Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. She enjoys running and has participated in nearly 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon distances.
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Emotions ran high at Tuesday night's Planning Advisory Commission meeting, with the first hearings for conditional use permits on private vacation home rentals coming before the board. Several residents voiced their concerns about having VRBO's in their neighborhoods. They spoke vehemently against them, citing issues about parking, noise, traffic and safety and security, among others.
Looking back over the past three decades, Al Crowser has accomplished plenty in his career. But when you ask him what he will most remember of those years, he simply says, "The people and their loyalty." Crowser is the general manager of Alexandria Light and Power Utilities, or at least he will be for the next few days. After nearly 31 years with the utilities company, he is retiring. A retirement open house is planned for his last day at work, Monday, April 30. The open house will be from 2-4 p.m. at the ALP office, 316 Fillmore St., Alexandria.
Once a combat engineer in the U.S. Army, Jacob Turner now serves as Douglas County's new veterans services officer. As a U.S. Army specialist, Turner completed two tours in Afghanistan and received numerous medals and commendations. He holds an associates degree in fire science from Kaplan University.
Herberger's first opened its doors in Alexandria in 1963. But the company got its start in 1890 when George F. Herberger and his brother, Frank, opened the original Herberger's in downtown Osakis. Through information acquired at the Douglas County Historical Society, George was 19 years old when he founded Herberger's. He bought out Frank's interest in the store shortly after it opened when Frank moved to Seattle.
When Anthony Zimny was asked to be one of the dancers in this year's Dancing with the Alexandria Stars, he said he would think about it — and then think about it some more. Lynn Jenc, director of Community Education and one of the event organizers, was the person who asked Zimny. When Jenc asked him again, he said, "I don't want to, but I will." Now, after several practices, Zimny said he "definitely feels better about it." Then, with a big smile, he said, "But I am looking forward to it being done."
Through their own initiative, two Douglas County Sheriff's Office employees completed an online leadership training program and were commended for it at Tuesday's Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting. Sheriff Troy Wolbersen presented Deputy Bryan Ziegler and Jail Sergeant Kristie Reuss with their Institute for Credible Learning Development certificates from the Minnesota Sheriff's Association.
"It's just community theater. It's not going to be any good." Claudia Bursch, a director and actor at Andria Theatre — Alexandria's community theater — was told this once. It came up in my conversation with Claudia as I was interviewing her about the upcoming play she is directing at Andria Theatre, "Nunsense!" We were talking about my love of the theatre — as an audience member, mind you, as I have no acting capabilities whatsoever — and also about people who don't go to plays in their own community but will take in a show in a big city.
Douglas County Coordinator Heather Schlangen presented an updated personnel policy at Tuesday's Douglas County Board meeting, and it was approved in a 5-0 vote. Schlangen said the new policy, labeled as "Douglas County Personnel Policy," was changed from the original that was sent out with the commissioners' packet last week because it was "taken out of context."
The show will go on, although earlier this week Andria Theatre's performance of "Nunsense!" was in question. A special preview was cancelled Tuesday when an injury to one of the actors left the show without anyone to step into the role. However, arrangements have been made, and "Nunsense!" will open as planned this Friday, April 20. The character of Sister Robert Anne, originally played by Jennifer Maloney, will now be played by Carolyn Giannone.
There are four dead nuns in a freezer waiting to be buried; they died from botulism after they were poisoned by another nun in the convent. The rest of the sisterhood, including the Reverend Mother and her four remaining nuns, decide to host a fundraiser to raise enough money to bury their dearly-departed sisters. Is this real? Nope, it's "Nunsense!"