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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Three men were charged with a total of 12 felonies Thursday for allegedly kidnapping and assaulting a 15-year-old Alexandria girl over a 29-day period until the girl escaped and they were arrested. Thomas Barker, 32, of Carlos, faces six charges, including two counts of kidnapping, two counts of criminal sexual conduct, second-degree assault and false imprisonment. Steven Powers, 20, of Benson, was charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct and false imprisonment.
A 37-year-old Alexandria woman was sentenced to 180 days in the Douglas County Jail after she pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor theft charge — taking money from AJ's Restaurant in Osakis. Kristy Ann Heuchert was initially charged with felony theft but that charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement. Judge Timothy Churchwell stayed 160 days of the jail sentence for two years, meaning she won't have to serve the time if she stays out of trouble while she is on probation.
A 44-year-old Osakis woman is accused of taking money from the Subway sandwich shop she was managing in Osakis. Nikki Colleen Gillespie was charged with felony theft in Douglas County District Court on Aug. 28. According to the criminal complaint, deposits from the store were missing between June 23 to July 4 earlier this summer when Gillespie was the manager and responsible for the daily deposits. The total amount of money missing was $5,625.43.
A news conference about a 15-year-old Alexandria girl who was found safe and alive in Grant County yesterday will take place at 2 p.m. today, Wednesday. The Alexandria Police Department is expected to provide more details about how Jasmine Block was found and the arrest of three suspects in Grant and Pope counties yesterday.
A 22-year-old woman from Grand Forks, North Dakota was injured in a one-vehicle rollover near Alexandria Tuesday morning. Lauren Jonelle Fielder was driving a 2015 Chevy Trax west on Interstate 94 near milepost 100 in LaGrand Township at about 11:50 a.m. when it left the road, went into the ditch and rolled multiple times, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Fielder, who was wearing a seat belt, was taken by North Ambulance to the Douglas County Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office assisted with the crash.
The date of a public hearing about the Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District's facility management plan has been changed to Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. at Alexandria City Hall. A story in the Aug. 25 issue, "A solution nobody wants to pay for," referred to the meeting. Also, the district's board of directors wrote about the meeting in a commentary in the Sept. 1 issue, "State shouldn't force upgrades on Lake Winona."
Do you have a favorite spot in the Alexandria lakes area to go for happy hour? How about to enjoy an ice cream cone? Or to work out? Who do you turn to for financial planning? The Echo Press wants to know where all your favorites are as part of our Readers' Choice "Best of the Lakes Area" contest. The contest was so popular last year that the newspaper is bringing it back again.
A woman who has been a victim of domestic violence finds the courage to leave her abuser and start a new life. Not only does she have to recover from the physical and psychological damage, she also has to worry about her abuser tracking her down through her new home or work address. That's where a statewide address confidentiality program called "Safe at Home" can help.
Cherry Street Books in Alexandria will offer a unique, free event at 7 p.m. tonight, Thursday, August 31. Leaves of Grass – Illuminated is a one-man theatrical performance by Twin Cities actor, Patrick Scully, who summons the spirit of America’s great poet, Walt Whitman.
The public access on Lake Osakis will close on Tuesday, Sept. 5 for several weeks to allow for reconstruction, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The project includes the addition of an aquatic invasive species boat inspection and cleaning area, and new bituminous surfacing for the parking lot. The design also will provide better stormwater management, improve traffic flow, and enhance accessibility, according to the department.