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.
- Member for
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As the legal fight over funding for the Legislature drags on and the 2018 governor's race heats up, Greater Minnesota city leaders are urging lawmakers to keep their focus on the upcoming legislative session. More than 100 other city officials from throughout Greater Minnesota convened in Alexandria this week for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities' annual two-day fall conference. At the event, coalition members adopted the organization's policy positions and discussed legislative priorities for the 2018 legislative session.
A 23-year-old Alexandria man will serve 30 days in jail after outrunning sheriff's deputies during a chase that began near Nelson and hit speeds of 100 mph. Brandon Lee Cada was sentenced in Douglas County District Court on Nov. 14 after he pleaded guilty to the felony. As part of a plea agreement, two misdemeanor charges, reckless driving and speeding, were dismissed. Cada received credit for the three days he's already spent behind bars. He was placed on supervised probation for three years and ordered to pay $135 in fines and fees.
A co-owner of Blue Smoke BBQ in Alexandria, which was lost in a fire more than four years ago, will serve four months in jail and placed under supervised probation for 20 years. David Galbraith, 28, of Glenwood received the sentence in Douglas County District Court Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to felony theft by swindle, one of three felony charges he faced in connection with the fire. As part of an agreement, the other two charges — conspiring to commit arson and insurance fraud — were dismissed.
A 20-year-old Brandon will serve 204 days in jail for stabbing an 18-year-old man after a Facebook feud led to a fight. Gavin Daniel Johnson was sentenced Tuesday in Douglas County District Court after he pleaded guilty to felony fifth-degree assault while having two or more qualified domestic violence-related crimes within three years. As part of a plea agreement, a felony second-degree assault charge was dismissed.
Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria says that her tweet about transgender people last week had nothing to do with a city council election in Minneapolis that put two transgender candidates into office. On Nov. 8, the morning after the election, Franson tweeted on her personal Twitter account, "A guy who thinks he's a girl is still a guy with a mental condition."
The eastbound lanes of Interstate 94 between Evansville and Garfield are now open to traffic. All eastbound ramps at the Brandon and Garfield interchanges have also reopened, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, which issued a news release Tuesday morning. Westbound I-94 will remain reduced to a single lane for about one more week as the contractor completes cleanup, striping and guardrail work.
Those who want to vape in indoor public places in Alexandria will soon have to go outside. At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council gave final approval to a new ordinance that prohibits the use of e-cigarettes, e-cigars or e-pipes in public places that already prohibit cigarette smoking, including restaurants, bars, retail stores, commercial establishments, hospitals, nursing homes, auditoriums, common areas of rental apartment buildings and other places that are listed under Minnesota's Clean Indoor Air Act.
A 3 percent lodging tax added onto the hotel bills of guests staying in the Alexandria area packs a punch. Explore Alexandria Tourism, which is funded through the tax, projects that the total amount collected in 2017 will easily exceed the $491,010 the organization included in its budget. It will bring in about $525,000 — a 14 percent increase from 2016.
The Alexandria City Council decided to stick with the way the city removes snow on Broadway sidewalks between Third and Eighth Avenues. At its meeting Monday night, the council voted to approve an agreement it's had in place for the last few winters. The city will continue to charge property owners and business operators $6 for every foot of sidewalk frontage they have. The city collects between $19,000 and $20,000 to keep the sidewalks clear from snow each year.
A tweet by Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, about a transgender candidate was criticized as "hateful" by Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin. On Wednesday morning, after Minneapolis voters elected two transgender candidates to their city council, Franson tweeted, "A guy who thinks he's a girl is still a guy with a mental condition." In response, Martin issued a news release saying that Minnesota made history Tuesday night by electing Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham as the first two openly transgender African-American candidates to city council in the nation.