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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Sitting in his mother's vehicle, Josh Molden stared at what was in his hands for a few minutes. He felt a little uneasy about what he was about to do — especially because his mom was right beside him. But, he knew it needed to be done. The 18-year-old leukemia patient from Alexandria was about to "take a hit" of medical marijuana vapor. "Well, give it a shot," Pam Molden told her son. He inhaled and then coughed it out. It did nothing. "Take it like you take your asthma medicine," she told Josh.
The mayor of Evansville has resigned over frustrations with the city clerk, among several other issues. Terry Aasness resigned at the Evansville City Council meeting Monday, Dec. 11. City Council member Chuck Steffenson declined an interview, but was willing to go on record to state that the council accepted the mayor's resignation with a vote of 3 to 1. He said he was the only one who voted not to accept the resignation.
Douglas County commissioners agreed with the Douglas County Planning Advisory Commission's recommendation that an environmental impact statement is not necessary for the potential gravel pit near Forada. The commissioners made that decision at Tuesday's regular board meeting.
Judging for the Echo Press's Light up the Night Christmas lights contest was tough again this year as there were plenty of beautiful displays. As in the past, all Douglas County residents and businesses were eligible to win, except for last year's winners. This year's judges, Echo Press employees Michelle Weller and Kathy McGinn, said they were blown away by the entries in the Echo Press's fourth annual Christmas lights contest.
If you've watched the Jingle Bells Telethon the past seven or eight years, you've probably heard of "Ya-Ya Kenny" and have seen him play his rhythm bones or his accordion. And if you watched it this year hoping to see him perform again, he's hoping you weren't too disappointed as he was unable to perform at this year's annual event.
During the 2017 boating season, 17 watercraft inspectors hired by Douglas County performed close to 10,000 inspections, including two inspections that kept boats with zebra mussels from entering a lake that had not been infested. Dave Rush, director of Land and Resource Management, highlighted those numbers Tuesday as he presented a brief overview for the Douglas County Board of Commissioners on the battle against aquatic invasive species.
The Brandon-Evansville School District is moving forward with its volunteer committees to look at facility needs and there's still time for the public to sign up to help. At the regular school board meeting Monday night, Superintendent Dean Yocum told school board members that as of last Thursday, Dec. 14, there were more than 50 people signed up for the three different committees.
There is a box outside the Lowry American Legion that may look like an ordinary mailbox, but there is nothing ordinary about it. It is an American flag drop box and it was put up in memory of Jerry Tvrdik, a member of the Legion who passed away July 4, 2016. Tvrdik, according to Lowry American Legion Commander Tom Hills, was believed to be the club's last living World War II veteran. After he passed away, Hills said Tvrdik's family donated money to the Legion in his honor.
The United Way office in downtown Alexandria looked like Santa's workshop earlier this week with nearly every nook and cranny filled with Christmas presents for children around the area. Each staff member's office was overflowing with presents, as was the front lobby, the conference room and the back room of the Hawthorne Street site. The presents were donated through the United Way of Douglas and Pope Counties' Adopt-A-Family program.
As the judge read his verdict, the sounds of sobbing grew louder and louder in the small federal courtroom. With tears streaming down her face, Nancy Estrada exchanged a look of disbelief with her husband, Julio Estrada Escobar, as they learned that he is being deported back to his home country of Guatemala. At the end of the 45-minute verdict read by Immigration Judge Ryan Wood on Wednesday, Dec. 13, he said, "This was a difficult day and I made the best decision I could. I wish you the best."