ban the use of e-cigarettes, e-cigars or e-pipes in all public places, including restaurants, bars, retail stores, commercial establishments, hospitals, nursing homes, auditoriums, common areas of rental apartment buildings and other places that are listed under Minnesota's Clean Indoor Air Act.
Residents who haven't been able to drive on County Road 12 north of Garfield this summer are wondering: When will the roadwork end? The road has been closed between Garfield and County Road 58 shortly after the $1.2 million project began this past July. A detour was set up on County Roads 58, 109, 82 and 22. The project was scheduled to be completed in mid-October but rain during construction caused work to fall behind schedule, according to Dave Robley, Douglas County Public Works director.
A 28-year-old Evansville man pleaded not guilty to three felony charges — possessing stolen property, damaging property and possessing methamphetamine. Robert Paul Radtke also pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanors charges — tampering with a motor vehicle and another stolen property charge. Radtke, whose address was initially listed as Osakis but later updated to Evansville, entered the pleas in Douglas County District Court on Oct. 12. A jury trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 13. According to the criminal complaint:
The entrance and exit ramps on eastbound Interstate 94 at the Brandon interchange and the Garfield interchange are closed for paving. They will remain closed for up to two weeks. Motorists should use the Evansville or Highway 27 on and off-ramps to reach their destinations. Ramps to and from westbound I-94 are not affected. The work is part of the I-94 resurfacing and bridge deck replacement project underway between the Evansville and Garfield exits.
Many farmers in Douglas County didn't like how the state's new buffer law came to be. They felt left out of the process and were frustrated when many of their suggestions to ease the requirements were shot down in the Legislature, according to Andy Rice with the Douglas Soil and Water Conservation District. But lately more of them have been stepping forward, some a bit reluctantly, to meet the new requirements before the Nov. 1 buffer compliance deadline.
Four Osakis residents were charged with felony crimes involving methamphetamine or other drugs after the Osakis Police Department issued search warrants in the last two weeks. The suspects are Matthew Douglas Hjelm, 44, Stephanie Kae Karnes, 40, Tylor Lance Ebel, 31, and Ingrid Marie Stanley, 42. The cases against Ebel and Stanley are related because they were living at the same residence where drugs were reportedly found. The other two cases are separate. According to the criminal complaint against Hjelm:
The Alexandria City Council turned down a request for tax increment financing that would have built a $1.5 million, 12-unit apartment complex for low-income families. Acting as members of the city's Economic Development Authority at Monday's council meeting, the council rejected member Todd Jensen's motion to approve the financing on a 4-2 vote. Mayor Sara Carlson was the only other member who voted for it.
The number of crashes on Alexandria's Broadway between Fourth and Eighth Avenues increased last year to 18, five more than in 2015. The number, however, is still lower than the average amount of crashes that took place before the busy street was reconstructed. City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven gave an update about the crashes at the council's Monday night meeting. Here are the number of crashes in the five years before Broadway was reconstructed: 2009 — 26, 2010 — 28, 2011 — 29, 2012 — 19, 2013 — 24. That's an average of 25.2 crashes.
A refinancing of electric utility revenue bonds is expected to save Alexandria Light and Power Utilities nearly $100,000. At its meeting Monday, the Alexandria City Council approved the sale of the $1.685 million bonds that will refund bonds issued in 2007. The sale was also approved by the Board of Public Works at its Oct. 3 meeting. Following are two more items from the council meeting that weren't included in other stories. Professional Women's Week
A public hearing will take place during the Alexandria City Council's Monday, Oct. 9 meeting to consider a tax increment financing request from Unique Development, LLP. It wants to build a $1.5 million 12-unit apartment complex for low-income families at 1810 Sixth Avenue East. It's the first phase of a plan to build four 15,000-square-foot buildings on McKay Avenue, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. Each building would house six three-bedroom units, five four-bedrooms and one five-bedroom.