Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper. After graduating from St. Cloud State University, Amy’s first job was at KSAX-TV working as an anchor and reporter. From 2003-2010, Amy worked as an editor and reporter for the Pope County Tribune and Starbuck Times newspapers. During her journalism career, Amy earned writing and photography awards from the Associated Press, Minnesota Newspaper Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Amy and her husband, Brandon, live in Alexandria and together write “He Sez, She Sez,” a humor column in the local women’s magazine, Chicz. Away from work, Amy and Brandon spend time bass fishing and keeping tabs on their charismatic dog, Cash, who has been known to jump out of the boat to “retrieve” the bass lures.
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The 45th annual Osakis Festival was ushered in with a wild burst of severe weather last week. Extreme wind gusts during the early morning of June 21 left behind toppled trees, downed power lines and boats tangled with docks on the east side of Lake Osakis. A few festival events were cancelled Friday due to city wide power outages. The community cleaned up and, despite the damage, the festival went on as planned. On Saturday, the sound of chainsaws buzzing and generators chugging was the soundtrack to festival events at Park Osagi.
Severe weather rumbled through the lakes area late June 20 into early June 21.
The driver of a motorcycle was injured in a crash Saturday in Alexandria. The crash happened around 4:50 p.m. near the intersection of Third Avenue East and Irving Street. The motorcycle driver was transported to Douglas County Hospital and the extent of injuries is unknown at this time. Further details will be updated as they become available from Alexandria Police Department. Two crashes in two days on 3rd Avenue in Alexandria: Crash at 3rd Avenue and Maple Street Friday .
A two-vehicle crash left at least one person injured Friday. The crash happened at the intersection of Third Avenue East and Maple Street around 5:10 p.m. Alexandria Police Department and North Ambulance responded to the crash. No further details were available. Two crashes in two days on 3rd Avenue in Alexandria: One person injured in crash Saturday .
Severe weather rumbled through the area overnight and residents woke up to scattered branches, downed trees, soggy lawns and some power outages. According to Runestone Electric Association (REA), members are without power this morning following the overnight storms. Numerous substations are down due to transmission issues. If your power comes back on and then goes off again, contact REA at (320) 762-1121 or 1-800-473-1722. Crews have been working through the night to restore power. Incoming call volume is extremely heavy and callers may receive a busy signal.
During Monday night's meeting, the Alexandria School Board unanimously approved the district's preliminary general fund budget for the 2013-2014 school year. The numbers closely mirror this year's budget with only about a 1 percent difference.
Jake Odland is a smart, interesting, easy-going guy with a professional personality, the kind of person who creates a welcoming atmosphere. That makes him a perfect fit for his new job as director of the Douglas County Library. "It's been great. I hit the ground running," Odland said. "When I was an Alexandria resident, I pretty much grew up at the library, both the Carnegie and here. It was kind of coming back home.
There are about 120 unbelted traffic deaths each year in Minnesota. That statistic has motivated statewide efforts to beef up seat belt enforcement. The latest effort, "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement campaign held May 20-June 2, netted 10,342 motorists who were cited for not wearing seat belts. Locally, Alexandria and Osakis police departments and Douglas County and Todd County sheriff's offices and Minnesota State Patrol District 2900 took part in the seat belt enforcement wave. In all, 181 citations were issued; the majority of those were issued by the State Patrol.
On Monday, LifeLink III, will open its hangar door to local medical, public safety and first responder professionals for the opportunity to look inside the air ambulance operation and meet the staff. Alexandria's LifeLink III is one of five air medical transport bases in the state and, on average, the helicopter is launched 30 to 50 times per month.
In the name of efficiency, and ultimately managing costs, Douglas County Hospital (DCH) will merge its medical and surgical departments on June 17. "Throughout the organization, we believe the merger will help us meet our responsibility to our community as a healthcare provider and one of the area's economic drivers," said Carl Vaagenes, CEO of the hospital. The push to merge medical and surgical floors stems from declining census, or fewer people admitted to the hospital. Margaret Kalina, DCH's director of patient services and chief nursing officer, said, "Since 2007, like most hospitals,