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 Great Douglas County Get Together, otherwise known as the fair, is celebrating 125 years of history this summer. The Echo Press will once again be in the thick of things, taking tons of photos and videos and putting together expanded coverage special sections about the fair. This year, we're asking readers to add to the fun by sharing their favorite memories of the Douglas County Fair. There's a lot of ground to cover. Those in their 80s may remember what the fair was like back in the late 1930s. What was the food like back then? Were there any rides? How many people turned out?
Carlos firefighters responded to a fully engulfed barn fire at 7383 39th Avenue NE Wednesday afternoon near the intersection of County Roads 85 and 9 east of the Nordic Trails Golf Course. They initially called for mutual aid from the Miltona Fire Department but cancelled the call a few minutes later after the fire quickly spread through the structure and the roof collapsed, according to Fire Chief Mike Trinka. The barn was mainly used for storage and didn't house any animals or anything of great value.
The next time sirens sound in Alexandria, more people should be able to hear them. At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council authorized Emergency Management Director Dennis Stark to purchase a new outdoor alert siren that will be located at Highway 29 South and 50th Avenue. The siren will replace an existing one at that location to provide better coverage for that area of the city as it continues to develop, Stark said. The existing siren will be moved to the Douglas County Fairgrounds, where there is no siren. Because the new siren requires only single-phase power, the city
Lake Latoka in Douglas County near Alexandria is joining the growing list of Minnesota lakes that are designated as infested with zebra mussels. Earlier this month, a snorkeler found a 3- or 4-year-old zebra mussel in the lake, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. DNR biologists recently searched the area near the find, but were unable to locate any additional zebra mussels.
Governor Bill Ingebrigtsen? State Senator Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, is contemplating the idea. His name has been popping up in political circles as a possible contender for challenging DFL Governor Mark Dayton in 2014. When contacted by the Echo Press Tuesday, Ingebrigtsen said he'll make a decision in the next four to six weeks whether to jump into the race. He plans to form a committee to explore the possibility. "I think Minnesota needs a rural choice," he said.
"A solid year but more work needs to be done." That's how Elizabeth Wefel, a lobbyist with the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, summed up the last session of the Minnesota Legislature from the perspective of smaller cities such as Alexandria. In a presentation to the Alexandria City Council Monday, she said a highlight of the legislative session was increasing local government aid (LGA) funding by $80 million, which will be split 50-50 between metro and rural areas. Alexandria will receive $1.46 million in LGA in 2014, 36 percent more than it would have received under the old law ($1.
The local Meals on Wheels program will keep rolling, no matter what the future holds for the Alexandria Senior Center. As reported in an Echo Press story last month, the center is facing financial challenges. It recently cashed in a certificate of deposit of $59,200 to stay afloat and faces expenses of $5,000 per month. Some board members, past and present, blamed the center's slide in membership and profitability on the center's director, Ann Esterberg. They said she wasn't a "people person," didn't interact with seniors often enough and wasn't willing to work with Nutrition Services Inc.
Charges have been filed against a suspect in the hit-and-run death of a 24-year-old bicyclist who used to live in Hoffman. Abdirahman Abdi Ali, 25, was charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide Tuesday. He is accused of speeding through a stop sign with his lights off, and hitting Jessica Hanson, who was bicycling near the intersection of 28th Street and Pleasant Avenue South in Minneapolis on July 3. She died two days later from her injuries. After hitting Hanson, the vehicle left the scene.
The flag was flying high throughout Douglas County last Thursday. Patriotic celebrations to observe the Fourth of July took place on the water, in the air and on the streets. Boaters on Lake Carlos got into the spirit of things with a festive boat parade. Thousands of people took in the spectacular sights and sounds of the Star Storm Fireworks display that took place over Lake Darling at Arrowwood Resort.
Get ready for a lot of construction in downtown Alexandria later this summer - $763,229 worth. At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council accepted bids to reconstruct side streets along Broadway and set a public hearing to talk about the cost of redoing two city parking lots - one adjacent to 7th Avenue East and the other on Hawthorne Street and 5th Avenue. Mark Lee Excavating of Alexandria was the low bidder on all three projects. The company's bid for the side street work was $415,884, which will be covered through state aid funds.