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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Firefighters from two departments responded to a house fire in Carlos Tuesday night. According to law enforcement, the fire was reported at 8:55 p.m. at 18 North Douglas Street in Carlos. The homeowners were not home at the time of the fire. The house was damaged in the fire, which caused extensive smoke damage. Carlos and Parkers Prairie Fire Departments, Douglas County Sheriff's Office and North Ambulance responded to the scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama made a call for gun control laws and outlined a plan to do so.
Perhaps it's something you've never considered: Do you wish there were more county parks in Douglas County? What are your thoughts on the county's trail system? Are more picnic shelters on your county park wish list? Do you think there should be more restroom facilities available at the parks? Community input and ideas will be critical to the development of the Douglas County Park and Trail Plan. Here's your opportunity to have your say and share your ideas. A community open house will be held Tuesday, January 22 from 6 to 8 p.m.
The Todd County Sheriff's Office (TCSO) is asking for the community's help in a theft case that happened on January 8. According to TCSO, John Eischen reported the theft from Central Automotive in West Union. Sometime within the past week, someone took various items of scrap metal from the property. Anyone with information is asked to call the TCSO at (320) 732-2157.
There's a national champion living in the Osakis community. Averie Mounsdon, 9, is the top puller in the National Pedal Pull competition. In September, the Osakis third grader pulled 190 pounds of weight 29-feet, 9-inches to earn the national championship. Averie said, "It was kind of weird at first and then I got really excited and stuff. Then Mom called lots of people to tell them I won and I was really nervous. I got a big trophy. We couldn't fit it in the car almost." The tractor pedal pull competitions are common events on local festival schedules in the summer.
The Alexandria School Board breezed through its annual reorganizational meeting Monday night, approving items like the board's leadership and pay. Three school board members took the oath of office at the beginning of the meeting. Incumbents Dave Anderson and Pam Carlson were re-elected and newcomer Angie Krebs was elected to her first term on the school board.
The Alexandria Senior Center is at a pivotal point. Ann Esterberg, the center's executive director, said they need new members to join in order for the site to thrive. "We want [the senior center] to stay alive in 2013. We just don't get new members. The days of a lot of seniors becoming members of the senior center seem to be gone. The average age of our members is probably 80," she said. Senior Center Board President Joyce Martinson added, "I think some baby boomers coming up don't want to belong to anything.
Osakis-based Panther Distillery, Minnesota's first and only legal whiskey distillery, bottled its first batch of White Water Whiskey and it hit local liquor store shelves last Friday. "It's going really good," said Master Distiller Brett Grinager. "We started bottling by hand around Christmas and now, we'll meet with our sales team to start going statewide." During last weekend's tasting and signing events held in Alexandria, Osakis and Nelson, Grinager and Panther Distillery owner, Adrian Panther, visited with customers about the new whiskey and its production process.
10:20 a.m. - Firefighters are at the scene of a structure fire in downtown Miltona. According to scanner traffic, just after 10 a.m., a fire broke out at a service shop at 109 Main Street in Miltona. Miltona Fire Department is at the scene and Carlos and Parkers Prairie Fire Departments were called for mutual aid. Douglas County Sheriff's deputies evacuated nearby buildings. Echo Press Editor Al Edenloff is headed to the scene. Check back for updates through the morning.
A barn on the west side of Lake Andrew, near Alexandria, burned to the ground early Friday morning. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office received a call at 4:39 a.m. reporting the fire. The Alexandria Fire Department responded to the scene but the barn was nearly burned to the ground. There were no animals housed in the barn and no one was injured. The barn was located at 4452 Woodsmen Drive Southwest on property owned by Robert Brezina. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.