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 new high school in Alexandria will not only establish a modern education campus, but also a whole new, innovative learning program too. Alexandria School District 206 will introduce learning academies at Alexandria Area High School, beginning in the fall of 2014. The new academies, or small learning communities concept, basically addresses those questions you've likely asked as a student and heard your kids ask: Why do I need to learn algebra? When will I ever use this again in my life? Why do I have to learn science stuff?
Piece by piece, stitch by stitch, quilt by quilt - a local group of quilters volunteered their talents over the last 18 months to deliver comfort to the country's wounded soldiers. Five local women from the Honor Quilts organization recently joined forces with quilters from Fergus Falls, Perham, Dent and Underwood to sew and hand-deliver 950 Quilts of Valor (QOV) to injured soldiers at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. Georgia Thesing of Osakis was one of the women who helped craft and deliver the quilts to wounded soldiers. "It was emotionally uplifting and emotionally draining at the same time
A new bike program at Grand Arbor's Nelson Wellness Center in Alexandria provides residents and members the opportunity to get on a bike again. The wellness center received a grant from the UCare Fund last October to buy a variety of bikes and launch a year-round bike program. Their inventory now includes: nine indoor cycling bikes with upright handlebar attachments and larger seats; and 18 outdoor models that range from comfort bikes with seats and pedals lower to the ground, fitness bikes, three-wheeled trikes, recumbent bikes, a tandem bike, a side-by-side tandem and a wheelchair tandem b
Around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, a two-vehicle crash was reported at the intersection of State Highway 28 and 150th Street (Pope County Road 29), near the city of Villard. Clifford Euerle, 75, of Villard died in the crash. According to the State Patrol, Euerle was driving a Buick LeSabre westbound on 150th Street when he reportedly stopped at the intersection but then pulled out into the path of a 2003 Ford Super Duty truck driven by James Hoppe, 51, of Freeport.
The Osakis Lions Club will host its 33rd annual Walleye fishing tournament on Lake Osakis Father's Day weekend, June 15 and 16. Registration for the tourney requires two-person teams, a $350 entry fee per team and entry forms must be received by the Lions by midnight on June 14. The tournament entry fee includes the Friday night banquet and must be submitted with the entry form.
Over the last few years, the Brandon and Evansville school districts have shared in extracurricular and academic offerings. Now, both Brandon and Evansville school boards are putting it to voters in those districts on June 25 to decide if the two school districts should consolidate into one. The special election ballot will ask whether a voter is "for" or "against" consolidation. The ballot question must pass by a majority in both districts.
There's been a whole lot of buzz and excitement and now it's official - Osakis Family Foods opened for business on May 16. Heath and Cindy Peterson recently bought the former grocery store in Osakis. They expect to employee 12 people. The Petersons and staff have spent the last few weeks cleaning up the building, putting in equipment and stocking shelves. Last week, new, energy-efficient lighting was scheduled to be installed and fresh groceries were brought in. "Everybody seems really excited that we're opening," Heath said. "Everyone in town has been really nice.
She said she was really nervous about sharing details of her mental illness, but it's something she's willing to do to eliminate the stigma that often surrounds it. Jacci Magnuson, 41, of Alexandria has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and major depression. In her experience, she said, "Once people know you have mental illness, they shy away from you or think you're going to flip out or something." She said that's the stigma she and others deal with daily and she wants it to stop. She said she's an example of someone with mental illness
The Alexandria community hosts hundreds of conventions and conferences each year and this weekend, the spotlight is on a convention with a local connection. The Alexandria Jaycees organization will host the spring Minnesota Jaycees State Convention this weekend. The convention is just the beginning of a month packed with events hosted by the local organization.
Douglas County Hospital is in good financial health. On April 26, the Douglas County Hospital (DCH) Board reviewed and accepted the organization's audit for 2012. The hospital's total operating revenues for 2012 were $110.7 million, and total operating expenses were $103.4 million: Most of the operating revenue, a total of $105.6 million, was generated from patient service revenue; and $5 million was noted as "other revenue." The majority of the operating expenses went to: Salaries and employee benefits, $43.7 million; supplies and other, $29.7 million; professional fees and purchased serv