Celeste Edenloff, a reporter for the Echo Press, has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from May of 1999 to February 2011, and is happy to be back and once again sharing the stories of the people in this community. Besides being a reporter, Celeste is a certified fitness instructor and enjoys teaching bootcamp classes through Snap Fitness. She also enjoys running and has participated in more than 170 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.
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As the sun was setting over a beautiful beach in Hawaii, Chase Diamond's friends were hosting a luau to celebrate his birthday. But the celebration quickly turned to a woeful wake as Chase was found murdered. Reportedly, one of the guests at the party killed Chase by putting poison in his drink. The list of suspects was quickly narrowed down to six of his friends/acquaintances who were there — Chief Honikaua Wiki-Wiki, Holly Day, Joey Breakers, Leilani, Les Baggs and Nadia Seymour.
When Gretchen Revering was figuring out what she wanted to be when she grew up, her mom, Jennifer, told her she would make a good police officer. "I thought about being an EMT or a nurse because it was more fast-paced," said the 2015 Alexandria Area High School graduate. "I thought being a police officer would be super boring. Riding in a car all day, writing tickets. It didn't sound fun." Although she won't be riding in a car writing tickets, Revering is on her way to a career in law enforcement — but on a much different scale.
Property owners who rent out their homes to vacationers may soon have to fork over more than $300 to have their homes licensed for that purpose. A proposed amendment to the Douglas County zoning ordinance will require all private vacation home rentals to be licensed through Horizon Public Health.
Voyager Elementary teacher Kari Gilbertson, along with help from her third-grade students, celebrated the birthday of a staff person last Friday. This isn't necessarily out of the ordinary, except that it was the staff person's 80th birthday. "It isn't every day that a staff member turns 80," Gilbertson said in an email. The staff member is Lois Peterson and she is a foster grandparent in Gilbertson's classroom.
A snowplow damaged several mailboxes north of Alexandria on Friday morning. A report to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said the snowplow driver "took out 17 mailboxes" on County Road 11 along Lake Carlos on Friday, Feb. 23. But Steve Johansen, Douglas County Public Works maintenance superintendent, in an email response to the Echo Press, said it was closer to eight mailboxes and that the snowplow driver did not actually hit any of them.
A 30-year-old Alexandria man accused in a 2013 fatal stabbing pleaded guilty to count one of manslaughter Monday morning. Kody Lee Klimek was charged last September with two second-degree murder counts — intentional and unintentional — and a third-degree murder charge in connection with the stabbing death of Phillip Altstadt, 28, on June 1, 2013, outside the Lincoln Estates apartment complex at Sixth Avenue East and McKay Avenue in Alexandria.
Whitney Olson is a farm girl through and through and has been involved in 4-H since she was in third grade. Just last month, she competed and came out a big winner at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, with her heifer, Demi. She won two national championship titles — the Supreme Champion Percentage Simmental in both the Junior Show and the Open Show.
When Ben Johnson rumbles down a Douglas County road plowing snow and attacking slippery spots with sand and salt, he watches an electronic monitor that helps take the guesswork out of how much of the mixture he's putting on the road. Salt has long been used to make winter roads less slippery in Minnesota, and remains the most cost-effective substance for melting snow and ice. But concerns about salt runoff affecting the quality of Minnesota's lakes has had officials looking for ways to reduce its use.
The Amazing Journeys Together guest speaker event scheduled for tonight, Feb. 22, has been postponed due to weather. The event will now be held Thursday, March 8. The Amazing Journeys Together support group in Alexandria will hear from a marriage and family therapist who specializes in nutrition. That’s in keeping with the group’s mission to help those seeking to lose weight through surgery or lifestyle changes, and encourage families to support those individuals.
Douglas County Hospital had the only fatal medication error in the state between October 2016 and October 2017, according to an annual report released Thursday, Feb. 22, by the Minnesota Department of Health. The death at Douglas County Hospital was related to epinephrine. Epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, is used to treat a number of conditions including allergic reactions, cardiac arrest and superficial bleeding. It is injected into a muscle or just under the skin or can be inhaled.