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 big celebration will take place in Kensington this weekend, June 16-18. Kensington Runestone Days will feature fun and games for children; lots of food; a pageant; street dances; fireworks; softball, bean bag and golf tournaments; crafts and vendors; water wars; bingo; car show; tractor pulls; turtle races, talent show; a big parade and more. A special exhibit that salutes veterans who have served in all wars will be displayed on all three days of the celebration. Here's a schedule of events: Friday, June 16
As of 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night, June 14, Runestone Electric Association crews had restored power to all its members with the exception of several accounts that experienced extensive storm damage. The association expects restoration of all members to be complete by this afternoon, Thursday. Runestone Electric Association thanks its members, employees and contractors for a safe and effective response to Tuesday’s storm.
Motorists will find all lanes of Highway 27 at I-94, south of Osakis, open by 5 p.m. today, Thursday, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The Highway 27 bridge spanning I-94 has been closed since late March 2017, while crews repaired and resurfaced the bridge. Daytime lane closures on Highway 27 and the Highway 27/I-94 interchange ramps south of Osakis are scheduled to resume June 22-30. Highway 27 and the interchange ramps will remain open, and flaggers will control traffic through the daily work zones.
A 23-year-old Osakis man was charged in Douglas County District Court on Friday in connection with a motorcycle chase that hit 100 mph. Brandon Lee Cada faces a felony, fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, and two misdemeanors: reckless driving and speeding, going 100 mph in a 30 mph zone. A deputy attempted to stop a motorcyclist for speeding shortly after 11 a.m. June 6. The suspect was reportedly driving 79 mph in a 55 mph speed limit area on County Road 82, near County Road 17 in the Nelson area.
Alexandria Mayor Sara Carlson used strong words to describe city council member Virgil Batesole's behavior — that he's been less than respectful, that the council has lost confidence in him, that he puts himself first, ahead of the city — but she stopped short of asking the council to censure him. At Monday night's meeting, she said the council should put the step of censure on hold and try to help Batesole by working together for the good of the city. "A censure, although deserved, would only make headlines and then go away," she said.
The Alexandria City Council is trying once again to get funding from the Minnesota Legislature to help pay for a proposed $8 million expansion at the Runestone Community Center. The city applied for funding in two past legislative sessions but it was not approved. Last December, the city requested $4 million from the state Legislature for the expansion. The city and privately raised funds would have covered the rest. As part of energy upgrades that were recently completed at the center, the infrastructure is in place that would accommodate a third dry floor or sheet of ice.
The Legislature approved a $15 million increase in local government aid that will result in Alexandria receiving about $30,000 more in aid than it would have received under current law. City Administrator Marty Schultz gave the Alexandria City Council the news at its meeting Monday night. Following are some other issues from the meeting that were not included in other council stories. E-cigarette hearing A public hearing to talk about a proposed ordinance that cracks down on e-cigarettes is scheduled for June 26 at 7:15 p.m. during the council meeting.
Lightning may have started a house fire in Alexandria Sunday morning. At 6:21 a.m., the Douglas County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call reporting a fire at the Richard and Ann Gail residence at 3127 Lake Andrew Road in southwest Alexandria, possibly started by a lightning strike. When deputies got there, they found two areas on the outside of the residence engulfed in flames. Both areas were near electrical and gas lines. Alexandria firefighters responded and the Forada Fire Department provided mutual aid.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn.—Firefighters face something just as dangerous as flames and smoke. Cancer. The International Association of Firefighters estimates that roughly 60 percent of career firefighters will die from cancer. Firefighters are two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than the general public. By age 60, twice as many firefighters die from cancer than heart attacks, the biggest killer among most Americans. Volunteer firefighters in Douglas County know all about the risks.
Alexandria is preparing for an invasion. A tiny beetle about a half-inch long could wipe out the most popular kind of tree in the city, ash trees. The emerald ash borer isn’t here yet but it could arrive soon. It’s already made deep inroads in Minnesota. Officials in the Twin Cities area are in the process of cutting down 60,000 beetle-infested trees and another 175,000 in private yards in the metro area are threatened.