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 level three sex offender will be moving to Alexandria next week. Charles Gerald Mikkelson, 47, will be released on Feb. 21 after serving his sentence handed down by the court. He will live on the 900 block of Fillmore Street. Mikkelson engaged in sexual contact with an 11-year-old female victim that included sexual touching. The victim knew him, according to authorities. The investigating agency was the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. A level-three offender is considered at the highest risk of repeating similar crimes, based on past criminal behavior.
Coming soon to a street near you — big improvements. At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council agreed to call for bids on state aid and locally funded street projects for 2017. Combined, the projects are expected to cost just over $1 million. Municipal state aid projects include the following mill and overlay work: • 12th Ave., from Jefferson St. to Nokomis. • Jefferson St. from 10th Ave. to 12th Ave. • 30th Ave. from South Broadway to 22nd Ave.
Sparks fly over charter changes The Alexandria City Council's fiery debate over changes to the city charter sparked another clash of opinions at Monday's meeting. Council members gave final approval to four amendments that received preliminary approval last month but five tabled changes went down in flames. Any changes to the charter, referred to as city's constitution, require a unanimous vote. The amendments that were approved: --Allow key city officials who handle money to become bonded or insured.
The Alexandria Technical and Community College received a special event permit from the Alexandria City Council to hold its commencement at the Runestone Community Center on May 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. This will mark the third straight year the event will take place at the RCC. As in the past, Fairgrounds Road will he temporarily blocked off by police to expedite parking to the west entrance of the fairgrounds. A total of 4,000 people are expected to attend. The following are some other odds and ends approved at Monday's city council meeting.
Several schools in the area would receive additional funding under an education plan Gov. Mark Dayton released Wednesday. The goal of Dayton's "Opportunity Agenda for a Better Minnesota" is to provide better K-12 and early learning opportunities for students across Minnesota, and support families caring for their kids at home and in child care. Dayton wants to spend an additional $609 million for early childhood through 12th grade education, which would bring his total spending in education to $2.1 billion.
More than 60 DFLers from a nine-county area gathered in Alexandria Feb. 2 to mull over a new strategy for the next two years. Their goal isn't all that surprising: Getting more voters to support DFL candidates in the 2018 election. DFLers took a beating in the 2016 election when Republicans gained three seats in the Minnesota House with a 76 to 57 majority and took control of the Senate, 34 to 33.
Small acts of kindness can inspire people to make a big difference in the lives of others. That's the philosophy behind the Snow Angels in Alexandria. The effort began about three years ago when a local man noticed that a few elderly people in Alexandria were being fined for not removing snow and ice from their sidewalks. Their driveways were also clogged with snow. Most of them were disabled or not physically strong enough to shovel.
Are you missing a telescope or a piece of art? Authorities may have found it. Last month, the Alexandria Police Department released a couple dozen photos showing items that were recovered after they were stolen from storage units and construction trailers in the area. Several people stepped forward to claim some of the items but many are still at the police department or sheriff's office, waiting to be returned to their rightful owners.
Carol Mihalchick, founder and former owner of Just Like Grandma's Boutique and Tea Room in Osakis, passed away on Monday, Jan. 30, at her home in Osakis. She was 74. Mihalchick opened Just Like Grandma's in 1985 and it quickly became a well-known tourist destination. As the business grew and additional buildings were added, carloads of women and busloads of visitors traveled to Osakis to the business, which also included a bed and breakfast.
A 22-year-old Minneapolis man suffered minor injuries in a rollover east of Alexandria Saturday afternoon. Abdirahman Shukri Gama was driving a Kia Rio west on Interstate 94 about three miles east of Alexandria at about 1:15 p.m. He told the State Patrol that he was worried about a truck approaching from the rear, so he moved to the left lane, lost control, went on to the shoulder, over corrected to the right lane and went into the ditch, causing it to roll, according to the crash report.