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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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
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
After 144 years, the first church recorded in Douglas County is closing. United Methodist Church (UMC) of Osakis dates back to 1869. Its last service is scheduled for June 2. According to Pastor Alan Bolte, it was a difficult decision, but after much discussion, the congregation voted on February 17 to discontinue the church. "Our attendance has been small and it's an older congregation and we're running out of energy and people power," Bolte explained. "Financially, we're paying our bills and doing OK there, but there's more to it than that.
Students from across Douglas County went hands-on Wednesday participating in the 20th annual Kids' Groundwater Festival in Alexandria. More than 500 fourth graders absorbed information about local water resources and the importance of maintaining its quality.
A new organization will help get people moving again. Douglas County Car Care Program (DCCCP) is a faith-based nonprofit organization that's designed to provide vehicles and vehicle repair to low-income families. On April 26, DCCCP gave away its first car. Angel Brooks, a single mother from Alexandria, needed a car to get to work after a crash with a snowplow totaled her car on April 11.
If you think it's been a loooooong winter, try being a gardener. With snowflakes falling well into April, it's hard to believe spring will ever arrive and this latest blast of snow on Thursday is just insulting. Actually, it's painful. I need to get into my gardens to heal this aching urge. Seriously. My green thumb is fading back to a dull pale pink. Gak! My new patio set is hiding under a big, ugly blue tarp with a snow shovel holding it down. Sigh... My garden ponds are lifeless under that smothering blanket of snow.
Over the winter, the Alexandria lakes area sprouted three new dining destinations - Lakes Country Buffet, Zorbaz and Fresh Corner. The owners of all three restaurants say "so far so good" for business and they're looking forward to the summer crowd stopping by to dig in, too. LAKES COUNTRY BUFFET Lakes Country Buffet opened on North Nokomis Street about six weeks ago. The American food buffet features 60 items, including a salad bar.
On Monday, the Alexandria School Board approved spending about $667,000 on capital improvements, deferred maintenance, and health and safety projects next school year district-wide. Projects vary from landscaping, sidewalks and kitchen exhaust improvements to remote door locks installation, new carpet and fire door replacement.
The Osakis community will once again be served by a local grocery store. Last week, Heath and Cindy Peterson of Frazee signed a purchase agreement to buy the former Jim's Home Quality Foods store in Osakis. "Cindy and I are really excited about this," Heath said last week at the store. "The people in town have been absolutely fabulous.