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.
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Kurt Sieve of Alexandria has spent the last 42 years flipping pancakes, clearing tables, hiring servers, ordering food, managing staff and keeping Traveler's Inn bustling year after year, right alongside his brother, Jon. "The people of Alexandria have been so dear and loyal to us. It's been an amazing career," Kurt said. "We want people reading this article to know it's going to continue to be run as a Sieve restaurant, probably well into the future.
Last Wednesday, Osakis Public School was a gathering spot for iconic people of the past and present. Osakis fourth graders used costume and props to transform themselves into notable people, everyone from Cleopatra to Teddy Roosevelt, as part of the seventh annual Wax Museum event. The students were "in character" while the public toured the museum set up in the school gym. The museum tourists had to push a button in front of the students to activate each famous person's story.
Locally, Interstate 94 is the main target for state road work this year. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) recently announced its 2013 construction program for the state.
Heidi Hansen and Marcia Benson are in the music making business. The women are composers and recently started a business selling their piano music. "We'd like to sell more music and actually make money at it," Hansen said. "And go down in history with other famous composers," Benson laughed. They'll be the first to admit: Hansen is the realist and Benson is the dreamer. The women have been composing together for four years.
SmartBoards replaced blackboards, could textbooks be next? During last week's Osakis School Board meeting, teachers demonstrated the feasibility of iPads replacing textbooks and becoming an everyday classroom tool. "As you know, technology [use] is increasing," Osakis Superintendent John Peterka told the school board.
A new safe way to dispose of unused prescription medication has been launched locally. On Wednesday, Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels unveiled the department's new prescription drop box. The large locked metal bin is located in the police department lobby and can be accessed during business hours. During a news conference, Wyffels explained, "Citizens in our community can get rid of prescription drugs that are lying leftover in their medicine cabinet, rather than flushing them down the toilet.
By securing a new interest rate on one of its future debt accounts, Alexandria District 206 School Board has saved taxpayers about $500,000. During Monday night's school board meeting, the board approved "Refunding of 2008 Debt Issuance" to cover the district's future debt service of $6.3 million. The new interest rate approved came in at 3.19 percent, compared to the old interest rate of 6.87 percent. The actual net savings to taxpayers is $507,446 over the life of the bond. School District 206 Business Director Trevor Peterson said, "By refunding these bonds, it's the same concept as hom
The State Fire Marshal's Office is continuing its investigation into what caused a house fire in Osakis on March 7. As of now, the cause of the fire is undetermined, according to Osakis Fire Chief Chad Mathews. The chief said he met with an investigator last week and it's unknown when a final determination will be released. At 11:28 a.m. on March 7, a fire was reported at 18 West Pike Street, the home of the Josh Kapaun family. When Osakis firefighters responded, smoke was rolling out of the house eaves and flames eventually shot out from an upstairs window.
Thursday's election of a new pope has drawn praise from the regional Catholic community. Jorge Bergoglio, 76, took the papal name Francis and became the 266th to hold the title of spiritual leader of the Catholic Church.
More information has been released about a head-on crash that was reported at 8:21 p.m. on Highway 29, about four miles north of Glenwood. One of the drivers was Hayley Blair, 19, of Glenwood, who was traveling with her mother, Kimberlie Blair 41, and father, Tait Blair, 41, also from Glenwood. The other driver was Richard Ostendorf of Pemberton, according to the State Patrol. Ostendorf and Kimberlie Blair both suffered serious injuries. Their current condition isn't known.