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 service of hope and healing will take place in Alexandria on World AIDS Day this Thursday, Dec. 1. It will begin with worship at the First Congregational Church at 221 Seventh Ave. West in Alexandria at 5:30 p.m., followed by a community meal at 6 p.m. All are welcome to attend. The World Health Organization established World AIDS Day in 1988. In 2016, the U.S. Government is using the theme, "Leadership. Commitment. Impact." Follow the AIDS.gov blog for news about World AIDS Day.
Committee assignments were recently determined for state legislators who represent parts of Douglas County. Sen. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake in District 12, will assume the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Finance when the Minnesota legislature reconvenes in January. Westrom said that a strong agricultural economy is vital for state and local communities.
A standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 people packed Alexandria City Hall Monday night to talk about a proposed landlord responsibility ordinance that addresses crime and drug problems in rental properties. Seventeen people, most of them rental property owners who strongly opposed the new rules, spoke at a public hearing. The ordinance, which was recommended by the city's legislative committee, sprang from Community Conversation meetings over the slum-like conditions of some rental properties in the city.
At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council approved new contracts with the unions representing the Alexandria Police Department's patrol officers and sergeants for 2017. Officers will be paid $4,417 a month in their first year, which will increase to $4,843 in their second year and to $5,098 in their third year. At the start of 2016, the pay for sergeants was converted to a performance-based pay system with salaries that range from $5,850 a month to $6,359.
Here's good news regarding the "battle of the bulge." Minnesota's obesity rates for young children enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children program are the eighth lowest in the nation. The percentage of children ages 2 to 4 from low-income families participating in the WIC program decreased from 12.7 percent in 2010 to 12.3 percent in 2014, according to a study released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Child obesity is a serious problem. Nationally, the rate was 14.5 percent in 2014.
Alexandria Light and Power workers install Christmas decorations and lights above Broadway in Alexandria Monday. The lights will be turned on Friday night during the annual Christmas in the Fort event at the Runestone Museum. The free event starts at 3 p.m. The community also can view the Parade of Trees on Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Lowell Anderson — Echo Press)
State Rep. Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck, will remain chairman of the House Agriculture Policy Committee for the 2017-18 biennium. Anderson, elected to a fifth House term earlier this month, has served on agriculture committees throughout his time in office. It was announced by House Republicans on Nov. 22 he will chair the Agriculture Policy Committee for a second consecutive term.
A 46-year-old Kensington man was sentenced in Douglas County District Court earlier this month for fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle on May 31. Scott Dennis Armstrong pleaded guilty to the felony charge and was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and 120 days in Douglas County Jail. Judge Dave Battey stayed the prison sentence for three years, meaning that Armstrong won't have to serve the time if he obeys the 22 conditions that were part of the sentence.
A shed caught fire near Osakis Tuesday morning, damaging farm machinery that was inside. The Douglas County Law Enforcement Center received a 911 call about the fire at the Morrison farm on 13681 Hope Road SE in Osakis Township at 7:10 a.m. Osakis firefighters and Douglas County sheriff's deputies responded and the fire was extinguished.