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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Alexandria School District 206 has set its calendar for the next two school years - 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. The biggest difference between the two school years comes next year when there is no spring break scheduled, and the school year ends in May, rather than June. 2012-2013 The 2012-2013 school year starts Tuesday, September 4. Christmas/winter break runs December 24-January 1 in 2012-2013. Judy Backhaus, Alexandria Public Schools director of human resources, was part of the calendar planning committee and she explained that because Easter is early in 2013 - Sunday, March 31 - a sp
According to a preliminary budget, Alexandria Public Schools faces a $2.1 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2012-2013. The district plans to start trimming non-personnel budget items - things like textbooks, supplies, technology, summer school and activities - and, in doing so, eliminate $780,000. It's a start, but there's $1.3 million more to cut. Eighty-two percent of the school district's general fund budget is tied to personnel costs and it was announced Monday that staff will bare the brunt of budget cuts. Judy Backhaus, the school district's human resources director, told the
Two local men face drug charges after they were arrested in a drug bust Wednesday, March 14 in Osakis. John Hinderschied, 27, of Alexandria and Craig Cowdery, 46, of Osakis were arrested after a bust at 605 East Main Street produced 223.9 grams of methamphetamine, 43 marijuana plants growing in the garage, two handguns, 16 long guns and $34,224 in cash. The meth recovered in the bust has a street value of $44,780, according to the West Central Minnesota Narcotics Task Force (WCMNTF). The men made their first court appearance Friday, March 16 in Douglas County District Court.
Two local men face drug charges after they were arrested in a drug bust Wednesday, March 14 in Osakis. According to the West Central Minnesota Narcotics Task Force (WCMNTF), a search warrant at 605 East Main Street produced 223.9 grams of methamphetamine, 43 marijuana plants growing in the garage, two handguns, 16 long guns and $34,224 in cash. The meth recovered in the bust has a street value of $44,780, according to WCMNTF. The two men arrested - one from Osakis and the other from Alexandria - will be named after their first court appearance scheduled for Friday, March 16.
The country's prescription drug shortage is hitting close to home. During last month's Douglas County Hospital (DCH) board meeting, David Gray, director of pharmacy, explained the problem and detailed the impact on the hospital. THE SHORTAGE According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a major reason for the drug shortages has been quality/manufacturing issues. However, there have been other reasons such as production delays at the manufacturer and delays companies have experienced receiving raw materials and components from suppliers.
A strong winter storm kicked into action Tuesday night and dumped 12 inches of snow across the Alexandria area. What a difference just 12 hours made here in the lakes area. The calm before the storm Tuesday afternoon left many people wondering if meteorologists had it all wrong forecasting a blizzard. But then, around 6 p.m., the sky let loose - rain turned to sleet and sleet turned to snow. Residents in west central Minnesota woke up to about 12 inches of heavy snow and gusty wind. Originally forecast as a blizzard, the Tuesday-Wednesday snowstorm was downshifted into a winter storm warn
Since voters approved funding last fall for a new high school in Alexandria, the design process and cost estimation is moving right along. Lots of people have had lots of input on what the high school will look like and how it should be designed to best serve students and the community. On Monday, the Alexandria school board heard updates on the project's status and preliminary construction budget. PRELIMINARY CONSTRUCTION BUDGET The schematic design phase of the project is well under way - it's the first phase in the design of a project where an architect/engineer prepares schematic di
A strong winter storm kicked into action Tuesday night in the Alexandria area. What a difference 12 hours can make. Residents in west central Minnesota are waking up to about 12 inches of snow. Area schools are closed today and the morning commute is pretty quiet in Alexandria. Main roads are passable, but still slick. The Minnesota State Patrol reports that driving conditions are difficult on state highways. In downtown Alexandria, streets are currently being cleared - as of 7:24 a.m. If you must travel today, bring a winter survival kit and take it slow.
For the second time in three weeks, Alexandria firefighters battled a blaze at 823 Kenwood Street in Alexandria. At 12:54 a.m. Tuesday, Alexandria Fire Department responded to a fire at the duplex. Fire Chief Jeff Karrow said fire was rolling out of the windows and doors when crews arrived. Karrow said, "This fire is very suspicious in nature. The house had been boarded up and not lived in." A state fire marshal investigator was expected at the scene Tuesday, the chief said. On February 6, Alexandria Fire Department first responded to a fire call at the Kenwood Street duplex.
A bundled-up crowd cheered, cringed and laughed Sunday as hundreds of people plunged into the dang-cold water of Lake Darling during the 2012 Alexandria Polar Plunge. This year's Polar Plunge registered 340 people who willingly jumped into the icy water, raising more than $60,000 for Special Olympics Minnesota. It was 27 degrees at plunge time and a brisk, 10-mile-per-hour wind from the north made for an extra skin-tingling experience for the jumpers. The Polar Plunge was hosted on the ice in front of Arrowwood Resort. Alexandria Police Officer Keith Melrose helps coordinate the local Pola