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 couple of signs that the local economy is bouncing back popped up at Monday night's Alexandria City Council meeting. FORCE America, Inc., a leading supplier of systems and components for highway trucks and other mobile markets, unveiled plans for a $3 million expansion in the city's industrial park. And a new restaurant, Blue Smoke BBQ, plans to open this summer at 403 3rd Avenue East. FORCE America is applying for tax increment financing (TIF) to help build a 45,000-square-foot facility on Iowa Street near VariTech Industries, one of its subsidiaries.
If you think tobacco problems have been snuffed out, think again. Tobacco continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S.
A train that derailed north of Parkers Prairie last Wednesday didn't spill as much oil as initially estimated, according to officials with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Canadian Pacific. The revised estimate is that less than 15,000 gallons spilled on to the ground, based on the amount of oil remaining in the three tanker cars that were leaking. That's about half as much oil as first reported. A total of 14 tanker cars derailed.
A family of four escaped injury when their plane parachuted down onto Lake Latoka in Alexandria on Friday morning. Witnesses on shore reported hearing a plane's engine making sputtering noises, followed by a loud bang, which came from the plane's parachute being deployed. The plane, built by Cirrus Design Corporation, was piloted by Hamid Reza Abbasi, 54, of Edina and Alexandria. He was flying the single-engine, four-seat plane with his wife and their two children.
In the space of a month, Jack Baumann of Alexandria lost his wife, Arlene, to heart problems and then his three dogs and home to a house fire. The house, a Civil War-era log home that had been extensively remodeled, went up in flames last Wednesday. There wasn't much of anything left - a few photos, some coins and something the family was very grateful for, the urn containing Arlene's ashes. Authorities suspect that the fire started from a wood burning stove or a fault in the electrical system. In an interview Monday with the Echo Press, Baumann said he checked the stove before leaving to
More information has been released about a single-engine, fixed-wing airplane that crashed on northwest Lake Latoka in Alexandria shortly after 10:30 a.m. this morning. No serious injuries were reported. The pilot was Hamid Reza Abbasi, 54, from Alexandria and Edina.
Lace up your running shoes and get your bike ready for the Harvest Duathlon on Saturday, August 31. At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council approved plans for the third annual event. The course, which starts from Discovery Middle School, includes a run of 2.5 miles, followed by a 13-mile bike race and a 2.3 mile run. Last year's event drew about 150 competitors, up from the 120 in 2011. They ranged in age from 19 to 70 years old and represented 58 cities outside of Alexandria. A Kids Duathlon will be held on the Friday night before the race.
Although the profits aren't flowing in like they used to, Alexandria's two city-owned liquor stores continue to save taxpayers money. Sales at Downtown Liquor and Plaza Liquor totaled $4.4 million in 2012, according to a clean liquor store audit that was presented to the Alexandria City Council Monday night by Dennis Schmitz with CliftonLarsonAllen. That's a drop of about 4 percent from 2011's sales of $4.6 million but the city helped make up for the dip by cutting back on the alcohol it bought.
Tanker railcars carrying crude oil derailed north of Parkers Prairie just after 6 a.m.
A train derailed near Parkers Prairie just after 6 a.m. this morning. The Canadian Pacific Railroad train was traveling southeast past the intersection of 150th Street and 555th Avenue when it lost air for its braking system and went into emergency mode, according to the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office. Fourteen cars derailed, some of them completely off the tracks.