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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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.
Piece by piece, Don Watschke of Osakis is mastering a uniquely intricate hobby. "To me, it's like a big puzzle," he said. Intarsia is a woodworking technique that uses small, individually cut pieces of wood assembled to create an image - much like a wooden mosaic. A variety of woods is used to create color, depth and texture. What's particularly unique about Watschke's hobby is his latest project - an intarsia depiction of Leonardo da Vinci's painting, The Last Supper. Watschke intricately cut, sanded, assembled and glued about 800 pieces of wood to recreate the masterpiece.
Local kids took part in the annual "Shop with a Cop" event Tuesday night at Walmart in Alexandria. The kids were matched up with law enforcement from Alexandria Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Osakis Police Department and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to do some shopping. Each child received a $50 gift card to spend any way they wanted.
Local school leaders want the community to know they've prepared the best they can to protect students. In the wake of last Friday's horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, District 206 Superintendent Terry Quist told the Echo Press that school support teams were ready to respond to students as needed. "We want to emphasize to our students that as the adults in their lives, we do everything we can to keep them safe," he said. PLAN IN PLACE District 206 has a comprehensive crisis plan in place to help avoid tragedies like the Sandy Hook Elementary School s
The doctor called this week and said, "You're clear, no more cancer." After hearing news like that, you'd think I'd be walking on clouds and sharing wise, cotton-candy-sweet sentiments. But something else has settled into my heart - it's a strange mix of denial, guilt, relief, humbleness, and a sense of being lost. I'm certainly happy and relieved that I beat cancer, but I've brushed the face of mortality and it's not pretty. Why did my body respond to radiation and chemotherapy treatments, but other people's didn't? After being so forward-focused and trying to stay positive through treat
With glowing eyes, the curious creature looked directly at the camera and crept forward slowly with a slinky gait. Where it ventured from there remains a mystery. A cougar captured on trail camera video has people buzzing about where it came from and what it was doing in the Osakis area. It was on Jerry Kuhlman's property that the infrared camera caught the 20 seconds of video. "I was shocked when I saw it," he said.
Editor's note: The following is an Echo Press feature called, "You Asked." Readers are invited to send the newspaper a simple question and we'll try to get to the bottom of it. Send questions to aedenloff@ echopress.com. Have you noticed that the safety cable in the center median of Interstate 94 doesn't continue through Douglas County? One of our readers noticed and they want to know why. Well, it's a Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) territory thing.
A local woman led Alexandria Police on a brief high-speed chase Tuesday night. Just after 8 p.m. an officer stopped Talia Rae Hoffman, 21, on 30th Avenue for a burned-out taillight. She took off and headed north on Nokomis Street. The officer briefly pursued Hoffman, but the pursuit was called off.
Despite frigid weather Friday, spirits were certainly warm and bright during the annual Christmas in the Fort celebration. Hundreds of families gathered at the Runestone Museum Fort Alexandria to take in the festive atmosphere, which included visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, musical performances, treats, horse-drawn wagon rides and the sparkle of Christmas lights in downtown Alexandria.