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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The possibility of Alexandria police officers and Douglas County sheriff's deputies using body cameras is coming more into focus. During an informal work session with the City Council Monday, Police Chief Rick Wyffels recommended moving up the timetable for acquiring body cams from 2019 to 2018. Two years ago, Wyffels said he wanted to hold off getting body cams until the Legislature caught up with the technology and determined guidelines, such as what images could be made public.
A "person of interest" in a Long Prairie homicide has been located and is in custody.
A 40-year-old Clarissa man was sentenced to 28 months in prison for burglarizing a house in Nelson and 13 months in prison for trying to elude officers during a chase in Alexandria last February. Jason Dennis Maloney received the sentence from Judge Ann Carrott in Douglas County District Court as part of an agreement. In exchange for pleading guilty to second-degree burglary and fleeing a police officer, which are both felonies, two other charges were dismissed — fifth-degree drug possession, a felony, and indecent exposure, a misdemeanor.
Overnight closures of Highway 114 at Interstate 94 south of Garfield are scheduled to start Monday, July 31. The highway closures are necessary so crews can remove the eastbound Interstate 94 bridge deck over the roadway, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The highway will close each night at 9 p.m. and will reopen by 6 a.m. the following morning. The work is expected to take about one week. Detours will direct traffic around the closure. The interstate ramps at Highway 114 and I-94 will remain open.
An issue that's been simmering for years came to a head Monday night when the Alexandria City Council voted to censure Ward 1 council member Virgil Batesole. The action doesn't remove Batesole's authority to vote or speak at meetings, but it's a way for the council to show it does not condone his behavior, which two council members, Todd Jensen and Bobbie Osterberg, described as disrespectful and creating chaos.
If you're interested in dancing, drilling private wells, parking on the grass or holding signs on city property, you should have been at Monday's Alexandria City Council meeting. The council considered ordinance changes involving all four of those topics. An out-dated section of city code regulating dances may soon be rescinded.
At Monday's Alexandria City Council meeting, Mayor Sara Carlson recognized Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, and Rep. Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck, as the Minnesota League of Cities' "Legislators of Distinction." The honor recognizes legislators for specific actions that aided efforts of Minnesota cities during this year's legislative session. Ingebrigtsen was honored for his accessibility and taking a lead role in environmental issues.
Several Alexandria area restaurants received scam phone calls over the weekend regarding their electric service. A caller, posing as someone from Alexandria Light and Power Utilities, stated the restaurant needed to make a credit card payment or their electrical service would be disconnected. ALP Utilities does not make collection phone calls demanding electronic payments, the utility said in an email alert Monday. If a customer is delinquent, they will receive a notice by mail.
Six people were injured in two separate crashes that happened in a work zone on Interstate 94 about eight miles west of Alexandria Sunday afternoon.
You can't hold a public dance in Alexandria without a license if the dancers have to pay a fee. If you do get a license, you still have to follow some rules: No alcohol. No prostitutes. No drunks. At least one city police officer has to be at every dance. All Saturday night dancing must end promptly at 1 a.m. No public dances on Sundays. Those are just some of stipulations listed in Alexandria City Code Section 4.32 that regulates dances. But all that may soon change.