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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Although the weather outside was frightful with 20-below-zero wind chills, the activity inside the Alexandria Area YMCA was delightful on New Year's Day. It was "Community Day" — a time when the YMCA invited non-members, guests and members to celebrate the holiday at the Y for free from noon to 5 p.m. The event also helped a good cause. Those attending provided non-perishable food items or cash donations to benefit the Douglas County Outreach Food Shelf.
Here's a look at the township positions that are up for election in Douglas County this March and the current officeholder: Alexandria Township: Supervisor Jeff Oberg. Belle River Township: Supervisor Jeremy Fuller. Also, the clerk position is vacant. Carlos Township: Clerk Rebecca Anderson and Supervisor Bill Krivanek. Evansville Township: Supervisor Douglas Lee. Holmes City Township: Clerk/Treasurer Christopher Wanner and Supervisor David Fahlin. Hudson Township: Clerk Carol Hedlund and Supervisor Ron Fenelon. Ida Township: Supervisor Jim Peterson.
Eighteen of Douglas County's 20 townships are starting to gear up for elections on Tuesday, March 13. Two townships, Brandon and Miltona, will hold their elections in the fall. Most townships in Douglas County will elect two positions — clerk and supervisor. Clerk positions in five townships — Alexandria, Evansville, Ida, LaGrand and Urness — are appointed so they will not be on the ballot. The filing period to run for township office opened Jan. 2 and will close at 5 p.m. Jan. 16.
Osakis joined communities throughout the nation on Saturday, Dec. 16 in a special remembrance of those who fought for America's freedoms. It was Wreaths Across America Day. Thousands of wreaths were laid at more than 1,500 cemeteries across the country. In Osakis, volunteers met at the Osakis Veterans Memorial for the second annual Osakis Wreath Across America kickoff ceremony. Seven wreaths, each representing a branch of the military, were placed at the foot of the memorial.
Motorists on Highway 28/Minnesota Avenue East in Glenwood will experience a one-block lane closure of the westbound lane between First Street NE and Highway 29/Franklin Street beginning today, Jan. 2. Eastbound traffic should slow down and eliminate distractions, westbound traffic should seek alternate routes. The two-week closure will be in effect during business hours and will last through Jan. 19.
Douglas County Hospital has seen a recent spike in influenza cases in the region, and as a precautionary measure for patients and staff, the hospital has implemented visitor restrictions. Infection Control Officer Emma von Felden, RN, said, "Only immediate family members should visit patients only if it is necessary. Visitors should be free from any flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat or diarrhea for a minimum of 24 hours before visiting patients." Von Felden adds that she is thankful to the community for their help in this wellness effort.
Selective TV reminds viewers that CBS/WCCO Channel 7 will go off the air permanently at one minute past midnight this Saturday night, Dec. 30. Selective TV is now providing over-the-air access to CBS/WCCO on Channel 4.1 and The Decades Channel on 4.2. Viewers may have to do a channel re-scan to access the new channels. If your antenna is aligned with the Westport tower near West Union along I-94, you may, depending on your location, have to realign your antenna toward the Selective TV tower, which is located near Garfield.
Plans to build a veterans memorial in Alexandria moved ahead Tuesday. The Alexandria City Council agreed to authorize the use of Legion Park for the first phase of the project, which is estimated to cost $329,000. "This makes this a very special Christmas," Gabe Pipo, chair of the Veterans Memorial Committee, told the council. "It's like a million dollar gift to the veterans."
It may be easier for pedestrians and those with wheelchairs to cross a busy section of Highway 29 between Target and Doolittles Woodfire Grill in south Alexandria. At its meeting Tuesday night, the council approved City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven's request to apply for a state grant for a $106,334 project to build a handicap-accessible sidewalk with signal modifications across Trunk Highway 29 at the intersection of Dakota Street/44th Avenue.
If you don't follow Alexandria's rules for cleaning up your property or removing snow, the city will do it — and put the expense on your property tax bill. At its meeting Tuesday, the Alexandria City Council certified the costs the city incurred for removing snow and cleaning up property for landowners that failed to comply with ordinances. Snow wasn't removed on four parcels of land and six parcels needed clean-up. Also, nine rental property owners failed to meet scheduled rental inspections and their penalties were also certified.