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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More than 600 bicyclists will roll through the Douglas County area this week as part of The Ride Around Minnesota or TRAM. They're doing more than just pedaling along from place to place. They expect to raise more than $650,000 to help people affected by multiple sclerosis. The annual Bike MS: TRAM Ride is a five-day 300-mile journey that will start in Alexandria at the Douglas County Fairgrounds this Wednesday, July 19, at 6:30 a.m. and end at the same location on Sunday, July 23, at 4 p.m.
Tornado sirens sounded Monday night as a severe thunderstorm rumbled through Douglas County. There were several reports of trees and branches that were blown down. Carlos Creek Winery was among the areas that were hit. So much debris was scattered about, the winery is asking for volunteers to help with the clean-up. The work began at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Criminals who drive drunk or sell drugs not only risk spending time behind bars or paying fines. They often forfeit their vehicles, cash and other property used in the commission of their crimes. Last year, law enforcement agencies in Minnesota seized cash or property that netted more than $7.4 million — an 8 percent jump from the previous year, according to the annual Criminal Forfeitures Report recently released by State Auditor Rebecca Otto.
Drivers on Interstate 94 between Evansville and Garfield will encounter a traffic shift starting Friday, July 14, as crews begin resurfacing the eastbound lanes and re-decking two bridges. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane in each direction using the current westbound lanes, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Alexandria firefighters responded to a shed fire at 721 Roosevelt Street shortly before 7:30 a.m. Thursday. When firefighters arrived, the shed was engulfed and thick clouds of smoke were billowing into the air. The shed was located behind a two-story home on Roosevelt Street. Watch for updates when more information becomes available.
An Osakis man whose home was searched during an investigation into business theft allegations against his wife was sentenced on a felony drug charge while a credit card fraud charge was dropped. Curtis Dale Waldvogel, 45, will not have to serve jail time if he obeys the conditions of his 20-year probation. His wife, Denise Waldvogel, 48, was charged with felony theft by swindle from the Osakis Creamery Association. Her jury trial is scheduled for Aug. 7.
Alexandria residents who are older than 50 and want to age in their own homes face major challenges — affordable health care, home services and transportation. Those were the top three issues identified in a survey sent to those 50 and older by the "Age Friendly Alexandria" team that was formed last year under a new initiative of AARP and the World Health Organizations.
The Alexandria City Council was informed at its Monday meeting about new municipal state aid for street projects over the next four years. The city receives the money from the Highway Users Transportation Distribution Fund. This year, it received just over $1 million. That total is expected to increase by the following amounts: 2018 — $41,280, 2019 — $44,517, 2020 — $102,050, 2021 — $103,130. The city was told the 2018 and 2019 amounts are "pretty solid" while the other amounts are subject to change by the Legislature.
Liquor sales in Douglas County were bubbling over on July 2 — the first time off-sale liquor has been allowed in the state on a Sunday, thanks to a new law enacted by the state Legislature. Liquor stores reported that customers were lining up to come into the store when they opened at 11 a.m. "We had a really good day," said Andy Mellgren, manager of the two city-owned liquor stores in Alexandria, Plaza Liquor and Downtown Liquor. "A lot of customers wanted to experience the first Sunday that liquor stores were open."
The Fourth was for floating in Douglas County — if you didn't mind a cloud burst or two in the morning. Boat and pontoon parades were held in several lakes in the area on the Fourth of July, including the Chain of Lakes, Lake Geneva and Big Chippewa.