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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A 42-year-old Sioux Falls, South Dakota, man made his first appearance in Douglas County District Court on Monday after he was charged with six felonies and a misdemeanor involving illegal possession of weapons, burglary and fleeing a deputy. On April 11, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office responded to a call from a resident on East Lake Vermont Road northwest of Miltona. The caller said a man showed up at his house and asked for water.
Building activity in the city of Alexandria and its two-mile code enforcement area totaled $49.2 million in 2016. "Although 2016 construction wasn't one for the record books, construction activity remained strong and in line with the 10-year average," noted Building Official Lynn Timm in her annual report that was presented to the city council Monday night. The value of the construction dropped 20 percent from 2015's $62.5 million but represents a 13 percent increase from 2014's total of $43.5 million and a 30 percent increase from 2013.
Do you have an idea to improve your neighborhood? The city of Alexandria may be able to help get it off the ground.
At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council agreed to spend $20,092 to upgrade the city's email and computer systems. The action was recommended by the city's technology team that's been studying the issue for the last six months. There will also be an ongoing monthly fee of $308, $4 for the 77 employees with email. Right now, 25 of the city's 26 workstations are running on 10-year-old software, Office 2007.
A report highlighting building activity in Alexandria will be presented at Monday's Alexandria City Council meeting. According to City Building Official Lynn Timm, construction projects that received permits within the city and its two-mile code administration area totaled just under $49.2 million in 2016 — a 20 percent drop from 2015's $62.5 million but a 13 percent increase from 2014's total of $43.5 million. Timm will present more information from her annual report at the meeting.
A gold 1999 Grand Prix that the Douglas County Sheriff's Office was trying to find has been located.
Drivers traveling through Douglas County will see a lot of orange this summer. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is planning nearly $33 million worth of road and bridge projects on sections of Interstate 94 and Minnesota Highway 27 in Douglas County. The biggest project will take place on I-94 between Highway 79 near Evansville all the way to Minnesota Highway 114 near lakes Lobster and Mina southwest of Garfield — a 15-mile stretch.
Motorists on Interstate 94 near Highway 29 in Alexandria will encounter intermittent lane closures starting Monday, April 17. Crews will close one lane in each direction while they paint the underside and railing of the new Highway 29 bridge, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The work is expected to last about one week. Minor delays are possible.
Should people be allowed to park on the grass in Alexandria? The Alexandria Planning Commission will address the issue — and other items — at its meeting on Monday, April 17 at Alexandria City Hall. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Right now, it's against city code to park on the grass but the commission is considering to ease the restrictions, allowing cars, pickups and recreational vehicles and equipment to park on the grass in side and rear yards.
Some Douglas County residents are wondering why Pope Douglas Solid Waste Management is no longer offering yard waste drop-off services. One reader said it appears that his only option now is to contract — for a fee — to have his current waste service hauler take his yard waste. He's also worried that eliminating the free drop-off service could lead to people trying to illegally get rid of their yard waste by including it in their regular garbage. The Echo Press turned to Pete Olmschied, director of Pope Douglas Solid Waste Management, for answers.