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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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.
And the winner of the People's Choice Award in the 20th annual United Way Chili Cook-Off is ... BlackRidgeBANK. Other winners in Tuesday's United Way of Douglas and Pope Counties' contest included: Judges' Choice -- Gardonville, along with runners-up Legal Services of Northwestern Minnesota and ITW; Most Unusual Chili -- 3M; Best Display -- The Village Family Services; and Hottest Chili -- the Alexandria Fire Department.
When the latest proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed this week, the country either dodged a bullet or missed an opportunity. It depends on who you talk to. Some in Minnesota are breathing a sigh of relief. Carl Vaagenes, CEO of the Douglas County Hospital, said the proposal, known as the Graham-Cassidy bill, was flawed.
A 23-year-old Alexandria man pleaded guilty to fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, a felony, during a motorcycle chase that began near Nelson and hit speeds of 100 mph. Brandon Lee Cada entered the plea in Douglas County District Court on Sept. 7, four days before a jury trial was scheduled to begin. He will be sentenced by Judge Timothy Churchwell on Nov. 14. Two misdemeanor charges, reckless driving and speeding, will be dismissed at sentencing.
A 20-year-old Brandon pleaded guilty to felony assault for stabbing an 18-year-old man after a Facebook feud led to a fight. Gavin Daniel Johnson will be sentenced on Nov. 14 for felony fifth-degree assault for having two or more qualified domestic violence-related crimes within three years. He entered the plea on Sept. 7, four days before a jury trial was set to begin. Johnson didn't enter a plea on the other felony charge he faces, felony second-degree assault.
The Minnesota State Patrol is asking for the public’s help in locating a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run crash near Brandon on Tuesday, Aug. 22 between midnight and 12:30 a.m. The vehicle was believed to be traveling eastbound on I-94, just west of the Brandon exit in an active construction zone when it struck a pedestrian who was walking east in the eastbound traffic lane or shoulder. The pedestrian, Marshall Jarvela of Crosby, suffered serious injuries and was taken to the hospital.