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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Former Alexandria resident Lee Urness of Prior Lake — an FBI agent who helped track down a serial killer in 1997 — died Friday, May 19 at age 71. Urness, a 1964 graduate of Alexandria's Jefferson High School, worked as a deputy sheriff and in 1972, he began working at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. He served as a special agent with the FBI Fugitive Task Force and was a member of the Minnesota Emergency Response Team or SWAT. His father, Howard Urness, served as Douglas County sheriff from 1959 to 1975.
Liana Lien of Carlos had talked to her brother, Landon, wishing him a happy 19th birthday. When she asked if he had plans, he said he was going carp spearing and hanging out with friends. Liana, knowing that drinking may be involved, told him to have fun but to be safe. He told her, "Don't worry. I'll always be safe." It turned out to be their last conversation. She found out early the next morning, May 24, 2013, that Landon had been killed in a crash.
Alexandria has received several complaints in the last year about the poor condition of the rail crossings at Sixth and Eighth Avenues between Nokomis and Oak Streets. There are several spots where the bolts are protruding from the surface, which makes for a bumpy ride. That's about to change. At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council awarded a quote of $31,071 from Omega Industries of Vancouver, Washington, for new concrete panels that will be used by Canadian Pacific Railroad to reconstruct the crossings.
Are trails, sidewalks and pedestrian crossings in Alexandria in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act? The city is about to find out. At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council agreed to approve an engineering agreement as the first step toward developing a transition plan to make sure its facilities, policies and practices do not discriminate against individuals with disabilities. The cost of preparing the plan is estimated at $25,420. It will come out of the city's capital improvement fund.
The Alexandria City Council approved a request from Turning Leaf, LLC to allow a one-time split of its Tastefully Simple property north of County Road 90/Latoka Drive, just east of County Road 45. This will create three conveyable parcels totaling about 44 acres. The goal is to add an extra seven to nine acres to Tastefully Simple's campus area for a backyard. A buyer is also interested in purchasing a portion of the property, according to the company.
I used to be a tech geek. I loved the latest gadgets and liked to try all the new gizmos that came out, from video games to MP3 players. But a decade or so ago, the tech scene began moving at such a fast clip, it was nearly impossible to keep up. These days, what happened 10 years ago is ancient history. Even last week is passe. Not that this is a bad thing. The high-tech developments are amazingly exciting and have the potential of changing lives for the better.
Several community events, road projects and a proposal for strategic planning services — those are just three of the items on the Alexandria City Council's agenda for its May 22 meeting. The planning proposal is from Craig Rapp, LLC, based in Chicago. Rapp is a nationally recognized speaker, facilitator and consultant. According to his website, he helps individuals and organizations "gain clarity on their purpose, focus on what matters, and achieve the results they desire."
A flurry of activity involving cranes, backhoes, cement trucks, metal beams and more at the Douglas County Hospital has sparked questions: "What's changing?" "Why are they doing this work?" "What will this mean for patients?" The hospital is completing a $15 million expansion of its surgical center. To help the public get a better understanding of the scope of the project and its impact, the hospital provided the following information to the Echo Press last week.
About two dozen bicyclists braved a windy downpour of rain Wednesday night in Alexandria to make a point about bicycle safety — without saying a word. It was the eighth annual Ride of Silence, an event to remind motorists that bicycle riders have the right to safely use the roads. They also gathered to pay tribute to all those who were injured or killed in bike crashes. Similar rides were held throughout the world at the same time.
The Alexandria Police Department is warning residents and businesses about ransomware scams. Scammers are taking advantage of people's fear about computer viruses by asking them to follow specific directions on their computers and telling them they need to fix issues they are having, according to the police department. "Please do not fall for this, as they will corrupt your computers, causing many issues for you," said Police Chief Rick Wyffels in a news release issued Tuesday.