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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Get ready for a big road project on Irving Street this summer — one that's taking place sooner than expected. At its meeting Monday, the Alexandria City council accepted a bid of $173,840 from Ferguson Brothers to completely reconstruct the road. It's a joint project between the city, Alexandria Light and Power and Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District.
At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council voted to purchase a 1992 International high-pressure sewer jetter truck from Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District for $15,000. The truck will be used to clean sewer lines. It will upgrade a 1987 jetter in the city's public works department that will be sold. The city hopes to get between $10,000 and $15,000 for the 1987 unit. The following are other odds and ends from the meeting that weren't covered in other stories. Airport funds
Drivers on Minnesota Highway 27 just west of Alexandria will encounter occasional lane shifts and lane closures starting Monday, May 15. Crews will replace the concrete pavement next to the Highway 27 bridge over Interstate 94 and resurface about one mile of Highway 27, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. During phases of the project, flaggers will allow alternating one-way traffic through the work zone. Lane configurations will change frequently near the I-94 bridge, so drivers should use extra caution in this area, transportation leaders said.
Hundreds of people in Alexandria are expected to participate in “Walk MS” this Sunday, May 7 as part of a nationwide effort to raise more than $1 billion to fight multiple sclerosis. Since 1988, hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in Walk MS events across the country, raising critical funds and awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This year, the cumulative fundraising is expected to surpass $1 billion.
An agency that offers 13 different programs including Head Start, heating assistance and free tax preparation now has an office in Alexandria. West Central Minnesota Communities Action, Inc., is at 503 Hawthorne Street, Suite 45. Based in Elbow Lake, Communities Action is $10 million agency that serves residents in Douglas, Pope, Grant, Stevens and Traverse counties. It has 123 full- and part-time employees who provide services to children and families across western Minnesota.
City leaders in Greater Minnesota — including the mayor of Alexandria — are voicing frustration with their legislators this week after the Tax Conference Committee unveiled a tax bill proposal that they claim fails to adequately invest in rural communities. The tax plan, released Monday night by the joint House and Senate conference committee, includes a $6 million increase in Local Government Aid funding for 2018. Because it is just a one-time, one-year increase, the aid would revert back to its current funding level in 2019.
The Alexandria Technical and Community College's graduation ceremonies will take place at the Runestone Community Center on Wednesday, May 10 starting at 1 p.m. An expected attendance of 4,000 people will be traveling on the north side of Alexandria between 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. College leaders and local law enforcement are warning that traffic slowdowns and stoppages are likely near the intersection of County Road 45, County Road 82 and County Road 22. Also, the intersection of 3rd and Broadway will also be coned off and regulated differently.
A plea agreement has been reached in the case of a 42-year-old Sauk Centre woman accused of hitting a toddler with her car while driving drunk in Alexandria about a year ago. On April 27, when her pre-trial was set to begin, Becky Lynn Laforge agreed to plead guilty to one of the three charges she still faced — criminal vehicular operation of a motor vehicle causing "bodily harm" while driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more within two hours of the crash, which is a gross misdemeanor. She is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Ann Carrott on July 20.
Two juveniles were taken into custody early Tuesday morning after leading authorities on a chase in Alexandria. At 12:32 a.m, a Douglas County sheriff's deputy saw a vehicle driving east on Third Ave. East and attempted to stop it for a traffic violation. The vehicle began to accelarate and a pursuit began. The chase led south on County Road 46 and then west on 34th Ave. East. The suspect's vehicle went into the north ditch of 34th Ave. and came to rest. Two occupants exited the vehicle and fled northwest through the Viking Lakes Village mobile home park.
A bill to help state- and county-owned hospitals, including Douglas County Hospital, was signed into law Thursday. Gov. Mark Dayton Mark Dayton approved legislation that will reduce current restrictions on public hospitals, allowing them to invest funds in securities to generate more capital for operations and improvements for their facilities. The bill was authored by Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, and Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria.