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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A small group of women from Good Shepherd Church in Alexandria are on a mission for kids with cancer and they need the public's help. If you know how to crochet and would like to donate your time, or you would simply like to donate supplies, they'd love to hear from you. Their mission? To make 100 "Happy Hair" wigs for children with cancer.
The genuine smiles on the children's faces and the joy in their eyes, along with the friendly, humble and resilient adults are just a few memories etched into the hearts and minds of nine people representing Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County after returning home from Cambodia. The group, including Lori Anderson, Mark Bergerson, Greg Tvrdik, Steve Heseltine, Nancy Doebbert, Pam Mickelson, Jenny Mulkearns, Janice DesMarais and Michelle Olsen, were just a few of the 260-plus volunteers who took part in the Habitat for Humanity's Cambodia Big Build.
When Douglas County set its preliminary levy in September, property owners would have seen a 4 percent increase in their property taxes. However, after refining the budget, Douglas County commissioners, at the annual Truth in Taxation meeting Thursday night, approved an increase of only 1.8 percent — 2.2 percent less than previously planned.
When the weather was "windier than windy" and Melissa Sazama saw her students walking down their long driveway, she said the "mom" in her kicked in and she knew she needed to do something to keep them warm. Sazama, a bus driver for the Parkers Prairie School District, ended up making 65 scarfs — in maroon and gold, of course, the school colors. "The fluffy ones are like boas and the other ones are just flat," she said. Of the 65 scarves, 48 went to the students who ride her bus and the others went to some teachers and the two principals, Sazama said.
For those with sticker-shock about their school property tax bill, Trevor Peterson said of school tax levies, that it's like "one giant puzzle." Peterson, business director for the Alexandria School District, sat down with the Echo Press to explain why taxpayers are seeing what appears to be a large increase in their school taxes. On tax statements that were recently mailed out, Peterson said property owners in the school district will see an overall proposed increase of 22.89 percent for taxes payable in 2018, although each property will vary.
The 36-year-old Carlos man involved in all-terrain vehicle crash Monday afternoon has died. According to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office, Derek Biggar died Tuesday, Nov. 28, as a results of injuries sustained in the crash. Biggar was flown to St. Cloud Hospital after the crash at the intersection of County Road 21 southwest and Woodsmen Lane Southwest, about seven miles northwest of Forada, near Lake Mary. Biggar's ATV collided with an SUV, driven by Gregory Henderson, 71, who lives on Woodsmen Lane, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
ChangeX, a social change initiative that launched last year in Minnesota, and the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota want to hear from people who have ideas about how to strengthen their communities.
Think about this scenario: A teenage girl comes home from school and her parents start harping on her for having a messy room. How do you think the teenager would react? Sophie Ritten, a 10th grader at Alexandria Area High School, said normally, she would've probably argued back and told her parents, "This is my room and it's my life." She said, "I would've been a typical teenager." However, Ritten said she now feels like she is better at handling conflicts.
The family of Jon Dingwall Jr. got a special surprise earlier this month when his classmates gave them a memorial rock in his honor. Jon Jr., the son of Jon and Kami Dingwall of Brandon, died in a sports utility vehicle crash in August. The fourth-grade class at Brandon-Evansville School, led by teacher Tina Bosma, took a field trip to the Dingwalls to give them not only the large memorial rock, but also individual painted rocks from each of the students.